8 Money Saving Tips When Moving to Belize
We all know the Caribbean is one of the hottest locations for a vacation, but would you actually move there? As it turns out, more and more US citizens choose Belize to be their second home and end up making the switch permanently.
In fact, the rate of US and UK expats who decided to move to Belize is increasing each year. Of course, the main reason is the location, with sunny weather, luxurious jungles, and gorgeous views, but Belize is also a fantastic opportunity to give your dollars more power.
But, if you’re interested in living a blissful life in a paradise like Belize, but you want to make sure you’re not overspending, have a look at the tips I listed below.
#1: Avoid Highly-touristic Areas
Belize is one of the most sought-after touristic areas of the world, so you will have to deal with waves of tourists. Furthermore, areas like Ambergris Caye or Placencia are overpriced because of the types of tourists that usually come here.
So, since you will not be just visiting, I recommend choosing an area that’s less exposed to hoards of tourists but still gives you access to the beach and the rest of the location.
#2: Understand the Value of your Money
The exchange rate here is rather easy to calculate as $1 USD is the equivalent of $2 BZD. In conclusion, you will get more for your money, as long as you know how to spend it. It may take a while to become one of the locals, so it’s best to identify the best stores and bars in your area (some owners tend to overcharge strangers).
#3: Eat Local Food
The country is a chance to start a new life, with nature surrounding you and access to plenty of fresh and natural food. Belizeans fish a lot, so seafood is cheap, fresh, and delicious here. Also, local varieties of fruits and vegetables are readily available and low cost.
#4: Drink Like the Locals
If you enjoy the opulence and luxury of tourist bars you should also expect to be charged accordingly. Mixed drinks are expensive here, but there is a workaround! Locals make a type of rum that is delicious and quite strong, but inexpensive.
All you need is a bottle of local rum, some ice, and some Coke, and you can prepare lots of delicious drinks while enjoying the view from your terrace with your friends!
#5: Bring Your Own Assets
You are allowed to bring your stuff into the country, as long as you don’t have the intent of reselling them. As such, you can bring your laptop, car, clothes, and even the bed. Since Belize is a small country, it would cost you a lot more to buy these things in the US and pay shipping for each purchase.
For instance, you can buy a new mattress at a discounted price in the US (check nolahmattresscoupons.com for great deals) and enjoy high-quality sleep in a beach house for the next 8 to 10 years of your life. If you would order the same mattress after your move, it will cost a lot more and it will be a bit more difficult to get into possession as many companies don’t sheep overseas.
#6: The Government Supports Investments
If you want to start a business or relocate an existent one, there is a lot of support from the government. This is usually shown in tax exemptions for as long as 20 years, but you may enjoy other benefits as well.
#7: Property Taxes are Low
Compared to the US or Canada, tax property in Belize is practically non-existent. According to expats who live in Believe for over 10 years, yearly property tax is around $25 regardless of the fact that you own a house or a barren terrain.
#8: Use Public Transportation
Gas and car rentals are expensive here, but public transportation is well-developed and safe. There are routes that lead to every town (except for those situated on the islands) and buses run starting with 5 am and late in the evening.
Furthermore, going by bus will set you back about $4 USD for every 50 miles, which is extremely acceptable.