Our September 2014 Expense Report



We get asked all the time how much it costs to retire or live in the Philippines.  Most of these are from people considering retirement to someplace other than Florida or the Mediterranean or just folks who have the capacity to work via the internet and are looking for more exotic locales to do so in.  In order to provide viewers with some sort of reference, Michell and I started logging our monthly expense this past July.  So far, the month to month breakdown looks like this:

July: $1,058 USD

August: $906

 And after keeping painstaking track of our continued monthly expenses here in the Philippines over the course of September 2014, here the breakdown for the month (Philippine Peso/US dollar conversion rate 44.6 as of 10/4/14):


Rent 10,000/229

Electric 2,140/48

Water 178/5

Eating Out 7120/160

Groceries 8277/186

Dry Goods 2670/60

Gas Truck 1913/43

Gas Bikes 1558/35

Visa Fees (Sept+Oct) 1830/41

Unaccounted 1873/42

LIVING EXPENSES TOTAL 38,459 pesos/  $862



Doctors 2200/49

Medicines 2650/59

Elec Shaving Heads 1605/36

Lazada Order 1750/39

Tools 405/9

Mabinay Trip 2100/47

Dentist 700/16

Gym 1200/27

EXTRA COSTS TOTAL 13,260 pesos / $297 USD

TOTAL EXPENSES FOR SEPTEMBER 2014:   51,719 pesos / $1,160 USD

Keep in mind that that is for two people, one of whom eats like a wombat with a tapeworm (that would be Michell), so all in all, that’s not too bad.  If you average out the expenses for July, August and September, it comes out to about $1,041 USD.  This month we actually probably spent too much money on eating out.  We are trying to reign that cost for October in by cooking at least four meals a week and just going out 3 times a week.  This month (October) is actually going to be an aberration as my ASUS Republic of Gamers is not doing well and I just ordered a new desktop system that is better suited to operating in the tropics due to extra fans and cooling systems.  I have to have a decent PC to edit videos and do work on, so that’s just an expense we’ll have to deal with.  (Note:  I just edited our first video on our DELL XPS Studio (circa 2010) and it took forever……..)


**Tired of the rat race and considering check out the gecko race?  Contemplating what to do in your retirement and considering the Philippines as an economic refugee?  Able to work from your PC and dreaming of white sand beaches?  Subscribe to our site to see the in’s and out’s of living in the Philippines!**


  1. As some one who is moving from the UK to QC later this year, I find your cost of living reports invaluable, in working out my budget.i have to adjust a few things, like my rent will be 25 k per month and my electric 10k pm, because I will be using aircon a lot more ,as I’m new.so iam allowing 100k peso, my condo is fully furnished,but I will need Internet, how much is this, I think you left it out. I also have reserves for emergencies, ie medical .do you think I ought to budget higher amounts for any of your other expenses, because I’m in a city? We will be cooking 3-4 times a week as we both like cooking. And we have a shakeies and a , Jolly Bees. and 2 malls within walking distance ie 1-200 metres.?

    1. Cities are generally more expensive than more rural areas, so yes, you will pay more. Especially when it comes to rents and eating out. We have SkyCable which is 999 pesos a month for 3 MB DL/.5 UL speeds. If you are in QC you should be able to get even better internet than we have. ALWAYS have cash reserves for emergencies!! Thanks, Mike and keep us updated as to how your planned transition is playing out!

      1. Will do, and if I can think of any urgent questions, I will ask you. I’m wheels up on the 18th Oct, for 3 weeks, and visiting her parents in Calbayog for 2 weeks, then I come home, celebrate early Chritamas in UK in November with family,then fly out for good on 27th Nov, and get the keys on 29th for the Condo for 4 months + , before we move permanently to Samar, for a quiter and less expensive way of life, I hope. There are a couple of Bloggers within Calbayog and I hope I can meet with them, and maybe teach them how to speak English, Ha Ha, as they are from the colonies also. Keep up the good work, I enjoy your vids and wish that you could do some thing every day. Cheers.

    1. Thanks, Armando. Just yesterday, I left my phone out in the gym locker room and it vanished. Ah, well – you live and you learn, right? You’d think that after over 45 years on this planet, I would have learned a bit more by now…..

  2. Hi Ned, enjoy your vids and I also live here in Dumaguete. Just a question on your budget, how do you get a 2 month visa extension for 1800p??

  3. Hi Ned and Michelle. Really enjoy watching your videos glad I found your blogs. I’m interested in retiring in the Phils, even though I’ve yet to visit it. Your videos are giving me great insight. Are you able to upgrade to faster internet speeds or is that the fastest available in your area? I do a lot of remote access to client’s computers, so I’m wondering if that is fast enough for that type of work. Can I ask how much your new computer costs? Thanks, Jamey

    1. Hmmmm…. you COULD upgrade but from what I have heard, it is not worth it. We just have 3 MB, but you’d be surprised how sufficient that is (I do a lot of online work, so I have to use it a lot as well).
      My computer cost 34,0000 pesos. I will list out the parts and cost on the “Computers in the Philippines” blog post on the site.

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