We get asked quite a bit about how much it costs to live in the Philippines. Truth be told, the answer is pretty much “It depends.” If you are expecting to translocate your Western lifestyle over to South East Asia, it’s going to cost quite a bit. Steaks and other imported foods are very expensive here, “Western” style homes can be very costly to rent, electricity costs twice what it does in the United States and gasoline is also a lot more expensive here. With that said, also realize that if you are willing to scale down a bit, ride your motor more than a car, eat locally sourced foods and cut down on airconditioning, then living in the Philippines is quite cheap. Over that past five months, we have averaged about $1,070 US dollars a month in expenses – that’s including rent, utilities, groceries, eating out – everything. (Note that I am not including last mont’s purchase of a new PC, video card and phone – those costs are being recouped.) That’s pretty good for two people. We don’t live extravagantly but we do go out to eat a lot and cruise into town for the occasion halo-halo or ice cream.
Over the previous four months, our expenses have looked like this:
October $1,113 + $1,102 for new computer, video card and phone.
Now add to this, $1,183 for this past month of November 2014.
These are the total of basic living expenses and additional purchases of things that are really not needed to survive (gym memberships, cigarettes, gadgets, etc.) Our basic living expenses (rent, utilities, food) are about 75 percent of our total monthly expenses.
And after keeping painstaking track of our continued monthly expenses here in the Philippines over the course of November 2014, here the breakdown for the month (Philippine Peso/US dollar conversion rate 44.9 as of 12/4/14):
BASIC LIVING EXPENSES
Eating Out 8,950/200
Dry Goods 4520/100
Gas Truck 763 /17
Gas Bikes 1600/36
Phone Load 500/11
LIVING EXPENSES TOTAL 40,229/ $902
Automatic Voltage Regulator 3,200/71
Ebay purchases 3817/85
Trip to Kookoo’s Nest 2065/46
EXTRA COSTS TOTAL 12,616 / $281 USD
TOTAL EXPENSES FOR NOVEMBER 2014: 52,761 pesos / $1,183 USD
OK, so that’s not too shabby for two people. We still eat out a lot, but with the cost of dining out here, it doesn’t come close to breaking us. And hopefully, at some point in the near future, I will be able to quit smoking and the financial cost of smoking (not to mention the health cost) will end. So that’s it for November 2014. And if you want another resource to calculate your monthly budget in the Philippines, head over to www.numbeo.com.
**Are you like me – a dreamer with visions of retirement or working in the Philippines? Have you heard that a small pension can go a LOT further in the Republic than in the West? Get all the facts – good and bad – before making your decision here at Myphilippinedreams.com**