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Meet Kevin Keegan: Our Expat Neighbor & 1st Guest Blogger

Since the very successful launch of our Home Finder & Relocation Services business just over a year ago we’ve had very little time to focus on new content for the blog. Knowing many of you look forward to receiving notification of new posts in your inbox, but not being able to find enough hours in the day to deliver, we were thrilled when our expat neighbor and friend Kevin agreed to write for us.

Without further adieu, it is with great pleasure we introduce to you In Nica Now’s first guest blogger, Kevin Keegan!

Meet Kevin Keegan: In Nica Now's Expat Neighbor & 1st Guest Blogger

– Kevin & his wife Loretta: St. Patrick’s Day Ox Cart Pub Crawl 2016, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Hailing from a small community in Southern Alberta, Canada and working outdoors, Kevin has experienced his share of -30, -40 degree Celsius winters. After many years of wishful thinking, him and his wife Loretta decided to make the move to a warmer climate.

First of course, they had to take care of a few pesky logistical concerns like figuring out where to go. They also had to consider options of what to do once they got there.

After exhaustive months of traveling to places such as Mexico, Panama, Ecuador and Nicaragua, trying on a variety of beaches for size, Kevin and Loretta decided after a couple of visits, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua was the best fit for them.

But not yet being of retirement age and with two kids just starting out on their own, they figured it best to do the grown up thing and make their move in stages.

In preparation for their move, Kevin took some writing courses and set himself up as a contract blogger and internet researcher which currently pays some of his and Loretta’s expenses while in San Juan del Sur. As an alternative employment option, he also obtained the appropriate certificates to teach English as foreign language, specializing in business English.

In keeping with the plan to move in stages while their kids begin their own journey of life, Loretta continues with her job in Canada which affords a measure of flexibility for extended stays in San Juan del Sur.

During the summer months in Canada Kevin keeps himself busy working on a local farm, writing and working towards being in San Juan del Sur full time. He eventually hopes to start a business here that will benefit expats and locals alike.

There are often more questions than answers regarding life in a foreign country. Having access to information about life in Nicaragua from the perspective of those who have faced or are facing the many challenges inherent with moving abroad is invaluable.

Kevin is very excited for the opportunity to do his small part in making your move or visit to Nicaragua as smooth and exciting as possible.

We are equally as excited to have Kevin aboard and in turn be able to provide our readers with another expat’s point of view on life and travel in Nicaragua.

Stay tuned for some interesting and informative articles by Kevin coming to you very soon!

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

A COUPLE OF BUDGET PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS

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.

HOW MUCH WILL I REALLY SPEND EACH MONTH?

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. 

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