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

I wish you the best in your search.  You may not want to share your personal info like actual income in an open forum where some locals tend to lurk "trying to assist the expat" in reducing their bank balances.

The 2017 average annual salary in Manila is reported to be P383,371.00 or P32K/month.  Cebu and other provinces will typically be less than the NCR.  A person with P100K/month + is well above the average local income and needs to be careful.  Best wishes.

Why did you move from Mexico to here?

It all depends on your nightlife. You can live very well if you don't drink or gamble.

When searching for a two bed room in Cebu we found a few nice two bed room apts for 20,000 to 25,000 in Cebu city itself. Some where on the road leading out of town towards the area known as Rolling Hills. There where two units in the city itself. So, 25,000 equals $500 dollars. $1,800 - $500 = $1,300 left. It at local food stands and don't drink or gamble and you are good to go.

Thank you for responding to my question. New question. Where in Cebu did you chose to live? My wife and I have visited the city but did not care for it because of all the traffic. Are you living some where out side of the towN? If so, how did you come to chose where you live? Did you rent a car and drive the whole island? I am not sure how to figure out the best place for us to live in the Philippines. We liked Duagette and I am interested in Tagaytay/Santa Rosa because it is suppose to be cooler. I am open to looking at Cebu but not sure where to look to evaluate living in Cebu. Thank you in advance for answering this question. Craig C.

Good Morning

I would check out Dumaguete as a good place to live. You will be surprised how much cheaper you will it there. Clean city, good hospital and great people. I wish I was living there but to late for me now as I'm established here in Angeles City. Cebu, to many people and traffic sucks. Cost of living to high.

I have a income of 150,000 per month and i support a 4yr old, girlfriend, nanny and a gardener/driver plus live in a gated sub-division with a pool. Biggest expense is private school for my son and food. maybe spent 90 to 100 thousand per month which does not include the fun stuff.


@ 952cccraig20,

After living in Tagaytay City proper for the last 4+ years, it is much cooler than most other locations.  Santa Rosa is also a bit cooler than Metro Manila but not as cool as Tagaytay.  I find it to be 4-6 C warmer in Santa Rosa compared to Tagaytay City proper. 

Take a look at this weather chart for Tagaytay City to review the temps ( 

Best wishes.

Yes,1800 is more than enough,it can even be less than that if you want it like that ,best thing is to not over spend and budget your money wisely,but it would be wise to have someone of trust,to help you,but not too easy to find,just use common sense.Good luck.

Just wanted to ask a general question out of the topic.But do you know how and where I can send an auto from CAlifornia to Philippines,even if it's to Manila,thanks for any advice,wondering which city might be cheaper,im from the east coast.

The import duties would be too high, unless you have a 13a and are retiring to the Philippines. Then, you are allowed to bring in one container, duty free. So, unless that is the case, you would be much better off buying a car in the Philippines.

@ Boriloco,
A few years back (2013), I considered this same question.  From Long Beach Port to Manila Port for a 1996 Lexus LS400 (with Pink Slip) was as follows:

Sealed container for one car:  $3150.00 (~50 days)
Misc Port fees in Manila:  ~ Php 38,000.00
Import Taxes (estimated ):      Php 420-465K
added fees (engine size):  Php 15,500 for the 4.0 Ltr V8 Engine
Bureau of Customs add-ons:  Php ~ 45,000 for the Valorem Tax + a fee for not being on a 13A visa.  A portion had to paid up front in person before the papers are processed/approved in Manila and prior to placement on a ship in California.

Note:  One official became very interested in the original retail price as sold in California in 1996 (~ $54,000.00) and he made noises to base the fees on that as the starting tax since they can go as high as 100%.

Required proof that the car was in my name, fully paid off and currently registered in California for the past 6 months.

Total would be about $14500.00 +/- $750.00    So, with my car being valued at ~ $6500.00 as an original California car in very good condition, I passed!!  It is possible that the laws have changed to make it even more of a deterrent and you will need to get a clear update from the Bureau of Import Services (BIS) at: 3rd Flr., Welding Industries of the Philippines Building, 349 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue Makati City, Metro Manila. Tel. No. (632)895-7466.

Please  double check all of this as that is the last address/info I had and I have not reviewed if in a few years for accuracy or any updates. YMMV

Best wishes to you.

you could live on that in NYC, whats your point??

Hi! Yes I Thank so thats already a big amount Of money... if u ask Me the place is much more Cheap to live is Dumaguete and lots Of beautiful Beach...  goodluck and welcome

Yes,if you keep it simple,that's more than enough,most will go towards the rent,shop around,food and transportation is inexpensive,the rest is up to you,good luck.

Cebu is a great place to live . You can Rent an apartment for as low as 10,000 peso a month , also all  the shopping you would require is there , you can eat out in the food courts and other areas . Food is not as good as Thailand Ofcoarse , but you can spice it up . Also good markets to buy and cook at home . Beer is much cheaper here in the Philippines . Hope you Enjoy your life here many Great islands and various lifestyles to have fun  . Cheers

Hi! A lot of delicious food in Philippines 🇵🇭 and also not spicy like what you get used to it in Thailand sir.   Enjoy your stay in Philippines

The Philippines must stop discriminating against Americans and should allow expat US citizens to buy property, it’s only fair!

Ken4767 :

The Philippines must stop discriminating against Americans and should allow expat US citizens to buy property, it’s only fair!

They don't discriminate against US citizens, no foreigners can own property.  I think it is a good idea to keep the Philippines for Filipinos.

Ken4767 :

The Philippines must stop discriminating against Americans and should allow expat US citizens to buy property, it’s only fair!

If this does happen I hope that you have a very big bank account.  Because once non Filipino's can purchase land here, the Chinese, Korean's and every other country would be bidding a lot of money for the good land, and then the flow on effect would be that all land price would skyrocket.

In general, this topic is more complex than some may think.  A key phrase to consider is "Reciprocity or Reciprocal Relationship" in order to place a more even handed solution on this topic, that is of course assuming a government would be interested in a solution, one must look at more even playing fields.  Example can be seen in the U.S. Visa: Reciprocity and Civil Documents by Country listing: … untry.html

If a government was to treat it's expats in the same manner that county's citizens are treated in each expat's country of origin, we may not be blogging on this sub-topic.  So, if an American can't own land in China, Philippines or Thailand for example, that reciprocity should result in citizens from those countries not being able to hold/own land in the USA. 

A clear limit as to the amount that can be owned would seem like a decent compromise to start with.  Even at $1800/month, it is my view that many Americans would find a way to afford a small lot that would give them proper ownership/security, and still have a decent life.  Even if an expat were to spend $300.00/month for 2 years on a land payment (using ~ P350K to purchase the lot) the remaining $1500/month is more than enough to live well and save for building a simple house on his/her land. 

Perhaps an established lot size above a certain amount of SQ MTR's could mean a business vs. private ownership and result in different levels of approval.

Hi! You can own a property in the philippines. Like condo (flat) I dont know About land area but some foreigner they owned a Beach resort even they are foreigner... u can ask a lawyer About it anyway.  I know in the lang it east for foreigner to own and buy a properly there.  Anyway goodluck and we dont descriminate foreigner and even what nationalities U.S. Or other.    Maybe you deal with wrong people. #just saying. Peace On this earth.  Thanks anyway

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