Imagine a monthly budget of only $1,700 supporting you and your spouse on Mexico's Caribbean Coast, allowing you to eat gourmet meals,enjoy cable TV and the Internet, have a maid, explore Mexico, and still have time and money left over to enjoy other hobbies other hobbies ,such as gardening, surfing or hiking.
This is exactly what expat Jamie and his wife Alicia are doing. They are frugalistas at their finest—people who live frugally but still enjoy the luxuries of modern fashion and other amenities associated with the good life. They currently live in Tulum, which lies in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo on the country's stunning Caribbean coast.
Jamie himself is originally from Texas and as a teen first went to Mexico to surf and during his college years, this is where he met Alicia. While his professional career as a factory technician kept them moving quite a bit over the years, their hearts have always longed to return to Mexico.
In a stroke of hidden luck,Jamie was part of a massive layoff of employees in 2002 that allowed him the time (he already had the money) to return with Alicia to Tulum, where they purchased some property and transformed it into a parking lot for a small strip mall. This turned out to be a savvy business move that still provides them with a steady income to this day.
In 2007 Jamie and Alicia returned to Mexico for good. They purchased two small houses and combined them into a 2,200 square foot home with an impressive garden in the back yard. Although they do not have a mortgage, housing costs in Tulum are extremely reasonable, making this dream life possible for many people from around the world.
Jamie is assimilating to the local way of life and has learned that if you live like the locals ,you will have very few expenses. He and Alicia live in town, which also cuts down on traveling costs. A two bedroom furnished apartment in Tulum costs only $300 to $900 a month. To get a house like Jamie’s and Alicia’s, it is only about $700 per month.
To make the arrangement even sweeter, everything is literally at their finger tips, restaurants are close by, and there is a hospital located just a block and a half away. Jamie says,“Usually I don’t need to go more than two blocks from the house to find live entertainment and an excellent meal.” As a result, this couple is not only happy with the convenience of living in town, but they are able to stay in good health by walking or biking wherever they need to go.