Would you like to spend at least part of the year in a country with a low cost of living? If so, you’ll be following a popular trend. It’s not just retirees who are moving to countries where pensions stretch further. With e-commuting on the rise, many of us can work from any country in the world. We’ll be better off too, with earnings getting you a much more comfortable lifestyle than they would at home. Plus, it’s an adventure!
You won’t necessarily be far off the beaten track. Expect great services, all the comforts of home plus more and lower costs. So, where should you consider going?
Note: although there may be even cheaper cities than the ones we’ve listed here, we’ve also looked at the quality of living. Clearly, you need access to things like good medical care!
In this guide...
- 1. Exotic and Peaceful: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
- 2. Chill Out in Chiang Mai, Thailand
- 3. Tbilisi, Georgia
- 4. Amazing Living in the Algarve, Portugal
- 5. Santa Familia, Belize
- 6. Mexico: Take Your Pick of Cities
- 7. Granada, Nicaragua: A Low-Cost Gem
- 8. Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic
- 9. Cape Town, South Africa
- 10. Fall in Love with Barcelona, Spain
- Are you tempted?
1. Exotic and Peaceful: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
If you decide to move here, most people will tell you they’ve never heard of it. Nevertheless, it’s a wonderful little city with a low, low cost of living and an emerging expat community. Comfortable accommodation and delicious food plus utilities and other basics won’t cost more than $850 monthly per person.
Expats say it’s a friendly city with tons of water sport leisure activities and a laid-back vibe.
2. Chill Out in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Most of Thailand is cheap, but Chiang Mai in the north of the country offers lower cost living than the South. Although the South offers tropical islands and beaches, it’s very aware of the tourist trade, so costs tend to be higher. Chiang Mai is somehow more authentic, and you can live very comfortably on just $1,000 per month.
Worried about schools? There are excellent international schools, and healthcare is both excellent and cheap.
3. Tbilisi, Georgia
No, this is not in the US state of Georgia, but in the country of the same name. It’s the capital city and one of the cheapest places to live in the world.
For just $1,100 per month, a person can live very comfortably, although an apartment in the middle of town will push costs up.
The setting is superb, and the streets of the old town are packed with friendly wine bars with pavement tables where locals relax. The culture is east-meets-west, and you’re sure to have a memorable stay.
4. Amazing Living in the Algarve, Portugal
Imagine: amazing, rocky coasts, picturesque old towns, and gorgeous weather all year round: does that sound too good to be true? With comfortable living costing just $1,150 per person per month, it might just sound like a fantasy.
You get all the convenience of the European lifestyle along with great cuisine and low-cost living. What could be better?
5. Santa Familia, Belize
Belize comes with a gentle warning: your internet isn’t going to be all that stable, and many of the roads are unpaved. However, communities are close-knit and friendly, there are lots of wide open spaces, and living costs are low.
Expats say that just $1,200 a month is enough to keep a person in comfort, and the peaceful nature of the country ensures a stress-free stay.
6. Mexico: Take Your Pick of Cities
US citizens may not have to go far to enjoy a lower cost of living. Expats report that they’re living well on a monthly budget of about $1,200.
For those who love scenic beaches and a holiday vibe, cities like Cancun on the Riviera Maya offer an irresistible lifestyle, plenty of outdoor activities, and a wide range of restaurants, pubs, and clubs.
7. Granada, Nicaragua: A Low-Cost Gem
There’s no denying that Granada is absolutely beautiful. It’s hard to believe it’s one of the world’s cheapest places to live. Bargain hunters won’t have far to look, and the monthly cost of living is around $1,225 per person. That’s without sacrificing a few little luxuries!
Surfers will love the world-class waves while those who want to get in touch with nature won’t lack leisure activities. As for Colonial Granada, it’s a busy, lively place dotted with beautiful old buildings and fascinating shops.
8. Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic
Getting to work may not be easy in Las Terrenas, even if all you need is a desk and your computer. That’s because you’ll be tempted by sandy beaches and great French cuisine at almost every turn. And with the basic cost of a comfortable expat lifestyle estimated at around $1,250 per person monthly, the temptation to take it easy is bound to be great.
Expats say that the economy is strong and that the authorities are successfully reducing the crime rate, allowing them to feel safe and make themselves at home.
9. Cape Town, South Africa
It may not be the cheapest place to live in South Africa, but Cape Town living is awesome. It’s a world-class city with a multi-cultural vibe where just about everybody speaks English.
A fairly spacious rental home plus all the basics shouldn’t cost you more than $1,600 per month, and if you move further away from the metropolis, prices fall still lower, with $1,100 being enough for small-town living.
10. Fall in Love with Barcelona, Spain
With an estimated monthly cost of $1,650 per person, Barcelona isn’t your cheapest option, but it’s ideal for those who love efficiency coupled with a rich history. It’s the flip-side of Belize, with a focus on municipal service delivery and an award-winning track record.
Plus, Barcelona doesn’t lack color. From ancient buildings and museums packed with artifacts to a vibrant nightlife and a wealth of concerts and live shows, there’s something for everyone in Barcelona!
Are you tempted?
If you’re tempted by low-cost living, we recommend that you pay your preferred destination a visit before committing to a move. And since all of them are good holiday destinations, you’ve got nothing to lose!
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