One of the topics that is always of interest of those who may move to Morocco or have family expats, former PCVs etc living in Morocco – is what does it cost to live in Morocco?
So in this blog post I will share estimates of costs from different cities around Morocco from real families or individuals living in Morocco. I will exchange the cost from dirhams to US dollars for you and discuss why some families or individuals have higher expenses than others.
So for my husband and I who live in Taza, Morocco which is located two hours north east of Fez our expenses look like this – today’s exchange rate is $1=9.71 DH
Rent: 1000DH/ $116.22 a month for an apartment with 3 rooms including a bedroom with a small kitchen and a toilet (squattie potty) shower combo.
Utilities: Water- 40DH/$4.65 a month Electricity – 120 DH/ $13.97 a month (although in the summer the bill goes much higher with the use of our A/C unit that cools our bedroom)
Internet: 300DH for 3 months on an INWI stick with a special promotion. It’s normally 200DH a month for Internet with the INWI stick. Mind you this is not DSL or 4G speeds. It lets me check my email, surf the Internet, connect on Facebook and update the blog. If I need higher speeds and more bandwidth I can always go to either a cyber or a local cafe.
Food: 800 DH/$92.97 a month (However this doesn’t reflect the changes in prices based on produce being in season or not at souq/market or if I or my husband are a good bargainers.)
Transportation: 400DH/$46.48 a month My husband works every other day in a nearby town and takes a grand taxi to and from that town every other day – round trip it costs him 20dh/$2.32. My transport expenses were much higher when I was paying for a monthly bus pass with access to all the bus lines in Taza which cost me 150DH/$17.44 a month when I was working. I no longer work so that expense has been dropped to the occasional bus ride 6dh/ .69 cents round trip or a taxi ride 12dh/$1.39 round trip.
Health Insurance – As an RPCV that has not returned to the US as I write this post – the coverage that I might get as a benefit that only lasts for one year after the end of our service does not cover RPCV’s who remain abroad after their service ends. I also don’t have to pay out of pocket for insurance under the Affordable Care Act as I am located abroad. I recently got covered by my husbands CNOPS insurance which is given to any Moroccans that work for a government ministry and my husband works as a fire fighter with the Ministry of the Interior.
Our out of pocket costs to add me were 200dh/$23.25 and the insurance reimburses us 80% of what we spend out of pocket.
Total Cost of Living in Taza: 2810Dh – lets just round that up to 3000DH/$308.72 a month
Here is what expenses for a RPVC who decided to stay in Rabat, Morocco after her service ended looks like –
Housing: 2 bedroom apartment for 2,000DH/$231.66/month
Utilities (Water/Electric:) 150-200 DH/$17.37 -$21.16/month
Public Transportation: 300-350 DH/$34.74 – $40.54/month
Food: 800-1200 DH/$92.66 – $138.99/month
This RPCV also has two large lovely dogs and their costs are usually just 500DH/$51.91/Month for dog food.
This individual does not carry any health insurance and so would pay out of pocket should she require to access health services or need prescriptions.
Total Cost of Living in Rabat: 4450DH – round it up to 5000DH a month/$514.53 a month
You will note there is a stark difference in the costs of what RPCV’s expenses look like and other expats who live in Morocco for multiple reasons including but not limited to things such as location, family size, language skills (which help with bargaining costs down), a willingness to live without luxury items or services.
This next cost of living profile is for Casablanca, Morocco. This individual is a single female living in the sector named Bourgogne.
Rent : 5000 Dh/$579.16/month – renting a furnished apartment in Bourgogne
Food & Bathroom/Kitchen supplies: 2000 dh/$231.66/month
Transportation – Taxi 240-300 dh/$27.79 – $34.74/month – Train 300 dh/$34.74/month This lady also owns a bike uses that to get around (very couragous given the way many Moroccans drive!) and works from home most of the time.
Utilities: 200-400 dh/$21.16 – $46.33/month (depending on how often she cooks with the oven) – gas tank (for cooking & water heater) 20dh/$2.31/month
Internet: 200 dh/$21.16/month
Telephone: 100-150 dh/$11.58 – $17.37/month
Health insurance: 4000 dh/$463.32/6 month
Total Cost of Living in Casablanca: 12,350DH lets round that up to 13,000DH – $1,337.79 a month
So you can see there are a wide range of differences in the budgets used here as examples and a wide range of determining factors as to how big ones budget may or may not be.
What does your budget living abroad look like? How do you order your priorities when it comes to must haves, nice to have and I can live without it items? What couldn’t you live without living abroad? How does having a child or children impact your budget?
Looking forward to hearing from you dear readers!