Keep in mind: Ambergris Caye is probably the most expensive part of Belize.
And also remember $1USD = $2 BZD.
Monthly rent: $1700 bzd. This is on the expensive/very expensive side. I live in a second floor condo unit at Royal Palm (http://www.royalpalmcondos.com/) with a large kitchen, washer/dryer, one bedroom, one loft and two bathrooms. Could I find cheaper? Yes. But I like being by the beach, I like the great pool, I like having an area for visitors and I like security guards at night. I have always been a renter and would rather spend most of my income on a place that I love…it’s not an area I will scrimp on. Everyone, obviously, is different.
Electric Bill (BEL): $200-$500 bzd per month. Very expensive. I hardly ever use A/C (maybe two or three times a month during the summer). But I do have an electric stove and the washer/dryer.
Water Bill (BWS): $50 bzd per month
Cable Bill (Coral Cable): $44 bzd per month
Cats: I’ve never actually figured this out…and I’m sure I’m not going to like the result. I have 3 cats. They need flea/tick meds & heartworm pills each month. $100bzd. 3 bags of Kitty Litter. $45. 3 bags of dry food. $40. 15 cans of wet food. $30bzd. (http://www.sanpedroscoop.com/2011/07/cats-make-single-san-pedro-gal-look.html if you have any interest in the cats…)
Cell Phone Credits: $50-100bzd per month. Digicell and Smart both have been offering triple credits on certain days and I have been taking advantage.
Internet: FREE! Thanks to my very gracious neighbors. (This will run $150-250bzd a month).
TOTAL FIXED COSTS: $2259 to $2609 bzd.
Food/Entertainment: A huge variable and a category I am learning to cut back on. Some food here is very reasonable. If you learn to eat like a Belizean, learn to cook with ingredients like dried beans, rice, chicken, onions, tomatoes, coconut milk, etc, you can make it work fairly cheaply. If you eat out for every meal or buy lots of imported items (from grapes & lettuce to breakfast cereal & Doritos), you can spend TONS of money. I’ve never really written it down, but I guess I spend $100-150bzd a week on food. But if I go out to eat a few times during the week, this could easily double.
Things that I haven’t included: medical insurance and my annual trip to the states. Also, transportation. You can buy a bike for $300bzd. You can buy a golf cart for $20,000bzd.
OH MAN! Now I know why I am broke. I’ll talk to you guys later, I need to go out and get a part time job. Or better yet, get these lazy cats to work. Anyone looking for help in the napping or shedding department?
I’ll leave you with a picture of the decorations that are going up for the September celebrations.