Average wage in DR not enough for basic family budget

Radical

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I get you, I would scratch my head all the time too. Different folks, different strokes. I go back to the plato del dia discussion, we had some tight months living there but from the outside you would never have known. We were able to cover lost ground quick by staying home, eating basic food etc.

But see, I would argue that this was frugality exercised and managed with extreme care. I consider myself a frugal person and hate to waste money for things that doesn't add something positive to my life. It pays off to be mindful of expenses and expenditures.

Cheap I can't be. I do treat myself accordingly.
 
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Radical

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Now as you well know that's going to depend on the Doctor, Engineer, Architect, Attorney., My cardiologist has the 3rd floor of the new medical net building and a lot of the upper class Dominicans, expats etc. US educated, Orthopedist educated in France and Spain. Both are making a whole lot more than you have put forth. same with a couple of engineers I know and and a couple of Attorneys that have their own buildings. GP I use makes several trips a year to the US where he was also trained. Agreed not all are the same with-in the professions but there are some, and in most cases they have earned it! You make the effort and reap the awards.

by the way average wage in the US is around 55k, not everyone makes NY wages.

Exactly.
 

bob saunders

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Wanna restate that?
Oops. The numbers of Dominicanas that graduate from High school and University far outnumber their male counterparts. That doesn't mean they make better wages than their significant others in all cases but certainly they are better educated. Our secretary/admin person makes 28,000 pesos per month and she has a degree in accounting, she also is a qualified teacher and she is only 25. Her husband makes around the same at Banco Reservas. They are essentially non-drinkers with him being a seventh day adventist. They live rent free in a small house on his mothers property and both save every cent they can so they can buy a solar and build a house. She come from a dirt poor family and he comes from a middle class family. Many of their friends are like them, decent income by Dominican standards and planning for the future. They also have ten years Visa for the USA.
 

Eugene_A

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An Engineer employed by the government, a Doctor, an attorney, doesn't generate the profits to be able to afford a $200K mortgage, I don't care if they eat Empanadas three times a day!
Well, when I see my neighbors returning from Nacional with full trunks of bags with food and stuff, they don't look like they eat only Empanadas three times a day. And yes, there is a doctor, an architect, an attorney and an engineer among of my neighbors. Not all of them drive new Lexuses (some do), but I can't say that cars like new Hyundai Santa Fe are very cheap here either.
 
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bob saunders

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I get you, I would scratch my head all the time too. Different folks, different strokes. I go back to the plato del dia discussion, we had some tight months living there but from the outside you would never have known. We were able to cover lost ground quick by staying home, eating basic food etc.

When we move back to Florida it was inverse reality ie how do people dress bad and have no money for vacations when they make so much and can finance their homes and cars so easily.
I remember flying to Miami at the beginning of the housing bubble burst around 2008-9 and the guy sitting next to me was a Dominican American and we started talking about the upcoming crisis. He said most of his friends had really good paying jobs but were mortgaged to the hilt ( in the USA) He said he had just bought a house in Santo Domingo for cash. He was a dentist in Miami and his wife a social worker. He said he could make as much money in the DR as in the US but his wife wanted the kids to get an American Education. He said he was hoping to buy a couple of those house that became bank repossessions. There are plenty of Dominicans with money and money smarts.
 
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Radical

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Well, when I see my neighbors returning from Nacional with full trunks of bags with food and stuff, they don't look like they eat only Empanadas three times a day. And yes, there is a doctor, an architect, an attorney and an engineer among of my neighbors. Not all of them drive new Lexuses (some do), but I can't say that cars like new Hyundai Santa Fe are very cheap here either.

Fair enough.

Where do you and your neighbors live, what sector in Santo Domingo, the answer to your riddle will be therein. Math do not lie, its always perfect. One can't have it both ways.
 

NALs

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Hahah, yeah I know there's a lot of money around here, that's why IKEA opened their first store in Latin America here, not in Panama, not in Colombia. But... I never had any plans to start any business here and I am pretty sure that I will not. I just don't need it.
Many businesses are complicated, but sometimes a very simple idea is all it takes. Look at cinder blocks. Anyone that established a cinder block producing company as recent as the 1980's did very well for themselves. About 80% of all the buildings and homes in rich, middle class and poor areas, were built since the 1980's. Each and every single cinder block used didn't fall from the sky or was imported, but rather all are Dominican made without exception. Most people would look around and see no opportunity, but most is not all. Sometimes the way to become rich the right way is staring at everyone's faces, but most are too blind to see it.
 
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rfp

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Great sample!

Happens, but this is one of the few exemptions. $500K cleared a month for a couple is not that great amount of money, but it does prove the point (which I'm in agreement and condone, that hard work mixed with frugality and financial savvy decisions pays off). Most Md's in the general term of the population do not make that amount of money. Assuming they clear that amount and taking in consideration the family expenses, that alone isn't basis to own a Toyota Land Cruiser costing $140K, nor to be able to get an apartment worth $250K, it just doesn't add up.

In the same note I can show you thousands with no jobs or averaging 30K Pesos a month.
I should have been clearer, his wife works as well and that provides the Santo Domingo lifestyle ie 3-4 trips a year, boob job for his daughter at 18 etc.

You could see them on business class flight( paid by points from business credit card) to Paris or Madrid manicured perfectly with jewelry, faces full of filler and think they were royalty. They have worked hard, sacrificed and lived below their means. They don't even fall in the top 10 % of Santo Domingo.

My mom, will always consider herself poor in comparison to the folks she grew up with. I take care of her banking and she always has new money coming in from something else. She has tightened up her spending due to the crisis and has 100k in her CHECKING account in USD more than double what she had last year. She dosen't want to invest it "porque vienen tiempos dificiles" Like all Dominicans she cries poor, hasn't raised her maids pay in 6 year, eats at "el chino", calls me every time her car is serviced and tells me its too expensive and shes going to sell it and just take Ubers etc. She just paid 300k DOP on new couches and had her kitchen redone last year, you cant make sense of any of this $%@^ !!

Understanding Santo Domingos economy isnt worth the effort. Just trust me, people have money, make money and spend it when they want to.
 

Sailor51

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You go to any tower in Naco or Piantini, you will find one doctor, one attorney, one engineer and one architect in every tower, who own their apartments that cost 200.000 dollars and up. The question is how much they still owe to constructora or bank and how many years they pay it.

What percentage? Lol. What percentage of plumbers in US are successful plumbers and drive Chevrolet Corvette?

Well, it's not US, nurses don't drive Mercedes in DR, but some doctors do.
I think the question should be, what percentage want to? I've seen plenty of high end plumbers trucks that will rival the 'Vette cost. Dragging a $300,000 boat and trailer behind it.
Now about their employees ...
 

PICHARDO

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Hhhhh
I laugh each time I read one of these Dominican wages thread here on DR1…

No, we don’t buy luxury or expensive cars financed. Unless you plan to pay 26% interest on it.

We don’t buy homes or nice apartments on mortgages either.

The working class does that, because that’s the only way for them to afford it. Much like the working and middle class in other developed countries (due to low interests).

No, middle-class Dominicans report minimum wages as boundaries to explain their spending and cash flow alone.

We never report our real incomes. Only working class and poor do.

Even the working class reports only the formal income. Most make extra income on the side jobs.

Always been like that here. When we move or work overseas, we follow the same tradition of tax evasion and underreported income.

I know a guy selling empanadas de yuca out of a cart by Rafael Vidal. Sells them for $35 each.
He sells about 200 to 300 of them depending on weather (rain/sunny). That’s 7,000 to 11,000 a day income. How much you think his cost?

Funny thing is the guy has a day job as well…

A kid by Carretera Don Pedro sits by a shaded corner, selling cell phone covers. He makes 300% his cost on the items he sells. He also works afternoons and nights doing moto deliveries.

There close by a young woman has a churros cart… but works also at a salon on odd days.

Know this kid close to us, works mornings at Reservas business in Ave Duarte, then holds a late afternoon job at a distribution center. But also sells stuff online here that he buys from the US via his eps account.

It’s very common for working class people to hold multiple streams of income here. No matter how small it might seem.

Now, the middle class:
Have for the most part cushioned jobs, or run their own businesses. Come from families cemented for generations in the DR commerce.
Their first cars, were like-new handmedowns from their parents. Had access to funding capital to create their own income streams.
And the social circles to make it happen.

It’s considered stupid to pay high interest rates, when you can save some money and buy it outright. Cars get changed about three to five years max, because long term that saves you money in repairs and value loss by depreciation.
Some are kept and passed down to other younger family members.

That’s how it plays here and the single rule:
If you walk, you are not going to make it long term… Get some wheels!
El que anda a pie…
 

NALs

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We never report our real incomes. Only working class and poor do.
Even then you have to wonder if they are reporting their actual income. A man hardly ever tells his wife how much he actually makes, imagine telling the government. lol
 

USA DOC

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My Dominican brother in law, whose family has lived for many gererations in the same city as you...he is a Doctor, surgeon and teaches at a medical school...I would rate him and most of his family as middle class or upper middle class... they do not fit into you definition of middle class Dominicans..........
 

chicagoan14

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You now, if you read newspapers and official reports, or message boards like this one, you may have the impression that 99,9% of the country are poor people who get the minimal salary and only some government officials, businessmen and drug dealers are rich.

But when I drive around Santo Domingo, I see thousands of expensive SUVs everywhere. I see more new Lexuses, Prados, Lincolns and Porsches than I have seen in any US or European city. IKEA is full of people buying something, there are long lines and they all spend thousands of pesos. Their parking lot is always full, half of all vehicles are expensive SUVs. Supermercados Nacional, Jumbos, La Sirena.... any hour, they are full of people buying something. It looks like nobody is working, everybody is shopping. Every time I park at Nacional in Naco, I see at least three or four cars that cost more than 100,000 dollars, other vehicles are new models of Jeep Grand Cherokee, Wranglers, Mercedes, etc. And if you go to Blue Mall, their parking lot looks more like a luxury car exhibition.

I went to the Marmotech store yesterday. It's the most expensive store selling luxury tiles, marble floors, and other materials like that. Most of materials are imported from Europe, prices are crazy high. Both levels of parking were totally busy, not a single space available to park! I spent 15 minutes waiting until somebody left. The store was full of customers, I had to wait 15 minutes to be attended by somebody.

There are so many towers in construction in Naco and Piantini now. The construction here did not slow down during Covid, it speeded up like crazy! And the more expensive they are, the faster they sell! Constructora Cumbre built several towers in my area, prices in their building start from around 400,000 dolars for apartment on lower floors, and up to 700.000 for higher floors or penthouse. And they were all sold at the time they built the basement.

WHO ARE ALL THOSE PEOPLE who spend money on all of that? They can't be all government officials, or drug dealers, or baseball stars, or big business owners, right? They can't be the ones who earn 10,000 or 20,000 pesos per month either.
This is spot on! I've been curious about this as long as I've been here. Things just don't add up. I think there was an article on DR1 some time ago that said only 1% of the country earns more than 70,000 pesos and 33% or so earned 10,000 or less. I think along the same lines as you, everyone cannot be in government, business owners, or high-priced doctors. As long as I've lived here I've questioned how people survive and even more how there's so much luxury. Seems as if you see just as many Porsche and Mercedes trucks as you do sonatas in the capital.
 

PICHARDO

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This is spot on! I've been curious about this as long as I've been here. Things just don't add up. I think there was an article on DR1 some time ago that said only 1% of the country earns more than 70,000 pesos and 33% or so earned 10,000 or less. I think along the same lines as you, everyone cannot be in government, business owners, or high-priced doctors. As long as I've lived here I've questioned how people survive and even more how there's so much luxury. Seems as if you see just as many Porsche and Mercedes trucks as you do sonatas in the capital.


Tax evasion is a cultural trait here in the DR.
It’s a big problem for gov to balance the books.

The present RNC is not efficient, but only a bit better than none before.

When the gov starts to apply the ITBIS and services tax directly on all transactions pertaining to the industries, at the point of electronic transactions alone, the tax evasion magnitude will be revealed.

That’s why we need to move away from paper and metal currency in circulation and onto the electronic platform of banking 100%.

I tried to force my landlord to accept wire transfers, checks or any other than cash, but no!
He will drive and pick it up cash only each month like clock work.

Like I said, when you start seeing a yuca empanada seller depositing over 40,000 a week into his account, you’ll know the scope of the problem with this here.

We always paid employees the minimum on books, to avoid a higher employer’s obligation, and provided cash bonuses instead, to complement the wages.

The famous envelops here in the DR…

In gov, they use the man with the black suitcase.
 
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Africaida

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Tax evasion is a cultural trait here in the DR.
It’s a big problem for gov to balance the books.

The present RNC is not efficient, but only a bit better than none before.

When the gov starts to apply the ITBIS and services tax directly on all transactions pertaining to the industries, at the point of electronic transactions alone, the tax evasion magnitude will be revealed.

That’s why we need to move away from paper and metal currency in circulation and onto the electronic platform of banking 100%.

I tried to force my landlord to accept wire transfers, checks or any other than cash, but no!
He will drive and pick it up cash only each month like clock work.

Like I said, when you start seeing a yuca empanada seller depositing over 40,000 a week into his account, you’ll know the scope of the problem with this here.

We always paid employees the minimum on books, to avoid a higher employer’s obligation, and provided cash bonuses instead, to complement the wages.

The famous envelops here in the DR…

In gov, they use the man with the black suitcase.

I would love to taste these empanadas....Selling a couple thousands empanadas a day, they must be reaaaaal good :cool:
 

bob saunders

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This is spot on! I've been curious about this as long as I've been here. Things just don't add up. I think there was an article on DR1 some time ago that said only 1% of the country earns more than 70,000 pesos and 33% or so earned 10,000 or less. I think along the same lines as you, everyone cannot be in government, business owners, or high-priced doctors. As long as I've lived here I've questioned how people survive and even more how there's so much luxury. Seems as if you see just as many Porsche and Mercedes trucks as you do sonatas in the capital.
A lot of money comes in from the USA,. For example an older house on a huge lot was just bought here in Jarabacoa and is being converted into a restaurant and rhey are spending a fortyne renovating. Dominican gut from Danbury Conneticut is bankrolling it.
 
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PICHARDO

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I would love to taste these empanadas....Selling a couple thousands empanadas a day, they must be reaaaaal good :cool:

Guy sells 200 to 300 on average depending on weather per day @ $35 RD per pop.
You do the math and see where it goes.
Works less than half a day, since opens up frying late afternoon only into early nights or dark skies.

I usually get a dozen of each, meat and cheese, when I stop by. I only get lucky half the time with a full order.

And most of the time he runs out of them earlier on some options. He says he doesn’t make more because they dry up too fast and don’t cook well. I think he just figures why work more, if sold out go home earlier.

Much like the guy that runs the bike showroom on SES close to Hache. He closes by 12 noon and may or may not show up again after 2 pm to reopen.

Or the público driver that drives the heap of junk on Ruta A and he is the only one that owns the least cars on his block. A total of 5 all rented out, so he drives this old junk.

People here have multiple streams of income, not great but when put all together, it piles up.

The guy by circunvalación norte Exit in Ave Duarte/carretera licey, sells plantains and greens in a corner hut. Buys the plátanos at $4 each from the growers and sells them at $12 each. Day in and day out. I always must wait for a service turn to purchase one dozen each green and almost yellow ones.

Nacional on 27 by El Guano is always busy with shoppers, not to mention the one on Duarte in Villa Olga. Ditto for Bravo after Bellon and the one across Amigos in Rep de Argentina…

Jade is always with orders in Shopping center by Materno and not to speak about the one at Matum.

As for the rest of informal sellers? Plenty to be had all around the city. You know things aren’t that bad when the Shoeshine boy is stepping on his nikes…

There’s poverty, but there’s also a lot of non reported income going around. From the bottom up.
 
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