Cost of living in Peru

Answers to your qestions about moving to, and living in, Peru,
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Arroz con Pollo
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Cost of living in Peru

Postby Arroz con Pollo » Mon Jun 06, 2005 10:35 am

I am considering a move to Lima to be with the girl of my dreams (how romantic, hah!). Anyway, night and day my thoughts are obviously directed at living expenses and income. I am a programmer and can develop anything from web sites, online shopping carts or desktop applications. I am hoping I can freelance for mostly American clients from Lima. I am most interested in what I could expect my living expenses to be based on my lifestyle.

I plan to live in Miraflores or Barranco. I need a 2-3 bedroom apartment and high speed internet. So my expenses would be rent, electric, water, internet, food, and of course, girlfriend. My initial estimates are around 12-15k/year to live a decent lifestyle. So I assume I would only need to make $30,000/year on my business to live and save money.

Can anyone help me along here? Perhaps tell me what I could expect to spend living approximately? It would be a great help if anyone is in the IT field and can shed some light on Lima opportunities there. It is my assumption, however, that working for a Lima business will not be the way to go so I'm primarily focussing on self employment.

Thanks for the help!


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Postby Gar-vera » Thu Jun 09, 2005 5:41 pm

I am a US citizen married to a Peruana since 2001. We live in the States. Based on what I've seen in my visits to Peru and what my wife tells me about income/cost-of-living in Lima, your estimates sound very reasonable and accurate to me. I think you could live well on 15K, and save the other 15K, provided you watch what you spend most of the time.
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Postby david_bxl » Fri Jun 10, 2005 5:46 am

I have lived in Lima before my present European exile and 15K seems to me very very tight. Most probably you will need a car and also pay for a private health insurance (around 2000 p/year), 20k will be a more realistic minimum budget for a couple.

All the best
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Postby Old Tiger » Sat Jun 11, 2005 12:39 am

I'd have to agree more with David... It depends on how you want to live. You can really extend that income in neighborhoods where you'll need to stay off the streets at night and have highly secure doors and windows. OTOH, there are plenty of nice safe areas, you'll just pay more. How much depends on the deals you find. You'll do much better to get connected, make friends and use those contacts to locate what you want. Word of mouth thru your network of friends and associates before advertisements. This society operates much more on who you know than you are used to at home. Find somewhere temporary, then take your time to find something you really like to make your home. As well, IMHO, Miraflores is an over-westernised and modernised area with much of the culture and essence of Lima bleached out of it. It's an armpit if you're in Peru for Peru. You're better off in Barranco unless you need McDonald's, PizzaHut, etc up in your grillto feel safe and keep some of the alien culture at bay.
David also makes the good point that you may want your own vehicle eventually, you may have to end up paying for ( safe ) parking depending on where you live. Also, gas is not cheap here, go to Veni for that. 20k a year is more reasonable unless you have a high-maintanence girl....
Good luck with the IT business, but if you decide to go into the authentic Philly food market, let us know here. Sure do miss my hoagies and South St. cheesesteaks!!!
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Postby Gar-vera » Sun Jun 12, 2005 10:59 am

My Peruvian mother-in-law has a health insurance policy through Maison de Sante. We pay less than 600USD per year for the coverage. Each time she has used it she has been pleased with the care. They have several care facilites in different parts of Lima. She is in her early 60's.
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Postby Arroz con Pollo » Mon Jun 13, 2005 5:51 am

Thanks for the feedback. I'm definitely learning a lot. Luckily my girlfriend is very low maitenance and really doesn't need my support. She comes from a great family. Her father is a doctor so I'm sure I'll get great recommendations on healthcare. I can see what you mean about Miraflores, I will rethink where I want to live. Barranco is beatiful and very cultural. There are some great places up on the main street above the Pacific. I'll be in Lima on July 29th so will try to network a bit more this time. My girlfriend finishes school (Psychology bachelor) in December so we are really waiting until after this until we put all our time into this. She gets very stressed out thinking about me turning my life upside down for her :) The hard part is finding enough telecommute work before I move down. Thanks again!
misterhappy

Postby misterhappy » Mon Dec 17, 2007 1:11 pm

HI I lived in Lima Before For 4 years but now with The sol like 2.90 How Does it Affect U.S. Citizens??????
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Postby curlyguy18 » Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:48 pm

misterhappy wrote:HI I lived in Lima Before For 4 years but now with The sol like 2.90 How Does it Affect U.S. Citizens??????


The only way I can think of how the drop of the dollar affects everyone (including Americans and Peruvians) is that -- obviously-- we get less money when we get it exchanged into soles and therefore, those like me who get paid in dollars, get less money when exchaning it into soles.
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Re: Cost of living in Peru

Postby curlyguy18 » Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:52 pm

Arroz con Pollo wrote:I am considering a move to Lima to be with the girl of my dreams (how romantic, hah!). Anyway, night and day my thoughts are obviously directed at living expenses and income. I am a programmer and can develop anything from web sites, online shopping carts or desktop applications. I am hoping I can freelance for mostly American clients from Lima. I am most interested in what I could expect my living expenses to be based on my lifestyle.

I plan to live in Miraflores or Barranco. I need a 2-3 bedroom apartment and high speed internet. So my expenses would be rent, electric, water, internet, food, and of course, girlfriend. My initial estimates are around 12-15k/year to live a decent lifestyle. So I assume I would only need to make $30,000/year on my business to live and save money.

Can anyone help me along here? Perhaps tell me what I could expect to spend living approximately? It would be a great help if anyone is in the IT field and can shed some light on Lima opportunities there. It is my assumption, however, that working for a Lima business will not be the way to go so I'm primarily focussing on self employment.

Thanks for the help!


Like you said, it depends on how you live. It costs much less to live here than it does in America, but then again, you always want to be somewhat frugal.....
misterhappy

Postby misterhappy » Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:58 pm

Exactly Man Thats what I said i depend on us greenbacks as thats how my source of income is. With the dollar like this its not going too good.
curlyguy18 wrote:
misterhappy wrote:HI I lived in Lima Before For 4 years but now with The sol like 2.90 How Does it Affect U.S. Citizens??????


The only way I can think of how the drop of the dollar affects everyone (including Americans and Peruvians) is that -- obviously-- we get less money when we get it exchanged into soles and therefore, those like me who get paid in dollars, get less money when exchaning it into soles.
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Postby curlyguy18 » Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:28 pm

misterhappy wrote:Exactly Man Thats what I said i depend on us greenbacks as thats how my source of income is. With the dollar like this its not going too good.
curlyguy18 wrote:
misterhappy wrote:HI I lived in Lima Before For 4 years but now with The sol like 2.90 How Does it Affect U.S. Citizens??????


You're right, it ain't goin too good at all. If we get paid in dollars, then we should get a raise.....
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Postby naturegirl » Fri Dec 21, 2007 7:05 am

ON the UPL there's a price list. It, depends how you live. We, my husband and I , live off of 500 USD a month. Obviously we're not living like gringos ;)
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Postby curlyguy18 » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:41 am

naturegirl wrote:ON the UPL there's a price list. It, depends how you live. We, my husband and I , live off of 500 USD a month. Obviously we're not living like gringos ;)


500 USD a month for two people doesnt sound as bad as 500 SOLES a month for a whole family!!!! i don't know how some people manage to live on that little money.
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Postby falcon123 » Sun Dec 23, 2007 12:43 am

15000 per year without a car
20000 per year with a car.

Rent 500 to 700 for a modest apartment in a good area, but if
the apartment is close to the beach you will get prices similar to
USA.

Check mercadolibre.com.pe to sample some prices.
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Postby DC_20833 » Thu Dec 27, 2007 7:52 am

I keep good records and I am looking at our expenses for the first year here in Lima. We are spending an average of $2800.00 per month, however that includes a Full-Time Housekeeper and Driver. Salaries and associated expenses for the two of them are $800 per month. Car expenses run around $450. Now I stripped out all extras like vacations, gifts, and charitable donations. This also includes my RIMAC Insurance.

Let me say this if your motivation to live in Peru is economic you will grow frustrated very quickly. The lower cost of living is certainly a motivator but I came here to experience a new culture, language, and way of life. I am very happy here.

My salaries for my driver and housekeeper are on the high side, but I am also a very demanding person to work for. I could cut those expenses by $200 per month by paying the "standard" wage. However, I have two Peruvian friends who have Drivers and Housekeepers and they pay less and in the last year they have fired two maids and their driver totalled their car. I have had the same people here from day one and I am very happy with them and they love working for me.
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Postby naturegirl » Thu Dec 27, 2007 8:07 am

15 K to 20 k A YEAR? 2800 a month? What job do you have? I would love to make that much.
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Postby javi » Thu Dec 27, 2007 8:32 am

naturegirl wrote:15 K to 20 k A YEAR? 2800 a month? What job do you have? I would love to make that much.


Now that I'm old and worked for peanuts for all those years, I have the benefit of looking back and remembering asking the same questions. I can't believe I survived, with wife and two small kids, on the salary I was making.

Now having said that, I've had raises and changed jobs throughout the years and have a simple observation: what you spend pretty much equals what you make. As you make more, gifts are fancier, cars are nicer, restaurants are better and pricier, etc. I'm not saying we waste or live a lavish lifestyle, nor have I forgotten my roots, I think it's just human nature to spend what you have. I make several times more than the figures above, yet still have to manage budgets, rethink that vacation, yell at my kids for leaving the lights on, etc.

Naturally I save more and invest more now, but the percentage of overall income that is invested is pretty much the same as before.

Enjoy your life together now and remember the struggles. When you're my age, these will be the "good old days."
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Postby naturegirl » Thu Dec 27, 2007 8:34 am

I'm sick of the struggles now. I have two impending international flights plus lawyer fees and citizenship stuff to take care of this year. I can't live off of 500 USD a month anymore.
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cost of living

Postby mwalker » Thu Dec 27, 2007 5:06 pm

I'd have to agree more with David, too... It depends on how you want to live. I think it's expensive to live in Lima. I have been here 3 months, now and the way i like to live... well, my money is almost gone!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Postby cajun jamie » Thu Dec 27, 2007 7:10 pm

I have it all planned out. I plan to make about $1,500 USD per month, and I plan to spend about $4,000 USD per month.

Isn't that a GREAT plan?




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Postby curlyguy18 » Thu Dec 27, 2007 7:24 pm

cajun jamie wrote:I have it all planned out. I plan to make about $1,500 USD per month, and I plan to spend about $4,000 USD per month.

Isn't that a GREAT plan?


If you don't mind my asking, what kind of a job here pays $1,500??
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Postby naturegirl » Thu Dec 27, 2007 7:30 pm

I wish I knew.
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Postby cajun jamie » Thu Dec 27, 2007 7:37 pm

curlyguy18 wrote:
cajun jamie wrote:I have it all planned out. I plan to make about $1,500 USD per month, and I plan to spend about $4,000 USD per month.

Isn't that a GREAT plan?


If you don't mind my asking, what kind of a job here pays $1,500??


I'm sorry - it was an example for illustration only - $1500 income, $4500 expenses. Una broma.


Sharon, I am still making inquiries for you.

jamie
Last edited by cajun jamie on Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby naturegirl » Thu Dec 27, 2007 7:39 pm

Thanks a lot. I really appreciate it. I'm open to just about anything, doesn't have to be teaching.
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Postby cajun jamie » Thu Dec 27, 2007 8:01 pm

naturegirl wrote:Thanks a lot. I really appreciate it. I'm open to just about anything, doesn't have to be teaching.


I know the feeling. I still have mixed reviews about the school hiring process.

Jamie
Last edited by cajun jamie on Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby naturegirl » Thu Dec 27, 2007 8:07 pm

I think I want to use more of my background. I do know a lot about Education, but I could use Art and Management as well, making materials, organising things. It would be great to do that or place teachers in schools, recruiting, etc.
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Postby cajun jamie » Thu Dec 27, 2007 8:12 pm

naturegirl wrote:I think I want to use more of my background. I do know a lot about Education, but I could use Art and Management as well, making materials, organising things. It would be great to do that or place teachers in schools, recruiting, etc.

I'm learning more and more just how important networking is. I really hope to get better information when I land in Lima. My lines of communication are practically non-existent with family there now. My wife catches up on family business, but none of my family there has learned to chain themselves to a computer and reply to e-mail daily. (Good for them!) LOL
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Postby muki2006 » Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:28 am

Caju jaime
I'll help you spend the money! Why do you set the bar so low..make it $5000.00 or more? haha
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Postby sbaustin » Sat Dec 29, 2007 2:59 pm

I have a couple friends that teach English in some of the schools/institutes here (not Roosevelt) and they all make between $1200 and $1500 a month. One of them specifically is a young guy, with no teaching experience. I know these jobs exist out there and I think you have to search and demand the salary.

As for the hiring process, some of my Peruvian contacts tell me that it is very normal to wait 3-5 months to hear back from a company as they typically interview a lot of people and take their time filling positions. I guess they can with the number of job candidates.

To clarify, none of this I've written is my firsthand knowledge as I'm self employed, but it is only what my friends have told me when sharing about their job searching experiences.
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Postby naturegirl » Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:08 pm

sbaustin wrote:I have a couple friends that teach English in some of the schools/institutes here (not Roosevelt) and they all make between $1200 and $1500 a month. One of them specifically is a young guy, with no teaching experience. I know these jobs exist out there and I think you have to search and demand the salary.


DO you happen to have the names of these places?
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Postby rgamarra » Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:59 pm

That's the first time I've heard of an English teaching job paying that much...Sure it's not in Soles?
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Postby naturegirl » Sat Dec 29, 2007 10:08 pm

I know that San Pedro and Villa Caritas, teacher make between 700 and 1500 USD.

Lord Byron teachers ake about 1500.

Not to mention Rosevelt nd CPB.
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Postby sbaustin » Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:25 pm

naturegirl wrote:
sbaustin wrote:I have a couple friends that teach English in some of the schools/institutes here (not Roosevelt) and they all make between $1200 and $1500 a month. One of them specifically is a young guy, with no teaching experience. I know these jobs exist out there and I think you have to search and demand the salary.


DO you happen to have the names of these places?


I know Lord Byron is one.. Don't know the ranges but someone already has posted some and I was referring to dollars not soles. My point was only that these jobs are out there and I just assume that my friends were very demanding when requesting salaries b/c I've also been told that at the same school some teachers doing the same job make $500-700 / month while others make $1500. To me that is just one person who negotiates better than another.
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Postby naturegirl » Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:36 pm

I wouldn't work at LB. I've bheard nothing byt bad things about them.

It's also not just about negotiation, but how desperate the school is.
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Postby Philip » Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:59 am

On a different note, I will retire to Peru in less than 10 years from now.
I know it sounds like a long time, but with my hectic work life at Heathrow Airport in London, it will pass quickly.
I'm an experienced electronics engineer, with 26 years experience in the field of radiocommunications engineering, now coupled with reasonable IT skills/mobile data, yada, yada, yada :D
I must admit, i am not even bored with it all yet, as there's always so much more to learn.
With luck, and good annuity rates, I should have a good pension, and a decent pot of money from the equity in the house here in London also.

My only concern is, what I will do upon my rearrival to Peru??

Oooops, with my Peruana of course :-)

We have planned on starting up some kind of buisness, as I know I will vegetate if I do just nothing, as i've always been a get up, and go person.

Sorry to drift a little off topic here.


Please feel free to post comments.


Happy new year to all by the way.



Philip... 8)
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David

Postby David » Sun Dec 30, 2007 4:25 pm

Philip wrote:
Sorry to drift a little off topic here.


Please feel free to post comments.


Happy new year to all by the way.



Philip... 8)


Off topic, why would you say that?

Happy New Year Philip, give our regards to the Misses as well.

David & Manie
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Postby Philip » Mon Dec 31, 2007 9:24 am

Thanks David.

Same to you guys :D


Chat in the new one.

Philip, and Rosario :)
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Postby drdave » Sat May 02, 2009 7:31 pm

Sorry to resurrect an old thread but I have a few questions about the general COL in Peru since the world economy declined.
I am also interested in the average cost of a furnished apartment or house in Iquitos, $500 limit.
Going to be living from a base of $1180 USD per month and want to make sure I swing it on that, I'm a believer in C.Y.A.

Dave...8)
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my cost of living experience

Postby melinda.mithka » Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:07 pm

greetings all

i seem to be getting on dandy here on my 1100 or so dollars a month

first two months in a cusco homestay with three meals a day and in a quiet neighborhood = 360 dollars a month

now in a long term stay arrangement at a bed and breakfast type lodge in ollantaytambo with breakfast and lunch in a private room/bath at the end of one of the pedestrian streets with a fabulous view = 340 dollars a month

i would more than likely not even get a low rate room in a rotten area of town back in the states for that and have been continually blessed since liberating myself from the states and i love being in the valley

peace
melinda

p.s.
would love to gather a few like minded souls together and homeshare in the valley, so please feel free to contact me; i have my own internet access and a claro cell as well

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Postby LauraMH » Thu Sep 03, 2009 2:50 pm

naturegirl wrote:15 K to 20 k A YEAR? 2800 a month? What job do you have? I would love to make that much.


I totally agree. I mean...sheesh. I don't live in Lima and pay the high cost of life there. I don't know how foreigners do it unless you have a high paying job. That's what I lived on in the USA. It amazes me how people pay these prices. We pay 500s a month to rent a 3 brdm house and that's on the high side. Secrets?? Of course I do the cooking and the cleaning...
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update on my costs of living

Postby melinda.mithka » Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:55 pm

greetings

my costs in urubamba:

house rental - 350 dollars (long term and a lovely country home too)
electric monthly - 25 to 30 dollars
mobile broadband modem service monthly - 80 dollars (claro)
transportation (motos and taxis) +or- 60 dollars a month (includes several trips to ollantaytambo and cusco)
eat out - 5-6 dollars lunch , 7-8 dollars dinner
eat in - +or- 60 dollars (for myself)

peace
melinda
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Postby GTGlenn » Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:18 am

The posts on here are very helpful.

I am moving out to Cusco in 2011 and trying to nail down some info.

Can anyone help me with an estimate of what Utilities (electricity, gas and water) cost ? We are a family of 4 with a teenage daughter, so TV, electronic games, hair dryer, PC, etc. etc. I suspect our electricity usage will be way above that of an average Peruvian.

What do people pay for utilities monthly, please ?
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Postby mammalu » Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:33 am

There are some questions about Schools and other stuff in the general Forum. Just search. We have a few members who also live in Cusco. Just post in the general Forum your questions. Good Luck!
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Postby naturegirl » Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:27 am

GTGlenn wrote:The posts on here are very helpful.
I am moving out to Cusco in 2011 and trying to nail down some info.
Can anyone help me with an estimate of what Utilities (electricity, gas and water) cost ? We are a family of 4 with a teenage daughter, so TV, electronic games, hair dryer, PC, etc. etc. I suspect our electricity usage will be way above that of an average Peruvian.
What do people pay for utilities monthly, please ?

We have a washing machine, fridge, laptop and PC, we usually spend about 60 soles for electricity. Maybe about 40 for water. Ther's just the two of us though.
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Postby american_in_lima » Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:15 pm

naturegirl wrote:
GTGlenn wrote:The posts on here are very helpful.
I am moving out to Cusco in 2011 and trying to nail down some info.
Can anyone help me with an estimate of what Utilities (electricity, gas and water) cost ? We are a family of 4 with a teenage daughter, so TV, electronic games, hair dryer, PC, etc. etc. I suspect our electricity usage will be way above that of an average Peruvian.
What do people pay for utilities monthly, please ?

We have a washing machine, fridge, laptop and PC, we usually spend about 60 soles for electricity. Maybe about 40 for water. Ther's just the two of us though.



I heard by the way, that there are two rates for electricity use. It supposedly costs more to have the washer and dryer on at night then in the day. Not sure how valid that is. Anyone know?
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George
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naturegirl
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Postby naturegirl » Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:05 pm

I don't think so. At least, there's only one price on my luz del sur recipts.
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Postby NelsonSuarez » Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:47 pm

>I heard by the way, that there are two rates for electricity use. It
> supposedly costs more to have the washer and dryer on at night then in
> the day. Not sure how valid that is. Anyone know?

Not sure 100% about Peru, but the way this normally works, and Peru's electricity system is based on a marginal costing scheme, is as follows:

Electricity plants are ordered by the regulator according to the marginal cost at which they produce. Hydroplants have lowest (flowing water is free), and diesel generators are most expensive (fuel coast is high). When users demand energy, the energy gets served first by the cheapest producers, then, when demand picks up, by the more expensive ones until you reach system capacity. Whatever is the most expensive energy online at any moment is what determines what ALL generators charge. So great if you're hydroplant, because you get to charge same as diesel generators, but have no cost. Bad for the diesel generators, because half the time they don't even get to sell anything, because it would cost them more to produce than the market price they can charge.

Now, the system is at max during the day, so even the diesels get to sell, the price is high. At night, no one uses electricity, so only the hydros keep generating, and electricity is cheap. So yes, laundering at mid night will run you cheaper, because you pay less per kwH.

Notice how your electricity bill goes up in the summer in the US: your AC uses a lot of energy, BUT, you also pay much more for every piece of electricity, because EVERYONE ELSE also has their AC turned on..

The only exception would be if the regulator in Peru demands that retail customers (i.e. households) cannot be charged more per kwH during different parts of the day..(makes no sense though)
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Postby NelsonSuarez » Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:48 pm

sorry I misread this. it should be CHEAPER at night. NOT more expensive. If the utilities get away with that in Peru, that would be akin to robbery.
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400 dollars a month for two people

Postby euroman » Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:00 pm

GUYS,

WE PAY 200 DOLLARS A MONTH FOR MY 2 BED RENTAL FLAT
WE SPEND ABOUT 150 A MONTH ON GROCERIES
AND WE PAY ABOUT 20 DOLLARS A MONTH FOR WATER AND ELECTRICITY
WE SPEND 15 DOLLARS A MONTH ON TRANSPORT

WE ARE NOT RICH BUT HAPPY. I NEVER GOING BACK TO EUROPE
I AM WORKING 20 HOURS A WEEK. I COULDN´T SEE MYSELF WORKING 50 HOURS A WEEK LIKE AND IDIOT IN EUROPE JUST TO MAKE ENDS MEET.

VIVA LA PERU
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Re: 400 dollars a month for two people

Postby Esteban » Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:28 pm

euroman wrote:GUYS,

WE PAY 200 DOLLARS A MONTH FOR MY 2 BED RENTAL FLAT
WE SPEND ABOUT 150 A MONTH ON GROCERIES
AND WE PAY ABOUT 20 DOLLARS A MONTH FOR WATER AND ELECTRICITY
WE SPEND 15 DOLLARS A MONTH ON TRANSPORT

WE ARE NOT RICH BUT HAPPY. I NEVER GOING BACK TO EUROPE
I AM WORKING 20 HOURS A WEEK. I COULDN´T SEE MYSELF WORKING 50 HOURS A WEEK LIKE AND IDIOT IN EUROPE JUST TO MAKE ENDS MEET.

VIVA LA PERU



Euroman...you must never leave the house
Those prices don't even come close to what I am experiencing or having to deal with when supporting a family of four.

I have come to realize, to live in peru...you have to live like a peruvian. That is, purchase only local products and go to markets to purchase merchandise.

Let me give you some examples...wanted to purchase a box of cereal for my kids (us brand)...it was 5 dollars a box!!! I was at Jockey plaza the other day and wanted to get a pair of jeans...couldn't find anything under 60 dollars...WTF!! I was at the metro the other day and was looking for an extra towel for the bathroom...a decent towel that would actually cover my body was hovering around 10 dollars.

While I am my soap box...dealing with the "American/Gringo" image just sucks!! The whole thing about the constant adjustment of prices is crap! The best one yet was when our childs doctor gave a huge list of medication to purchase for our 6 year old girl. After consulting another doctor, we come to find out that doctors get a kick back for particular medication. He was overdosing our daughter just so he could fill his pockets!!

Its only been two months and you probably are getting the jist of how I am feeling about Peru.

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