Ecuador cost of living – a year of expenses

GREEN: expenses in Cuenca, Ecuador(2013). YELLOW: expenses in San Francisco, CA (2012)

I have now lived in Cuenca for just over a year! Incredible how time passes by. A lot of people are fascinated by cost of living comparisons, so here’s mine, now that I have a full 12 months of data. I have spent on average, about $1000 per month total over the last year living in Cuenca, some months as little as $600, averaging 2.8 times the minimum wage in Cuenca.

San Francisco vs. Cuenca

I used to live in downtown/financial district of San Francisco, California. I was able to live reasonably cheaply because I have a rent-controlled apartment* (San Francisco limits rent increases to the consumer price index, so that even though rent has sky-rocketed, people who moved to SF a long time ago pay much less).

The biggest difference is that I shared an apartment with a roommate in San Francisco and here I live by myself. If I had rented an apartment in SF, my expenses would probably be double. In Cuenca, I eat out way more (since restaurants here you can get by with $6 instead of $25 for dinner). However, I do not have a car, which was something I had in San Francisco along with a couple other convenience services for the time-crunched office-worker (organic veggie delivery, pick and drop/off laundry/ dry-cleaning delivery service).

My Ecuador expenses by month

I am now inviting all readers to see my Cuenca expenses. This graph is from www.mint.com (which tabulates all credit card purchases plus ATM cash withdrawals). Here is what I spent month by month in Cuenca versus in San Francisco:

GREEN: expenses in Cuenca, Ecuador(2013). YELLOW: expenses in San Francisco, CA (2012)
GREEN: expenses in Cuenca, Ecuador(2013). YELLOW: expenses in San Francisco, CA (2012)

*The anomalies and other notes:

  • Bought a computer and a dSLR camera lens December 2012.
  • San Francisco expenses should higher than shown above because I excluded car depreciation (i.e. I bought a car, used it and sold it for way less).
  • I spent December 2013 with my parents in California, not in Cuenca.
  • Cuenca expenses are higher in some months due to non-recurring expenditures. I.e. $200 refridgerator purchase, $200 temporary visa, $300 permanent visa fee…
  • I took vacations to Puerto Rico (December 2012), the Dominican Republic (January 2013) which raise expenses those months.
  • I have taken cheapie vacations (Banos de Ambato, Quito, elsewhere in Ecuador, Peru which raise expenses slightly those months).
  • I haven’t paid for any international airfare for the last 2 years because of significant frequent flyer miles. Otherwise expenses would be significantly higher.

Ecuador cost of living breakdown

  • Rent – $100-170. Furnished room or cheapie unfurnished apartment
  • Groceries – $150. Buying most stuff from the local markets, some gringo-groceries from the big supermarket (Supermaxi), and some ridiculously overpriced stuff from the local health-food store (Nektar)
  • Eating out $130 – 4 times/week at modest restaurants $6 per time, 4 times a week getting snacks (yoghurt, juices) at $2/instance. Relatively cheap because I don’t drink.
  • Thermal pools – $40 – monthly fee for Piedra de Agua thermal pools /spa membership
  • Ballet classes $40 – 5 times a week
  • VPN fee $40
  • Taxis and buses $30 – I mostly walk, with the occasional bus or taxi.
  • Gym membership $20 – for weight lifting
  • Cell phone minutes $20
  • Internet cafes $20
  • Skype $10 – for calling the US
  • The rest is discretionary – trips around Ecuador, clothes, housewares, gifts
Loading Facebook Comments ...
7 Responses to "Ecuador cost of living – a year of expenses"
  1. Better Image Laboratory exchange or may fix a Media -On Veneers that proves to be defective in materials or craftsmanship up to two (2) times.

  2. Admiring the hard work you put into your website and in depth
    information you provide. It’s good to come across a blog every
    once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed information. Fantastic read!
    I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  3. Hello I am so excited I found your webpage, I really found you
    by mistake, while I was browsing on Bing for something else, Anyways
    I am here now and would just like to say thanks
    for a incredible post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design),
    I don?t have time to go through it all at the moment but I have saved it and also added in your RSS
    feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read
    a lot more, Please do keep up the fantastic b. http://www.01news.fr/cat%C3%A9gories/a-savoir/

  4. Aniracetam says:

    I’ve been exploring for a little for any high quality articles or blog posts in this
    kind of space . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this site.
    Reading this information So i am glad to show that I have a very just right uncanny feeling I came upon exactly what
    I needed. I such a lot for sure will make sure to do not fail
    to remember this site and provides it a look regularly.

  5. Wow, that’s what I was exploring for, what a data! existing here at this blog, thanks admin of
    this web page.

  6. The the verry first thing that you just must consider is the budget.
    It tells the world that you’ll be committed on and on foor being married soon using your special
    someone. It s better to pick which cut you wish previously itself. http://playamigo2017h.blog2learn.com/768843/inform-him-you-enjoy-him-with-a-diamond-ring

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *