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I'm new here. Can I live well on $1800 a month in Cebu

I agree. But the pollution is no where near as bad as Manila. Check out my article about air pollution in the Philippines at: - timotraveling.blogspot.com/2012/06/asthma-in-philippines-have-asthma-read.html

Cebu is not the best place to avoid pollution and the people (filipinos) are also not so great. I'm moving on Sunday to Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, SE of cebu.  It's much cleaner and nicer, more honest Filipinos. If you want to stay around Cebu, I suggest you head south towards Dumaguete. On the way you'll pass Argao which is quite nice and still on the main Island of Cebu; water left and hills right.  1800 is easy. You can find 1BR fully furnished for 5 to 7,000PhP. If you have a Filipino girlfriend, let her negotiate and keep out of sight cuz as you should already know, the price for foreigners is higher.  Good luck

Here is what I am budgeting, and would enjoy hearing every ones thoughts on my budget.
This is for one persons, in a city (not Manila)

I have not included person comforts in this budget, nor have I included a car, flights and accommodation back to Australia, or holiday flights and accommodation.

Item                    Monthly
Rent                              PHP 20,000
Cable TV                  1,000php
Internet                     PHP 865
Water - Including drinking water and household water           PHP 636
Electricity                  PHP 3,000
Gas                             PHP 467
Trash Collection     PHP 100
Maid                             PHP 8,000
Food and Sundry for Maid    PHP 2,756
House Maintenance    PHP 2,000
Furniture depreciation    PHP 10,746
Breakfast                            PHP 1,837
Lunch                            PHP 2,204
Dinner                            PHP 4,041
Dinner out 3 x P/W         PHP 5,200
Hair Cut                           PHP 100
General grocery Shopping - personal products and house cleaning sundries    PHP 1,091
Drinks                          PHP 6,067
Town transport          PHP 3,033
Cigarettes                  PHP 2,427
General cash                 PHP 7,583
Spend on Doctors or Dentist or save for emergency    PHP 7,750
Medical Insurance and repatriation emergency               PHP 10,333
Mobile Phone Depreciation    PHP 581
Computer Depreciation       PHP 646
Clothes Depreciation              PHP 775
Club Membership                    PHP 1,938
Anti Virus for Laptop            PHP 478
Bank Fees Australia            PHP 194
Bank Fees Philippines            PHP 83
Mobile phone - call chargers    PHP 458
Tax agent ??                            PHP 646
Christmas presents                    PHP 500
Party 1                                   PHP 500
Party 2                                   PHP 500
12 month, 59 day period, multiple entry visa        PHP 419
    
Monthly Total                            PHP 108,794

This question is all over the internet. Everybody is going to tell you that it depends on you, I have a retired Navy friend raising a family of four off of 1500.00 USD  a month and he is still able to buy beer, play pool, throw darts,  and live pretty comfortably. What more out of life does a man need? I just want to compliment you on the budget you created here. It is very detailed and I might use it as a template when I retire in the Philippines in two years. Good luck!!!

pej1111 :

Here is what I am budgeting, and would enjoy hearing every ones thoughts on my budget.
This is for one persons, in a city (not Manila)

I have not included person comforts in this budget, nor have I included a car, flights and accommodation back to Australia, or holiday flights and accommodation.

Item                    Monthly
Rent                              PHP 20,000
Cable TV                  1,000php
Internet                     PHP 865
Water - Including drinking water and household water           PHP 636
Electricity                  PHP 3,000
Gas                             PHP 467
Trash Collection     PHP 100
Maid                             PHP 8,000
Food and Sundry for Maid    PHP 2,756
House Maintenance    PHP 2,000
Furniture depreciation    PHP 10,746
Breakfast                            PHP 1,837
Lunch                            PHP 2,204
Dinner                            PHP 4,041
Dinner out 3 x P/W         PHP 5,200
Hair Cut                           PHP 100
General grocery Shopping - personal products and house cleaning sundries    PHP 1,091
Drinks                          PHP 6,067
Town transport          PHP 3,033
Cigarettes                  PHP 2,427
General cash                 PHP 7,583
Spend on Doctors or Dentist or save for emergency    PHP 7,750
Medical Insurance and repatriation emergency               PHP 10,333
Mobile Phone Depreciation    PHP 581
Computer Depreciation       PHP 646
Clothes Depreciation              PHP 775
Club Membership                    PHP 1,938
Anti Virus for Laptop            PHP 478
Bank Fees Australia            PHP 194
Bank Fees Philippines            PHP 83
Mobile phone - call chargers    PHP 458
Tax agent ??                            PHP 646
Christmas presents                    PHP 500
Party 1                                   PHP 500
Party 2                                   PHP 500
12 month, 59 day period, multiple entry visa        PHP 419
    
Monthly Total                            PHP 108,794

10,746 pesos/month = 128,952/year for furniture depreciation?  What are you buying?

The furniture was added to the yearly expense.... It don't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. Jeees,how lame!!!

mugtech :

10,746 pesos/month = 128,952/year for furniture depreciation?  What are you buying?

Must be planning on replacing furniture at the rate of 128,952 per year..  Based on my cost calculation to set up a house with new furniture etc., that is giving a five year life for everything.  But that cost should not kick in until about year 5 or 6 of being here.

Dinner out 3 x P/W  at   PHP 5,200 seems a bit light, unless eating at chowking etc.  or of course eating alone all the time.

sirrobcentral :

The furniture was added to the yearly expense.... It don't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. Jeees,how lame!!!

His monthly total of over 108,000 includes that amount for furniture, so perhaps he is saying more like 98,000/month not including furniture.

Hi all

good pick up on the furniture depreciation, made me look at the budget again.

Furniture depreciation and house hold items (as listed below), per month should have being: 8,200php

It is based on reasonably good quality stuff, I have done this to build in a buffer (For me I must plan for the worst case scenario as I will never get and Australian Pension)

Am I a bit of a mad budgeter, YES.  I need to be to insure that I have enough to live my life out there, without a pension.

I have costed the following items on a purchase price and depreciation is based on a 10 year replacement.  The figures below are for initial purchase price.

Couch          PHP 50,000
Lounge Lamp     PHP 12,500
TV                 PHP 55,000
TV stand             PHP 8,000
Coffee Table    PHP 15,000
Fan        PHP 2,000
Fan        PHP 3,000
Stereo        PHP 10,000
Speakers            PHP 10,000

Kitchen Table and chairs    PHP 23,000
Fridge                PHP 30,000
Blender                PHP 2,000
Bench top Gas stove    PHP 2,500
Cooking Gas Tank        PHP 1,000
Rice Cooker            PHP 4,000
Plates                PHP 4,000
Knifes, forks and spoons    PHP 1,500
Glass                PHP 1,500
Mugs                PHP 1,500
Micro Wave            PHP 5,000
Fry Pan                PHP 8,000
Wok                        PHP 1,000
Sauce Pan            PHP 18,000
Kettle                PHP 3,500
Electric oven (small) griller    PHP 2,100
Toaster                PHP 2,500
Water dispenser        PHP 2,000
Cooking Knife            PHP 10,000
Food Storage containers    PHP 3,000
Rubbish Bin            PHP 1,250
Sundry Kitchen Items    PHP 2,000

Blinds and Curtains        PHP 50,000
Decorations            PHP 35,000

Air-conditioner                                    PHP 30,000
Portable (Evaporative) Air-conditioned    PHP 18,000

Towels                PHP 6,000
Bath Mat                    PHP 1,000

Washing Machine        PHP 30,000
Mop's, Brooms etc.        PHP 960

Hall way table             PHP 20,000

Office Desk and Chair    PHP 35,000
Desk Lamp            PHP 3,000
Printer / Scanner        PHP 15,000

Master Bedroom Queen size bed    PHP 50,000
Master Bedroom Pillows x 4        PHP 4,000
Master Bedroom Pillow Cases x 4    PHP 2,500
Master Bedroom Sheets x 4        PHP 15,000
Master Bedroom Bed side tables  x  2    PHP 10,000
Master Bedroom Bed side lamp  x  2    PHP 8,000
Master Bedroom Cupboard for clothes    PHP 25,000

Guest room Queen size bed    PHP 25,000
Guest room Pillows x 2        PHP 2,000
Guest room Pillow Case x 2    PHP 2,500
Guest room Sheets x 2        PHP 3,000

Hot water unit            PHP 15,000
House maintenance    PHP 40,000
Outdoor Furniture        PHP 25,000
Generator              PHP 80,000
Diesel Fuel jerry can    PHP 2,000
Safe                        PHP 30,000
Security alarms        PHP 40,000
Security Chains        PHP 20,000

TOTAL PURCHASE PRICE 979,000php - this is what I would like to set up a new place.  I do appreciate that some/a lot of units come with furniture, but once again my figure indicate a worse case scenario.

Will I buy all of it, probably not.  Will some of it last longer than 10 years, yes, will some last less than 10 years, yes.


Yep, we will not all need quality furniture, a guest bedroom, decorations and quality curtains, or back up generator, but for me it is something that I have considered.

Once again thanks for picking up the over budgeted figure.  I do appreciate all comments and feed back, as this is how I learn.  Most of the figure I have obtained have being from research in General Santos, and prices in the over all budget will vary depending on where we live.

I know that this is a little bit of topic, but it does go to the over cost of living.

For those of you who are interested, below are the items I have included in my budget.  I have listed all and sundry, of course may wish to ignore some of them (such as a car)

I have not added any figures as it may be best for you to insert those.

Rent
Cable TV for 1 TV
Internet
Water
Electricity
Gas
Trash Collection
Maid
Food and Sundry for Maid
House Maintenance
Other house costs or rates
Furniture depreciation
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Entertainment – Up to you ??
Dinner out – Up to you ??
Hair Cut
General grocery shopping - personal products and house cleaning sundries
Drinks
Car Rego  6,000PHP P/A
Car Deprecation
Car Servicing
Insurance
Driver
Car petrol
Town transport
Bus to Airport for holiday or trip to Australia
Cigarettes
General cash
Medicine
Spend on Doctors or Dentist or save for emergency
Mobile Phone Replacement
Computer Depreciation
Clothes
Club Membership
MacAfee Anti Virus for Laptop
Bank Fees Australia
Bank Fees Philippines
Mobile phone - call chargers
Tax agent ??
Flights to home country
Holiday flights
Extra spending money when out of Phil's visiting friends
Holiday Accommodation
Christmas presents
Party 1
Party 2
12 month, 59 day period, multiple entry visa
Visa extensions
Annual PRA Fee (APF) for Principal if taking out the SRRV CLASSIC

pej1111 :

good pick up on the furniture depreciation, made me look at the budget again.

Furniture depreciation and house hold items (as listed below), per month should have being: 8,200php

It is based on reasonably good quality stuff, I have done this to build in a buffer (For me I must plan for the worst case scenario as I will never get and Australian Pension)

Am I a bit of a mad budgeter, YES.  I need to be to insure that I have enough to live my life out there, without a pension.

It is often best to budget for the highest cost, that way you can drop down without too much suffering when things change.
Those who budget for the cheapest cost get hit hard when currency rates drop, etc.

A cursory look at the prices seem reasonable, some over, some under, and a comparison to my set up costs in a new home in Australia three years ago, at $20,000 (640,000php current FX) does make your 979,000php look about right, as quality things are more expensive here in general.

Just have trusted Filipino friends as your connections and they would be very much willing to help you find the most inexpensive but the most comfortable stuff.

ahahahh  :)

sirrobcentral :

The furniture was added to the yearly expense.... It don't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. Jeees,how lame!!!

Chef Wayne,  I just arrived in Cebu little over a week ago thinking of staying.  Are you still in Cebu and how do you like it?

jasonswits :

Just have trusted Filipino friends as your connections and they would be very much willing to help you find the most inexpensive but the most comfortable stuff.

The combination can be hard to detect and filter out the ones that are there for other reasons.  Not sure why "trusted Filipino friend(s)" are needed to accomplish what is needed when so many in the better shops will be helpful as part of their job.  If you are single, a well balanced lady that is not after ATM status will be your tiger in all negotiations.  Once she is adjusted to the fact that you look for quality and not the lowest prices as the main factor in your buy decision, you will have a good advocate in your buying needs.

Examples:

Typically, "the minimum wage for the Philippines is $1 per day in the non-plantation agricultural sector for the countryside. When working in the national capital, the minimum wage increases to about $2 per day."

The World Bank statistics for the average salary in the Philippines of $2577.32 per year. The Atlas Method confirms a gross national income (GNI) of $2,500.  Yet, the median salary in the Philippines is about $7,660.80 per year.  So, without getting deep into the statistical terms related to understanding the central tendency of a set of statistical samples, we can see the gap as follows:

If we take the "average salary" of $2577 we get P119830.00 (2577 X 46.5).  When we take the "median salary" of $7,660.80 we get P356,227.20 ($7,660.80 X 46.5).  A simple calculation of the conditional probability of B, given A, means most of us are in direct competition with a "snow ball in H___", as it relates to finding a mate on perceived equal financial footing.  With a Php979,000 per annum budget, you are triple the country's "median salary" and nearly a 10X factor greater than the "average salary".  So, self-enhancement of our already targeted presence here is not a good idea, IMHO.

Always be careful with "MONEY" details you post, you may not want to show actual budgets in an open forum, in the future.  There are more than just Expats here and some may get the idea that you have "to much" to spend in one year, in comparison to their 5-10 year spending plans. Therefore, you will get offers to help you spend it!!!   Your private mail section may already be filling with "offers to help".  Best wishes on your selection options.

P.S. I mentioned your budget to another Expat here locally and his suggestion was to add a category for "failed relationship and her family loans" related losses of P150-300K.  ;-)

It is one thing to pay for day to day things, don't forget Visa's costs, computer and phone replacement costs and any flights you may want to take, to  ...............

Ofcourse u ll be good with 1800 $ is easy to see look the change

Just looking back at the original question:

chefwayne :

My question is can I live well on $1800 a month in Cebu?

That was January 2013
At the FX rate in Jan 2013 that was 72,000 per month per $ (my dollars)
In September 2015 that is 57,600 per month (my dollars)

I lived in Cebu for 3 months and spent about 100,000 pesos per month on average.

The OP went there in March 2013, it would be interesting to know what he actually ended up spending per month (in Pesos).
He obviously likes the  area:

chefwayne :

I've been here a year now and I won't live any where else

But not sure about the medical side of things:

chefwayne :

I agree I'm a disabled Vet. and if I needed to I would go back to the states to get it taken care of

Other interesting comments are;

peter79 :

You can survive with any amount in the Philippines, but it depends on yourself. If you're looking for the SAME standards as in foreign country, I would say that you will spend more here, unfortunately.

That must be the best comment on here.

LUC TINEYRE :

I will maybe stop this sometimes stupid dial ...
The original question was : Is it enough with 1800 USD to live in Cebu ??
And , anyone who knows and lived in the place , even only 3 month ,,, will say ..... YES !

Except for those who lived in the place, even if only for 3 months, who say No !! !!!

But refer to the comment above by Peter79 ;)

Many Filipinos will say that you can, as that sum is enormous, and yes, a poor average Filipino will be very happy with that sum. 
But the better off Filipinos who spend higher than that, for their standard of living, may not agree.  The same as some Western Ex-Pats who like to maintain the same style of living.

Hi Wayne My name is Ian I have lived here for almost one year now I live on a modest pension I have no   problem as I dont drink dont smoke and dont drive I live with my Partner here in Davao to give you an idea monthly water is around £5 -6 electric £20  food again thats up to you if you can eat local food which is not too bad we spend around £150 a month for 3 of us so yes its cheap here
                Regards Ian

I think you could live really good on that and save a little every month. The first couple months you will max out with all the trial and errors, but you will learn quick where to buy what you need at the cheap places and to avoid the tourist traps (hehe)

Living in Cebu is wonderful and a short speed boat ride and you can visit Bohol or Bacolod. There are so many cool islands you can do weekend trips to.... You will love it here. Best Wishes!

yes johnny dont rush to buy house be very wary of people in a rush to do a deal on sites like this one, someone years ago gave me the best advise for buying real estate in the philippines DONT SPEND MORE THAN YOU CAN  AFFORD TO LOSE. never buy in less than 6 months, rent first look around, its easy to buy here but very hard to sell.

every meal must be rice

I've been living in Cebu since October 2016. I pay around 30K pesos a month for everything. I have a nice 1 Bedroom apartment with high-speed fiber internet connection.

It would be nice to meet up with other expats in my area.

Did you ever end up moving there?

yes! You can live well in the PH for $1800 per month! It's big amount, can eat all filipino foods already :)

that depend what is for you to live well, but i can tell you here in philippines you spend 10% o 20% more then Thailand, i was too also in Thailand before

1800 a month in peso or dollars ....ikaw loko in dollars ...i live on me gf 2 mga bata 4000 peso a week ....

Hi Chefwayne,

Yes, I think it's doable. Some people in the Philippines live with less.

Yes you can.. as long as good for one person.

if u like,in cebu,,inside city maybe, cost of living there little high,,try to look place half or an hour ride going to city center maybe u can save,little bit, or try in nearest provinces of manila like Laguna,cavite or batangas...accessible for you if u want extra job in manila like in some hotel good for your skills

Wayne,
Mix with a few expats to learn the do's and don't in Cebu.Try a visit the the Islands to compare,I heard Dumaguete was a good place to live and also Palawan.
The fruit and vegetable markets are a good place to buy cheap, just make sure you send a filipino friend to buy it for you or you will pay foreigner prices.
Dinky

Hello Wayne,
Hope you have already settled by now.  Just started on this site.
In reference to VA.  There is no VA clinic in Cebu but in Manila, however, there is a small VA office in Cebu and she can connect you to people in Manila.  The office is located at the back of the Veterans Bank in Cebu ( along SSS Building).  The contact person is Tess Tabuada (0916) 766-5958.  Hope this is still current.  If not you try to call the Manager of VA Bank, Jenni Montesclaro @ 254-7200 (W).
  VA office can probably give you free vitamins.  All there supplies are shipped from VA Manila.
My birth Country is Cebu but living in Hawaii.  Ive have done several Mission trips in Cebu City and a part, I have supported The Veterans office f( Cebu) for the World War II Veterans as a Legacy for my Father who was a Vet II.
As for your budget of $1800, you'll be okay since no vises are listed and you still have little to keep each month for emergency.  Hope all is well.  Blessings to you!!
Warmest Aloha!
Islandgirl

Very comfortably.

Don't buy a house,, the bank loan interest is astronomical,, and you gave to be married to a Filipina to buy a house,, rent is cheaper,, and your not obligated for long term payments,, I lived in Mactan for 8 years

that is  pretty easy to answer.     If your not spending big on the ladies,  1800 should cover your expenses.    Budget busters are in order of severity:  girls, medical, golfing a lot, and drinking hard.

Chefwayne,

Yes, you can live comfortably with $ 1,800 mo. That I should more than enough.

I know there's a VA office here in Manila. You can google it or ask around.

Hope you have a great stay in the Philippines!

Hi   
I tried checking your site but it was asking for a password ?

From what I have seen you are so right.  I do know there is a movement of Philipino-Americans service members wanting to retire to the Philippines.  And they are lobbying for VA healthcare in Manila.

As a 100% I am suppose to qualify for all healthcare, but my reading is they are only required to treat your service-connected ailments.  Reminds me of when I was asked if I was "rubbing that cough syrup on my scar tissue."

Don't you have to have proof of health insurance to get permanent residency?

If u are talking about USD, it's more than enough to say so, but u might want to keep aside for medical insurance and I presume u have calculated your housing lodging, which can cost u about 6-10,000 peso at beach house, subject to location.

U can buy your own transportation like in a motorbike which might cost you at 30k peso or even lesser.

Cheers mate have a good life

Where outside the city of Cebu is nice to live? My Flipina wife and I (in our 50's ) do not enjoy living outside Taglibran. Looking for easier access to grocery stores, a decent gym. We do not desire to purchase a car. Motor bikes preferred. Income  $2100. Looking for 2 bedroom. Rent 5000 to 20,000 is target rent. Appreciate any advice. We have been married a short time.(September 22,2017). I moved here from Puerto Valarta , Mexico. I like the food and the people here more but do confess to miss the more USA like infrastructure of Mexico. Looking for a place on Cebu some what like Valarta.

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