How to Live in Bolivia for Less than $300 Per Per Month

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Most people who are traveling from places such as the United States and Europe can´t even begin to fathom the idea of living in a place for less than $300 USD a month. Well, it is possible and I am living proof. Since moving to Bolivia eight months ago, I have manipulated my budget to live on just under $300 dollars a month, including rent, utilities, food, recreational activities, and yes the occasional dinner out. Here´s how:

Rent

Rent in Bolivia is dirt cheap. That is if you are willing to make some sacrifices. There are a few types of places in ¨Aquiler¨ (for rent), Apartments, rooms with a shared kitchen and bathroom, or just a room with a shared bathroom and no kitchen. Depending on where you will be living in Bolivia, cities such as Sucre, Cochabamba, and Santa Cruz will be cheaper than the capital La Paz, but you can still find something cheap in La Paz if you really hunt. In general though, apartments will be your most expensive, running around $150 to $200 dollars a month. For a room with a shared kitchen and bathroom expect to pay $100 dollars or less. For just a private room expect to pay $50 to $75 a month. My advice is to keep your budget at $100 dollars or less and that may mean taking some time to find a nice room with a shared common space and bathroom. Imagine what it would be like to pay just $100 dollars a month for a year?

Food

Food in Bolivia is cheap, especially if you decide to buy all of your groceries at the open-air markets. You can find everything at the mercados (markets) fresh fruit, pastas, wines, dried goods, toilet paper, you name it, you can find it. Usually you can purchase a week´s worth of food for just under $15 dollars, and stock up on toiletries and miscellaneous kitchen things such as dish soap and dish rags for about $10 dollars or less. If you stick with this budget you will end up spending about $75 dollars a month or less on food and household needs.

Going Out and Getting Pretty

I think it´s important to be able to treat yourself once in a while to a glass of wine, or to that little black dress you have been eyeing in the window of a nearby boutique. The great thing about Bolivia, is that going out doesn´t have to break your wallet and that cute little black dress probably isn’t as expensive as it looks. I spend about $75 dollars a month on recreational activities including going out and having a lavish dinner here and there with a friend. I also like to treat myself to an article of clothing once in a month. A nice dress or a pair of pants will cost you around $15 to $25 dollars. If you add that together, you will total about $100 dollars a month for a few nights out on the town and a rad new outfit to boot.

What would you do if you could live on $300 dollars or less a month?

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About Author

Since a young age Jenna has always had an undeviating desire to explore the world and all its hidden niches. This desire has catapulted her willingly into some of the most memorable experiences of her life! Starting with delivering shoes to underserved villages in the Dominican Republic to bussing it down through Mexico and Central America, she currently lives and works in Cochabamba, Bolivia and believes experiencing first hand what foreign culture is really like, serves as her ultimate passion.

4 Comments

  1. Man, you’re making me want to move to Bolivia now! Your entire monthly spending is roughly what I spend per month on the subway and my electric bill. 🙁 New York- 0; Bolivia-1.

  2. Im coming to bolivia to live. I like uour article. May we correspond so I can learn a little more before I go?

    Thanks

    Mike

  3. Hi there, at 59 years old don’t know if that it would be the right move for me. However on what I hear so far from the writer “ Jenna” it is pretty daring. Although anyone can try and experience for themselves and have their own feeling of the scene and aspects of the Country and take it from there. I my case is a hardship because I don’t know anyone who lives in Bolivia. But I am a easy person concede, touché.

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