Tag: MoneySavingTips

Mar 08 2012

Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: Don’t Buy a Car

Revised 12/4/16 This is the flip side of one of my other money-saving tips, “Take the Bus.” Naturally, if you don’t have a car, you will in fact take the bus, cab or walk more frequently. Elaine St. James, in her book, Simplify Your Life, classifies “get rid of your car” as “Hard-Core Simplicity” We …

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Feb 10 2012

Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: Speak Spanish-Save Money

Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: Speak Spanish – Save Money Learning Spanish to save money tends to be more nebulous than other money-saving tips because it’s hard to put a dollar amount on how much you can actually save every week or month. But I do know that learning a …

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Jan 10 2012

Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

In the States, one of the service businesses that’s recession-proof is beauty and barber services. Everyone needs to have their hair cut (okay, unless you’re bald) and since long hair is not the fashion, most people go to the beauty salon or barber on a regular basis. The same is true in Costa Rica. Ticos may …

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Jan 10 2012

Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: Shop at Ropa Americana

Ropa Americana…need I say more? Luckily, there are Ropa Americanas located all over the country. It seems any decent sized town has one, and San Ramon has several. Ropa Americana is like a Goodwill Store in the U.S., mostly men’s, women’s, & children’s clothes, linens, purses, & stuffed animals, at cut-rate prices.  Did I say …

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Jan 10 2012

Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: Buy Local

Buy local and avoid stores like PriceSmart, AutoMercado, and other stores that carry expensive imported products and throw your food budget out of whack. Before coming to Costa Rica, we were thrifty food shoppers, spending a little over $450 per month. Our food budget in Costa Rica is about $330 per month.  This savings can …

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Jan 10 2012

Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: Join the Caja, Costa Rica’s National Medical System

$61.00 per month — this is the amount we pay for health insurance in Costa Rica, and this is one of the main reasons we stay in Costa Rica. (NOTE: amount updated after 23% rate increase in late 2012 for voluntarios — immigrants who joined the Caja voluntarily, and another increase in January 2014.) The …

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Jan 10 2012

Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: Eat Less Meat and More Fruits and Vegetables

Perhaps this one’s not fair. Before we came to Costa Rica, living in the Baltimore, Maryland area, our food budget was over $400 per month. Most people thought that that was pretty good, but in Costa Rica, we’ve managed to reduce our food budget by another $100. Our $300 (see note below for updated costs) …

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Jan 10 2012

Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: Taking the Bus

Updated 4/12/15 Take the bus!  Well, there it is, my money saving tip of the month. Okay, okay, I’ll explain the savings and the side benefits, but first, you’ve got to leave the car at home. It should be easy, with regular gas currently over $5.00 per gallon. You probably won’t believe this, but some …

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Jan 10 2012

Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: $1 Lunch at the Central Market

(Updated May 4, 2015) There are seven Central American Republics, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama, and of these, Costa Rica may be the most expensive.  But the cost depends more on your lifestyle than anything else.  If you really want to simplify your life you will spend less than in …

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Dec 18 2011

Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: The Gold Card-Don’t Leave Home Without It!

In Costa Rica, everywhere you go, Ciudadanos de Oro (golden citizens) are given special treatment. If you are over 65 years old and a legal resident of Costa Rica, you qualify to receive the “Gold Card.” In 1997, Costa Rica established the Ciudadanos de Oro Program to create a culture of dignity and respect for …

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