Oct 19 2014

Our September 2014 Costa Rica Cost of Living Expenses

2014_SeptWe knew in advance that we were not going to meet our goal of spending $2,000 per month in September. We came in at $2,366.02, but hopefully, with some months coming in under budget, our monthly average for 2014 will still be below $2,000.

September is always a big month for car expenses. Our car insurance payment is due in September. And it’s also the month that we are scheduled to report to RITEVE for the annual car inspection.

LogoRiteveThe inspection itself costs less than $20, however, Paul always takes our car to the mechanic first, to check over and fix or replace anything necessary, and that’s where the expense lies. This year, for the first time, we didn’t pass RITEVE. We had a tire which had worn unevenly and we knew that we’d eventually need to replace it but thought it would pass inspection. It didn’t. So we bought two new tires and returned to RITEVE the following week, which cost an additional inspection fee of $9.32.

Here’s the breakdown of what we spent for transportation in September ($1=533 colones):

Car Repair and RITEVE: $473.78RITEVE-CR

  • Catalytic converter, brake shoes, labor: $181.99
  • Oil change: $46.20
  • RITEVE (1st inspection): $18.63
  • Two new tires: $217.64
  • RITEVE (2nd inspection): $9.32

Other Car/Transportation Expenses: $412.79

  • Car insurance (liability & emergency road service-6 months): $149.58
  • Gas: $228.64 (higher than normal because we got a 3rd fill-up on the last day of the month)
  • Parking & Tolls: $1.88
  • New batteries for car alarm fobs: $7.50
  • Car wash: $14.07
  • Taxi/bus: $11.13

Hardware/Household Expenses

We’ve been having larger than normal water bills for the past couple of months so we asked Oscar, the caretaker for our rental house, to check it out. He found a leak under the house and bought the necessary plumbing supplies to fix it. The supplies cost $17.35 and there was no labor charge to us. Though this is a rental, we have no problem paying for minor repair expenses, especially since the labor is covered by our landlords.


Personal Care Expenses

This is the only other category with notable expenses. First, our house-sitters brought us some toiletries we requested from the States which we can’t get here. Cost: $38.00.

The other personal care expenses were mostly mine (Gloria). Since we were going to be heading to Las Vegas on October 1st to exhibit at the International Living Conference, I wanted my hair to be in good shape. I ended up having not one, but two, appointments in September (one at the beginning of the month and the other at the end of the month) for a cut and color, at about $22.50 each time. I also had a pedicure the day before we left which cost $15.00. And Paul got a haircut for the bargain price of $3.75.

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














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