Living Costs In The Philippines: If you are looking for a quick answer to how much it costs to live in the Philippines. I have found ex-pats tend to spend 50,000 Pesos a month or more each month ($1000). This figure tends to be the minimum.
This figure is based on a single person living in a 1bedroom condominium in a middle-class area and having a relatively comfortable life with some luxuries.
For foreigners living in the Philippines, overall living costs can be as low as $800 USD per month; however, this price can be much higher or a little lower depending on the individuals and their needs.
The great thing about the Philippines is there are an island and cities for any budget. In today’s article, we will look at what items can be expensive and how you can save money in the Philippines. Let us now take a closer look at living costs in the Philippines.
Living Costs In The Philippines: Biggest Expense In The Philippines?
Your rental cost each month will most likely be your highest expense. Real estate in the Philippines is booming at present, and it shows no signs of slowing down, but overall, the real estate rental prices are fair in most cities.
For a 1bedroom condominiums, you can expect to pay around 20-30K pesos (£300-£450 GBP / $390 – $585 USD / $570 – $850 AUD) per month.
If you are looking for a studio unit, this can range from 14K-20K pesos (£215 – £300 GBP / $275 – $390 USD / $400 – $570 AUD) a month. Negation is always suggested with private landlords.
The above prices are based on an average over the top 20 cities and do not include any bills. If you are a single guy or girl, your bills would be estimated at around 4-8K pesos a month in a studio condominium (Water, Dues, Electric, WIFI). Still, again, the location, room type & supplies can all affect the total price.
Overall, I feel the rental prices here are fair compared to other south-east Asian countries. I’ve lived in Asia for many years, so I’ve adjusted to local prices. If you compare rental prices to the UK, US, Australia, etc., the Philippines’ rental prices are incredibly cheap.
Living Costs In The Philippines: What is Expensive (Compared To the west)
Living costs in the Philippines: Most daily items are relatively cheap. If you have ever lived or visited neighboring countries such as Thailand, you will notice that local foods and brands are often 100 – 150% cheaper than brands back home. This is the same to be said for the Philippines. Strangely enough, I found daily products to be quite expensive. Westerners tend to drink a lot of milk, and I was surprised when I noticed some daily products on the same level as prices back home.
If you are interested in a full breakdown of prices, two cost comparison sites popular among ex-pats are Numbeo & Expatistan.
The sites are beneficial because they add their data from ex-pats and visitors so you can get a vaster idea of the costs of daily items. The sites also provide additional information such as crime levels and air quality in some cities.
I found Gym membership prices to be the same as the UK, which I’m led to believe are around the same prices as other Weston countries(1750 -. Lastly, the items I found quite expensive were hair, face, and beauty products, which can be expensive in every country.
How Can I Lower My Living Costs In The Philippines?
If you are on a budget or are trying to save, then there are some things you can do to help yourself.
Rental Income: As we know, the rental costs are the highest expenses in the Philippines, so you can lower the costs by either downgrading or moving outside of the city center, simple but effective.
Trips: There are many islands and tours across the country, and as a foreigner, you will often be presented at the highest price. These prices can be lowered with some friendly negation or by bringing a Filipino friend. If you want to visit other islands, I’d suggest going the cheapest way, for instance, can you take the ferry instead of the plane. This won’t be possible for all trips because some areas are still very remote, but this will help with your savings.
When traveling, copy the locals. Filipinos are experts at detecting bargains and finding the best and cheapest transport available. Therefore, I often travel the same way the locals do (Jeepney, Bus, etc.) and save money.
Living Costs In The Philippines: Summary
The Philippines’ living costs can be very inexpensive, or if you choose, you can live like a King / Queen. But, of course, all this depends on you and your budget. There is always lots to do in this beautiful country, and as they always say, “It’s more fun in the Philippines.”
I’d always recommend budgeting and having some backup cash. In other words, If you are planning to live here full time, then it’s entirely possible to do so with a small budget, but costs can quickly add up, and we tend to spend more money when we are overseas, so keeping a tight hold on our outgoings is vital.
If you are interested in business and investments like me, you will quickly see how many opportunities there are in the Philippines. Hence, an opportunity to earn money while living here is always possible. For more details on setting up a business, you can visit our ‘foreign support’ page explicitly designed for the ex-pat community.
I hope I have answered the question and provided more detail about living costs in the Philippines. Costs are always changing, so we shall update this article regularly to reflect the local costs. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions.
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