How do you survive in Cuba on a paycheck of $20-30 per month?

How do you survive in Cuba on a paycheck of $20-30/month?

For the enterprising soul, there are now options that allow additional money to be earned each month.

Most of the options are related to the tourist industry.  For example, one option is to become a taxi driver.

Another is to become a landlord renting out rooms in your Casa Particular.

For the homeowner who rents out their place as a Casa Particular, there is a very strict accounting for each person staying in the home. Their names, their passport numbers, how much they paid, etc. The government gets 10% of all revenues received by the homeowner.  In order to be a Casa Particular you have to register and meet specific standards set by the government.

To put the economics in perspective, let’s take an example. If the Casa Particular rents out a room for 35 pesos ($35 US) for one night, and has to pay the government 3.5 pesos, then the renter nets 31.5 pesos.  That is more than the monthly salary for most Cubanos.

To put all of this into perspective, let’s assume that the enterprising Cubano makes more than 20 pesos ($20 US) per month by renting out rooms in their homes and/or driving a taxi.  The amounts earned are not anywhere nearly enough to do anything significant with it, such as:

  • Take a vacation
  • Start a business
  • Buy a house
  • Buy a car (see blog on the cost of a car in Cuba)

All of these have costs attached to them that are so high as to be totally out of reach of almost all the Cubans today.

To make the situation even worse, the government does not permit loans. So, in short, there is no hope. The extra money earned allows you and your family to have a little better lifestyle than most Cubanos, but not to advance to a new economic status.