Cost of living information

usa2dr

New member
Apr 14, 2013
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hello i was wondering what is the cost of living like in the dr. i know this varies by person so each person that reads this is welcome to add a tip or two or a page long post. but i welcome all tips. thanks for helping me plan my move to the dominican republic....
 

Major448

Silver
Sep 8, 2010
2,645
108
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I know that this will seem like a lot of questions, but there no way to determine the costs (for you) unless you know the answers to these.....

Do you speak Spanish?
Do you have any friends or family in the DR?
Are you on a fixed/small budget (no need to post amounts ... privacy)?
Any need to work while living in the DR?
Do you like luxury?
Do you need air conditioning?
Do you have to have "brand name" foods of any kind? (Any special diet?)
Have you spent more than a month in the DR on any visit?
Do you need to be near a beach? Tourist area?
Are you into night life (and all that that means)?
Does your health insurance cover you in the DR?
Do you have "concerns about security (need for a gated community)?
Do you need a "quiet and peaceful" environment?
Do you like to travel and sight see, while in the DR?

Others MAY have a few more questions ..... ;)
 

malko

Campesino !! :)
Jan 12, 2013
4,431
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as u say it varies alot depending on the person.... to give u an idea, my wife and I live in campo, we dont pay rent,
use the pickup the least possible( minimum insurance obligatory 6500 pesos a year, I find gasolina expensive but my car drinks alot, road tax 800 pesos a year)
got a motorbike for local errands 40 000 pesos, insurance 500 pesos a year, gas like 200 pesos a week.
we eat a lot of home grown stuff ( cost is in time), local food all the time, chicken 40 pesos la libra, puerco assado 100 peso la libra...
but if u go to town supermarket for Usa type of food its very expensive( we go once a month or every 2 months for "treats" and spend like 12 000 pesos).
marlborough cigarettes 1100pesos for 10 packs( local brands are much less expensive)
cooking gas, near to nothing like 2000 pesos every 4/6 months or so.
coffee cheap, beer and rum are cheap, so are softdrinks.

so if u got ure own place and like to life simply but comftable u can live on a bit less than 750 dollars a month. 1000 dollars makes life easier.U could get by on less but in my point of view it could be hard.
I ve got no idea of prices in town, but in campo u could rent a nice place, 2bd house,200 dollars but situation and town are all diffrent.
in purto plara I know
 

CaptnGlenn

Silver
Mar 29, 2010
2,321
26
0
my contribution is to look at the existing threads.... probably dozens of them with thousands of posts. you'll learn pretty quickly exactly what Derfish said.

With that said, I'll save you some time:

contribution two: You'll probably spend how ever much you have, and then want some more.

contribution three: The general consensus rule of thumb is about $1500 US per month for a comfortable lifestyle by most gringo standards. (Not the lap of luxury, and not eating out of trash cans.)
 

whirleybird

Silver
Feb 27, 2006
3,096
214
63
I know it depends on the engine size or cylinders - I have a 4 cyl. diesel pick up and my insurance for the basic legal cover is less than half you are quoting. Marbete for older vehicles like mine = RD$ 1200 pa.

use the pickup the least possible( minimum insurance obligatory 6500 pesos a year, I find gasolina expensive but my car drinks alot, road tax 800 pesos a year)
 

usa2dr

New member
Apr 14, 2013
54
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wow really great information and tips i thank all of you. i feel that this goal is not out of reach for me.
 

cjp2010

New member
Mar 25, 2013
397
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Yes, everyone's situation is different. I'll try to give you my best accounting of mine and point out where some things may not fit for you. My wife and I live very comfortably on an average of about US $1,500 per month.

We rent a very nice 3 bedroom house but it is not in a gated community and we don't have a watchman. That accounts for $600 of the monthly total. Obviously rent varies greatly by location (both city and neighborhood).

We don't use A/C and I only use hot water when I shower (she does not). So the electric bill is only about $50 per month. If you use the A/C a lot your electric bill will rise quickly. A swimming pool can also increase your bill fast.

I need high speed, stable internet and pay about $75 per month for that.

We spend about $350 per month at the super market. This is where you can see a lot of variation. This is for preparing mostly the typical Dominican meals. Buying imported foods and basically anything pre-cooked is going to be much more expensive. Also, if you want to shop at a "get everything in one place" supermarket your costs can be much higher. We get meat from the local butcher, fruits and veggies from the local spot for that and everything else from the local market. These are all Dominican businesses inside Dominican neighborhoods. Shopping at a store that is in a tourist area or an "expat community" is going to be much more expensive.

My wife spends about $40 per month on nails and hair.

My gym membership is $13 per month. When I was going to a different one it was $21 per month and I've heard of some as high as $35 per month but even that is cheap by U.S. standards.

We don't make many local phone calls so we only spend about $30 per month on phone cards. You may find you need more than that. Phone plans average about 10 cents per minute and the phone cards are about 18 cents per minute. With the plans the more minutes you buy the cheaper the rate but the range (last time I looked) was between 7 and 13 cents per minute. I do have Vonage to allow me to call to the U.S. and receive calls on a U.S. phone number. I have a cheap $30/month plan for that but I consider that a U.S., work-related expense.

My wife gets most of our clothes at the flea market. New, designer brands (even if fake) will be expensive here.

The rest is transportation and fun. We don't have a car any more so we use motoconchos and the public taxi, which is cheap but many gringos don't like to use it (thogh I do see some use the guagua). It's a pretty big entertainment budget considering we only go out a couple of times per week because I still work during the day. Cars and gas are expensive here. Restaurants are not.

Not included in that is some stuff that comes up less than monthly. I pay about $750/year for our health insurance. We do buy some furniture some times and that is expensive here if you want anything with decent quality. Also gifts for holidays and such, charities, mail forwarding, decuctibles/co-pays. And once or twice a year we'll take a very nice vacation. After adding all of that in I'm still at around $24,000 total for the year. But when I had my car it was costing me an additional $8,000 per year more or less with gas, insurance, registration and occasional repairs.

My life is a modest one but there is nothing that I am missing.
 

malko

Campesino !! :)
Jan 12, 2013
4,431
57
48
I know it depends on the engine size or cylinders - I have a 4 cyl. diesel pick up and my insurance for the basic legal cover is less than half you are quoting. Marbete for older vehicles like mine = RD$ 1200 pa.

Mines a hilux 3 liter engine year 2006, full secure was 35 000 pesos for the lasr year I paid( 2011), passed over 2012( yeah not smart I know...), they proposed 25 000 pesos for 2013 but I refused since I try not to use it as often now. Went to the office in santiago and asked for the minimum...I m having doubts now if ures is half price....

As for marbete, I last bought it in 2011, need to go and buy this year s sometime.....
 

usa2dr

New member
Apr 14, 2013
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Do you speak Spanish? yes
Do you have any friends or family in the DR? yes
Are you on a fixed/small budget (no need to post amounts ... privacy)? fixed around 1k per month and a bit of savings to work with
Any need to work while living in the DR? want to do something of my own maybe a business not sure what type, im in my early twenties but think like a forty year old maybe more.
Do you like luxury? i rather drive a honda rather then a bmw.
Do you need air conditioning? yes. read some post on solar panelsthey help a lot but also have a lot of up front cost.
Do you have to have "brand name" foods of any kind? (Any special diet?) no i love Dominican foods im in fl now and in this town we have few Dominicans, i miss the food very much.
Have you spent more than a month in the DR on any visit? yes twice but was under 16 so i wouldn't count them but i go about one time per year for about 2 -3 weeks each time.
Do you need to be near a beach? Tourist area? yes a beach but not a tourist area because that would raise my cost from what i have seen .
Are you into night life (and all that that means)? yes but thats a business i would love to learn about.
Does your health insurance cover you in the DR? no
Do you have "concerns about security (need for a gated community)? yes everyone should be concern about security in dr.
Do you need a "quiet and peaceful" environment? no
Do you like to travel and sight see, while in the DR? yes


hopes this helps you all give me better information.

things i dont wont to go with out
-car
-ac
-healthcare
-safty
-high speed internet

would like to have
-a night business
-to grown some foods and animals



if anything i say doesnt sound realistic please point it out. i look forward to you all keeping me in check. im happy i found this website
 
Last edited:

Major448

Silver
Sep 8, 2010
2,645
108
63
Do you speak Spanish? yes
Do you have any friends or family in the DR? yes
Are you on a fixed/small budget (no need to post amounts ... privacy)? fixed around 1k per month and a bit of savings to work with
Any need to work while living in the DR? want to do something of my own maybe a business not sure what type, im in my early twenties but think like a forty year old maybe more.
Do you like luxury? i rather drive a honda rather then a bmw.
Do you need air conditioning? yes. read some post on solar panelsthey help a lot but also have a lot of up front cost.
Do you have to have "brand name" foods of any kind? (Any special diet?) no i love Dominican foods im in fl now and in this town we have few Dominicans, i miss the food very much.
Have you spent more than a month in the DR on any visit? yes twice but was under 16 so i wouldn't count them but i go about one time per year for about 2 -3 weeks each time.
Do you need to be near a beach? Tourist area? yes a beach but not a tourist area because that would raise my cost from what i have seen .
Are you into night life (and all that that means)? yes but thats a business i would love to learn about.
Does your health insurance cover you in the DR? no
Do you have "concerns about security (need for a gated community)? yes everyone should be concern about security in dr.
Do you need a "quiet and peaceful" environment? no
Do you like to travel and sight see, while in the DR? yes


hopes this helps you all give me better information.

things i dont wont to go with out
-car
-ac
-healthcare
-safty
-high speed internet

would like to have
-a night business
-to grown some foods and animals



if anything i say doesnt sound realistic please point it out. i look forward to you all keeping me in check. im happy i found this website
It's Sunday. Keep checking this over the next few days, and I am sure you will get more feedback. ;)
 

usa2dr

New member
Apr 14, 2013
54
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0
It's Sunday. Keep checking this over the next few days, and I am sure you will get more feedback. ;)
thanks i was thinking that i would get more replys during the weekend . the more i read on this site the more i like it.
 

Abuela

Bronze
May 13, 2006
1,746
31
48
The answers to your questions will vary depending on where on the island you plan to live. I think if you will state your preferred location you may receive more detailed responses. Also the search feature will direct you threads on cost of living.
 

dv8

Gold
Sep 27, 2006
31,271
358
0
listen, i do not know where to start with you... :)
1k dollars a month is within reason but try to plan a lower budget so you actually do know what you can live without...

reconsider a car. maybe a motor or a scooter will do? if car, how about something small and economical?
reconsider AC. how about one unit in the bedroom only, running at night? that will cost you way less. the alternative is a place with power bill included.
healthcare. shop around, you are young. you may get a basic plan and that should be enough. if you go for plan voluntario (private complimentary policy) think about option. include dental if you have weak teeth or pharmacy if you need some medicine daily. tweak it so it suits you best.
safety. it is a location issue. gated community, if barrio then main street. maybe a condo or living with a family.
internet. may also depend on location. some areas have really poor reception and fewer choices.
 

pauleast

*** I love DR1 ***
Jan 29, 2012
2,839
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I think that's low... we've seen a difference of 75 - 100 per WEEK when using the a.c. ... but that's in Bavaro / PC... our power is 24/7 but expensive .
I agree that sounds way low. If you need A/C as I do In Santiago. $$$
 

IamZon

New member
Sep 22, 2012
58
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0
Over the last 5 years, the rate of exchange has been very constant. But, I doubt that tells the whole story. Using a few examples of purchasing power of the dollar, can some expats give an example over the last 5 years ... and then an outlook?