Welcome back, fellow Dreamers. As promised, we once again carefully recorded our expenses for the month. One of the questions that we are asked is “How much does it cost to live in the Philippines?” As previously stated, the short answer is “It all depends.” If you are expecting that you will be able to take your nice slice of Western life and transpose it onto the Republic, you are going to be spending nearly as much as you did in the West. Imported food, electricity for constant aircon, fuel for your SUV, high rent costs for Western-standard homes and apartments…… it all adds up. If – however – you are willing to make some compromises and live a simpler life, the cost of living here is quite low.
Michell and I live pretty well. We have a solid home with screens, window grates, air conditioning, nice paint, a nice little yard, garden and whatnot. We have a truck – a Pajero 4×4 – but we really don’t use it all that much. We have also learned to mitigate our “eating out” expenses by mixing in low cost places like Food Net, Mang Inasal, and some really groovy street BBQ places.
Anyhoo, our total expenses for August totaled $906 US dollars (39,502 pesos), compared to the $1,038 that we spent in August. All of our basic living expenses stayed pretty much the same – except for electricity which went up a bit due to the unseasonably warm weather during that month. Our eating out expenses. You also have to factor in that I paid $62 for setting up the website and $80 for ten pounds of protein powder to try and mitigate the muscle loss I have experienced since moving here.
So, without any further ado, then, here is our monthly breakdown for August 2014:
BASIC LIVING EXPENSES – IN US DOLLARS/PESOS XCHANGE RATE 43.6-1
Grocery Shopping $170/7283
Eating out $120/5250
Diesel Truck $13/560
Gas Motorcycles $25/1100
Visa Fees$ 0
Cigarettes $31 /1350 (pack a day)
BASIC LIVING EXPENSES TOTAL $670/29212
INCIDENTAL EXPENSES – IN US DOLLARS/PESOS XCHANGE RATE 43.6
Aircon Service $4/180
Flat Tire $3/120
10 lbs Protein Powder $80/3500
INCIDENTAL COST TOTAL $236/10290
TOTAL COST FOR JULY $906/39502 [Note: We forgot to add $22/1000P for internet, $6 for a doctor visit, and $6 for phone load, so it’s around $940 total for the month.]
We are off to a bad start for September. I took two trips to two different doctors and was prescribed two different medications. The first doctor’s script was wrong (he was from Siliman Hospital) and the second doctors (from Holy Child) script was right for what I was diagnosed with. Siliman doctor was 400 pesos and the Holy Child doctor (Dr. Yee – thank you!) was 200 pesos. This showing that you don’t always get what you pay for. Medications weren’t too bad. There’s no insurance here but each doctor’s script (oral antibiotics and topical antibiotic) cost about 700 pesos. Those meds are over the counter here, by the way – you only really need prescriptions for opoid-based painkillers and the like.
One last thing – I don’t go out drinking or hitting girlie bars. If you are doing that, you are going to spend a lot more. A beer here costs about a dollar, which is cheap compared to bar drinks in the West, but if you drink like some guys here, it’s going to add up.
Hmmmmm – I might be buying a powerful desktop PC this month. My poor ASUS Republic of Gamers laptop just doesn’t like the heat!
Oh, yeah – and apologies for the phone call at the end of the video. It was Lazada.com trying to deliver another package. My ever inquisitive better half went to answer it and when the courier didn’t say anything (voice calls rarely work well here), I think she thought it was “another woman” or something and started rooting around in my phone, resulting in me having to “Ahem…. .well, THIS IS NED…..
Take care ya’ll and see you next time!