Living as a local

Stepha228

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Mar 22, 2013
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I plan to live as a local, none of the Americanized crap. How should I plan? I have 2 dogs, I don't need luxuries, I just plan on living and working hard. What is a good cost of living projection?
 

caribmike

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Jul 9, 2009
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Especially in lower class (=cheaper rent etc.) dogs are less valued than a chicken and dog poisoning is widespread...
 

Givadogahome

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Sep 27, 2011
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It depends on which social status you intend to integrate, please do not think this is a one status country like in the tourist brochures. How much it cost you to live like a local, depends on what social status you intend to integrate into.

You can 'live like a local' but never think like one, you don't wanna do that, no matter what social status you submerge yourself in.

As for your dogs, well, I never get why people bring their pets here, it is a crap country to be any kind of animal, on every level.
 

amp

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Oct 5, 2010
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When you say live like a local, what do you plan to spend a month? Locally there are rich and there are poor.
 

bob saunders

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Jan 1, 2002
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$650 budget? Who is going to attempt this sorry lifestyle?

26,000 pesos per month for one person that wants to eat local, doesn't watch TV or wish to have internet is very doable. I am sure there are posters on DR1 living on less. I don't spend more than 30,000 and I run two households.
 

Givadogahome

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Sep 27, 2011
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26,000 pesos per month for one person that wants to eat local, doesn't watch TV or wish to have internet is very doable.

Yes, it is very doable, but like I said 'who is going to attempt this sorry lifestyle? Eating basic, no luxury, no TV, no Internet, sounds like a miserable existence to me, for those who are used to more.
this country is boring as hell if you can't afford to entertain yourself.
 

amp

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Oct 5, 2010
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Maybe some people like living simple? Maybe some people aren't consumerists? Maybe some people don't need luxury? Maybe people are different than you?

I am a little offended when you say 'sorry lifestyle' for the simple reason when I was in the DR last time how I lived I was much happier than I am living in America with all these 'luxuries' like the internet.

I don't need to stream Netflix while I eat steak and shrimp in the DR.
 

Stepha228

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Mar 22, 2013
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My dogs are like a security system. I saw many dogs and how they live in the D.R. I plan on living as a local; none of the extras that most Americans rely on. Yet I'm also considering other options.
 

bob saunders

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Jan 1, 2002
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Yes, it is very doable, but like I said 'who is going to attempt this sorry lifestyle? Eating basic, no luxury, no TV, no Internet, sounds like a miserable existence to me, for those who are used to more.
this country is boring as hell if you can't afford to entertain yourself.

I have internet and cable, eat Basic but very well, as do the other 4 people I feed. Boredom is a state of being caused by an unimaginative mind.
 

Stepha228

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Mar 22, 2013
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Yes, it is very doable, but like I said 'who is going to attempt this sorry lifestyle? Eating basic, no luxury, no TV, no Internet, sounds like a miserable existence to me, for those who are used to more.
this country is boring as hell if you can't afford to entertain yourself.

That is how I live here in America. I feel sad for people that need entertainment by that crap. Explore and enjoy life outside of that!!!!
 

amp

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Oct 5, 2010
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I have internet and cable, eat Basic but very well, as do the other 4 people I feed. Boredom is a state of being caused by an unimaginative mind.

How much is the internet per month and what is the speed? Is it through Claro?
 

Stepha228

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Mar 22, 2013
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Yes, it is very doable, but like I said 'who is going to attempt this sorry lifestyle? Eating basic, no luxury, no TV, no Internet, sounds like a miserable existence to me, for those who are used to more.
this country is boring as hell if you can't afford to entertain yourself.


Try living in a country that gets below -60f.... You will quickly quit caring about those luxuries.I pourposly live without, just because I don't want to pay $$ for it. Take a walk and enjoy the beauty around you!!!
 

Givadogahome

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Sep 27, 2011
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Maybe some people like living simple? Maybe some people aren't consumerists?
I am a little offended when you say 'sorry lifestyle' .

It is hardly consumeristic (?) to enjoy the basics of modern living. I am sorry if I offended you, I think you will need thicker skin than that to stand up to the BS you face trying to navigate the BS here on a CS salary.
Which is what you intend to do. Expats who work or live on CS kind of salary here do so when they have a couple of incomes, or have their home paid for. Very very very few are living happily on what you intend to do. Our beloved recently departed DR1 friend would have been able to advise you, me, I think it's crazy. Good luck, but don't get offended by opinions from those who you ask for an opinion. And by asking on here I presume you want a decent idea, nor just those that will tell you how wonderful it will be. Maybe your money will stretch further in Haiti?
 

Givadogahome

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Sep 27, 2011
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I have internet and cable, eat Basic but very well, as do the other 4 people I feed. Boredom is a state of being caused by an unimaginative mind.

Oh don't be silly. Unimaginative mind? Boredom is caused when you have nothing to do, not through choice. When you can't afford to do anything you get borded, and there is not a lot to do long term without cost here.
 

J.Baby

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Dec 23, 2012
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It depends on what you mean by living like a local. Try coming down here for a month, rent a cheap place within your budget. See if you can do it and be happy on the amount of money that is left over. You will know if it is feasible before you try to do it long term, and it will give you an idea of how to budget for the future. I would reccomend bringing your 650 budget and maybe having a bit of a back up budget in case it isn't doable for you. I know we pay much less for living expenses here than we do in Canada. I don't live in the North Coast, so I can't give any concrete information on costs, but we spend about one hundred on electric (should be less on the North Coast from what I hear, also will be less if you aren't using the AC at night and not using a dryer) Seventy dollars a week on food (for me and my husband, he eats alot and I love to cook and I buy lots of imported yummies, so you can definitely do it on less than that.) Twenty dollars in gas for the moto and then the rest of our money is spent on going out to the beach or for a bite to eat. A scooter or something is a good one time investment if you are brave enough to drive it. Four dollars fills my scooters tank, and gives you a bit more freedom. Insurance is really cheap, and probably useless.
Internet costs me 28 dollars a month and cable is around the same. But your costs might be different on the North Coast.

Eating out cheaply runs us between 100 and 250 pesos per person. If you don't drink or smoke you find it much easier. The smokes and liquor are cheap, but they add up quickly. Transportation via a moto concho or taxi might add up quickly, but the bus here is so cheap, someone else would have to tell you how much though.

The locals do it easy enough, but they have resources socially that you won't have right off the bat. Best of luck to you.
 

amp

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Oct 5, 2010
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It is hardly consumeristic (?) to enjoy the basics of modern living. I am sorry if I offended you, I think you will need thicker skin than that to stand up to the BS you face trying to navigate the BS here on a CS salary.
Which is what you intend to do. Expats who work or live on CS kind of salary here do so when they have a couple of incomes, or have their home paid for. Very very very few are living happily on what you intend to do. Our beloved recently departed DR1 friend would have been able to advise you, me, I think it's crazy. Good luck, but don't get offended by opinions from those who you ask for an opinion. And by asking on here I presume you want a decent idea, nor just those that will tell you how wonderful it will be. Maybe your money will stretch further in Haiti?


I could've worded it much better. I am offended that you would think living without those is a sorry lifestyle.

If I knew Creole maybe I'd go to Haiti but I don't and don't think I'd get too far over there. I'm a very well rounded individual if I do say so myself, don't think I was saying I'm offended by you, I don't even know you apart from this forum. I guess my point was that I am offended when someone says a 'sorry lifestyle' when it can be a great fit for other's lives.

No hard feelings I just think you could use a little perspective from another's point of view.
 

CFA123

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May 29, 2004
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Steph,
If I understand, correctly. You've made one vacation trip to the Puerto Plata area (please correct me if that's wrong).
What exactly does living like 'a local' mean to you?

I live pretty well, but would love to live like some locals I know - but I don't have deep enough pockets to afford fully staffed homes in the city, mountains, beach, and countryside. I don't have the wealth that comes from a long line of family money or businesses. I can't afford monthly shopping trips to New York or Miami, or sending the kids off to private camps in the U.S. or Europe so they learn another language. Living like a local may not be living like a King or Queen, but it could be likened to being a prince or princess.

I live pretty well, but could tolerate to live like some locals I know.
I can work 40+ hour weeks like they do, meet a monthly budget and get by driving a 7 year old car places like they do, eating out a few times a month, keeping the kids in decent clothing and knowing that I can get decent health care. I can be happy with air conditioning in the bedrooms only, and on the nights there's no electricity from the power company, at least I would have an inversor (battery power) to run the lights and the fans. Yeah, I have to take a quick showers because the hot water heater doesn't have much capacity. And, I try not to keep the refrigerator too stocked, because if the power is off for a day, all the perishables are ruined. But, life is okay. The neighborhood is reasonably secure and the neighbors only keep me up with loud music on weekends. I'm happy and maybe I could get a few days with the family at an all-inclusive resort this year. Living like a local can be a reasonable middle class experience.

I live pretty well, and would hate to live like some locals I know - unable to sleep at night due to heat, barking dogs, and gunshots nearby and in the distance. Not having electricity to run a fan, having asthma problems due to a dusty environment and unable to close the windows. Transportation? Yeah, I can take public transport for a few pesos a day - but it's a real pain when it's raining or on the hottest of days when people sweat and stink. Vulnerable to crime and having a cell phone they saved 3 months for stolen at gunpoint, health issues for which one can't afford treatment or only treatment at a 'public hospital' that looks like the leftovers from a 1960's vietnam mash unit. Feeling like one can't have a girlfriend because you can't afford to buy her dinner - much less afford kids or even move out of your parent's house. Work? Yes, having a degree from UASD, one can have a good job making maybe 20000 pesos a month (US$500). But is there a bright future? Not really. Living like a local can be hell.

The above are just some locals. There are those better off and worse off than mentioned above. The entire socio-economic scale is covered.

Do you realize that most Dominicans strive to have the "Americanized crap"? Well, that's not true. Some live their entire lives not striving for that because it is simply never within their grasp due to where they were born and their station in life.

Yes, I take some offense at you wanting to 'live like the locals' because I wonder if you have any idea what that really means. More likely, you want to live your 'vision' of what local life is. Unless I'm wrong, you have a lot more learning to do before your vision clears.

Don't get me wrong, it's doable. There are those on here that live a basic existence as you describe. But for the most part it is a major struggle with some small victories and great experiences along the way. Quite a few have some horrible experiences as well. Just temper your vision of life in DR with some realization it won't be quite like anything you envision. You'll be better prepared to handle the problems that come your way, and more likely to succeed and be happy.