Though Belize isn’t the cheapest country in the Western Hemisphere, it takes less to live well in Belize than in most places in the U.S., Canada, or Europe. Your monthly cost of living will be most influenced by what you pay to rent. If you own your own home, you’ll get by on less per month.

Rents vary quite a bit from region to region. The rents on the cayes, and in Placencia—which are Caribbean tourist hot spots—can be up to double those in the non-touristy areas. If we were to consider an expat couple renting in Punta Gorda, they could find a one-bedroom apartment for $400 per month. In comparison, a couple that rent will have a higher cost of living on Ambergris Caye since beachfront rentals usually run $1,000 per month or more for a two-bedroom unit. And yet, some expats manage to live on less than $1,500 per month, especially if they own their own home.

Here’s a sample monthly budget for two people living and renting on Ambergris Caye:

 Expense U.S. $
 Rent (one-bedroom, two-bathroom condo) $850
 Electricity $100 to $250
 Water $35
 Cellphone $25 to $50
 Internet and landline (use a SMART MiFi) $35
 Cable TV $24
 Transportation $50
 Gym memberships $100
 Monthly food $400 to $600
 Monthly total $1,619 to $1,994

To show how prices can differ depending on where you are in Belize, here is a sample monthly budget of a couple living in Punta Gorda, who own their own home:

 Expense U.S. $
 Property taxes $20
 Home insurance $100
 Groceries $400 to $600
 Electricity $80
 Water $15
 Garbage $5
 Cellphone $30 to $50
 Internet and landline $10
 Cable TV $23
 Butane gas (for cooking) $25
 Gas for car $100
 Household help (five hours a week) $40
 Entertainment $50
 Monthly total $898 to $1,118
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