One thing that makes me laugh is a question we get asked fairly often:
“Are you independently wealthy?”
People think that because we live a relaxed lifestyle in a location that is considered paradise, that it must cost a lot. Sometimes we reply “yes, we are rich” and then laugh out loud and tell them that we still have to work, but we sure feel fortunate.
Vacationing vs Living Here
The cost of living on a beautiful island like Ambergris Caye in Belize can be variable. What vacationers don’t know is that we live on less per month than what they spend to be here for a few days. Are you curious? I’ll let you peek into our spending in this post.
Here’s the breakdown in US dollars for a family of four:
VACATION for 1 WEEK
Rental Condo $1,200 or Rental Home $3,000
Groceries, snacks, drinks: $400
$1,000 – $1500 you’re here to do stuff, so you splurge
Plane Tickets $2,000 – $3,200 depending
Souvenirs $100 – $400
TOTAL for the WEEK:
$5,595 – $9,800
LIVE here for the MONTH:
Monthly Condo rental: $1,200
Our monthly vacations, scuba, snorkeling and fishing excursions and my yoga addiction.
Incidentals & Play $100
TOTAL for the MONTH:
$3,000 – $3,300
Living like a King
As you can see, we live like a King for one month for half to one third of what vacationers spend to be here for one week. Actually, we could live here comfortably for half of that if we gave up our beach front condo and our vacations, but we choose not to.
I understand that vacation is an excursion from the everyday life and that most people would not be spending over $1,000 per month on going out to eat perhaps, or $1,000 on activities for the month. I am sharing these numbers with you to let you know what is possible.
You may be quite surprised that we live very comfortable on less than $40k per year in such a beautiful, tropical location. A family living on $40k per year in the US tends to struggle. But anyone can do this, even in the US. You just need to change your state of mind and adjust your priorities. We do not go shopping, or buy stuff that we do not need. We spend our time and money on experiences. We do not own a house or car. We rent the places we stay and ride bikes or take public transportation. All of our belongings fit into four suitcases. You might think that we have given up a lot but the truth is we have gained the freedom to have the world at our finger tips.
What do you think?
Could you live with views like this….
With activities like this right outside your door….
And sunrises like this nearly every morning…