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Best and cheapest places to live for $1800(or less) a month

Updated on August 25, 2013
Most beautiful places to live
Most beautiful places to live | Source

The Most Affordable Places to Live

With a run-down economy that forces tight family budgets, making a living is a hard thing these days. When you think of the most affordable places for your family to live, sandy beaches and tropical forests probably don't come to mind initially. What if I told you that you could be living the dream?

I have found several international destinations that will cost a family of four no more than $1800 a month to live. The best cheap places to live are Nicaragua, Malaysia, Ecuador, and Thailand. Not only are these areas the most affordable places to live, they are also the most beautiful places to live. You might be initially sceptical about the family-friendliness of these places, but you'd be surprised.


Thailand: For Retirees and Backpackers Alike

Source

Thailand: $1645 per month

Essentials
Cost per month for a family of 4
Rent
$483/£353.80
Transportation
$22/£14.35
Utilities
$50/£32.56
Internet
$20/£12.63
Food (restaurants and grocery stores)
$400/£260.86
Entertainment
$300/£195.65
Spending money
$250/£183.13
Health insurance
$120/£87.90
 
Total cost: $1645/£1204.98

Thailand: $1645 per month

Thailand is an amazing and magical place. Thailand is among the 50 largest countries in the world. Home to 67 million people, most people who live in Thailand belong to the four ethnic groups of Thai people, who came from south-eastern China thousands of years ago. Located in the heart of South-East Asia, Thailand is located at the centre of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. Thailand is south of Burma (Myanmar), north of Malaysia and west of Cambodia. Beautiful, golden temples; white, sandy beaches; an array of vast shades of green forest; shimmery rivers; colourful night markets; amazing food, just to name a few attributes. The official language in Thailand is the Thai dialect, but English is spoken in many places and it's also taught as a secondary language in Thai schools. As soon as you step off the plane, you feel the heat. You can literally walk around in your shorts and t-shirt all day and never get cold.

Retirees and young work-and-travel backpackers alike enjoy the heat, the beaches, the culture and the food in Thailand. You can go for a laid back experience (beaches, shopping at night markets) or you could go for the adventure-packed experience (Elephant riding and river trekking in Northern Thailand). Thai people are extremely friendly and polite, especially to foreigners.

Thai food is inexpensive (and delicious). Street food will set you back 30 to 60 baht ($1 or $2) per meal and 100 baht for banquet-style meals ($3). Western groceries and alcohol can cost you a significant portion of your food budget.


Nicaragua: Breath-Taking Views and Peaceful Oasis

Source

Nicarugua: $1445 per month

Essentials
Cost per month for a family of 4
Electricity
$45/£27
Water
$20/£12
Propane gas (for cooking)
$20/£12
Groceries
$300/£195
Entertainment (including alcohol)
$150/£97.82
Health insurance
$200/£130
Rent
$450/£275
Maid (3 times a week)
$60/£36
Spending money
$200/£146.50
 
Total: $1445/£1058.48

Nicaragua: $1445 per month

The country of Nicaragua borders Hondurus to the north and Costa Rica to the south. So much natural beauty is found in Nicaragua: mountains, lakes, valleys, volcanoes. It's all here! In fact, Nicaragua has the largest freshwater body in Central America, Lago de Nicaragua.

The weather in Nicaragua is tropical in the lowlands and cool in the highlands. You'll find world class surf, amazing views and rocky outcrops in the country of Nicaragua. There has been much speculation and interest around Nicaragua from North Americans. With such raw and rugged beauty, it's no wonder people from all over the world are enjoying the oasis that is Nicaragua. Rancho Santana (a resort owned by International Living’s parent company, Agora) is one of the largest developments in the region of Tola, one of the handful of high-end communities that have sprung up in Nicaragua over the past several years to keep up with the demands of North Americans seeking warmer climates. Expats who stay in these high end communities love living here because it's unspoiled by numerous developments (there are only a few), the location is quiet and peaceful yet close enough to cities that offer larger shopping areas and an exciting night life.

There are 5.7 million people living in Nicaragua and the main language spoken is Spanish. Some have said that living in Nicaragua allows you to enjoy a lower cost of living (it's half the price of what you would pay in the US, Canada and the UK) and higher quality of life. Did I mention that you can hire a maid to clean your house for you? For only $60 a month. You don't have to do ANY chores and who couldn't afford $60/month? Think of all the time you'll save! Nicaragua is one of the safest and most peaceful countries in Latin America. Many expats will tell you how surprised they were to find how safe Nicaragua is.



Malaysia: A Fan Favourite for Foreigners

Source

Malaysia: $1635 per month

Essentials
Cost per month for a family of 4
Rent
$500/£306
Electricity
$100/£61
Water
$10/£6
Cellphone
$10/£6
Gas
$4/£2
Internet
$30/£18
TV
$40/£24
Maid (four hours a week)
$15/£9
Transportation
$34/£20 for gas
Health insurance
$132/£86.09
Dining out/Entertainment (including alcohol)
$560/£410.21
Spending money
$200/£146.50
 
Total cost: $1635/£1051

Malaysia: $1635 per month

Malaysia is on the tip of South East Asia and land borders are shared with Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei. The capital of Malaysia is Kuala Lampur and this city is know as a shopping mecca for items such as clothing, electronics and other goods. The cost of living in Malaysia is considered low since it's a newly industrialized country, and taxes are kept to a minimum. Although Malaysia is the best place to live for cheap, this country still boasts the fanciest 5 star hotels in the world.

There are 29 million people living in Malaysia, most of which live on the peninsular region and Malaysia's population is multi-ethnic (Malaysians, Indigenous, Chinese, Indian and foreign residents). Bahasa is the official language of Malaysia and English is the second language. As you can imagine, with all the cultures that are represented in Malaysia, this makes for a culturally diverse place to live with various religious celebrations such as Islamic New Year, Chinese New Year, Diwali/Deepavali, and Christmas. In Malaysia, there is excellent healthcare, great international schools and many employment opportunities. Expats have expressed that what they love most about living in Malaysia is the stability, the infrastructure (for locals and especially for foreigners) and the friendly and welcoming locals.


Time lapse-Life in Malaysia

Ecuador

Source

Ecuador: $1840 per month

Essentials
Cost per month for a family of 4
Rent
$500/£306
Utilities (including internet, phone and TV)
$150/£92
Maid (twice a week)
$60/£36
Groceries
$450/£293.47
Maintenance and gas for one car
$140/£85
Entertainment
$300/£195.65
Health care
$40/£26.09
Spending money
$200/£146.50
 
Total cost: $1840/£1384.71

Ecuador: $1840 per month

Ecuador is a very safe, rugged and beautiful South America country that borders Columbia and Peru. Ecuador has not been overly developed, which makes it rugged and safe. Living on the coast will ensure you empty tropical beaches, lively and entertaining festivals and fresh seafood. If you're a foodie, you'll enjoy the open-air local markets with fresh food grown right in Ecuador.

There are only 15 million people living in Ecuador. The official language spoken is Spanish. Ecuador was voted as the best place to retire to (2013). Foreigners love living in Ecuador because of the cheap cost of living, the great weather and the top-notch yet affordable healthcare. For healthcare, as a foreigner you simply have to pay a small monthly fee. To work in Ecuador, applying for a work visa is much easier than applying in other Western countries.


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