A thousand dollars may seem like a lot more to some people and, on the flip side, a lot less for others. A mere $1,000 could be the cost of rent in some areas of America, but the same amount could be a cost of living in a foreign country for some expats and digital nomads. In fact, there are many countries in the world where you can live a standard life for under $1,000 a month. And this is not just a fact but a lifestyle in many beautiful countries in the world.
There are thousands of expats and long-term travelers who move to new countries and live beautiful life for just $1,000 a month for years. If you think $1,000 cannot afford a comfortable life, this article will help you change your mindset.
In today’s world, working remotely and living in a foreign country is a sweet cake for many people, especially digital nomads and expats. There are also many people who would love to retire in a new country. They work hard and save some money so they can move to beautiful countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Bolivia, and Turkey, to name a few. They are constantly looking to relocate to other destinations and taste new lifestyles.
You need not spend all your hard-earned money just for rent in your home country when there are countries waiting for you to embrace a new lifestyle and grab unlimited opportunities for just $1,000 a month. That said, here are the 15 best countries to live in for $1,000 a month.
Population: 125 million
Capital City: Mexico City
Currency: Mexican peso
Language: Spanish (majority)
Estimated Cost of Living: $713 per person
In Mexico, anyone can enjoy scrumptious local cuisine, lounge on palm-fringed beaches, and explore steamy jungles and endless coastlines. Similarly, digital nomads and expats get to enjoy a better quality of life for less.
There are a plethora of opportunities in Mexico, and for the high quality of life at a relatively low cost of living, Mexico is a sweet escape. Mexico’s low cost of living is the shining highlight that lures expats and digital nomads in thousands every year. For most Americans and Canadians, Mexico, in Central America, is the easiest place to move to, and it’s no wonder that most American dreams of moving to Mexico. A Mexican quality of life can be achieved for less than $1,000 a month, which could be why many Americans and other people choose to relocate to Mexico.
Mexico—for its quality of life, lovely weather, and friendly locals—is a haven for digital nomads and expats. For the low cost of life, hundreds of digital nomads, expats, and retirees relocate to Mexico every year. While the average cost of living in Mexico ranges anywhere between $600 and $2,000, you can live a comfortable life for around $713 a month. But you can live below $713 per month if you put an eye on every dollar.
Everything from food to rent and public transportation is much cheaper than in countries like Canada and the USA. Small beach towns and second-tier cities are comparatively cheaper than a tourist area. Many digital nomads are found on the southern and west coasts of Mexico. Places like Oaxaca, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Vallarta and San Pancho draw huge numbers of digital nomads every year. San Cristóbal de las Casas, Oaxaca City, Puebla, Santiago de Querétaro, Puerto Vallarta, and Tulum are some of the top cheapest places to live in Mexico.
Here are the 10 most affordable places to live in Mexico:
- Tuxtla Gutierrez
- Cuautitlan Izcalli
- Los Mochis
Population: 94.7 million
Capital City: Hanoi
Currency: Vietnamese dong
Estimated Cost of Living: $622 per person
White sand beaches, megacities, soaring mountains, glorious coastline, exotic villages, surreal seascape, temperate climate, and incredible cuisine. Vietnam ticks it all. There’s a saying, “If you have the bill, Vietnam has the thrill.” Well, that’s true. No wonder Vietnam is a hot destination for avid travelers and digital nomads alike. 7 out of 10 digital nomads have been to Vietnam and rank it as one of the cheapest countries to relocate to.
Vietnam is an inexpensive and fast-growing country to live in. According to Numbeo, the world’s largest cost-of-living database, a single person can live a standard life for as low as $622 a month. For $300 per month, you can rent a simple apartment in big cities like Nha Trang. The cost of living in Vietnam is 47% less compared to the United States.
Vietnam can also be the most expensive country in the world if we look into cities like Hanoi, Quang Ninh, and Da Nang, to name a few. Ho Chi Minh City, followed by Hanoi, are the top two most expensive cities in Vietnam. On the other side, Nha Trang and the beautiful city of Da Nang are the two most affordable nomad-friendly destinations where you can live for less than $1,000 a month. And these are the places we’re looking for in this article.
Check out the top 10 cheapest cities in Vietnam:
- Can Tho
- Bien Hoa
- Bac Ninh
- Hai Duong
- Nam Dinh
- Ca Mau
- Phan Thiet
Population: 65.9 million
Capital City: Bangkok
Currency: Thai baht
Estimated Cost of Living: $742 per person
Everyone loves Thailand and dreams of exploring this country at least once in a lifetime. Thailand conjures images of jungle-topped islands, white-sand beaches, and exciting cuisines. Home to 1430 islands, miles of coastline, and over 41,205 sacred Buddhist temples, this exotic country welcomes over 35 million travelers every year. From tropical beaches to beautiful temples scattered across the country, Thailand is undeniably a perfect destination for a holiday vacation and weekend trips. With extraordinary possibilities, Thailand is a paradise for expats, long-term travelers, and digital nomads.
Thailand ranks as the world’s top country for digital nomads. One thing every digital nomad can appreciate is just how incredibly affordable it is to live in Thailand. From food, fast wi-fi, public transportation, accommodation, activities, and attraction, everything is pretty cheap. It is possible to live on $742 a month in cities like Chiang Mai. For your own studio, rent goes for as low as $150 per month. On average, the cost of living in major places in Thailand is $742 per month.
The cost of accommodation and the cost of living in Thailand, in general, varies depending on location. You can enjoy $1 mean street food in city areas. Condos and apartments in Bangkok and luxurious beach villas in Phuket have expensive monthly rates. But on the other side, Bangkok and Phuket aren’t necessarily the most expensive places; you can rent one-bedroom apartments at a reasonable price in Bangkok but not in the city center. Cities like Chiang Mai, Kanchanaburi, and Chiang Rai and nearby islands are the least expensive places in Thailand.
Here are the top cheapest places to live in Thailand:
- Pak Kret
- Hat Yai
- Nakhon Ratchasima
- Udon Thani
- Nakhon Sawan
- Ubon Ratchathani
- Chiang Rai
- Ko Lipe
Population: 32.4 million
Capital City: Kuala Lumpur
Currency: Thai baht
Expected Cost of Living: $574 per person
Malaysia has so much to offer to digital nomads who are looking to relocate to a new country. The bustling cities, fabulous food, lovely islands, vibrant nightlife, and beautiful beaches are all in favor of digital nomads and expats to live an idyllic life. Besides, the country bestows amazing arrays of things to do all year round, making it one of the hottest destinations to travel and work remotely. In a short span, this country has established itself as a popular digital nomad hub in the world.
The cost of living in Malaysia is incredibly low, and in addition, it is also one of the safest countries in the world. Remember, the cost of healthcare is also low in Malaysia. On average, the cost of housing in Malaysia is 80% lower, and the cost of living is 51.92% lower than in the USA. On a monthly budget of around $574 per person, a digital nomad or expat can live a beautiful and comfortable life in Malaysia.
Malaysia hosts several best and cheapest places to live, with Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, and Penang being the top choices. The majority of digital nomads prefer to base in Kuala Lumpur as it features great accommodation options, nomad-friendly coffee shops, and an excellent public transportation system. That being said, Kuala Lumpur can also be an expensive city to live in. You can be more economical if you choose to stay in cheaper places like Kuching, Chukai, Tawau, Sandakan, and Johor Bahru.
Check these most affordable places in Malaysia:
- George Town
- Kota Bharu
- Kuala Terengganu
Population: 271 million
Capital City: Jakarta
Currency: Indonesian rupiah
Estimated Cost of Living: $564 per person
There’s no denying that every traveler has dreamt of exploring Bali. The word Bali alone conjures images of paradise on earth. No doubt that Indonesia is the dream destination of every couple, traveler, and retiree. Indonesia is arguably the most popular travel destination in the world. With more than 17,000 islands, beyond question, we can claim that there’s no place like Indonesia. Visit this beautiful country to hike up the active volcano, relax on a white sand beach and witness the unbelievable Komodo Dragons. And there are more.
Indonesia is one of the most beautiful and cheapest countries in the world. There are very few places in this world when it comes to matching Indonesia for the best value for money. Indonesia has arguably a cheaper cost of living, good prices for food and accommodation, and cheap flights in and out. The average rent price for a one-bedroom studio apartment is $142 a month. A single person can expect to spend $564 a month, which is 1.65 times less expensive than the world average.
In Indonesia, you can choose to live frugally or embrace a luxurious lifestyle. Indonesia has cities with higher living expenses as well as cities with low costs of living. The cost of living in Indonesia largely depends on the location and the way of lifestyle you aspire to live. If every dollar counts for you, make sure to choose the cheapest cities like Solo, Kudus, and Metro, to name a few. Places like Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bekasi are the most expensive cities in Indonesia.
Here are the cheapest cities in Indonesia:
- Bandar Lampung
Population: 7 million
Capital City: Sofia
Currency: Bulgarian lev
Estimated Cost of Living: $639 per person
Bulgaria is beautiful but often overlooked by travelers. The country on the Balkan Peninsula brims with majestic mountains, the Black Sea golden beaches, yummy foods, gold-domed churches, untamed landscapes with beautiful trails, and modern cosmopolitan cities where indelible adventures are guaranteed. For the history buff, Bulgaria has magnificent historical sites like Rila Monastery and the incredible Roman Theater. There are tons of reasons to love this country and probably very few not to.
One of the things most digital nomads and expats admire about Bulgaria is the low cost of living. Many foreigners say that Bulgaria is the cheapest place in Europe to live and retire in. Expats and digital nomads love to enjoy a European lifestyle at a cheaper cost. First-time visitors will be surprised to find that many restaurants and bars are ludicrously inexpensive. The fact that Bulgaria is among the top countries with the fastest internet in the world is a cherry on top for digital nomads.
According to Guardian, a British news and media website, Bulgaria and Turkey are among the cheapest holiday destinations, according to a survey. During summer, people travel to tourist areas scattered along the Black Sea. But Bulgaria is a relatively cheaper country to live in comparison to other E.U. countries, even in high season. The estimated cost of living per person in Bulgaria is $639 per month, while that of the USA is $2112 per month. The statistic indicates that the cost of living in Bulgaria is 70% cheaper than in the USA. Cities like Burgas, Ruse, Pernik, and Yambol are some of the cheapest places to move to.
The 10 cheapest cities in Bulgaria are:
Population: 16 million
Capital City: Phnom Penh
Currency: Cambodian Riel
Expected Cost of Living: $796 per person
Cambodia is one of the fastest-growing countries in the world. The influx of expats in Cambodia is on the rise every year. This beautiful country in Southeast Asia offers a unique experience to every traveler. Cambodia can surprise you with its surreal beauty, rich culture, and unmatched history. From ancient temples to the iconic Angkor Wat, Cambodia evokes an inspiring journey. The weather, the local people, and the value of living in Cambodia calls for every traveler.
Cambodia is without a doubt, among the cheapest countries to live, work or retire. If you’re looking for a cheap country to relocate to in Asia, Cambodia is a great choice. Renting a one-bedroom studio apartment will cost you around $250 a month. However, there are options for a luxury stay; you can rent expensive condos for more than a thousand dollars a month. The average cost of living in Cambodia is around 60% lesser than in the USA and 38% lower than in France. With $796 per person a month, you would be able to sustain a comfortable life in Cambodia.
The majority of expats and international travelers have hailed Cambodia as an affordable country to live and retire. With the relatively cheap cost of housing, food, and transport, Cambodia has been a firm favorite of the majority of expats and digital nomads. Siem Reap is often considered the best place to live a comfortable life for under $1000 a month. There are many cheapest places in Cambodia to live for under $1000 a month.
Check the cheapest places in Cambodia:
- Siem Reap
- Svay Rieng
- Kampong Cham
- Stung Treng
- Prey Veng
- Serei Saophoan
Population: 47.3 million
Capital City: Buenos Aires
Currency: Argentina peso
Expected Cost of Living: $576 per person
Argentina is amazing, alluring, and awesome. Soccer and Tango are not just the things Argentina is widely known for. There are many reasons to love this beautiful country. If you want to set foot on a glacier, visit Argentina. If you want to drink world-class wine, again visit Argentina. And there’s more. Argentina, the 8th largest country in the world, is one of the best countries to visit in South America.
One of the compelling reasons to start a new life in Argentina is affordability. Did you know the cost of living in Argentina is 60% less than in the United States? Most day-to-day living expenses like public transport, food, grocery, and childcare in Argentina are comparatively cheaper than in the USA. You can expect to rent a one-bedroom apartment for as low as $100 a month. For around a $576 monthly budget, you can afford a comfortable life. And if you live a frugal life, you can save a lot of money.
The capital city, Buenos Aires, is a popular hub for expats and remote workers in Argentina. According to coworker.com, Buenos Aires has over 67 co-working spaces. This is great news for digital nomads and freelancers. The price for rent in Buenos Aires is high than in other areas. While expats choose to stay in Buenos Aires, Mendoza and Salta are some of the cities that are a lot cheaper than Buenos Aires. To cut down the cost, you can choose to relocate to places like Tandil, Salta, San Justo, and La Rioja.
Here are the top cheapest cities to live in Argentina:
- Ramos Mejia
- Ciudad Madero
- San Justo
- Florencio Varela
- San Fernando de la Buena Vista
- Rio Cuarto
- San Luis
- La Rioja
Population: 83.6 million
Capital City: Ankara
Currency: Turkish lira
Expected Cost of Living: $428 per person
Turkey is on the bucket list of every traveler. It is a special country of its own; it has a rich culture, hot-air balloon rides, delicious food galore, tons of nightlife options, luxurious vacation spots, rich art and architecture, diverse landscapes, magical scenery, and picture-perfect beaches. Famous for its kebabs, incredible Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, Pamukkale Cotton Castle, and Capadoccia, Turkey is truly a must-visit country in the world. Expats and digital nomads equally love this country for the low cost of living.
Turkey is one of the countries in Europe and the world where you can live a good quality of life at a low cost of living. Many expats and digital nomads who plan to retire most probably buy a home in Turkey. The most significant expense in Turkey is rent. The estimated cost of living in Turkey is $428 per month per person. The average cost of living in Turkey is far more affordable than in the United States.
Turkey’s capital Istanbul is ranked among the most expensive cities in the world. Like most countries, the cost of living in Turkey is determined by location and lifestyle. It’s a good idea to save money by opting for affordable accommodations. Expats and digital nomads can save a lot by choosing cheap cities like Adana, Adiyaman, Izmit, Elazig, and Malatya.
Here are the cheapest cities in Turkey:
Population: 11.1 million
Capital City: Sucre
Currency: Bolivian boliviano (BOB)
Expected Cost of Living: $703 per person
Bolivia is one of the most underrated travel destinations in the world. It is a country of extreme, famous for the highest things in the world, like the world’s highest capital and the world’s highest salt flats, and there are more. From the Amazon rainforest to the Andes Mountains, Bolivia is a place like no other.
The enticing culture of the Bolivian people is second to none. Places like Salar de Uyuni, La Paz, Sucre, Potosi and Coroico are the major attraction of Bolivia. Perched in the heart of South America, Bolivia can offer you adventures ranging from simple to nerve-racking activities.
With the lower cost of living in comparison to other countries like Argentina and Chile, you can travel longer and sleep for less money in Bolivia. A very comfortable life for an expat in Bolivia can be had for $703 per month. But remember, a budget-conscious expat can live for less than that. Certainly, living in Bolivia is a lot cheaper than in many countries. If you have to deliberately compare the cost of living in Bolivia with the USA, you will be happy to find it’s 67% less expensive.
The average cost of living in Bolivia is 1.33 times cheaper than the world average. Bolivia is one of the few countries where U.S. expats can live a much more comfortable life for under $1,000 a month. Sucre, Cochabamba, and Santa Cruz are desirable expat destinations in Bolivia. That said, there are many other cheaper cities where digital nomads and expats can live well for less than $1000 a month.
Here are the cheapest cities in Bolivia:
- La Paz
- Santa Cruz
Population: 29.4 million
Capital City: Lima
Estimated Cost of Living: $672
You must have heard about Machu Picchu or perhaps dreamt of traveling to Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu, a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, is a major draw for Peru and one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. Machu Picchu is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the tourist attraction of Peru. The natural diversity, culture, rich history, food, and dramatic landscape, all in all, is a treasure trove for adventurers, nature-lover, and expats.
Peru is undoubtedly one of the least expensive countries in the world. And in South America, it ranks among the top cheapest countries to live in. You can cover all expenses for as less as $672 per month. However, the cost of living is totally dependent on the location and lifestyle. For instance, Lima has a much higher cost of living compared to cities like Arequipa. When deciding on real estate, it is better to choose an apartment than a sea-view condo. Also, it’s not hard to find cheap restaurants and bars in many cities in Peru.
The average cost of living in Peru is 68% cheaper than in the USA and 172% less expensive than in Canada. Living in Lima can be more expensive than in other cities. However, living in Peru needn’t break the bank; you can opt for budget-friendly hotels, apartments, and restaurants. Callao, Ate, and Comas, to name a few, are some of the most affordable places to live in Peru.
Here are the cheapest places to live in Peru:
Population: 1.38 billion
Capital City: New Delhi
Currency: Indian Rupee
Expected Cost of Living: $416
India is a country of magic, mystery, and music. With its unparalleled beauty, India spellbinds every first-time traveler. First-time travelers in India end up falling in love with this country; needless to say, many stay there for a long time. To the point of surprise, some travelers are so obsessed that they call themselves Indian.
The vibrant festivals, gorgeous architecture, and dramatic landscapes everything perfectly align to lure travelers and nature lovers. When it comes to cuisine, there are very few countries (except for Turkey) that can compete with India. From the majestic mountains to sun-splashed beaches, this country offers myriads of adventures for everyone.
India is unquestionably one of the cheapest places to live on Earth. Living in India can be 80% less expensive than in the USA. India has places for both money-conscious travelers and luxury travel seekers. Anyone can enjoy a high quality of life for as low as $416 a month. A simple apartment in India can cost you anywhere between $134 and $250.
But again, the cost of living depends on where you locate to. In a less expensive neighborhood, you can opt for affordable housing for a lower price. One thing to note is that there is no good quality of healthcare in India.
If you’re looking to move to an affordable place with a low cost of living and high quality of life in Asia, India is definitely an ideal choice. As with every other country, accommodation is likely to be the biggest expense to manage for expats and digital nomads. Food prices in India are unbelievably affordable. You can have a delicious meal for as low as $5. The cost of traveling in India depends on the level of comfort and lifestyle you prefer. Delhi and Mumbai are particularly expensive, while places like Bihar and Kerala are among the least expensive places. Finally, moving to India comes with a downside; cultural shock.
Here are the 10 cheapest cities in India:
- Madhya Pradesh
- Tamil Nadu
- Uttar Pradesh
Population: 49.1 million
Capital City: Bogata
Currency: Colombian Peso
Expected Cost of Living: $548 per person
Colombia, bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the west, welcomes thousands of tourists every year, and it’s not difficult to understand why. Renowned as the second most biologically diverse country in the world, Colombia boasts breathtaking mountain landscapes, extraordinary culture, ancient civilizations, coral-white beaches, and the Andes. Also dubbed “the gateway to South America,” Colombia is a Disneyland for hikers, travelers, and expats. If Colombia or any country on the Caribbean coast is not on your bucket list, you are missing something as a traveler.
One of the perks of living in Colombia is that it offers many first-world amenities for a low cost of living. For North Americans and Europeans, Colombia is a relatively cheaper place to move in. Obviously, the cost of living in Colombia also largely depends on the place you choose to live in. The average cost of living in Colombia is $548 per person per month. It is a lot cheaper to stay in rural areas than in major cities like Bogota and Medellin. The cost of utilities and accommodation are cheaper than in many other countries.
Colombia has increasingly become a safer and better place to move in and remains an affordable country by the most standard. In general, the cost of living in Colombia is 74% cheaper than in America. Many expats consider Medellin the best place to retire. The cost of living there is affordable and offers many opportunities to thrive in life. Similarly, cities like Barranquilla, Cucuta, and Villavicencio are other good places to choose from.
Here are the cheapest cities in Colombia:
Population: 16.5 million
Capital City: Harare
Currency: United State Dollar
Language: Shona, the most spoken language
Expected Cost of Living: $831 per person
Zimbabwe is one of the safest and friendliest countries in all of Africa. Zimbabwe, perched in Southeast Africa, houses 4 World Heritage Sites. With unlimited adventures to offer, Zimbabwe is a beautiful country in its own right. It is regularly cited as a country of superlatives and a must-visit place on earth for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You can go to a Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park, Lake Kariba and Great Zimbabwe are some of the crowning jewels of Zimbabwe, attracting thousands of tourists every year.
You will be shocked to know that the average cost of living in Zimbabwe is 154% less expensive than in the USA. A decent meal in a good restaurant will cost you around $10, which is almost half the cost in the USA. If we have to talk about the cost of one person’s rent, it comes to around $335 per person. You may find the price of basic commodities like groceries at local markets rising due surge in the inflation rate. So it is suggested to be updated regarding the condition of the country before moving.
Like we said earlier, Zimbabwe is one of the cheapest places to live in. The expected monthly budget for a person to live a comfortable life in Zimbabwe is reckoned to be around $831 per month, which is 15% cheaper than living in the USA. American citizens, therefore, consider it a good choice to retire or live in Zimbabwe. Some affordable cities in Zimbabwe are Kadoma, Marondera, and Mutare.
The cheapest places to live in Zimbabwe are:
Population: 30.3 million
Capital City: Kathmandu
Currency: Nepalese Rupee
Expected Cost of Living: $385 per person
Also dubbed “the trekker’s paradise,” Nepal is a popular travel destination across the globe and one of the cheapest countries in Asia. Did you know more than 40,000 trekkers embark on an adventure to Everest Base Camp in high season? From the lowland of Chitwan to the highest peak in the world, Nepal has endless opportunities for travelers and adventurers.
Home to 8 of the 14 highest peaks in the world, Nepal hosts some of the best treks in the world. The warm hospitality, extremely friendly people, and jaw-dropping views are the cherry on top. Every trekker dreams of embarking on an adventure to the base camp of the highest mountain in the world. There are treks one can embark on for every season; do you love winter treks? Nepal has one for you. And every traveler has Nepal on their bucket list.
Bandipur, Pokhara, Chitwan, Bhaktapur, Patan, and Kathmandu are the top cities in Nepal that attract tourists of all ages all year round. Recently, Nepal was awarded Top 10 countries to travel to in 2022 by Lonely Planet.
With just $385 per person as the monthly cost of living in Nepal, Nepal falls at the top of the list of the cheapest countries in the world. Nepal is a lot cheaper than many countries in the world. But the quality of life may not be as expected because Nepal is one of the least developed countries in the world.
Compared to the average cost of living in the USA, Nepal is 82% less expensive. The downside of choosing Nepal is the low quality of life with a simple lifestyle. It may bother you to find that not everything is good in even the most-developed cities like Kathmandu. You may end up in an expensive hotel or find a budget-friendly apartment in neighboring cities. However, you can live a comfortable life if you are willing to spend a little more money.
In comparison to other countries, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Nepal is much more affordable. Nepal can be a lot more affordable than major countries in the world. To spill the bean, we must say Nepal can be chaotic. Like with other countries, the bigger part of your budget goes to rent in Nepal.
You can choose to stay at high-end hotels or budget-friendly hostels, or apartments in small towns. If you move to rural areas, you can significantly lower your monthly budget, but you might have to compromise a lot. Cities like Pokhara, Kathmandu, and Chitwan are the central hub for travelers and expats. Thamel and Jhamsikhel in Kathmandu are the two most popular tourist-hub. Most expats and long-term travelers choose to stay in Kathmandu and Pokhara. Every major city like Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Chitwan is ludicrously affordable.
Here are the cheapest cities in Nepal: