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How Much Does It Cost to Live Comfortably in the Philippines 2024

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    Are you wondering “How much do I need to live comfortably in the Philippines?” Look no further! Our article provides an updated breakdown of living expenses in the Philippines, including household incomes and transportation costs. We also narrow down the question to focus on how much salary you’ll need to live comfortably in Manila, whether you’re an expat or a local. If you’re planning to retire in the Philippines, we’ve got you covered with an in-depth analysis of how much money you’ll need. Read on for all the information you need to live comfortably in the Philippines.

    If you plan on retiring in the Philippines, you may want to read this article which provides an in-depth analysis of how much money you will need to retire in the Philippines. We’ve also prepared an article comparing the cost of living against the United States here.

    When considering the cost of living in the Philippines, it’s important to break down each category to determine how much you’ll need to live comfortably. While not every category will apply to everyone, it’s essential to factor them in when calculating the minimum cost of living for you and your family in the Philippines. By understanding the costs associated with housing, transportation, food, healthcare, and other expenses, you can better prepare and budget for a comfortable life in this beautiful country.

    Here are the 8 categories to consider when living in the Philippines:

    • Food & Beverage Costs;
    • Insurance Costs;
    • Laundry Costs;
    • Leisure Activities;
    • Miscellaneous;
    • Rental Costs;
    • Transportation Costs; and
    • Utilities.

    Looking for a rental in the Philippines? Rental costs can vary greatly depending on the location and size of the unit. For a small studio in the city, you can expect to pay anywhere between 14,000 – 17,000 pesos ($288 – $350). If you need a bit more space, a one-bedroom unit in the city can range between 18,000-25,000 pesos ($370 – $514), while a two-bedroom unit can cost 25,000 pesos or more ($514+). However, if you’re looking to save on rental costs, you might want to consider investing in real estate and becoming an owner. Interested in learning more? Check out our recent article on whether condos are a good investment in the Philippines.

    There are many different options for transportation in the Philippines. Private taxis are often the most convenient form of transportation, but they can also be one of the most expensive compared to other public transport options. Taxis typically have a starting rate of 40-60 pesos depending on the area. However, numerous taxi scams are operating all across the Philippines, so it’s important to be cautious and use reputable taxi services.

    Therefore, services such as Grab have become extremely popular with expats and locals alike. Grab is a similar service to Uber and operates across the Philippines. It offers transportation and other services, so whether you’re looking for an SUV or a motorbike, you’ll find it with Grab. Unfortunately, in some remote areas, Grab may not be available, but you won’t have a problem if you’re staying around the city.

    On the other hand, Jeepneys are a cheap and convenient service that operates all across the Philippines. Prices typically range between 10-15 pesos for around 1.5 km or so. Jeepneys are a common sight in the country, and they are often used by locals to get around. However, they can be crowded and uncomfortable, especially during rush hour. Nevertheless, they provide a great opportunity to experience a unique aspect of Filipino culture and to interact with locals.

    Philippines expat budget
    living cost for foreigners Philippines

    Food costs in the Philippines are surprisingly affordable, making it one of the best places for families to live. This is due to the Filipinos’ love for value for money. You will find many “all-you-can-eat” buffet-style restaurants accessible across the country, offering a wide variety of delicious food at affordable prices. Below is a list of typical food prices in the Philippines:

    • Meat: $3.80 per kilo ($1.7 per pound)
    • Fish: $2 per kilo (depending on what kind of fish, around $1 per pound)
    • Banana: $0.4 per kilo
    • Avocado: $1 per kilo
    • Soda: $1.2 for 1.5 liter
    • Beer: $1 for 1 liter
    • Drinking Water: $1 for 1 liter

    In addition to the buffet-style restaurants, farmers’ markets are among the most value-for-money places where you can stock up on the latest foods. A single adult could buy a week’s worth of high-quality food for less than $40. That’s right, just $40! However, food costs for foreigners in the Philippines may vary depending on their eating habits and lifestyles.

    If you are looking to save money on food, the Philippines has plenty of options that won’t break the bank. From buffet-style restaurants to farmers’ markets, you can find affordable and delicious food that will satisfy your cravings without emptying your wallet.

    Insurance is an essential investment for any expat living in the Philippines. But the question remains: should you purchase insurance in the Philippines or your home country? The answer to that is not always straightforward. However, many expats find that insurance costs are much lower in the Philippines compared to Western countries.

    But that’s not all. Insurance premiums often increase when individuals move to another country. Some insurance companies see the Philippines as a moderate-risk country, which means that premiums will be much higher.

    On the other hand, insurance companies in the Philippines may not have all the features you require. Therefore, if you are younger and in good health, you may be better suited to purchasing insurance in the Philippines. However, suppose you have long-term health conditions that require more coverage. In that case, purchasing insurance back home may be more appropriate. Ultimately, it’s essential to research and compare different insurance options and costs to make the best decision for your specific needs.

    While calculating how much salary you need to live comfortably in the Philippines, one area that tends to get overlooked is laundry costs. However, outsourcing your laundry to professional services can be surprisingly affordable for expats.

    You’ll find a plethora of laundry services across major cities in the Philippines that offer to wash, iron, and fold a small laundry bag for less than $15. Of course, costs can increase if you have suits and accessories that require special care. But for the most part, outsourcing your laundry can be a convenient and cost-effective solution.

    Plus, think about all the time and effort you’ll save by not doing laundry yourself. With affordable laundry services at your disposal, you can spend more time exploring the beautiful sights and sounds of the Philippines!

    Leisure activities are a big part of living comfortably in the Philippines, and luckily there are options to fit every budget. With a wide variety of activities available at different price points, there’s something for everyone.

    price to live comfortably Philippines for foreigners

    For those who like to stay fit, premium gyms can be found in most major cities, with prices ranging from $35 to $60 per month. While this may seem high compared to some other options, these gyms offer top-of-the-line equipment and facilities, making them well worth the investment for those who take their fitness seriously.

    If you’re looking for free or low-cost options, there are plenty of those too. Many cities offer free outdoor gyms and exercise classes, and apps like Meetup can connect you with groups of like-minded individuals for everything from hiking to yoga. Additionally, many of the country’s major cities and tourist areas offer affordable leisure activities like snorkeling, island hopping, and cultural tours, making it easy to get out and explore without breaking the bank.

    Planning for your financial future is essential, even if you’re living comfortably in the Philippines. It’s easy to forget about investments and financial savings when focusing on daily expenses, but it’s important to consider these long-term goals. Whether you’re looking to save for a rainy day or invest for your retirement, it’s important to include this in your financial plan.

    Another aspect to consider is your pension. While it may not be on the forefront of your mind, it’s crucial to plan for your retirement. Whether you’re receiving a pension from your home country or contributing to a local pension plan, it’s essential to include this in your financial planning. Don’t forget to research the best options for you and seek professional advice if needed.

    Utility costs in the Philippines can be a bit of a rollercoaster ride for expats. While water costs are often low, with prices ranging from as low as $3 up to $15 per month, the real pinch comes from other utilities such as electricity and the Internet. The cost of electricity in the Philippines can range from as low as $25 up to a whopping $200 per month, depending on usage. This can make it a challenging expense to calculate, especially as so many factors are taken into account. However, for a small condominium, you can expect to pay around $85+ per month.

    When it comes to the Internet, prices vary considerably, with plans ranging from as low as 599 pesos up to 2500+ pesos. On average, the cost of Internet tends to be around 1500 pesos or $30 per month. However, it’s important to note that mobile phone bills can also impact your overall utility costs, with the total amount potentially reaching around 6300 pesos or $130 per month. Of course, these rates are based on the latest statistics and prices, and several factors can affect them, including personal usage and location.

    While utility costs in the Philippines can be high, it’s important to remember that they are just one part of the bigger picture when it comes to calculating the cost of living as an expat. By factoring in all of your expenses, from housing to transportation, food to leisure activities, you can create a more comprehensive budget that will help you live comfortably in this beautiful country.

    Below is a summary of the cost of living for a single person living in the Philippines.

    Expense CategoryCost Range in Pesos (PHP)Cost Range in USDCost Range in GBPCost Range in AUDCost Range in EUR
    Food & Beverage10,000 – 12,000$206 – $247£148 – £178$289 – $347€178 – €214
    Laundry2,500 – 4,000$51 – $82£37 – £59$72 – $115€44 – €70
    Leisure Activities4,000 – 6,500$82 – $133£59 – £95$115 – $186€70 – €114
    Rental Costs20,000$412£296$578€356
    Transportations3,000 – 5,000$61 – $103£44 – £74$87 – $145€53 – €89
    Total49,800 – 53,200$1,027 – $1,096£741 – £796$1,447 – $1,550€889 – €955

    The numbers mentioned above give us an idea of how much it costs to live in the Philippines, but let’s face it, we all have our luxuries and add-ons. To determine how much it costs to live comfortably in the Philippines, we need to factor in these extra expenses that are part of an expat’s lifestyle. If you’re looking to live a comfortable life in the Philippines, you should plan to spend between $1200 and $1500 USD per month.

    This range includes the standard expenses associated with the expat lifestyle. However, it’s worth noting that the total cost of living comfortably in the Philippines can vary significantly depending on your location and lifestyle. You can live comfortably for less than $1500, but keep in mind that your expenses may be affected by a variety of factors.

    Take a look at this information a little deeper on Numbeo.

    Manila Vs. NewYork
    Consumer Prices in New York, NY are 131.57% higher than in Manila (without rent)
    Consumer Prices, Including Rent in New York, NY, are 178.30% higher than in Manila
    Rent Prices in New York, NY are 262.72% higher than in Manila
    Restaurant Prices in New York, NY are 289.71% higher than in Manila
    Groceries Prices in New York, NY are 143.82% higher than in Manila
    Local Purchasing Power in New York, NY is 460.90% higher than in Manila
    Manila Vs. London
    Consumer Prices, Including Rent in London, are 126.69% higher than in Manila
    Rent Prices in London are 177.27% higher than in Manila
    Restaurant Prices in London are 252.02% higher than in Manila
    Groceries Prices in London are 55.46% higher than in Manila
    Local Purchasing Power in London is 360.97% higher than in Manila
    Manila Vs. Perth
    Consumer Prices in Perth are 93.14% higher than in Manila (without rent)
    Consumer Prices, Including Rent in Perth, are 67.93% higher than in Manila
    Rent Prices in Perth are 22.38% higher than in Manila
    Restaurant Prices in Perth are 200.63% higher than in Manila
    Groceries Prices in Perth are 90.40% higher than in Manila
    Local Purchasing Power in Perth is 447.43% higher than in Manila

    The question of how much salary is needed to live comfortably in the Philippines is one that is dependent on whether you are a local or an expat. For Filipinos, a good rule of thumb is around 30,000 – 40,000 Pesos per month. This is because many factors, such as the cost of living and the location, are more favorable for locals.

    expat budget living philippines

    However, if you are an expat, your lifestyle will typically be more expensive, and your salary will need to reflect this. In general, to live comfortably in the Philippines, you would need around $1,000 per month, excluding any large luxuries. Based on today’s prices, this equates to just over 50,000 pesos per month if you were to live and work in the Philippines. Keep in mind that this is just a starting point, and your salary requirements may vary depending on your individual circumstances and preferences.

    Living in Manila can be considerably more expensive than living in other cities across the Philippines. This means that locals may need an additional 10,000 pesos to maintain the same lifestyle as in previous cities they have lived in. As mentioned earlier, a salary between 30,000 to 40,000 pesos is required to live comfortably in the Philippines for locals. However, if you are moving to the Metropolitan area of Manila, an additional 10,000 pesos is recommended, making a total of 40,000 to 50,000 pesos needed to live comfortably in Manila as a local.

    How much does it cost to live in the Philippines a month

    If you are a foreigner looking at how much salary is needed to live comfortably in Manila, you may need to add approximately 15,000 pesos to the amount, bringing the total to 65,000 pesos ($1350). While living in Manila may be more expensive, it also offers numerous benefits such as access to world-class restaurants, nightlife, and shopping centers. So, it’s up to you to weigh the costs and benefits and decide what works best for you.

    It is often not recommended to live in the Philippines on a low budget of $1000. This is because extras such as insurance, visas, and travel costs can soon add up; however, expats can live on a low budget, such as $1000 a month. However, to successfully live in the Philippines on $1000, some sacrifices and difficult decisions will need to be made.

    For instance, being situated in the main cities can be very challenging if you’re looking to live in the Philippines on a low budget. Therefore it’s recommended that expats live in a much smaller city or in the provinces as the overall cost of living in the Philippines is much cheaper.

    I often recommend a minimum budget of $1300. The $1300 budget is because, during my years of experience traveling around the Philippines and with countless expats I’ve met, $1300  is a fair budget for living full time for an ordinary lifestyle.

    This may lead us to another common question that many expats consider: what is the minimum cost of living in the Philippines for Expats? You’ll find that many expats can live on a very low budget of $800 or lower. It is not recommended; however, it is entirely possible. If you live outside the cities or with a partner, this price will naturally be lower.

    There are many expats who can live on a very low budget of $800 or lower. However, it is not recommended. However, it is entirely possible – if you live outside major cities (including Manila) or with a partner where expenses can be split which may lead to a reduction in living expenses.

    Is it possible to live in the Philippines for $2000 a month? $2000 a month is a great budget for living long-term in the Philippines. $2000 will ensure you can live comfortably in the Philippines and have some cash leftover. However, due to the rising inflation rate and the overall cost of living in the Philippines, expats will need to be slightly careful If they are living in a more expensive area.

    Makati, for example, is well known to be one of the most expensive areas in the Philippines for foreigners. The city is known as a business and investment hub. Therefore, food costs and accommodation costs are much more expensive in this area. Thus you will find your money doesn’t go as far in Makati compared to other cities such as Cebu, Davao, or Iloilo city.

    This is one of the reasons why living in the Philippines on a budget is not so much about the money but more about the location. Statistically and historically, the cost of living in the South of the country is cheaper than in the northern regions of the country.

    $3000 is a fantastic monthly budget to live on in the Philippines. The typical expat who lives in the Philippines spends on average between $1300 – $1800, so a budget of $3000 can go much further even in the more luxurious parts of the Philippines.

    Depending on your lifestyle, you may still wish to budget $3000. The reason for budgeting is that even though the Philippines is a cheap country to live in, it’s possible to burn through a lot of cash, especially as an expat, so it’s always better to keep an eye on the income and outcome.

    You may have heard of the phrase living like a king in the Philippines. If you wish to live in the Philippines for $4000 a month, you will certainly experience what life is like living like a king (or queen).

    A budget of $4000 or more in the Philippines will go very far. This includes living in a luxurious part of the country, taking regular breaks and tours, and even having enough to invest or save.

    Naturally, the lifestyle that foreigners live in the Philippines will impact the cost of living. Therefore, even with a large budget of $10,000, it is still possible to burn through this budget in the Philippines if money is not carefully managed.

    Many foreigners living in the Philippines speak about the big money drainers, which fall into many categories such as western food, dating, alcohol, gambling, and so on.

    Living like a local is the way to go if you’re an expat looking to save some money while living in the Philippines. As puts it, you should steer clear of the tourist lifestyle if you want to save some cash. So, instead of dining out at fancy restaurants every night, try your hand at cooking some local delicacies. Why not take a stroll to the farmer’s market to pick up some fresh ingredients? Instead of using private transportation, hop on a Jeepney and experience the local commute. To discover even more money-saving tips, check out our complete guide to saving money in the Philippines. 

    How much is the minimum cost of living in the Philippines
    How Much Does It Cost To Live Comfortably In The Philippines
    How much is the minimum cost of living in the Philippines
    How Much Does It Cost To Live Comfortably In The Philippines
    How Much Does It Cost To Live Comfortably In The Philippines
    How much is the minimum cost of living in the Philippines