Cost of Living in San Juan vs. OrlandoWhere and how you choose to live are the major driving factors that have a huge impact on your cost of living. But, how much you will spend on utilities, groceries, clothing rent or mortgage and other expenses to live comfortably according to your chosen standard would vary when you live in San Juan or in Orlando.
There are factors that influence your choices, and it is important to study them before you decide to move.
In San Juan, PR, you can get a decent 1-bedroom apartment for as low as $590, if you’re in the city center. But, it could still drop to a little over $400 when you are in the outskirts of the city.
On the other hand, an average 932 square feet apartment in Orlando costs $500 to $2000 a month, depending on its neighborhood, and amenities. For example, you can get a decent apartment at Mercy Drive for $871/month, while a similar apartment could go as high as $1,725 at Baldwin Park. Mercy Drive, Rosemont North, Seaboard Industrial are the most affordable neighborhoods where you can get decent apartments from $501 to $871 a month. Princeton – Silver Star, Signal Hill and The Willows have affordable listings too. But, if you have spare money to spend, and you really like a cozy neighborhood, you may want to stay at Downtown Orlando, Baldwin Park or Lawsona – Fern Creek. If you’re planning to buy a home, you’ll be surprised at how affordable the houses can be. After the devastating housing crash, you’ll be able to find a decent home for $200,000.
Still, you’ll realize that while it costs $1,400 to get a decent apartment in Orlando, you may have to pay $2,118 for the same type of apartment in San Juan. It is just a matter of finding the right apartment to match your needs.
The bus fare costs 40 cents, but you may have to wait an hour before you get to your destination. The traffic is heavy too. Still, if you’re saving money, know that the public transport system is really cheap in San Juan. It’s a different story when you take a cab. You have to pay around $150 from San Juan to get to Aguada, and the rates could go higher depending on your destination.
In Orlando, the cab costs around $50 and up, and if you’re sharing it could be $28 per person. Take a shuttle instead, and you’ll only pay $16 for one-way, depending on the location. If you want to save money on gas, it is advisable to get monthly pass which the public transit in Orlando sells for $50 or for only $25 if you qualify for a reduced fare.
You may have to do some energy saving techniques to save money on natural gas, as the average monthly electricity bill in Orlando is 12% above the national average. Florida residents usually pay an average of $129.86, for their electric bill. But, it is still cheaper compared to Puerto Rico which charges $ 20.59 cents/kWh. Remember that the average cost of the electric bill in the US is only 13.01 cents/kWh. After Hurricane Maria, the electric supply are not yet working in well in some parts and may be subject to regulations as the island strives to rebuild its system. An internet with 8mbps per month costs $51 or more, and you have to pay around $19 for a cleaning help when you don’t have time to do it yourself.
If you’re in the main tourist zone, the food would be a bit expensive. Still, it depends on where you eat. You can get a big lunch for $5 at cheap eateries. But, if you’re a PR resident, you’ll enjoy cheap food prizes in and out of the city.
In Orlando, you can get a combo meal in a fast food in Orlando for $9 or a basic lunch for $16 in the business district. But, if you prefer a home cooked meal, it could be relatively cheaper, as the prices of grocery, vegetables and fruits are on the average. In a nutshell, food in Orlando will be a little bit higher than in San Juan. But again, it depends on where you eat.
San Juan and Orlando have similar healthcare system. However, many residents enjoy the program “La Reforma”, which where the government covers insurance for qualified recipients.
Aside from free community clinics for low-income families, there are also employer-sponsored plans in Florida, which costs $1,568, after employer-contribution. If you don’t have insurance, the average hospital cost per inpatient day is around $2,087. You can shop for health plans at private insurance companies or you can apply for public health plans like Medicaid.
If you’re enrolling your child in a private elementary school in Orlando, brace yourself for at least $7,770 a year, and $13,030, if your child is enrolling in a private high school.
Primary and secondary education is free in the public schools in San Juan. The undergraduate tuition & fees can also range from $2,082 to $4,780 or more. Again, it depends on your university, course and requirements. The same thing goes to Orlando, with an average undergraduate tuition & fees of $2,570 to $10,126 annually.
The cost of living in Orlando can be a little bit higher than in San Juan. But, it really depends on you lifestyle and your ability to budget your money wisely. The cost can also be offset by the rewards of having a better pay and better working conditions.