Once again, the Dream Team has painstakingly kept track of its monthly expenses, in order to better inform our viewers as to how much living in the Philippines actually costs.
An important thing to keep in mind is that you can spend any amount a month in the Philippines. Want a luxury five bedroom house nestled against a white sand beach? That’s gonna go for about 50-70,000 pesos a month (which is still a bargain compared to Western costs). Do you HAVE to have a new Toyota SUV? Get ready to cough up 1.8 millions pesos. Can you not live without steak, mashed potatoes and broccoli every day? That’s about 1,500 pesos just right there. Need air conditioning 24 hours a day? Well, electricity costs are about double what they are in the United States – it’s about .25 cents a KWh, about what they are paying in Australia. Gas and diesel are also more expensive here, and if you have to have Johnny Walker Black Label, that old boy’s also going to hit your wallet pretty hard.
Michell and I live simply. Our biggest expenses are food – we eat out a lot because she works nights and can’t be cooking all the time, and I also have an addiction to Froot Loops and milk (the milk alone is about twice the cost of that in the US). I don’t go out drinking or carousing at the local bars, so there is some cost savings there as well. Together, we are both pretty frugal and are able to stretch out our peso for maximum gain.
I also take it easy with the aircon. We have a little .5 HP Carrier Optima in the bedroom which is on about 2 hours during hot days and 6-8 hours at night (again, when it is hot and humid – some nights we don’t use it.) Usually our electricity costs per month are about 45-65 dollars per month, which I think is well worth it. I honestly couldn’t live here without my aircon. 🙂
But enough of that. Lets take a look at this months expenses, tally up our average monthly costs since July, and take a look at some of our bigger expenses since arriving in the Republic.
BASIC LIVING EXPENSES – IN US DOLLARS/ XCHANGE RATE 44.6-1
Cable TV 0
Grocery Shopping 238
Eating out 235
Diesel Truck 52
Gas Motorcycles 32
Visa Fees 0
Cigarettes 35 (Yuck!)
Dry Goods 58
Doctor and X Rays 28
BASIC LIVING EXPENSES FOR JANUARY 2015 TOTAL $1059
*”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.
OK, now that we’ve looked at our expenses for January, lets take a look at all the expenses that we have been tracking since July 2014:
MONTHLY LIVING EXPENSES
July 14 1058
Aug 14 940
Sep 14 1160
Oct 14 1113
Nov 14 1183
Dec 14 1198
Jan 15 1059
AVERAGE MONTLY LIVING EXPENSES: $1,101.57
Not to shabby, actually.
Let’s not forget that there have been some extra “set up” costs since arriving in the Philippines. Here are some of the major ones that have accounted for a good deal of money.
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
The truck was an impulse purchase, and it doesn’t get used all that much. As a matter of fact, I have to consciously make sure to drive it once a week when it is nice just to make sure that the battery stays charged. It’s nice to have the truck when it is raining, but it doesn’t really rain all that much here on Negros (even in “rainy season”). It’s also good to have for bigger shopping expeditions which we do about once a week.
So, that’s about it. I hope we have been of help in giving you some sense of perspective of how many Benjamins a month living in the Philippines costs.
Got anything to add? Leave it in the comments section.
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