Simple Tips to Live Better for Less in Belize

Live for less in BelizeYour plan is to retire to Belize eventually. That’s one reason you set up term deposits and other accounts with a Belizean bank. Once you’re retired and ready to make the move, it pays to know how to make the most of your retirement income.

The fact is, there are many ways to manage your income so that you spend less while living comfortably. Here are some tips that will help.

Find a Location in Line with Your Income

One of the first things to know about living in Belize is that the cost of rent and utilities will vary a bit from one location to the next. The same holds true if you want to purchase a home. By taking a look around the country, you’re likely to find that some areas offer more affordable options for housing. It’s up to you to decide which areas are the best fit for your budget.

For example, you may find that leasing an apartment or buying a home in Corozal or Punta Gorda is more affordable and still quite comfortable versus living in Placencia. Assuming you like the area and what it has to offer, why not opt for the less expensive housing? That frees up more of your income for other purposes.

Select the Right Type of Housing

What sort of dwelling would work best for you? Perhaps the idea of maintaining a home and landscape is a bit more than you want to deal with. If you’re more of a minimalist, having a larger home may not seem all that practical. With these two thoughts in mind, an apartment may be just what you need.

The good news is that apartments in Belize can be quite affordable. In fact, they are likely to set you back a lot less than apartment rentals in most parts of the United States. While the rates vary from one area to the next, it’s not impossible to find something comfortable for as little as $400.00 USD. If your budget is more expansive, there are a number of beautiful apartments for up to $1,000.00 USD.

How about a house? If you didn’t purchase something as an investment in years past, there’s still the option of buying a nice home with a decent amount of property available for purchase in Belize. As with apartments, do expect to find homes that are less expensive in some parts of the country, particularly smaller towns. You’re likely to be pleasantly surprised at how much house you can buy compared to the prices you see in other countries.

Learn the Joys of Cooking at Home

Since you’re retired, there’s greater control over your time. That means it’s possible to devote more of your energies to preparing meals at home. One trip to the local marketplace will be all it takes to learn that vegetables and fruits, especially those that are in season, are much less expensive then you remember from home.

Being retired will bring quite a change from the days when you were working and relied on fast food and eating out for lunch. It’s quite possible that you’ll end up spending considerably less to eat well each month living the retired life in Belize. This leaves extra money you can place in your savings account or use to buy something for your new home.

Get a Green Thumb

As inexpensive as vegetables happen to be at the market, you could also consider growing some of your own at home. It’s easy enough to create a small garden plot in the back yard if you like. Even if you have an apartment that comes with a patio or a balcony rather than a house, it’s possible to grow vegetables in pots.

The tropical climate in Belize lends itself well to growing a variety of fruits and vegetables, and fast. Consider creating your own organic garden plot for healthier options. Along with a steady supply of some of your favorites, having homegrown vegetables means you’ll spend less at the market.

Make the Most of Interest from Your Financial Accounts

In preparation for your retirement years, you set up term deposit accounts, demand deposit accounts, and savings accounts with a bank in Belize. Perhaps you also set up an investment account. All of these are generating some amount of interest. How can you make the most of that interest? Don’t rely on it to fund your monthly living expenses.

Instead, let the interest remain in the accounts for now. Keeping the interest separate from your other income sources ensures that there’s always a financial cushion to use without drawing on the principal balances in those accounts. That type of financial security will make it all the easier to enjoy your new home.

Let Go of Familiar Expenses

You may have a long list of monthly expenses that you’ve managed for years. How many of those expenses will you still need in Belize? You may be surprised at how it’s possible to streamline those monthly costs and free up more of your retirement income.

For example, cable television is available, but do you really need it? You plan on having wireless internet anyway. Make sure the service is robust enough to stream programming online and you’ve just eliminated the need for cable TV.

Enjoy Free Entertainment

Do include money for entertainment in your monthly budget. At the same time, look around and see what sort of activities are yours to enjoy without having to spend anything. Depending on where you happen to live, there’s a good chance of being able to enjoy free concerts, dances, and different types of holiday events sponsored by the local municipality. During some months, there may be so much to enjoy that you end up spending next to nothing for entertainment.

Even when you do decide to go out, it helps to know that the costs for movies, clubs, dancing, and other activities compares favorably with what you used to spend at home. Make the most of those venues along with free entertainment options and you’ll never want for something to do.

Best of all, you’re living in a tropical paradise. You have beaches, water sports, forests, Mayan ruins, and more. Taking advantage of many of these is absolutely free. You won’t find free entertainment like this in many other places.

Set Up Automatic Payments for Utilities and Other Recurring Obligations

Consider arranging for automatic debits on recurring expenses like utilities, rent, insurance, and anything else that you can. The reason is not just about convenience. There are some vendors and suppliers who will offer slight discounts if you set up automatic payments. It won’t amount to a lot, but it will free up more of your income. As a bonus, you never have to worry about forgetting to pay something before it’s due.

Recurring payments also make it easier for you to quickly reconcile your accounts and ensure there is no doubt about how much you have to spend for the rest of the month. Think of it as one more way to easily manage your funds and use them in the most practical way.

Live Your Best Life in Belize

These are only some of the ways to live better while spending less in Belize. As you spend more time in your new home, rest assured that some of the locals will help you find other ways to minimize expenses.

Within a year or two, there’s a good chance that you will be handing out tips to new friends who just made the move themselves.

Are you ready to live your best life in Belize? Talk with our team at Caye International Bank about the best way to structure your bank accounts and enjoy the most benefits from them. With our help, it won’t take long until you find that living well on less money is a lot easier than you ever dreamed possible.

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About this author


Luigi Wewege is the Senior Vice President, and Head of Private Banking of Caye International Bank, published author of The Digital Banking Revolution - now in its third edition, has co-authored economic research which was presented before the U.S. Congress and currently serves as an Instructor at the FinTech School. He holds an Italian MBA with a major in International Business, as well as a BSBA with a triple major in Finance, International Business, and Management - cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.