Is it possible to live in Nicaragua on approx US$800 a month to start? I’m planning a couple of income generating projects but $800 is all I’ll have to begin. I’m hoping I can find a place with some English speaking expats although I do speak some Spanish. I plan to perfect my Spanish, but for now it’s probably at advanced beginner’s level. Last thing, is teaching English a viable way to generate income and if so, where do you think is the best place to do that at a decent rate?
Bonnie Hayman – Nicaragua Correspondent
While it is “possible” to live on that little in Nicaragua, I would recommend waiting until you have at least $1,000 per month. And it depends WHERE you want to live. It could be tough in places like Granada and San Juan del Sur. And we are coming up on our high season. From November 30 until Easter, it will cost you more to live here. Let me break it down for you in this bare bones way:
Cheapest possible hostel – $8.00 per night = $240 with absolutely no frills and most likely a shared bathroom. You can perhaps get roommates to rent an apartment which will bring your price down. Food will cost you between $200 and $300 a month. All the incidentals will add up: transportation, WIFI, television (if you want it), electricity, perhaps water, washing your clothes, etc, around $100. You’ll want some money for going out and meeting up with friends $100. And you’ll want some to have in case of emergency: $100. In the bigger cities, you may be able to find some work. Teaching English in Nicaragua is probably viable in Managua or if you get a job at an established school. Just coming and teaching English on your own would probably not work, because there are so many of us that give free English classes, or classes with extremely low prices (like $1.00).
If you choose to live in a small town in Nicaragua, you can definitely do it for $800, but it will be living very differently from your country. So the answer to your question depends on many things: where do you want to live, what lifestyle are you looking for or willing to accept, etc. Also, English is not widely spoken in Nicaragua, which might make your decision on WHERE you want to live difficult to answer. The biggest expat communities are in Granada and San Juan del Sur. Managua also has an expat community, but I do not think you could live there on $800 a month.
I would suggest you go online and look for schools in Nicaragua looking for English teachers or businesses looking for someone to help. There are many working abroad websites that may help you as well. Next, look up the city where you think you want to live and go to their Expats in…….Facebook Page. Join that and start asking questions. And of course, come back to this ask the experts area if there is anything else you would like to know. Good luck!
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