All you need to know about Iberian America

The Lack of Bills for the Expat in Latin America

A lot of expats have their "95 reasons" for living in Latin America where only a few of those reasons are why they live down here and the majority are the "cherries on top."

I'll admit when I'm just talking about the cherries and this article is about one of them that, in the grand scheme of things, doesn't matter too much.

Still, it is a minor benefit to the life of some expats down here in Latin America.

That benefit being how, for some of us, we don't really have to worry about bills.

Granted, if I'm being fair here, I couldn't tell you what getting mail to pay shit for is like.

I began traveling at 18 and began full time living abroad at 23.

I never had to deal with a pile of bills arriving at my doorstep waiting to be paid.

Even while down here in Latin America, it's not an experience I've ever had.

Though I had had neighbors come to me asking me to "pay my share" of the electricity, water, gas, etc.

I'd check the dates on the bills, the prices, etc.

Then give the money over.

But never have to worry about it by contacting the company personally.

Not yet anyway as of this writing in 2022!

And it's a minor benefit to life down here that I've enjoyed.

Perhaps a benefit that I take for granted and don't entirely get the mental benefits from either.

Only something I can speculate on anyhow.

"Gino's Bills"

A friend of mine named Gino lives right now in Colorado.

Actually, the story ends there.

Over a year or so ago, I remember talking with him about something as it relates to Latin America but forgot what the exact topic was.

Anyway, as we got talking, we somehow got onto the topic of bills.

How, for me and other expats anyway, sometimes you can live down here and not have those pile of bills piling up on your doorstep to pay soon afterwards.

I explained to him that I only have one fixed bill coming my way each month: the rent.

Anything else?

Well, the payments are similar each month for things like drinkable water, tea, vodka, TRT, gym, food, etc.

But I only have one specific, fixed bill each month that I got to pay and that is rent.

In explaining it to my sister (and she gets it now), often a "furnished place" down here means a place where the services are covered and put into the expense of renting.

Those services being the usual: water, gas, internet and electricity.

In such cases, you don't have to hunt down those specific companies paying each month to them for the services they provide.

Just let the landlord handle it and you pay whatever is due each month to that person (with rent included).

Therefore, you don't have to deal with numerous companies.

No multiple bills to handle.

Just this one person to throw money at when they stop by to visit, no need to give you debit card info to anyone and that is it.

It's one detail I like to living in Latin America.

Though, as I get older, I think it's also a sign of someone who is relatively poor and isn't necessarily renting their own place to themselves.

Let me explain.

Room to Apartment Rental

To be fair, every neighborhood of Latin America is different.

When it comes to gas anyway, I know you got folks in my area who yell "GAS!!!" and you could buy gas from them.

Even when it comes to things like internet service, an old neighbor of mine named Jimmy (a Mexican named Sergio who changed his name to something gringo long time ago) left the building a few months ago.

He always handled all the services with internet, gas, electricity, water, etc.

Before he left, I was worried that I'd have to deal with this shit personally as I was the last one left in the building (the other neighbor named Andrea soon left afterwards but we got new neighbors  now since then and the landlord handles the services now).

Anyway, Jimmy was telling me once how to handle it in case I get dumped with the responsibility of having to pay directly to the companies.

Which I didn't like the sound of because I hate giving my debit info to anyone down here but he told me I could pay through other methods.

But, like I said, the landlord ultimately handled it (without me even asking).

And, to be fair, I never dealt with this shit back home in the US either.

I never rented my own apartment up there and legit have no idea how to handle paying my own services to light, water, gas companies and such.

I'm sure it's not difficult. Obviously, it must be normal.

But I've never done it.

Having said that, I appreciate a life not having to do it either.

For example, before I moved to Santo Domingo, I remember looking at apartments near La Viga area of CDMX and some places told me I'd have to give me debit card info to companies to get gas in the place.

Honestly, having seen enough scams down here, I trust less the average company down here to not somehow steal my info and fuck me over somehow.

Especially given how I need my card to work to live (given I don't have a local job and local bank account), I hate giving my card info to anyone.

But it depends on the place you are living in anyhow.

Above all, it's a minor benefit to living down here as I see it.

Not having to deal with personally contacting companies to pay for services.

Just throw the cash at the landlord at the end of each month and be done with it.

But I would argue it is a sign of a gringo who isn't necessarily poor but, at the very least, isn't living in luxury apartments necessarily (off AirBnB anyway).

Someone who is renting some place nicer -- at least among nicer places I've seen rented out -- are more likely to have it where the renter pays individually to each company.

Not always but more common anyhow than if you are renting cheap places in normal neighborhoods.

Anyway, it's a very small detail to life down here.

A very small benefit to life down here anyhow.

Easier to get away with not having to deal with individual service companies and having the landlord deal with it for you.

Something I appreciate.

Got anything to add?

Drop a comment below.

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Thanks for reading.

Best regards,


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