Being an “economic refugee” from the United States, I take pains every month to track our expenses over the course of the last 30 days. We’ve been doing this since July, and at this point we are averaging about $1,200 USD a month on all of our accumulated expenses. Keep in mind that this is for two people, and we tend to go out to eat a lot as Michell is working, and I don’t expect her to be cooking all the time – plus we got the money, so what the hey…
People are always asking how much it costs to live in the Philippines. “If I have XXXX amount , will that be enough?” Again, the standard reply to that is “it depends.” If you want to give up some Western things like steak, big SUV’s, and 24-hour air conditioning, you can do just fine on what we are spending a month. If you insist on those things, you’ll probably be spending just as much here as you would in the West.
Things that are more expensive in the Philippines compared to the United States are gasoline, electricity (twice as high), and imported foods. Things that are much cheaper here than in the US are anything involving labor (mechanics, hair cuts, etc.) or anything that can kill you (cheap booze, cheap cigarettes, and cheap, fast women….)
BASIC LIVING EXPENSES – IN US DOLLARS
Grocery Shopping 205
Eating out 245
Diesel Truck 28
Gas Motorcycles 39
Visa Fees 63
Cigarettes 35 (Yuck!)
Phones SMART Mega250 12
Dry Goods 32
Incidental Expenses 39
Christmas Party 64
Digital Camera 85
TOTAL COST FOR DECEMBER 2014 $1,198
A great, free resource for checking out the cost of living in the Philippines can be had at www.numbeo.com. Once there, simply plug in your home city and country then plug in a city in the Philippines that you would like to compare the cost of living to. For example, compare New York City, New York to Dumaguete, Philippines. The results will be pretty amazing.
Remember also that costs in city areas are higher than the costs of living in the provincial country areas.
OK, some subscribers are over cooking us dinner, so I’ll sign off for now. Take care, ya’all, and see ya next time on Philippine Dreams!
**Thinking of taking your small pension or retirement account and moving to the Philippines? Check out the pro’s and cons of such a move over here at myphilippinedreams.com!**