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What's it cost

This won't be a post showing how inexpensive it is to live in Panama. In my experience, someone's "cost of living" has less to do with where one lives than on how one chooses to live - wherever they are. Jane and I could certainly live on less, but could also spend considerably more - if we had more and wanted to - but are happy with our current lifestyle.

I can tell you our monthly expenses in Panama are at least a third less than when we lived on St. Croix. Some things are cheaper, some more expensive. On both St. Croix and here in Panama we find items that we feel simply cost too much but we frequently will buy the item anyway - because we need it and if we "shop around" or wait for a better price the item may disappear from the shelves - for a long time.

So . . . . for your amusement and enlightenment, here is what you get for your money in Panama:

  • 15¢ - one (1) egg.
  • 48¢ - a local beer, 60¢ if you need a Bud
  • 50¢ - a snow cone
  • 65¢ - a can of coke, if you need a case it's 24 x 65¢
  • 75¢ - a jumbo hotdog, all the way.
  • $1.00 gets the car washed, a shoe shine or a milkshake.
  • $2.00 to $3.00 - a taxi to just about anyplace in the city.
  • $2.64 - a Big Mac.
  • $3.02 - a gallon of gas.
  • $3.25 - a ticket to see Avatar in 3D. $2.00 if you can do without that extra "D".
  • $5.95 - a pint of Cherry Garcia.
  • $22.00 - transcontinental ticket on the Panama Railroad.
  • $40.00 - drivers license.
  • $46.90 - one month of satellite TV, 150 channels, 25 or so in English.
  • $50.00 - visit to the doctor's office, $5.00 at a clinic in a "better" neighborhood or 50¢ at a subsidized neighborhood clinic.
  • $81.22 - new pair of prescription sunglasses, frames, lenses and eye exam.
  • $84.00 - one month of internet access, 2.5 MB
  • $1,250.000.00 - apartment in the Trump Ocean Tower.

Waste your money and you're only out of money, but waste your time and you've lost a part of your life. ~ Michael Leboeuf

Take care.
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