You pay your bills at the Abitab… The what?
One thing to look at when estimating your cost of living in Uruguay is your monthly bills, how much they are and where/how you pay them.
When we lived in San Diego, we rarely pulled out the checkbook and mailed a payment for anything. We paid everything online… from our electric bill to rent and everything in between. If it wasn’t set up to direct debit from our account, we would have our bank set up to automatically send a check out to whomever.
In Uruguay, we go to the Abitab to pay our bills… We could go directly to the company, but the Abitab is the “all-in-one stop.”
Our porter collects our mail and slides it under our door… The majority of our mail is our monthly bills…
A Quick Shout Out: Celeste and Ren’e; we just got your Christmas card… Thank you very much…
When we get our monthly bills, we open them, complain about how much they are (since the value of the US dollar has dropped, our cost of living in Uruguay has increased) and then walk down the street to the Abitab.
How much are our bills?
We've had a lot of questions about cost of living in Uruguay lately, so here are some of our fixed costs in Uruguayan Pesos per month:
- Internet: $2,604 (Antel, ADSL 4 MEGA 4096/512)
- Home Phone: $343 (We have to have a home phone for our Internet because it’s ADSL.)
- Electricity: $3,500 (give or take… but this should go up because we’ve been running the AC at night lately)
- Gastos Communes: $3,375 (This is our building common expenses; It covers our water, trash, heat, building maintenance and our Porter)
- Health Insurance: $3,999 (3 months after Kaylee gets here it’ll go up to $4,926)
- Emergency Service: $870 (After Kaylee gets here it’ll go up to $1,160)
The point is that all of our bills seem to arrive around the same time… for a total of $14,691 per month.
Now you have your bills… what is an Abitab and how do you find one?
Abitabs are little offices that are speckled all throughout the city and the countryside. Each of your bills has a barcode on it that is scanned in by the clerk at the Abitab… You pay the clerk, they give you a receipt and you go on your way.
It’s a little bit of a pain not to be able to pay our bills online or drop a check in the mail, but we’re fortunate enough to have two Abitabs within 2-3 blocks of us.
One thing to ask your realtor when searching for a place to rent or buy is, “Where is the nearest Abitab?”
For those of you already living in Uruguay… How far away are you from the nearest Abitab?