Life is cheap in the Philippines.
As some may have noticed by now, that is meant in both a (unfortunately) literal and figurative sense. We’ll save the literal part of it for a future blog post and stick to the figurative for the time being.
A few folks asked us if we could post up more monthly living expenses videos/posts. We started doing them back in July of 2014, and some found the information there helpful. So – in regards to that topic – here it is – our June 2016 expenditures.
How Much Does it Cost to Live in the Philippines
After “How is Ned so stunningly handsome at 49 years of age?” the most asked question I receive is how much does it cost to live here. And as we’ve mentioned before, it all depends on your budget. You could make do with 200 dollars a month if you lived in a nipa hut and ate dried fish and rice all the time. Or – if you’re a high roller and want to live in a duplex condo in Makati, eat imported Western foods, and party the night away in expensive clubs, you can easily burn through $4,000 a month. Our average costs are about $1,100 a month – that’s inclusive of all our spending.
How We Live
Michell and I live simply but comfortably. We have a decent two bedroom home on the outskirts of Dumaguete, have motorbikes that we use daily, travel locally a bit, use aircon in the bedroom and office (one on at a time for about 12-16 hours a day) and eat out a lot. What downtime I have is usually spent relaxing with PS4 games (Borderlands 2 in particular) or watching movies on our big screen TV. We don’t go out clubbing and the restaurants that we frequent are good and pretty inexpensive.
What’s Cheap in Da Philz?
Rent, any type of labor (carpenter, auto mechanic, maid, nanny etc.), some local vegetables, Chinese product stores (Unitop, et. al.).
Imported groceries of any type. Eating at “American” restaurants like TGIF. Electricity (twice the cost of the US). Gas (as compared to the US). Name brand (“branded”) electronic products.
The Breakdown $1 USD = 47 pesos
Electricity 59 Using aircon a lot more. April was $78!!
Internet 44 Skycable: Recently switched to PLDT which is $56/month.
Visa Fees 66 1 month extension. After this, 2 month for same cost.
Phones 12 SMART Mega250 plan for two phones – unlimited texts.
Dry Goods 21 Non-food items
Eating Out 145
RUSI Repairs 29
The house we rent is not furnished, so we had to buy everything that you need to live (furniture, sheets, towels, kitchenware, hot water heater, aircons, TV and the like. The total of that cost $3,200. We also bought a brand new YBR125 ($1,500) and a used RUSI 125 cc automatic scooter for $500. Our 47 inch LED TV cost $504 and the desktop PC I purchased was $840.
TRACKED MONTHLY LIVING EXPENSES
July 2014 1,058
Aug 2014 940
Sep 2014 1,160
Oct 2014 1,113
Nov 2014 1,183
Dec 2014 1,198
Jan 2015 1,059
Feb 2015 1,193
Sept 2015 1,113
Oct 2015 794
Jan 2016 958
June 2016 826
What About July?
I am not tracking this month’s expenses. Aside from higher internet cost (switched to PLDT for more reliable signal) and a $250 donation we made to the Suzanne Blaszak Youcaring site, the costs are going to be pretty much the same.
So, that’s it, and I hope the information here can be of some help for those thinking of visiting the Philippines!
Tomorrow is a scheduled 8 hour brownout.
Which reminds me: Yes, the cost of living is cheaper in the Philippines, but it’s also a lower standard of living as compared to the West – no matter how much money you throw at it.