Living The Expat Dream in Costa Rica: How to Budget for Unexpected Expenses

Attached to every good thing in life, is some sort of cost. When it comes to leaving the hustle and bustle of your first-world Northern life to relax and unwind in a laid back tropical paradise, the aforementioned adage quickly becomes apparent. Sure, a beautiful world filled with great people, tasty food, unforgettable sunsets and low-cost living awaits, but at the same time, you’re still moving to another country, which means you’re still subject to a similar set of challenges to what you’d face when moving anywhere else. One challenge that might come your way very early on is an unexpected expense or two. It’s simply something that we cannot avoid, so the best we can do is prepare.

Expenses to Consider

Somewhat ironically, knowing what unexpected expenses to expect can go a long way in helping you determine an appropriate budget. Consider the costs associated with your home, such as taxes, bills, repairs, pest control, landscaping and the overall cost of moving if you haven’t already.

If you plan on owning your own vehicle, try to budget for what it would cost in Costa Rica to fuel it up and service it, as well as potential fees such as tolls and traffic fines. Costa Rica has an excellent healthcare system, but be sure to allocate money for doctor’s visits and potential medication purchases.

Seasonal expenses that might come your way should also be considered, such as gifts, outings with coworkers and friends, sending money to family back home, and travelling. Additional miscellaneous costs worth considering include phone repairs and replacements, membership fees and pet care.

Saving Your Money

It would be smart to use a savings account to store your money for unexpected expenses, as you can earn some interest while your cash awaits a rainy day. Costa Rica has a wide range of both private and state-owned banks for you to choose from. When opening an account, be sure to have a utility bill, proof of income, local identity card and a minimum deposit of between £20 and £80 on hand as required by most banks.

When it Happens

As the name would imply, unexpected expenses come at unexpected times, so it’s not always easy to have enough money on hand. This leaves many people in stressful situations that result in poor decisions. Avoid this by knowing what to do in order to obtain enough money to pay for the expense in question.

For example, if you’re simply strapped for cash for a few days or weeks before payday, and you need to pay the expense sooner than that, consider no credit check payday loans from a reputable and affordable provider. Alternatively, you can obtain a loan from family or sell something that’s lying around your home for some quick cash.

While the premise of being hit with a hefty expense can be daunting, don’t let this get in the way of living out your expat dream. Provided you’re adequately prepared, you’ll be able to tackle any expense that comes your way, allowing you to continue living the laid back, carefree tropical life.

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At Resonance, we aspire to live in harmony with the natural world as a reflection of our gratitude for life. We are co-creating an inspired and integrative community, committed to working, living and learning together. We resonate with that deep longing to belong to the hive and the desire to live the highest version of ourselves in service.
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