You can get a great, several-course Mexican meal of soup, rice, main dish, juice, and a desert of some kind for around 50 pesos ($4). The other day here in Playa del Carmen I went to a nice restaurant on the beach and had a big hamburger, french fries, several small burritos with beans and guacamole, and a bottled water all for 100 pesos ($7.80).

You can get three tacos for 20 pesos ($1.58).

A local bus to wherever you want to go in town is less than 10 pesos (80 cents).

My studio apartment in Mexico City was $650/month.

My one-bedroom apartment in San Miguel de Allende was $680/month.

My studio apartment in Cancun was $430/month.

My studio apartment in Playa del Carmen is $500/month.

I’ll be going back to Cozumel for a few months, and my one-bedroom apartment there is $515/month.

All of these prices are for short-term, month-to-month rentals (i.e., you don’t have to rent the place for a year) with English-speaking landlords or property managers. All of the places pass the mom test (my mom could stay there and not be grossed out or feel like she was in danger).

So there you have it. It’s cheaper for me to live in my own apartment on the beach in Mexico than it was to share an apartment in Salt Lake City.