Cost of Living in Peru: Huancayo v. Vancouver

Costo de Vivir en Perú

Why am I getting ready to move back home? The low cost of living in Peru (at least here in the Central Andes) would be a good reason for me to stay. Actually, the cheaper lifestyle here probably contributes to the more relaxed environment and attitude: another reason to stick around.

Costo de Vivir en Perú
The cost of living in Peru (the Central Andes to be specific) is relatively low, especially when you buy at Huancayo markets.
Don’t get me wrong. I love living in Huancayo. In fact, if you compare my cost of living in Peru with what my potential monthly expenses would be in Vancouver, Peru is clearly cheaper…

  Downtown Huancayo Vancouver Suburb
Rent for 1-Bedroom Apartment $120 $1,000
Utilities (Internet, Heat, Electricity) $40 $170
Groceries for 2 People $300 $700
Public Transit $60 $162 (Transit Passes x2)
Cell Phones $40 $100
Health $75 (Monthly Average of Travel Health Insurance + Medicine) $109 (Insurance for Family of 2)
Entertainment/Miscellaneous $165 $759
Monthly Total $800 $3,000

Considering how Vancouver is often ranked or voted one of the best cities in the world, and after all the attention we got from the 2010 Winter Olympics, the cost of living is right at the top out of all Canadian cities.

I’m truly curious…Why do YOU live where you do? Any budget tips for when I move to Vancouver? =)

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Comments (8)

  • Now if that isn’t a loaded question for some. Why do I live in Alaska????? Hmmm!!!!! I guess you could say some of my reasons was economic, another one was also that my kids lived here not to mention that a great opportunity to enhance my career was offered me. All I can say regarding budgeting is
    1- Place 10% of you gross income in a savings account.
    2- Never let your housing and utilitie expences exceed 30% of your take home pay monthly.
    3- Restrain your urge to spend money.

    This is the same advise given to me. To bad it took 20 years for me to start following it.

    • You’ve covered the key reasons, it seems, Abe! =) Kids and career! =)

      Wow! 10% is a lot, but I guess if it disappears into savings automatically, I won’t miss it. =) I’ll have to deal with utilities soon enough — that’ll be new to me, so I really appreciate the advice.

  • I have a lot of reasons for coming back to the city in which I grew up in. Though it isn’t giving my career the boost I want to, but my parents are here and they are at a point where I need to be with them. So, sometimes priorities change and we need to focus on what is more important!

  • Thoughtful post, Sam. A HUGE difference in cost of living. About the same as here in San Diego vs. a provincial city in Mexico or Rosarito just across the border. The biggest difference that I see is not cost of living but in cultural differences. Vancouver and Huancayo must be complete opposites when viewed from that angle. You have strong incentives to go back (family, home city, Masters) but going home after a long absence isn’t easy, and it may take a while to get used to Vancouver again. Once you’ve lived in a Latino country, you see life through a different lens.

    I went back to England after a nine-year absence only to discover I no longer belonged there so after five years , I returned to Mexico City where I’d lived in adolescence. Thirty years later, I came to the US to make a new start. I’d love to go back to live in Mexico City, but since that isn’t feasible, I’ll probably just go over the border.

    • True that, Pennie! Every time I’m in Vancouver, I think about all that I’ve gotten used to about the lifestyle and people in Huancayo, all that I love. I wonder if I’ll be able to re-adapt. =P I’ll probably be an in-between-er like you. =)

  • I’m where I live now only because of necessity. As soon as can sell my properties, I’ll be moving to Charlotte which has a much nicer climate and where my only child is residing.

    Budget tips? Bargain down for anything and everything possible. Many people don’t think that it’s possible in modern societies, so don’t even try. My Peruvian wife bargains like crazy in the USA, and we save plenty in our expenses that way. Having lived in Peru for such a long time, you should be “a natural” by now.

    • I think climate would be an important factor for me too. =) I remember thinking that I could never live in a dry place like Las Vegas because it gives me skin problems. And I don’t know if I’d enjoy a place with extremely cold winters. Huancayo and Vancouver have been relatively mild. =)

      Ooh! I would have never thought about bargaining in North America, but if your wife can, I must be able to as well. =) Interesting tip!

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