Living expenses for a few months
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Oct 2, 2012 11:33 PM Last Post By: michaelkennedy
Sep 29, 2012 7:13 AM
Living expenses for a few monthsHi all,
Probably bit of a odd question. I have been offered an internship in Bogota and they would pay 750 USD a month.
I was just wondering what does the living expenses budget look like? what would you say is the average monthly requirement.
I am just looking for a single room in a shared apartment... or a small flat, what would that cost? How about pay-in-guests?
What about travel within cities, what does a bus pass or a tram or train pass cost?
I would like to see colombia in and out and so I need advise on where to go, what to do and how much it would cost.
How about food, drinking and going out in Bogota? ... safety, community and expat?
Any and all help is sincerely appreciated. Thank you
Edited by: loneeagle
Sep 30, 2012 9:58 PM
1A $750 monthly pay for an internship is good money by Colombian salary standards...
However, with all due respect, as an expat, $750 USD a month will not allow you to live in Bogota, eat, drink, socialize, pay telephone, internet and other utilities, pay for groceries, home supplies, cell phone, commute to work, and see Colombia in and out.
If you still want more specific answers, please feel free to give me one detailed scenario, tell me about you, do you speak fluent Spanish, etc... and I will try to answer your questions.
Oct 1, 2012 1:52 AM
Well, I do not speak any spanish... and i do not need to at work but i am guessing i will have to learn very quickly in order to survive.
I am single, 30 and I do not have irrational lifestyle expectations... so some mediocre accommodations should suffice. I do not have and do not plan to get any more money then 750... that would be all that I have for all the expenses included.
I will be working at cali, and so i need to be put up somewhere within an hour by public transport. btw how does the public transport system work? does it work in the first place?
Oct 1, 2012 5:53 AM
3Bogota has an imitation metro they call transmilenio. It also has busses and taxis. The cost is about $1 a trip for Transmilenio and busses. So, assuming that you will be able to figure out how things work without speaking Spanish, $50 will be taken out of your pot just for commuting. If you rely on taxis, the cost will be very high for you as it may run you on average $3-$7 a trip.
Are you going to live like a monk in Bogota? or do you want to enjoy Colombia? You will certainly not enjoy Colombia, have a few drinks, socialize, sightsee, date, pay for health insurance and see Colombia in and out on $700 a month. I can guarantee you that.
As a gringo, you may be looked at as papaya. So, being in the wrong area may subject you to an attack or robbery if you look and act like a gringo or any moment you open your mouth. If you do get robbed, just give them what they want, never resist especially if they stick a gun to your face. In Colombia, robbers are fast to pull the trigger if you piss them off. They run away fast by foot or moto and the police cannot do much.
Colombians do not speak English for the most part. Those who do, it is very hard to understand their English. Bogota is a little more international than most of the country, so you may find a few people who may speak some English. Rolos are not the friendliest of Colombians, so do not expect the attention and the helpfulness we get in other parts of Colombia.
A room in a hostel without hot water will run you at a minimum $300 - $400 month. A cheap room in someone's home varies and there ar many obstacles. You may not live in a secure area, or get hot water, or internet, or closeness to nighlife and sightseeing.
So, all in all, if it is remotely doable, you will have a miserable existence living in Bogota on $750 a month.
If you still have other specific questions, I'll try to help out.
Oct 1, 2012 7:22 PM
Oct 1, 2012 9:16 PM
5Good idea.... you won't make lots of money but you may be able to make $10 extra a day teaching English for an hour... Make sure you plan ahead and contact people on facebook that may be looking for private lessons... I assume that you have taught English before.
Good idea to negotiate accommodation... Any mediocre accommodation they provide would make your stay a litte mor enjoyable as you will have $700 to spend every month in Colombia.
Oct 2, 2012 7:27 AM
6Well Michael, you have made some interesting comments to Loneeagle about living in Colombia. I too would be interested in spending a few months there and possibly renting a small apartment or house, but it would be more likely in a warmer city, such as Medellin. Unlike the OP, I do speak fluent Spanish, and am writing from Mexico where I have lived for 8+ years. I am not looking to live like a low-budget tourist or papaya as you call it. Here in Mexico, outside of Mexico City where there would be a lot of evening or nocturnal temptations, I can live in a moderate-sized city for around $1000-$1100 a month comfortably. But this does not include traveling around the country on a regular basis, staying at hotels, or being part of a club or bar scene; I am not in the age group anymore. Excluding traveling around the country, what would monthly costs be in a city like Medellin with a 1 or 2 bdrm apt. in a OK part of town and occasionally going out for dinner once or twice weekly and entertainment? What are food costs like there? Here (Guadalajara, Mexico) I can tell you that fresh fruit and veggies at the outdoor markets is really inexpensive compared to say the US, in some cases being one third to one fourth the cost for certain veggies and fruits.
Oct 2, 2012 11:50 AM
Oct 2, 2012 11:33 PM
8You're welcome, loneeagle.
usafrance2008, it is hard to guide you before I know more about you and your expectations
Assuming you know Medellín, you travel alone, and you know where to look, renting a 1 or 2 bdrm apt. in a OK part of town means renting a fully furnished apartment with hot water, in a safe area, at a walking distance from certain things, with all utilities included, with telephone with ulimited local calls, with internet. I recommend a building with 24 hour doorman and security. I also recommend a high floor, a balcony and a nice vista...
This alone will cost you $1100+ a month in Medellín estratos 4, 5, or 6... :(
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