We’ve all wondered if there is a better life awaiting us elsewhere and whilst you may work your hardest everyday just to pay for the essentials and barely getting by, your dreams get overshadowed. Have you ever wondered if there was a place that offered a lower cost of living, but a higher quality of life? Let’s break down the costs and see if such a place really exists.
Your city is way too expensive. Want a more interesting life? Here are 10 cities to live rich on a dime!
1. Alicante – Spain
This first example is perhaps not the best, because you can’t literally live on a dime in Alicante. But compared to many other parts of the world, the cost of living is so low but the quality of life is high so it deserved the first mention. Alicante is further south of Barcelona and it is often said that it is in the shadow of the infamous cultural city, being a cheaper alternative. With famous architecture, food, relaxed lifestyle and lack of mass tourism, Alicante is the ideal spot for living.
Rent: Furnished apartment in a nice area: €604/month ($671*)
Public Transportation: €28 for a monthly ticket ($32)
Dinner: Lunch-time menu in the business district: €9 ($11)
Wine: Bottle of good-quality wine: €4 ($4.50)
Beer: 0.5l supermarket beer: €0.59 ($0.65)
2. Mendoza – Argentina
Buried deep in the heart of the beautiful Argentinean wine country is Mendoza, a metropolitan city with all the nightlife, atmosphere and leisure activities that involves.
Dreaming about starting your own business? With all of the opportunities a city holds alongside low cost of living, Mendoza could be the perfect place to embrace your entrepreneurial spirit.
Rent: Furnished apartment in a nice area: ARS 6,430 ($707.87)
Public Transportation: ARS 249 for a monthly ticket ($27.37)
Dinner: Lunch-time menu in the business district: ARS 95 ($10.44)
Wine: Bottle of good-quality wine: ARS 73 ($8.03)
Beer: 0.5l supermarket beer: ARS 16 ($1.76)
3. Bali – Indonesia
Low-cost living never looked so pretty. If you dream of being surrounded by beautiful scenery, exotic culture and gorgeous food, Bali is the perfect place for you to relocate.
Rent: Furnished apartment in a nice area: RP 11,475,700 ($864.47)
Public Transportation: RP 300,000 for a monthly ticket ($22.60)
Dinner: Lunch-time menu in the business district: RP 53,701 ($4.05)
Wine: Bottle of good-quality wine: RP 301,977 ($22.75)
Beer: 0.5l supermarket beer: RP 20,925 ($1.58)
4. Chiang-Mai – Thailand
Thailand is well-known for its culture, food, weather, friendly people and also, cheap living. A large amount of expats live within this community so it is easy for newcomers to blend in and with vast opportunities such as starting your own online business, becoming a tour guide or simply enjoying the weather, Chiang-Mai is one of the greatest places to relocate.
Rent: Furnished apartment in a nice area: 21,831฿ ($654)
Public Transportation: 1,301฿ for a monthly ticket ($38)
Dinner: Lunch-time menu in the business district: 163 ฿ ($4.82)
Wine: Bottle of good-quality wine: 677 ฿ ($20.03)
Beer: 0.5l supermarket beer: 51 ฿ ($1.51)
5. Corozal – Belize
Corozal is the ultimate tropical paradise that allows travellers and expats to experience the slow, mindful life. With yoga, meditation, beach walks and general quiet time – Corozal is one of the greatest, most peaceful places to follow your dreams and have a penny or two to spare.
Rent: Furnished apartment in a nice area: BZ$1,582 ($785)
Public Transportation: BZ$140 for a monthly ticket ($69)
Dinner: Lunch-time menu in the business district: BZ$14 ($6.95)
Wine: Bottle of good-quality wine: BZ$40 ($19.85)
Beer: 0.5l supermarket beer: BZ$3 ($1.49)
6. Puerto Vallarta – Mexico
Vallarta is a city with heavy tourism that holds many hidden gems and cheap lifestyle options for those who can look past the surface tourism into this amazingly versatile city. With incredible beauty and a small-town atmosphere, Vallarta is close enough to the US for you to live the American dream, but on a lot less money.
Rent: Furnished apartment in a nice area: Mex$14,370 ($916)
Public Transportation: Mex$318 for a monthly ticket ($20.27)
Dinner: Lunch-time menu in the business district: Mex$94 ($5.99)
Wine: Bottle of good-quality wine: Mex$127 ($8.10)
Beer: 0.5l supermarket beer: Mex$21 ($1.34)
7. Ojen – Spain
Just minutes away from the glamorous Marbella, Ojen allows its residents to explore a beautiful, romantic town with gorgeous weather and a comfortable lifestyle. Living cheaply just outside of such an extravagant place such as Marbella allows you the cheap cost of living as well as the busy night life, gourmet dining and star-spotting that the nearby city offers.
Rent: One-bedroom apartment, city center €297/month ($330)
Dinner: Three courses for two, mid-range restaurant, €25 ($28)
Wine: Supermarket, good quality €3.61 ($4.00)
Beer: ½ liter bottle, domestic €1.13 ($1.25)
8. Prague – Czech Republic
Prague is known for being a gorgeously cultural European city with plenty of history. However, not many people know that the cost of living is actually quite low. Being a beautiful and vibrant city, Prague also has the small-town charm of narrow cobblestone streets and small ornate buildings, but within a popular city. Again, another tourist-heavy one, but combine a prestigious University with the culture, history and entertainment and you have an inexpensive dream come true.
Rent: Furnished apartment in a nice area: 22,683/month Kč ($923)
Public Transportation: 557 for a monthly ticket Kč ($22.67)
Dinner: Lunch-time menu in the business district: 133 Kč ($4.60)
Wine: Bottle of good-quality wine: 143 Kč ($5.82)
Beer: 0.5l supermarket beer: 16 Kč ($0.65)
9. Bucharest – Romania
Bucharest is actually the 6th largest European City and with its bright, energetic vibes, add to that the close proximity to the Black Sea and we can see why it’s so popular for expats. Whilst this city is in the middle of an economic and cultural boom, it’s surprisingly affordable – if you dream of living a Bohemian lifestyle in Europe, Bucharest is perfect for you.
Rent: Furnished apartment in a nice area: 2,745lei/month ($679)
Public Transportation: 57lei for a monthly ticket ($14.12)
Dinner: Lunch-time menu in the business district: 31lei ($7.68)
Wine: Bottle of good-quality wine: 27lei ($6.69)
Beer: 0.5l supermarket beer: 3.05lei ($0.76)
10. Chisinau – Moldova
Chisinau boasts a world-class National Opera House and Ballet, 33 renowned universities, exquisite shopping malls, three national museums and a vibrant, active nightlife, but surprisingly, it’s a cheap place to live. Combine that with friendly people, luxury cars, gorgeous scenery and free wi-fi everywhere, it’s the perfect place to start your own online business and live life inexpensively.
Rent: Furnished apartment in a nice area: 7,683 Leu/month ($404)
Public Transportation: 123 Leu for a monthly ticket ($6.48)
Dinner: Lunch-time menu in the business district: 68 Leu ($3.58)
Wine: Bottle of good-quality wine: 55 Leu ($2.90)
Beer: 0.5l supermarket beer: 12 Leu ($1.16)
Having seen these amazing alternatives, does your city still seem appealing? There’s so many incredible places out there that you can make your dreams a reality for the fraction of the living cost you’re shelling out at the moment. Your perfect place is waiting to be discovered – you just need to make it happen. So pick a city from the list and start putting plans in place – where will you start living your dreams?
*All currency conversions were correct at the time of writing this article
By Christina L.