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Another Month’s Living Expenses 2015: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

When it comes to expenses May proved to be another big month for us. Total costs for day to day living expenses came in at $1601.23 USD, which is $200 more than we actually wanted to spend.

Contributing factors in our overspending this month include a $155 USD truck repair, way too much eating (and drinking) out and a higher than average electricity bill. (See below for further explanation.)

Below is a summary by category that shows exactly where our cash went. For a more detailed in-depth view to our expenditures take a look at our daily spending.

One Month's Living Expenses: SJDS, Nicaragua - May 2015


Is the convenience of owning a vehicle worth the added expense?

We own a 2001 Hyundai Galloper that we paid $7000 USD for 3 1/2 years ago. It’s been a very reliable vehicle, however, rarely a month goes by where it doesn’t need some sort of repair.

If you choose to own a vehicle — unless it’s brand new — you’ll need factor in the cost of regular maintenance when planning your budget. Although labour is extremely inexpensive here compared to what we were used to back home, parts are not. 

Electricity Doesn’t Come Cheap!

Electricity in Nicaragua is extremely expensive. Four times more expensive than in the US, in fact.

Our $85 USD electricity bill for this month was reflective of air conditioning usage. During this billing period we ran the air conditioner in our bedroom approximately half of the month and usually only a few hours per night.  

Since April and May are the hottest most uncomfortable months of the year, we choose to live with air conditioning for this period of time and this period of time only. But if you’re someone who can’t live without air conditioning and plan to use it a daily basis, you can expect your monthly bills to be exponentially higher.

Entertainment & Eating Out

While analyzing our daily expenditures we noticed a tendency to eat out because we were lazy. This drove up our overall food costs and did nothing to enhance our life. Moving forward we intend to eat healthier, less expensive meals at home more often. Eating out will still be prevalent, but we plan to limit the instances to occasions that also involve a social and/or entertainment factor.


We can’t deny the fact that day to day living expenses are a lot less in Nicaragua than in most cities in Canada or the US, but just like at home, how little or how much you spend each month will be totally reflective of your spending habits. 

One Month’s Living Expenses 2015: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Cost of living continues to be the most popular searched topic on In Nica Now and since it’s been over a year since we published an up-to-date expense report we thought it was time we do so. 

Last month (April 2015) we diligently tracked every single cordoba we spent.

Our targeted monthly budget is $1400 USD. Total living expenses for the month added up to $1513.48 USD.

Below is a summary by category that shows where our cash went. Exchange rate is based on 26.7 cordobas per 1 USD.

One Month's Living Expenses: April 2015

For a more detailed in-depth look at our expenditures click on the link to view our daily spending.


We incurred two major expenditures this month that are NOT listed on our summary or our detailed expense report.

1.  PASSPORT RENEWAL: 2 passport photos, 1 – 10 year passport. $230 USD
2.  TRUCK REPAIRS: Diesel engine rebuild, injector & fuel pump service, purchase & installation of new clutch pump. $1700 USD

The truck repairs and passport renewal were done in Managua and therefore we made two trips (1 day trip and 1 overnight trip) to the city.

We were also without a vehicle from the beginning of the month through to April 24 and were using taxis as our mode of transportation.

This month was not at all a typical month of spending, but since we took the time to track all purchases and expenditures we still wanted to share the information with you.

We are tracking again this month and will have another expense report to share with you at the beginning of June.

You may also be interested in the following posts:

One Month’s Living Expenses: Leon Nicaragua
One Month’s Living Expenses 2012: Granada, Nicaragua
One Month’s Living Expenses 2012: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
One Month’s Living Expenses 2014: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

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