Print Posted by International TEFL Academy Costa Rica on 05/26/2017

How Much Money do I Need Saved for my Time after the TESOL Course?

How Much Money do I Need Saved for my Time after the TESOL Course?

Nest egg money

A common misconception or miscalculation is how much money someone needs to have saved for the time between graduation and getting their first teaching income.  I have heard many people stressing out or worse yet putting off/ canceling their plans because they think they need some crazy amount of saving to make it happen. I have heard numbers like $5000, $8000, even as high as $10,000, from people thinking of teaching in Costa Rica. With that kind of money you could sit on the beach for an entire year and not work!

Budgeting in Costa Rica


99% of our grads find work within a week or two of finishing the TESOL course. Many find jobs DURING the course, so you don’t have to worry about going months before you finally find a job. It's not like the wait you are used to in the States.

How our TESOL Trainees find Jobs in Costa Rica


A good rule of thumb is to have around two months salary to tide you over. In Costa Rica as a teacher, this means $1500 to $2000. This will allow you to:

Set up apartment/make a deposit with your roommate.

Get a cheap cell phone and set up your minutes plan

Give you enough to live for a month or 2 (food, rent, beer, transportation)

Allow a BIT of traveling to see some of Costa Rica

Weekly groceries of around $60


Typical Grocery Prices:

Tomatoes $2/kilo
 potatoes $2/kilo
Watermelon $1/kilo
Pineapple $1.50
Tuna $2/can
Rice $2/kilo
Pasta $2/kilo
Beer $1 per can
Coke $1/can
Eggs $2/dozen
Bread $3/loaf
Milk $1/liter
Ground beef $8/kilo
Chicken breasts $8/kilo


Of course all of this depends on your personal demands, and expectations as far as living standards, but to live the normal ESL teacher lifestyle (basically a USA university student lifestyle) $1500 to $2000 should be fine to get you to your first pay check.

So don’t let misinformed financial stress keep you from your dream of teaching in Costa Rica. Come down and enjoy the Pura Vida lifestyle!


See also:

Three Excuses You'll Tell Yourself Not To Teach Abroad

The Secret to Working Legally in Costa Rica

Reasons there are so many jobs in Costa Rica

No Teaching experience, No Problem!


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