Incessantly tracking our expenses to afford any would-be retiree of world traveler thinking of coming to the Philippines some sense of how much it actually costs to live here, the Dream Team proudly presents it’s February 2015 Expense Report.
One of the many aspects of the Philippines that foreigners appreciate is the opportunity to really let your Western dollar stretch. Here at myphilippinedreams.com, we have been tracking our living costs for the past eight months. The bottom line is that what it used to cost for one months rent in the West is about what one can expect to pay for an entire month’s expenses.
Rent, restaurants, and cost of labor are ridiculously low here. Gas, electricity, and inernet costs (for what you actually get) are higher here than in the West. With the give and take of all of that, however, you are probably going to notice a massive reduction in your spending once you are settled in on these tropical shores. Maybe not initially, as staying in hotels and eating out every day can quickly add up, but once you get yourself situated into a comfortable house or apartment and are able to chillax and cook your own food, your costs are going to plummet.
Michell and I live a simple but fulfilling life here in the Philippines. Our house is small but we have a nice yard and it’s not too far outside the city proper. We go out to eat a lot, go on trips, hang out at the beach, chill in our airconditioned room when it gets too hot, and have hot water to take showers in. It’s not the exact lifestyle that I had in the West with my big shiny 4Runner, central HVAC, 24-hour electricity, 30 GB internet and 500 channels of cable TV, but it’s showed me that cutting down provides some measure of simplicity and appreciation – as in, appreciating when the dang internet is actually working.
It’s working now, so I better get a move on getting this done.
BASIC LIVING EXPENSES – IN US DOLLARS/ XCHANGE RATE 44.2-1
Cable TV Zippo – Ain’t got time for it
Grocery Shopping 218
Eating out 223
Diesel Truck 46
Gas Motorcycles 28
Visa Fees 60
Cigarettes 35 (Yuck!)
Dry Goods 62
Doctor Visits (2) 17
Medications (painkillers/anti-inflammatories) 21
Trip to Oslob 48
BASIC LIVING EXPENSES FOR FEBRUARY 2015 TOTAL $1193
*”Unaccounted” is the difference between my starting monthly bank balance and my ending balance that doesn’t fit into any of the other categories. That’s mostly parking attendant tips, hither and dither small purchases (stuff at sari-sari stores) and stuff that I just forgot to write down.
With that done, let’s take a look at our monthly expenses that we have been tracking for the past eight months:
MONTHLY LIVING EXPENSES
July 14 1058
Aug 14 940
Sep 14 1160
Oct 14 1113
Nov 14 1183
Dec 14 1198
Jan 15 1059
Feb 15 1193
AVERAGE MONTLY LIVING EXPENSES: $1,113.00
Don’t forget that you have to factor in initial setup costs when moving to a new place and furnishing your pad. Here’s a rough estimate of ours:
EXTRA “SET UP” COSTS
1998 Pajero 6,500
2013 YBR125 1,500
2012 RUSI Scooter 500
House Furniture and Setup 3,200
Desktop PC 840
LED TV 504
TOTAL OF EXTRA COSTS: $13, 044
We don’t really use the truck all that much, and truth be told, you really don’t need a car/SUV. Motorcycles are cheaper, use less gas, and can get in and out of traffic easier – just make sure that you have a good helmet.
Got anything to add? Leave it in the comments section.
++Tired of the rat race? Have a small pension or retirement and thinking of ways to stretch your dollar? If you are considering the Philippines as a destination, subscribe to our website (and You Tube channel) to learn all the pro’s and con’s of making such a dream a reality++