4 Countries Where You Can Live on $1,000 a Month

By Nick Wharton on 22 February 2018 0 comments

There are many reasons why you might be thinking about taking the plunge, uprooting your life, and moving abroad. Perhaps you're looking to find an exotic retirement paradise where you can make the most of no longer having to spend so much of your time going to work. It could be that you're moving for work or education reasons. Or maybe you're just looking for a new and exciting experience in an unfamiliar country. (See also: 9 Ways Expats Can Maintain Their Credit Scores)

Regardless of your reasons, cost will probably be a central factor in where you decide to end up. Your choice of destination could mean the difference between living in luxury and scraping pennies together to make ends meet. If you're on the lookout for somewhere cheap to call home, here are four countries where you can live for $1,000 per month.

All costs are based on information gathered from Numbeo, the world's largest database of user contributed data about cities and countries worldwide.


There are many reasons that Mexico is one of the most popular destinations for Americans to move to. It's nearby and convenient to travel to, the weather in much of the country is temperate year-round, and the cuisine is so delicious it's been exported all over the globe. Mexico is also extremely diverse, with its mixture of vast cities, popular beach resorts, and rural villages catering to all tastes. On top of this, it's far cheaper to live in than the U.S. (See also: 5 Countries That Welcome American Retirees)

Rent prices are a major reason for the difference in the cost of living. They are on average a quarter of the cost of rents in the U.S., with the rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center typically coming in at around $272. You can expect basic utilities and internet services to cost under $60 per month combined.

Food costs are also low, with fresh produce prices from local markets being far lower than in the U.S. You'll even be able to afford to eat out regularly, as a meal at an inexpensive restaurant will total less than $5.

Transportation costs are low no matter where you are in the country, with one-way tickets on local transportation averaging 42 cents. Taxi flag fare is about $1.60, plus you'll pay around 77 cents per mile after that. Also, health care is generally half or less than what you'd expect to pay in the United States. (See also: How Almost Anyone Can Afford to Retire in Mexico)


Southeast Asia is a well sought after destination for those on the lookout for something exotic, and Thailand is probably the most favored country in the region. Expats tend to head to either the large cities with great infrastructure like Bangkok and Chiang Mai, or the tropical islands with their white sand beaches and laid-back lifestyle.

One of the most attractive things about living in Thailand is just how affordable it is, regardless of where in the country you choose to settle. Rent is significantly cheaper, costing about 40 percent of the average rent in the U.S. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center averages around $494 per month. Utilities and internet for your apartment will total around $96 a month.

Thai food is some of the most celebrated in the world, and you'll be happy to hear that it's also extremely inexpensive. Street food is a huge part of the culture, so much so that many Thai homes don't have a kitchen. You can eat out for just a couple of dollars per meal, and even midrange restaurants are unlikely to cost you more than $10 per head.

Transportation is cheap, too. A one-way journey on local transportation will set you back around 83 cents, and tuk tuks or taxis are also an affordable option, costing $1.09 to get started and around 60 cents per mile thereafter. (See also: How I Saved Enough for a Down Payment While Working in China)


India isn't necessarily the first place that would spring to many people's minds when it comes to expat destinations. However, it's got a booming economy and a large number of English speakers, which helps to break down any potential language barriers. If the subcontinent immediately conjures up images of the chaotic streets of New Delhi, it's worth noting that the country also has stunning mountain scenery, laid-back beach towns, and tranquil hill stations.

Rent prices are some of the cheapest in the world, coming in at only 15 percent of the average U.S. rent, with a one-bedroom city center apartment averaging $174. Because prices are so low, it's easy to upgrade to more luxurious lodgings if you choose without breaking the bank. Either way, around $50 will be enough to cover your monthly utilities and internet bills.

The food in India is some of the most flavorful in the world, and it's also unbelievably cheap. Inexpensive meals will cost you little more than $2, and a meal at a midrange restaurant will be under $5, so you'll be able to eat out a lot if you choose to.

Getting around is affordable, too. A one-way fare on local transportation will cost around 30 cents, and taxi flag fare is 78 cents, with each additional mile costing about 33 cents. (See also: 13 Financial Steps to Take Before Retiring Abroad)


Colombia's reputation has been improving for the past few years, and it's now regularly touted as one of the "it" destinations for travelers to visit. From its super modern cities to it's chilled out Caribbean coast and lush countryside, the country's varied environments make it a wonderful place to live.

Colombia's popularity among expats is growing considerably. As the country sheds its tumultuous past, more and more retirees and expats are finding that the country is safe and offers great value for the cost.

Rental costs in Colombia, even in the bigger cities, are far lower than in the U.S. It costs around $277 per month for a one-bedroom apartment, about a quarter of the average rent price in the U.S. Utilities and internet services average less than $100 per month, leaving you with plenty to spend on other things such as sampling the delicious cuisine.

Fresh food is very affordable throughout Colombia, and eating out is also a popular pastime thanks to the affordability of restaurants. For a few dollars, you can get an inexpensive meal, and for less than $10, you can eat at a midrange restaurant.

Transportation in Colombia is quite advanced, particularly in the big cities, which have good metro and bus networks. A one-way journey on local transportation will cost around 70 cents, and you may want to stick to it because taxis are considerably more expensive at about $2.53 per mile on top of a $1.57 flag fare. (See also: 5 Countries Where You Can Retire for $1,000 a Month)

4 Countries Where You Can Live on $1,000 a Month

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