We find the cost of living here on the north coast par to living in Calgary. Some things cheaper, some more expensive. Some examples:
-Groceries are par or more than in Canada
-Movies at Playa Dorada are $55RD, way cheaper than Canada
-For a NICE place in Sosua/Cabarete you are looking at at about $500US +...which is about $750CDN.
-Clothes here are cheap if you like wearing cheap looking clothes. The regular clothes I am used to wearing (and I am not that fancy a dresser) are par with what I would pay back home.
-I am on an "estimate" for my power, and pay just under $300RD per month. With the lack of electrical appliances in my home, my power bill back in Canada would be less that this.
-Water, again on an estimate, is $285RD/mo, and we had to bribe the dude to get this "special" rate.
-phone plus internet $1000RD. Way more than home, and I had CABLE modem back there with a phone that actually worked
We have found that for the same standard of living, it is not cheaper here than in Canada, it's about the same. However, it is by far the cheapest Caribbean island we have been to.
Upon checking this out for myself while there, I found everything to be about 20% more expensive than Cnada....except for big ticket items....then a lot more than Canada.....more like 50%. Don't you agree?
Doug, depends on where you are. Were you in Santo Domingo? I think it is a lot more there. Also, once you live here (on the north coast, anyways) you start to figure out where to shop, and you start to find the places that cater to locals with discounts. Again, it depends on what you are buying.
Ultimately, we are living on a budget quite a bit smaller than the one we had back home, but we have also taken a cut in lifestyle. From what we can see, it is about par for long term living if we wanted a lifestyle we are used to.