The standard of living in San Miguel de Allende is like everywhere else- it depends on how much money you have. I have lived very economically where I was paying US $200 a month for rent for a clean, decent apartment that was nice and wasn’t a dump. I had nice neighbors and it was quiet and clean. It was small, but for $200, what would you expect?
I have also paid about $300 a month for an exceptionally nice apartment. It was quite lovely, and that was a good deal. As long as you don’t try to find a place through the Internet, you can get a good deal. If you use the Internet, you’re going to pay twice as much. If you wait until you arrive here, during the high season, you might have trouble trying to find a place, but during any other time of the year, you’re going to have choices for maybe 30% off; it’s going to be a lot cheaper. I highly recommend not finding a place to rent on the Internet, unless you don’t want to save money. If you want to save money, wait until you get here and ask around. Maybe even the realtors will give you good deals, too.
You get more quality for less money in San Miguel de Allende. An apartment in Davis, in northern California, is going to cost you over a thousand dollars, but you can get a rough equivalent here for maybe $500. In San Miguel de Allende, I’d say that you’re paying less than half for the same quality for an apartment, and maybe with a lot more charm and a lot more interest.
As to other components to the standard of living in San Miguel de Allende, we have the Fabrica La Aurora, which has over 50 art galleries with high quality and high end art from really accomplished artists. I’m an artist, so I suppose I’m a little biased. You can go in there any time for free and spend the day walking around. They also have café’s where you could sit and enjoy your coffee, and talk to people.
You can also go into the Jardin, where you could sit for free. There are always people to talk to, and they’re friendly. The Jardin is a social place, but if you don’t want to socialize, you can tell people to go away. Most people are approachable and will talk to you if you’re new in town. People are very friendly and you can learn a lot. You can spend the day looking at the beautiful cathedral, sitting under the sun or a shade as you please, and it doesn’t cost a nickel.
(Art Gallery and former factory, Fabrica La Aurora with Best Places in the World to Retire, Jet Metier, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, pictured.)