Our July 2014 Budget

Howdy all, and welcome to the first post on our new website at My Philippine Dreams!  It’s still a bit bare bones at this point, but at least it’s a start in the right direction. At this point we only have a few Philippines-centric things that you can download totally free from the site, but we will have more available as time goes on. That’s the main reason we have moved from Blogger to WordPress – flexibility!

One of the most often asked questions we receive nearly every day is “How much does it cost to live in the Philippines?” The short answer is “It depends.” If you want to duplicate your Western existence here in the Republic, you are going to be paying through the nose for electricity, Western imported food, and gasoline. Do people do that here? Absolutely! But I don’t have the financial resources that they have, so we try to keep on top of our expenses as much as we can. We’re not living in a nipa hut and eating rice and dried fish (much), but we are not living like kings/queens either.

Anyways. I get asked that question so much that I decided to track our expenses for the entire month of July. I am going to continue to track our expenses month to month, so that not only can you an idea of real living expenses here, but I can better appreciated where our money is going. So, the month of July cost us around $1,058. Not too shabby, but keep in mind that the previous month (June), we spent close to $3,300 USD furnishing our house. Ugh, yep. That was a rough one. 🙂

So, without any further ado, here is our expense breakdown for July 2105:

Rent 230
Electricity 47
Gym 28
Internet 23
Water 4
Cable TV 11
Grocery Shopping 103
Eating out 174
Diesel Truck 31
Gas Motorcycles 17
Visa Fees 65
Cigarettes 38 (Yuck!)
Phones, laundry, etc. 16

Doctor Visit 11 Tools 10
Office Supplies 11
RUSI Repair 2
SD Card 11
Mouse 11
Cable Cancel 8
Stove Gas Tank 53
Clothes 3.50
Curtains 8
Bamboo Furniture 66
Gas Stove 66


Hmmmmm….. I’m an Englush major, so feel free to check my math. So, that’s about it. I am sure we didn’t track EVERY expense, but even adding 100 dollars (4,350 pesos) as a buffer, July was pretty sweet.

I will continue to update our expenses as we move along. Take care ya’all, and keep dreaming!



  1. We, my Asawa and Me), will be retiring to Puerto Princesa next year and that’s about what we thought on expenses. Thank you for all you guys do. We look forward to every video and update!!!!

  2. Thanks for sharing your interesting website. I just discovered it this weekend. I have been away from home for 5 years now and your stories/posts kinda’ made me miss home.

  3. As I will be moving to the Philippines later this year, I find all lf your entries very useful. I am coming from the u.k. on pension money, private and government, and find the details on cost of living expenses most useful. My main problem is finding what we call estate agents with details of rental property availability .Any ideas? Thanks both of you, keep up the good work

    1. Estate agents (real estate folks) are available, but they are usually for people looking to buy properties. For rentals, you really have to hop on your scooter and do the footwork yourself. It’s time consuming (do it early morning, like 5 AM for less traffic and cool temperatures) but well worth the effort, as you will get the best deals in the areas that you are interested in.

  4. Thanks Michell and Ned. your budget really helps me out because after viewing some of your videos, i think my lifestyle would be pretty close to yours. although i really really hope i have 0 for cigarette expenses by the time i get there, and Ned just in case you are thing about coming back to USA cigarettes are now $10.00 a pack in MA,
    thanks again for very informative video.
    Peace, J

  5. I am seriously pleased to hear that cable tv, internet, and electricity are all together 81 us dollars for a month. I pay about double that in the us now for those 3 items This is my basics covered for less then 100 bucks wooo!!!hooo!!!!!you guys rock.

  6. Thanks Michell and Ned. and also to Henry who first introduced me to videos such as yours and others. He does not know that or me for that matter but he gets credit for introducing so many of us Philippine Dreamers as to life there.. You both have excellent info for the average guy as what to expect and consider when trying to make a decision if this is the place where life can be enjoyed and be happy on a limited income. Even in small town America its getting too costly just to survive.. on the topic of extending Visa’s I learned some info which may be of interest to you. thanks again ….Mr Bill

  7. Thank you Michell and Ned for this very helpful informations. It helps me to plan my retirement stay 2015 or 2016 in Dumaguete.
    Have a good time in Duma :-))

  8. I see that you have multiple vehicles, what about car insurance? In your monthly budget you don’t have this expense counted for.

  9. Ned…speaking of car insurance…how does the coverage compare to the USA (collision is NOT included in the $66/year correct?)

  10. Ned and Michelle, I really appreciate your honesty and transparency. Moving to the Philippines is something I have dreamed of for a while. These type of posts spread some light on the topic of finances. It’s really interesting to watch your videos and see your type of lifestyle (through the walk through of your “pink house”) and a ball park of what that may cost. I just watched several of your videos and I really appreciate you making them. Keep it up! Take care!

  11. dude i movied to the philippines a year ago have a wife and a new born baby and step child and live in sibulan me and my wife would love to meet you too for lunch sometime ?

  12. Hi Ned and Michelle,
    Thanks for giving us a rough idea on the cost of living in the Philippines. I’m from Singapore and I always was under the impression that prices in the Philippines was so much cheaper than here in Singapore. However, after seeing your breakdown, besides rental, medical expenses and maybe cost of private transportation, Singapore is not much more expensive or maybe even slightly cheaper in some areas. My plan is to retire in the Phillipines, but I think I underestimated the cost of living over there.

    1. You are welcome, Sharon. And I am sooooo envious of the food you have available over in Singapore!!! It’s worth a visit to see what you think – Boracay is a favorite vacation destination spot for people in your area – just don’t go during high season!

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