cost to support a family in Jamaica

by John Kennepohl
(Warren, Ontario, Canada)


How much would it cost to support a family of three, mother and 2 children, monthly, or yearly? Depending on life style I would like to compare conditions between Canada and Jamaica.

I am studying the pro's and con's of making a home for a family of moderate living condition. I would be happy to receive suggestions.

What is the monthly cost of sending 2 children to school. Being a retired Senior it is my intention to support a family in need; just trying to establish if I can afford such commitment.

ANSWER: by Arriel Bullock, January, 2014

In order to make a budget to support a family of three (mother and two children) in Jamaica, several things have to be taken into consideration.

These include: the cost of groceries, rent, transportation, utilities, tuition, uniform and books. As such, it is difficult to give an overall figure.

I can, however, provide a cost guide to assist you in making a decision.

  1. The cost of groceries, on a weekly basis, is dependent on whether you are only providing the bare essentials or if you will be purchasing more personal items and/or market items (ground provision, etc). On average, this can cost between JMD $5,000 to $10,000 per week (for moderate spending)
  2. Rent and transportation are dependent on the location and type/size of housing.

    A two bedroom apartment, per month, can cost anywhere between $12,000 (for more rural or inner city communities) to $25,000 - $40,000 (and more). Transportation can cost between $2,000 to over $4,000 per week.
  3. Tuition costs vary based on whether the children are in basic (kindergarten), primary (elementary) or high school.

    The range is between $4,000 and $12,000 per year for public school and $12,000 to $30,000 for the cheaper private schools.

    If the mother works and has no-one to stay with the children in the evenings, after care can cost from $5,000 upwards per week.
  4. The cost for uniform (including shoes) and text books are also school specific and can range from $12,000 to over $25,000 per year, per child.
  5. Utility cost is based on location, amount and type of appliances, and how often they are used. This can range from $2,000 per month to over $5,000.
    There are other miscellaneous costs, including medical needs, costs for school assignments and projects, school fundraisers, clothing, etc that were not accounted for in the listing above.

This is just a general assessment of moderate living costs, and all prices quoted are in Jamaican currency, and are subject to inflation.

There are many families in need, and even if you are unable to accommodate all their needs, I know that any assistance given will be appreciated.

Arriel, for

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