[2024] Expat Cost of Living in Mexico City: Prices for Rent, Food, Utilities, Visas

Get updated details on the cost of living in Mexico City as an expat. See the affordable quality of life Mexico City offers with real-world prices and detailed examples of housing, food, transportation, and healthcare costs updated for 2024.

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Published On: January 3, 2024

Latest Update: May 6, 2024

About the author

Hi, I'm Marco Sison. I worked in finance for Fortune 50 companies before retiring early at 41 years old. I have been an expat for over 10 years, living in over 50 countries to show you the best ways to save, invest, and live in amazing countries outside the USA. I am a trusted resource on personal finance and overseas retirement for US News & World Reports, HuffPost, MSN Money, USA Today, ABC Network, Yahoo Finance, Association of MBAs, the iTunes documentary Seeking FIRE, and the Amazon Best-Seller- Abroad: Expats That Thrive.

Expat Life in Mexico City

QUICK SUMMARY- EXPAT BUDGET IN CDMX

  • Low cost of living under $2,000 per month
  • High quality of life with dining out and services
  • Vibrant expat social scene and activities
  • Delicious, eclectic food scene from street tacos to Michelin stars
  • Rising inflation and currency changes are increasing costs for expats
  • Altitude sickness and pollution can cause issues

After growing up on the US West Coast (California, Oregon, and Nevada), Mexico always felt like a second home, and after spending nearly a year traveling in and around the country, I decided to make it a homebase, and I couldn’t be happier! After checking out the beach towns and bigger cities, I realized nothing quite compares to the vibrancy of Mexico City!

With a cheap and quick sub $100 3-hour flight, you could trade paying over $2,000 of rent in most major cities in the United States to paying under $2000 for ALL your expenses with a higher standard of living with massages, frequent meals out with friends, and weekly maid service.

With charming neighborhoods, beautiful colonial architecture, all the infrastructure and amenities expats need, and mouth-watering tacos at every corner, Mexico City has it all. And the low cost of living definitely doesn’t hurt.

This post may contain affiliate links. I may get a commission if you purchase something using my link. Please note, there is NO ADDITIONAL COST to you. For more information, please see my disclosure.

Table of Contents – Click To Expand: Can Foreigners Buy Property In The Philippines? [Options, Tips, Laws]

What is it like living in Mexico City as an expat?

Mexico City started feeling like home when I got involved in the community, taking Spanish classes, heading to Bachata lessons, and joining a few digital nomad and expat groups. I never once felt lonely in this huge city, and that’s so important when moving somewhere new. You’re starting a whole new life, and having a cheering squad beside you can really make or break your experience.

Outside of the incredible community, Mexico City is perfect for expats who love to stay busy. As one of the most populated cities in the world, it’s no surprise that there’s always something going on. From art exhibits to live music and street festivals, the city is bursting with culture and excitement.

And, of course, I have to mention my number one reason for moving to Mexico City—the food! Everywhere you turn in Mexico City, there’s something delicious to eat. The food scene is out of this world, from street tacos to high-end restaurants. And maybe you’re thinking there is no way I can eat Mexican food every day, don’t worry! Mexico City also has loads of international cuisine options, making sure you don’t miss your favorite dishes from home.

Describe your typical day living in Mexico City

Imagine waking up in the morning and going for a walk through your neighborhood, stopping at a local café for a freshly brewed cup of Mexican coffee, and then heading to the nearest park to admire the stunning architecture. You can stop at the local market in the afternoon to pick up some fresh produce and ingredients for dinner. In the evening, you can meet up with friends for happy hour at a trendy rooftop bar or enjoy a traditional mezcal tasting. This is just a glimpse of what a typical Tuesday in Mexico City looks like.

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Getting To Know Mexico City

Best Neighborhoods For Expats Living In CDMX

  1. Condesa- Condesa is one of the most popular neighborhoods for expats and digital nomads. It’s safe, walkable, and full of young, professional couples dining at al-fresco restaurants and sipping lattes at local cafes. The neighborhood is known for its Art Deco buildings, tree-lined streets, and beautiful parks, adding to its bohemian vibe that attracts artists and designers.
  2. Roma Norte- Adjacent to Condesa is Roma Norte, the OG of expat communities. Foreigners love the vibrant cultural scene with art galleries, cafes, and trendy shops. With a mix of Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Neoclassical buildings, it’s my second favorite expat neighborhood in CDMX.
  3. Polanco- This neighborhood is known for its high-end shopping and 5-star restaurants. It’s quite a bit more expensive but will give you a luxurious lifestyle. Polanco is great for an older crowd or retirees moving to Mexico City, as its vibe is much more upscale and quieter than the others.
  4. Coyoacán- A more bohemian option, this neighborhood is full of historical architecture, cultural events, and outdoor markets. Coyoacán is an excellent choice for expat families living in Mexico City. It’s much cheaper than Condesa and Roma and just a 20-minute Uber ride into town. The area is known for its colonial architecture and is the birthplace of Frida Kahlo, featuring her former residence as a museum.
  5. Juarez- This up-and-coming neighborhood is known for its vibrant art scene and diverse community. It’s a fantastic option for those looking for a more affordable cost but still in a trendy area.

Social Life As An Expat in Mexico City 

Mexico City is one of the most popular cities in North America for US expats and digital nomads. Its friendly visa policies, low cost of living, and high quality of life make it the perfect place to increase your social life.

An estimated 1.6 million U.S. citizens live in Mexico, and Mexico is the top foreign destination for U.S. travelers. US State Department

The American expat community in Mexico City is so big that there are even little pockets of people that run around together. Whether you want to join a football league, a coworking space, or just find a group of friends to hang out with on weekends, Mexico City has a lot to offer.

Connecting with other foreign expats might seem a little daunting at first, but just like making new friends anywhere, it requires you to put yourself out there. Luckily, Mexico draws in the friendliest expats from around the world. You will find that many people here are also in the same situation as you, trying to make friends and get to know the city.

These groups on Facebook are a great way to see what events are happening around the city and join the ones that interest you.

Foreigners in Mexico City

Foreigners & Expats in Mexico City (CDMX)

INSIDER TIP: Local Mexican Friends- I’ll be honest: connecting with locals is a little bit harder these days. Don’t get me wrong, Mexicans are some of the most friendly people, but with inflation and so many foreigners driving up the prices in the city, some aren’t so happy to have us. But trust me, trying to speak a little Spanish and showing appreciation for their culture goes a really long way.

Get Past ‘Hola’ and ‘Gracias’ With A Revolutionary Way To Learn Spanish

Making friends, finding an apartment, and acclimating in a new country is always easier when you learn the local language. You don’t need to be fluent in Spanish. If you learn a few phrases, locals will appreciate the effort.

I understand more than anyone that learning a new language when you are older isn’t easy. Here is the “Secret” method that the US State Department, FBI, and overseas military uses to learn new languages quickly and effectively- The Pimsleur Method

Avoid hours doing mindless repetitive vocabulary. Pimsleur focuses on quick, easy-to-digest organic learning to get you conversational as fast as possible.

Traveling To CDMX

Flights to Mexico City are easy to find. Mexico City International Airport (code: MEX) is Latin America’s busiest airport. Officially known as Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juárez, this bustling airport, located just a short distance from the city center, serves as a gateway for domestic and international travelers.

Direct flights to Mexico City are available from 100 cities in 25 countries worldwide, making it easily accessible for visitors from all corners of the globe. The airport’s extensive network includes 24 direct flights from major cities in the United States, such as Miami, Houston, and San Francisco. These direct routes provide convenient options for travelers seeking a direct journey to CDMX.

Airport Pick-Up-  Avoid the stress and hassle of finding a taxi in a strange country. Get a safe airport pickup with no hidden costs.

INSIDER TIP: Save Money On Flights To Mexico- I frequently used CDMX as my main airport, even living in Queretaro. Mexico has very comfortable first-class buses with laydown seats and individual entertainment screens. Even including 540 MXN/ $32 USD in bus fare, flying into Mexico City and taking a 2-3 hour bus to Queretaro was cheaper than flying directly to Queretaro’s International Airport. There are even two bus stations inside the MEX airport, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Mexico City Weather

Mexico City enjoys a subtropical highland climate, which brings mild temperatures and distinct wet and dry seasons. At an elevation of about 2,250 meters (7,382 feet), the city typically experiences mild to warm days and cool nights year-round.

The city’s temperate climate is marked by a rainy season from May to October, with the rest of the year being relatively dry and pleasant. Its geographical location and high altitude contribute to its generally stable, enjoyable weather patterns and mild conditions.

Mexico City Altitude

As someone with both asthma and terrible allergies, I’m not great with altitude. When I trekked up Everest Basecamp, I was hitting my inhaler like a stoner with a bong. At 7350 feet / 2,240 meters above sea level, Mexico City’s altitude is up there, but not ridiculously high.

However, altitude sickness can start at elevations around 5000 feet / 1500 meters. At Mexico City’s altitude, air pressure and oxygen levels drop enough that some new expats experience issues with mental and physical alertness. Dehydration can worsen symptoms, so stock up on bottled water when you first arrive.

Most expats don’t experience severe altitude sickness or only get it for the first few weeks, but it’s something to be aware of. Age, sex, and fitness level don’t significantly affect your susceptibility. The body needs more red blood cells to transport oxygen at high altitudes, which can take around three months to adapt.

Air Pollution In Mexico City

You may have heard horror stories about the air pollution in Mexico City. And at one time, the reputation would have been justified. The city was once dubbed “world’s most polluted city” by the United Nations in 1992.

The good news is that Mexico City’s air quality has transformed remarkably. Mexico City’s air quality has dropped from the world’s most polluted to 872nd place. In the 80s and 90s, “red” alerts for severe pollution were frequent, but today, they occur as rarely as three or four times a year.

INSIDER TIP: Living With Mexico City’s Air Pollution- While air quality has vastly improved, CDMX can still get bad days. If you are sensitive or have respiratory health issues, watch the Air Quality Index (AQI), which provides real-time air pollution data. Stay indoors if the AQI tops 151 (or 101 if you’re in a sensitive group). If you need to run errands or exercise outdoors wait for the afternoon, when there’s less haze and lower pollution levels.

Monthly Costs living in Mexico City, Mexico

What is the average ?

$1900- Cost of Living In Mexico City CDMX [HIDE]

Total Monthly Expenses [Updated 2024]$1911
COST PER MONTH
Rent- 1-bedroom Apartment Funished Condesa Area810
Water/Sewer/Trash/Electricity51
Weekly Maid Cleaning Service45
Home Internet Connection 100 GB ATT Provider26
Cell Phone Unlimited Data12
Total Housing Expense$942
Home Cooked Meals 5 times per week102
Budget Meal- Street Food 13 times per Week159
Mid-Range Restaurant 2 times per Week74
Splurge Meal 1 time per Month57
Total Food Expense$390
Coffee Date 2 times per Week20
Beers With Friends - Once Per Month9
Fitness Club/Gym Membership29
Spanish Language Classes169
Yoga Studio Membership113
Bi-Weekly One Hour Massages49
Total Entertainment$386
Metro 12 time per Week15
Uber 2 time per Week49
Total Transportation Expense$64
Travel Health Insurance60
Health Care Expense$60
Personal Care (Shampoo, etc.) & Household Items (Soap, etc.)20
Miscellaneous49
Total Personal Care and Misc Expense$69
Exchange Rate to $1 USD to Mexican Peso (MXN)17.79

Sample Monthly Budgets for Living in Mexico City

One of the most attractive things about moving to Mexico City was the low cost of living. I could upgrade my whole quality of life by moving to Mexico.

I went from dreading the last week of the month- wondering if I would have enough cash to meet my monthly expenses without resorting to ramen noodle meals. To now, I go out to eat more than I cook at home. I meet up with friends on a regular basis and actually enjoy my time out rather than counting up the costs in my head.

Mexico City is great for a wide range of budgets for daily living, making it an ideal location for those looking to stretch their income further. From affordable housing and transportation to delicious food at reasonable prices, the city has something to fit every budget.

As the capital, CDMX is one of the most expensive cities in Mexico. Still, on any given month, my average monthly cost for a single person is only between $1,200-$1,500 for a comfortable lifestyle. 

Increasing Prices In Mexico City

Inflation is hitting every country hard this year, and Mexico is no exception. Every aspect of life is more expensive than last year, causing the Mexican government to increase daily minimum wages by 20% to compensate. However, geographic arbitrage opportunities in Mexico City are still very doable. Even in an expensive upscale neighborhood in the capital city, $1900 USD per month per person allows you a very comfortable life. 

How do prices in Mexico City compare to the United States?

The cost of living in Mexico City is roughly 47% less than that in a medium-cost US city (Portland). You can see how the Top 4 essential costs in the US are housing, food, transportation, and healthcare. These 4 expenses make up 68% of the average costs in a major city.

Essential Living CostsUS-PortlandMX-Mexico City
HOUSING$1,500$942
FOOD$388$390
TRANSPORTATION$1,013$64
HEALTHCARE$408$60
Total Average Per Month$3,309$1,456

Comparing the average prices for a single person moving to Mexico City from the US shows a potential savings of over $15,000 per year. An expat couple sharing a one-bedroom flat and splitting the food and entertainment expenses will save even more.

INSIDER TIP: Super Peso- Prices in Mexico are in a bit of a flux. Inflation is tame, but the foreign exchange rate against the US dollar is playing havoc with living costs for expats. In the past year, the Mexican Peso has appreciated significantly vs the US Dollar, cutting expat purchasing power by 13%. This means expats with retirement savings or passive income in USD pay more for living expenses.

A stronger Mexican Peso means you should have a larger buffer in your budget.

Real Estate and Housing Cost in Mexico City

Monthly Housing Budget In Mexico City = $942

I live in the vibrant Condesa neighborhood, which is perfect for expats in Mexico City. Just about everywhere you look, you’ll see expats interacting with locals in this part of town. With trees lining the streets and European-style architecture, stepping outside is a beautiful reminder of how incredible this area is.

I pay 800 USD/~14,400 MXN a month for my one-bedroom apartment, which is on the higher end compared to other neighborhoods in the city. However, it’s worth it to me since all my friends live here, and the atmosphere is unbeatable. A two-bedroom in Condesa will cost anywhere from 1,500 USD to 2,000 USD/ ~27,000 MXN to 36,000 MXN.

My basic utilities cost 50 USD/900 MXN a month. However, if you don’t tame your air conditioning use, electricity costs can climb to $100 per month in the blistering Mexican summers. 

This is one of my favorite neighborhoods in all of Mexico City- It’s one of the more expensive areas in the city center, but everything you need is within walking distance. Plus, it’s safe, and you will easily find an expat community in Condesa.

*While I show you average prices for furnished apartments, this area has become extremely popular over the last 3 years. You can find some extremely luxurious apartments with weekly cleaning services that cost 40000 pesos per month or more (roughly ~$2350 USD).

Example of 40,000 Peso Two-Bedroom Apartment Rental Fully Equipped

How Much Is Average Rent In Mexico City?

Housing will be your biggest expense. The total monthly housing costs for an expat living in Mexico City are about $900 to $1300 for a large studio or smaller one-bedroom in a newer apartment building in an upper-middle-class expat area. 

Especially in popular neighborhoods of Condesa, Roma Norte, and Roma Sur, where the sheer number of expats, foreigners, and digital nomads are driving up demand, expect to pay 800-1,200 USD/~15,000-21,600 MXN in monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment.

You can save money by skipping “Gringolandia.” The average one-bedroom apartment outside the city center, but still in a safe middle-class neighborhood in Mexico City, can be found for roughly 450-600 USD/~8,000-11,000 MXN.

Here is an example of a 1 bedroom 1 bath new development loft in Cuauhtémoc, about 6 metro stops away from Roma Norte, renting for 9000 MEX / ~$500 per month.

If you are renting off of Airbnb, the monthly fee usually covers power, landline services, internet connection, and cable plans. However, Airbnb apartments are priced at a 30%-50% premium.

You can save money on private long-term rentals, but you’ll need to set up utilities yourself. My average cost of utilities, including gas, electricity, water, heating, and cooling, is roughly 50-60 USD/~900-1,100 MXN per month.

How to find an apartment in Mexico City

Airbnb is the easiest way to find an apartment in Mexico City. But, landlords know that Airbnb attracts foreigners with money and will gouge expats looking for monthly housing. 

To avoid “Gringo Prices” and find a cheaper apartment, check out Mexico City’s different expat Facebook groups. Here are a few of my favorites, full of other expats and renting opportunities in Mexico City.

Mexico City Housing, Rooms, Apartments, Sublets

Foreigners in Mexico City

Foreigners & Expats in Mexico City (CDMX)

To get the best rate possible, do your best to speak Spanish with the landlords or have a local do the exchange for you. Gringo’s are prime targets for raising the prices, and I can’t tell you how many expats overpay because they accept the first price.

Food Budget In Mexico City

Monthly Food Budget In CDMX = $390

Mexico and food literally go hand in hand. You can’t talk about either without the other. Three of the Top 50 restaurants in the world call CMDX home. The vibrant and eclectic cuisine of Mexico City is one of the main reasons many expats are drawn to this bustling and urban city.

But it’s not just high-end dining that makes expats drool. The city is full of the best street food in Latin America and brings people together like I’ve never seen. With plastic chairs around a street corner and tacos being passed around, you quickly realize that the food and people make this city so unique.

The cost of food in Mexico City varies depending on where you eat and what type of cuisine you’re looking for. However, one thing is for sure—you can find delicious and affordable meals in almost every corner of the city.

My food budget in Mexico City is anywhere from 400-600 USD/~7000-11,000 MXN a month. This mostly depends on how many nicer dinners I go to with friends. I try to keep that to a max of three a week.

I’m the first to admit that cooking is not my favorite hobby, making CDMX the perfect city for me. I typically eat out for at least two meals a day. I’ll cook breakfast during the week, have some fruit, or make a smoothie a few times throughout the week.

Cost of Grocery Shopping in Mexico City

But let’s get down to the numbers—how much does food actually cost in Mexico City?

Grocery prices for a week’s worth of fresh fruit and veggies typically cost 30-55 USD/500-1,000 MXN. If you’re coming from the States, you’ll be happy to learn you don’t have to give up some of your favorite shopping spots. Sams, Walmart, and Costco are all in Mexico City. Now, the items on the shelves will change, and you might have to get out your Google translate, but having those familiar stores can make the transition to living in Mexico City a little easier.

Unlike in the US, where farmers’ markets will be the most expensive option, in Mexico City, they’re the cheapest option. There are a lot of local markets where you can purchase fresh and affordable fruits, vegetables, meats, and other goods.

One thing to keep in mind when shopping for groceries in Mexico City is that if you want to keep your food budget down, avoid imported foods. Stick to locally grown and produced items for the most affordable options. This supports local farmers and businesses and ensures that you get the freshest ingredients possible.

And on mornings when you just need a few eggs or some milk, and you don’t want to head to the market or go to a grocery store, you can just pop in any tienda (a small corner shop) and grab a dozen eggs ($2.40) or a liter of milk ($1.60). 

How much does it cost to eat out in Mexico City?

If you’re more like me and prefer to have someone else make your food, then don’t worry. You’re headed to the right place. In the States, I could never eat out every single day. I would go broke in a second. Thankfully, it’s much easier in Mexico City to enjoy some delicious food, even on a modest budget.

Want an example of what $1 gets you in most Mexican cities? Check out the budget eats option below. 

Budget Eats in Mexico City

Mexico City is one of the best budget-friendly cities for foodies. At any time of day, you can grab street food for as little as 1-2 USD/~20-50 MXN. Tacos, tortas, and quesadillas are just some of the delicious options you can find at street food stalls all over the city. These are my go-to meals at least once a day.

Huaraches at La Pancita

Budget Mid-Range Restaurants in Mexico Cityin Mexico City

If you want to sit down but aren’t looking for anything too fancy, you can find small local restaurants with a menu del dia. They’ll serve up homemade meals at affordable prices, usually around 3-7 USD/~60-150 MXN per person. You can find these all over the city, and they typically have a sign outside telling you their daily special.

There are also loads of cafes and coffee shops all over Mexico City. Coffee’s typically cost about 2-4 USD/~40-80 MXN. Many cafes have outdoor seating, perfect for people-watching and enjoying the city’s vibrant atmosphere.

Grasshopper Tacos at Antolina

Fine Dining Options in Mexico City

The city is full of the most mouth-watering restaurants. In Mexico City, you will get 5-star service and 5-star food and probably only have to pay 1/4 of what you would in a major US city. A three-course meal at one of the top restaurants will run around 50-100 USD/~1000-2000 MXN per person. And with so many restaurants scattered all over the city, you can try a new one every week and still not blow your budget.

Grilled Steak (Asado) at Don Asado

Entertainment Budget In Mexico City

Monthly Entertainment Budget = $386

Don’t expect to be in your apartment too much while living in Mexico City. There are so many things to do and see. You’ll be out and about exploring the city all day. And the best part? Most of it is very affordable!

I’m out on the town quite often, whether grabbing coffee with a friend or enjoying a happy hour after work. And I feel like every other weekend, there’s some festival going on, whether it’s celebrating a holiday or showcasing local artists. There’s always something to do, and I love it!

Example and cost of entertainment and sporting activities 

  • I go to a yoga class a few days a week; this has also helped me to meet people, and I pay 110 USD/~2,000 MXN a month.
  • Along with yoga, I attend Spanish lessons as I think it’s vital to integrate into the culture, even if it’s something small like learning the language. The monthly cost of classes is around 50 USD/~3,000 MXN.
  • If you’re into sports and fitness, there are plenty of fitness clubs in Mexico City. You can join a gym for as little as 25 USD/~500 MXN a month or attend outdoor boot camps for free! There are also many parks throughout the city where you can run, bike, or enjoy some outdoor activities.
  • If you’re big into sports, attending one of the many soccer games in the city is a must. The atmosphere is incredible, and tickets can range anywhere from 10 USD/~200 MXN to 60 USD/~1,200 MXN, depending on the team and where you’re sitting.
  • If your personal preferences lean more toward relaxed activity, there are plenty of museums and cultural events, and many museums have free admissions.
  • Want to catch the latest Hollywood blockbusters? Most cinemas are in English (with Spanish subtitles), and movie tickets are about $5 USD.
  • Mexico City also has some of the best nightlife I’ve seen in a long time. You can pack your social life with chill pubs where you can grab a craft beer for 2.50 USD/~50 MXN or a margarita for 5 USD/~MXN to more expensive underground clubs with amazing live music.
  • Just be warned. You can blow your expat budget quickly; prices at clubs in Mexico City equal what you typically pay at US clubs.

Transportation Cost In Mexico City

Monthly Transportation Budget = $64

Getting around Mexico City is extremely easy and affordable. Most expats don’t even try to buy a car because Ubers are so cheap. You can quickly get anywhere in the city for under 5 USD/~100 MXN.

You can also take public transportation. The metro fare starts at .25 USD/~5 MXN. But like CDMX is one of the world’s largest cities. The metro is extremely crowded, and it’s not the safest option, especially for tourists. But if you stay aware of pickpockets, it’s a great way to experience local culture and get around on a tight budget.

Taxis are also another option, although they can be more expensive than Uber, depending on where you’re going. But you can also negotiate the price if you know how much it should be.

While these are all options, I always just tell people to grab an Uber. It’s not expensive, and with the tracking tool and messaging with your driver, you’ll be safe.

INSIDER TIP: Walkability- Mexico City is massive, so technically, no, it’s not walkable. But plenty of the neighborhoods are walkable. For instance, Condessa, Roma, Polanco, and the historic center are all very pedestrian-friendly. With wide sidewalks and plenty of bike lanes throughout the city, it’s perfect for getting out and exploring on your own.

If you are traveling from the north or the south of Mexico, you can take a bus to one of the four main bus terminals in Mexico City: Terminal Central del Norte (to San Miguel de Allende or Guanajuato), Terminal Central del Sur (to Cancun or Merida), Terminal de Autobuses de Pasajeros de Oriente (TAPO) (to Oacaxa), or Terminal de Autobuses del Poniente. Each terminal serves a different geographic region of the country and has multiple bus companies that offer different services and prices.

PrimeraPlus buses are a comfortable and cheap way to take day trips from Mexico City

With spacious reclining seats, TVs, air conditioning, and Wifi, buses are nicer than some low-cost airlines in the US (cue me glaring angrily at Spirit Airlines). Bus tickets are cheap; a 4-hour bus ride to San Miguel de Allende is 621 MXN/ ~$37 USD. But I would advise against going by bus to Playa Del Carmen, Tulum, Merida, or any place along the Mayan Riveria, as trips can take over 24 hours.

Healthcare Costs In Mexico

Monthly Healthcare Budget = $60

If you are only staying in Mexico for a short time or are maintaining your health insurance in the US, you can use travel medical insurance to cover any unexpected accidents or illness. However, there are better options than travel insurance if you are living in CDMX long-term. For any stays longer than six months, expat health insurance with a medical evacuation plan is recommended. International plans can start at around $60 US per month for expats under 50.

However, as a resident of Mexico, you have optional access to Mexico’s IMSS public medical insurance program. IMSS costs depend on age. A foreign resident under 50 can apply for local medical coverage for 12700 MEX / ~$700 USD annually.

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Other Miscellaneous Costs

One of the best things about moving abroad is to enjoy the luxuries you may not have been able to afford in your home country. Mexico City is no exception.

For instance, my girlfriend can get her nails done here for 12 USD/~240 MXN, whereas she paid at least $70 USD for a manicure in the States. This is such a big difference, and now she enjoys treating herself to beautiful nails all the time.

Also, feel free to cancel that expensive phone plan, as you can get unlimited data in Mexico for 10 USD/~200 MXN a month. You can add unlimited calls to the US and Canada for another $5 – $10. Compared to my baseline cost for Verizon in the US at over $100 per month, keeping another $90 in my pocket per month was another huge savings for me living in Mexico.

INSIDER TIP: Free International Calls- Thanks to an AT&T price war, all Mexican cell providers, including Telcel, Telmex’s cellphone division, offering free international call, SMS, and data roaming in North America (United States, Canada, and Mexico). You can even keep using your cheap Mexican SIM while traveling in the US. Keep your usage primarily in Mexico, or your number may be suspended after a month of foreign use in the US or Canada.

  • You can enjoy a clean home with a house cleaner coming once a week for 45 USD/~800 MXN monthly.
  • Have your 5KG5 kg of laundry washed, dried, and folded for 5 USD/~100 MXN.
  • Massages are no longer a special occasion here, with prices ranging from 20-40 USD/~400-800 MXN for an hour-long massage.
  • If you need a haircut, expect to pay around 15 USD/~300 MXN at an upscale barbershop or salon.

Key Takeaways- Expat Living Costs In Mexico City

Mexico City offers an enviable quality of life for expats looking to escape rising prices in the US. For under $2000 per month, less than the cost of monthly rent in the United States, expats can enjoy a higher standard of living in one of the most vibrant cities in the world. 

The low costs stretch retirement savings further and allow more discretionary spending. You have the freedom to enjoy world-class dining, sunset drinks with friends, and weekly maid service that would be unaffordable if you lived in the US or most places in the EU. 

For expat retirees looking to cut the soaring US healthcare costs, CDMX is one of the world’s major cities for medical tourism, with healthcare costs a fraction of what they would be in the States. 

Life becomes so much more enjoyable when you can afford the comfortable lifestyle you want. Mexico City offers an incredible expat life with big city amenities and culture without breaking the bank. The affordability and lifestyle will let you enjoy early retirement without worrying about breaking the bank.


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About the author

Hi, That's me. I'm Marco Sison. I am a survivor of the corporate rat race. I started Nomad FIRE to show you an alternative to the stress and grind of 70-hour weeks to pay off a mortgage, student loans, and countless bills. After getting laid off in 2015, I said screw it all and retired early at 41 years old. I have traveled the last eight years to over 50 countries to show you the best ways to save, invest, and live in amazing countries for 70% less cost than the US. I have been featured in: US News & World Reports, HuffPost, MSN Money, USA Today, ABC Network, Yahoo Finance, the iTunes documentary Seeking FIRE, and the Amazon Best-Seller, Abroad: Expats That Thrive. [view press...]

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