Jun 02 2014

Our April 2014 Costa Rica Cost of Living and Relocation Expenses

If you read our last couple of newsletters, you know that we traveled back to the U.S. to finally sell our house and deal with all of the “stuff” we had stored in the basement for the last five years. Therefore, our expenses for March were broken down into our Costa Rica living expenses and our expenses for the trip to Baltimore (see graphic at the end of this article). We returned to Costa Rica on April 1st, exactly five years to the day that we moved here originally!

There were some relocation expenses that did not appear in last month’s expense, including our travel expenses on the first of April and, more substantially, expenses associated with our decision to ship 13 boxes of our belongings to Costa Rica which we paid for in the month of April. Let’s talk about these expenses first.


Our relocation expenses include the following:

  • Super Shuttle to Baltimore airport: $49.00
  • Meals in the airports: $22.08
  • Extra Baggage Fees: $380.00
  • Tips in San Jose airport:$13.21 (7,000 colones)
  • Shipping expenses: $2058.44

There are a couple of things to mention about our shipping costs. First, we are working on an in-depth article about research into methods of shipping, the choices we made and why we made them, and lessons learned. The second point is that the shipping expenses above include customs duties and related expenses, though we didn’t actually pay them until the month of May. It just makes more sense to show them together rather than broken down by month paid.

Now on to our Costa Rica living expenses for April.

Our rental house in San Ramón

Even though we were in Costa Rica for the entire month, our overall expenses were a bit lower than normal, mostly because our trip to Baltimore left us exhausted so we pretty much stayed home. Our “household” expenses were higher than usual because we paid to have the windows of our house cleaned. You can see from the photo that there are some windows that are too high for us to safely clean. So, it was a no-brainer…hire someone who’s done this before. We hired a Tico who works for the local window glass company and had assured us that this is what he does. We expected him to arrive with special equipment and possibly safety gear of some kind. What were we thinking?? He arrived with a ladder and…nothing else. We provided the hose, bucket, squeegees, liquid detergent, rags and everything else he needed. Paul was so concerned for his safety that he helped him the entire time, holding the ladder and handing him whatever he needed. (Luckily, for our peace of mind as much as anything, we had purchased the Costa Rica equivalent of “Workmen’s Comp” insurance the month before to protect our housekeeper and any other temporary worker at our home.) Though it wasn’t what we’d expected, we have to admit that the windows looked MUCH better and it was well worth the 40,000 colones ($74.07) that we spent.

The only other notable expense for April was the $49.00 we spent to renew our Witopia VPN account for another 12 months. While we mainly use our VPN connection to allow us to access U.S. programming (Netflix, network television, Hulu, etc.), there are a lot of other reasons you may want to consider signing up for a VPN connection which you can read about here.

As usual, to help put things into perspective, here are our expenses for the previous two months:

2014_FebRelated Articles:

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