Cost of living 2018 in the Philippines

Expat , retired living in Cagayan de Oro on 1,000 US dollars a month and living well. Nice modern city. Leasing a fully  furnished condo  across the street from the SM mall for 300.00 dls. monthly.  24/7 armed security guards at the complex. Utilities and water 80.00 dls. monthly and i use the air con a lot. Groceries 200.00 dls. per month. I like cooking at home because i dont like the fatty, tasteless food served at most sit down restaurants here.  Wifi and cable tv 30.00 monthly. renew tourist visa 20.00 monthly. Cigs at a pack a day, 50.00 monthly. I am healthy so  no meds. The balance of about 300.00 dls i enjoy a great social life. I have no problems finding a date  with a nice Filipina.  Not a lot of expats down here so pickings are plentiful. No Muslim terrorist problem this far north. Personally, i am enjoying the heck out of my life here .

Budget for family of 3 living in the suburbs of a large city:

5000 rent..........3 bdrm, 2 bath, detached house
3000 elec..........aircon running 8-10 hours each night
1300 internet...globe 4MBS
500 cable..........includes HBO and cinemax
500 water.........bottled water delivered to the house
4000 school......high level private school plus snacks and travel
2000 transport..no vehicles...just public and shared rides
10000 food.......grocery and market shopping
6000 dine out...wife brings home jollibee like every other night
8000................beer with my buddies to tolerate it all  :)


Not sure that all adds up, but $800 US each month kept us afloat for many years in that lifestyle.  Spending more these days, but we're trying to upgrade a little.  Will update when I reach "living like a king" status.  ;)

scott1953 :

Expat , retired living in Cagayan de Oro on 1,000 US dollars a month and living well. Nice modern city. Leasing a fully  furnished condo  across the street from the SM mall for 300.00 dls. monthly.  24/7 armed security guards at the complex. Utilities and water 80.00 dls. monthly and i use the air con a lot. Groceries 200.00 dls. per month. I like cooking at home because i dont like the fatty, tasteless food served at most sit down restaurants here.  Wifi and cable tv 30.00 monthly. renew tourist visa 20.00 monthly. Cigs at a pack a day, 50.00 monthly. I am healthy so  no meds. The balance of about 300.00 dls i enjoy a great social life. I have no problems finding a date  with a nice Filipina.  Not a lot of expats down here so pickings are plentiful. No Muslim terrorist problem this far north. Personally, i am enjoying the heck out of my life here .

That sounds nice...you should work for the CDO tourism board...haha.  Seems like some guys can live for less than $1000 and others struggle with $2500.   Women seem to be the deciding factor on how much you spend here.

Own house, own car
6000 to 7000 Power bill, I do use more then one aircon
1000 internet unlimited
750 cignal TV
15000 food and beer
5000 dine out, KFC or Mcdonalds, some times we try others too.
5000 fuel, but then there are services and reperst as well, rego
this are basic just common expenses every day. my power is little high I feel
my Income from Australia which is my rental is at $1300 per month

expatsteve48 :
scott1953 :

Expat , retired living in Cagayan de Oro on 1,000 US dollars a month and living well. Nice modern city. Leasing a fully  furnished condo  across the street from the SM mall for 300.00 dls. monthly.  24/7 armed security guards at the complex. Utilities and water 80.00 dls. monthly and i use the air con a lot. Groceries 200.00 dls. per month. I like cooking at home because i dont like the fatty, tasteless food served at most sit down restaurants here.  Wifi and cable tv 30.00 monthly. renew tourist visa 20.00 monthly. Cigs at a pack a day, 50.00 monthly. I am healthy so  no meds. The balance of about 300.00 dls i enjoy a great social life. I have no problems finding a date  with a nice Filipina.  Not a lot of expats down here so pickings are plentiful. No Muslim terrorist problem this far north. Personally, i am enjoying the heck out of my life here .

That sounds nice...you should work for the CDO tourism board...haha.  Seems like some guys can live for less than $1000 and others struggle with $2500.   Women seem to be the deciding factor on how much you spend here.

................................Hi Expat Steve 48, I applaud you on the fact that you can raise a family of 3 on 800. dls. per month. Being single allows me to spend 30% of my monthly pension on what i enjoy, entertainment. Filipinas  i date appreciate when you take them to the cinema and a fast food restaurant after.  Or i will cook them a meal at home that does not have rice in it. I am well  rewarded after.  Inexpensive, but enjoyable dates. I like your beer budget. Might want to consider a 10% increase  due to inflation and it's a new year. lol Cheers!

Yes Steve is doing well, I know about every two months I have to add more to the budget, it is impossible to just live on the same budget day in and day out, I wish I could but can not, at times we like to take short holidays, some way, can be even Manila for few days, or go to Bargio for few days, so all this take money.

Hi Scott and Sam....living here can be inexpensive, but as I posted in the culture thread, it's not the best way to endear yourself to your lady.  Wife wants a car, and she's earned it, so the budget goes up.  And we're looking for a nicer home in a subdivision, so again...budget is pretty wrecked at this point.  I might have to increase the beer budget if spending spirals out of control!  lol

expatsteve48 :

Hi Scott and Sam....living here can be inexpensive, but as I posted in the culture thread, it's not the best way to endear yourself to your lady.  Wife wants a car, and she's earned it, so the budget goes up.  And we're looking for a nicer home in a subdivision, so again...budget is pretty wrecked at this point.  I might have to increase the beer budget if spending spirals out of control!  lol

............Hi Steve, I understand your thinking and wanting to please the wife. Cars, newer home, vacations, etc. etc. I have been there, done that. At 64, retired on a pension and respectable savings for any emergency, i plan on enjoying the last leg of my life my way and i certainly am now.  I have 2 suitcases, and a pocket full of pesos to concern my self with now. I vote that you go through with the increase in your beer budget. I am certain you have or will earn it soon. lol

scott1953 :
expatsteve48 :

Hi Scott and Sam....living here can be inexpensive, but as I posted in the culture thread, it's not the best way to endear yourself to your lady.  Wife wants a car, and she's earned it, so the budget goes up.  And we're looking for a nicer home in a subdivision, so again...budget is pretty wrecked at this point.  I might have to increase the beer budget if spending spirals out of control!  lol

............Hi Steve, I understand your thinking and wanting to please the wife. Cars, newer home, vacations, etc. etc. I have been there, done that. At 64, retired on a pension and respectable savings for any emergency, i plan on enjoying the last leg of my life my way and i certainly am now.  I have 2 suitcases, and a pocket full of pesos to concern my self with now. I vote that you go through with the increase in your beer budget. I am certain you have or will earn it soon. lol

haha....you are doing it right with regards to women and your budget.  In your position, I would do the same.  Most expats seem to lose the plot at some point and over-burden themselves...and their budget!  You've been there and done that.....lesson learned.  I'm on my first marriage and first child, so school is still in session here.  Live and learn. :)

You can live comfortably in Baguio for that amount.I was in different small cities before here in the Philippines but couldn't bear the hot humid weather. Also my cost for electricity was over p4000 a month because i needed a lot of aircon use.But in Baguio you never need aircon.So that brings my cost down.I have a nice furnished 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment. Hydro,water and wifi included for p15000 a month. Very comfortable weather here.

Baracuda well done Man, I like Baguio for weather, but I did visit few times all ready, fund in way to much truffice and very crowded, or maybe this is seasonal only, is that right ??

Baguio was very crowded, traffic jams in November and December.  Nice cool weather then, but that is the only positive.

Baguio was very crowded, traffic jams in November and December.  Nice cool weather then, but that is the only positive.

It true that the traffic is conjested here in Baguio. I don't see it improving anytime soon.But a person can get used to it.

Baracuda555 :

It true that the traffic is conjested here in Baguio. I don't see it improving anytime soon.But a person can get used to it.

People in the lowlands get used to the weather there.

Very useful thread for those looking to move here. I am giving my answers from the perspective of living in Pasig city, Metro Manila. This is considering a wife and two young kids. You could live on much less (many do) and you could live on a lot more too. The main differentiator between living expenses in the various parts of Metro Manila would be the rent. Metro Manila as a whole is quite a bit more expensive than the rest of the country.

> How much does it cost to rent an apartment/house in the Philippines?

You should expect to pay 10k minimum for a ok house (old) in a decent and safe but largely lower middle class neighborhood. In middle class condo developments you should expect to pay 15 to 25k for a two bedroom condo. If you go a little upscale you can expect to pay 25 to 40k in one of the older condos in nicer neighborhoods. High end two bedroom condos will cost you minimum 40k to 70k to a lot more in the most happening and upscale parts of town.

> How much do you pay for your public transport tickets (bus, subway, train, tram)?

Lets get real. The average expat in Metro Manila will not want to take the public transport options. You will need your own two-wheeler or a car. If not you will have to hail a grab taxi (Similar to Uber). This will add up if you are going to use them daily and you might as well pay more and live closer to work :)

> Staple food: what do people eat and how much do they pay for basic food like bread, rice or pasta?
For my family of four we would budget 6k a week or 24k a month. This is buying good food from supermarkets and not restricting ourselves in any way. Most filipino families live in much less, so the choice is yours. It includes groceries and largely local products. If you want to buy all your favorite imported brands expect a sharp increase in budget :)

>What is your monthly grocery budget?
As above

> How much does it cost to see a physician/doctor/specialist in the Philippines ? 
Doctors in good hospitals will charge approximately 500php per consultation

> What is your children's schooling monthly budget?
A decent local private school (Not fancy private big name Catholic school), should cost you ONLY 5k a month per kid or so and perhaps include the school bus as well. International schools as expected are very very expensive. Budget a minimum of 20k per kid per month at the LOW end.

> How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank?
Depends on the vehicle and the cost of gas. Pretty standard world wide I guess.

> How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc.?
Electricity is going to take a big chunk of your utilities budget. Expect 6k at the height of summer (1 1hp AC running all night and most of the day too) a fridge, washing machine, fans and the usual household appliances. Cooking LPG around 700 a cylinder. Water around 500.

> How much do you pay for your Internet/phone subscription?
Expect 3k to 4k for high speed 25 to 50mbps or more bundled with TV HD subscription to all the HD channels. (SKY Cable)

> How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays?
Not applicable to me

> How much do you pay for an espresso coffee?
80 to 90 or less depending on the coffee shop.

> How much do you pay for a cinema ticket?
200+ depending on the movie theatre.

> How much does a gym membership cost in the Philippines? 
It can vary from 500 a month at your neighborhood gym (very basic, usually no AC too!) to a few thousands at brand name gyms with all the bells and whistles.

This is very good budgeting for the family of 4,

fernandosdesign :

Very useful thread for those looking to move here. I am giving my answers from the perspective of living in Pasig city, Metro Manila. This is considering a wife and two young kids. You could live on much less (many do) and you could live on a lot more too. The main differentiator between living expenses in the various parts of Metro Manila would be the rent. Metro Manila as a whole is quite a bit more expensive than the rest of the country.

> How much does it cost to rent an apartment/house in the Philippines?

You should expect to pay 10k minimum for a ok house (old) in a decent and safe but largely lower middle class neighborhood. In middle class condo developments you should expect to pay 15 to 25k for a two bedroom condo. If you go a little upscale you can expect to pay 25 to 40k in one of the older condos in nicer neighborhoods. High end two bedroom condos will cost you minimum 40k to 70k to a lot more in the most happening and upscale parts of town.

> How much do you pay for your public transport tickets (bus, subway, train, tram)?

Lets get real. The average expat in Metro Manila will not want to take the public transport options. You will need your own two-wheeler or a car. If not you will have to hail a grab taxi (Similar to Uber). This will add up if you are going to use them daily and you might as well pay more and live closer to work :)

> Staple food: what do people eat and how much do they pay for basic food like bread, rice or pasta?
For my family of four we would budget 6k a week or 24k a month. This is buying good food from supermarkets and not restricting ourselves in any way. Most filipino families live in much less, so the choice is yours. It includes groceries and largely local products. If you want to buy all your favorite imported brands expect a sharp increase in budget :)

>What is your monthly grocery budget?
As above

> How much does it cost to see a physician/doctor/specialist in the Philippines ? 
Doctors in good hospitals will charge approximately 500php per consultation

> What is your children's schooling monthly budget?
A decent local private school (Not fancy private big name Catholic school), should cost you ONLY 5k a month per kid or so and perhaps include the school bus as well. International schools as expected are very very expensive. Budget a minimum of 20k per kid per month at the LOW end.

> How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank?
Depends on the vehicle and the cost of gas. Pretty standard world wide I guess.

> How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc.?
Electricity is going to take a big chunk of your utilities budget. Expect 6k at the height of summer (1 1hp AC running all night and most of the day too) a fridge, washing machine, fans and the usual household appliances. Cooking LPG around 700 a cylinder. Water around 500.

> How much do you pay for your Internet/phone subscription?
Expect 3k to 4k for high speed 25 to 50mbps or more bundled with TV HD subscription to all the HD channels. (SKY Cable)

> How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays?
Not applicable to me

> How much do you pay for an espresso coffee?
80 to 90 or less depending on the coffee shop.

> How much do you pay for a cinema ticket?
200+ depending on the movie theatre.

> How much does a gym membership cost in the Philippines? 
It can vary from 500 a month at your neighborhood gym (very basic, usually no AC too!) to a few thousands at brand name gyms with all the bells and whistles.

I am not sure how to edit my post, but i must mention that the 6k weekly budget is for food and groceries all from the supermarket. This is without any restrictions and buying good brands, a few imported, etc from robinsons or SM supermarket. Some of the big expenses with young kids are diapers and formula / special milk like pediasure etc which I have included. The average filipino family would budget much less for food and groceries, especially if you buy in the market instead of in the mall.

I am building a small house in Provence, with no rent, my expenses for food, gas cooking fuel, electricity,and cell, wifi, 900.00 us a month, I will be moving there full time in January, we have to travel to Manila twice a year to see family and stay there , maybe three months at a time

What i read here on living expenses in Philippines, definitely not on the cheap, but there is exception to this and that is if you kind of convert to Filipino and eat and do as they do, I believe for some this is the way to go, I am not there yet, but give it a time and I too can live on the cheap, not in to rice yet, but starting to eat more and more of it, try to visit local markets and see what they have on offer, the biggest problem here is food wastage, gets spoiled to quickly, even in the fridge, maybe picked to early maybe old and must be use ASAP. i am working on it to find what is best for me and the Family, Wife is fine with the food here, but then family is all of us so we all need to find some common ground for every thing, it is useless to cook different food for all. my in laws will be staying with us from 22nt for two weeks, wow this will really test my food with them,

Good luck, but your cooking skills will surely impress them

Seems pretty good! 
Is it possible to see pictures of the place there if i give you my private email address?
Richard

How can you say cars and motorbikes are twice the price of buying in Australia.  I totally disagree so makes filling up your tank expensive. Petrol is nearly the same price. Lucky food, electricity and water are cheap.  With the 13A visa it is very expensive if you must leave many times at 5000 pesos plus on departure. You come here with AU$ 100 kl to spend on a new car and good house and you still have change.

I but Lozartan 100mg tablets from generics store 9 pesos per unit..

We have not retired yet from our jobs in the US. We have a home, a small farm (1.5 hectares) and a 7 passenger van (diesel). We will retire in San Ildefonso. We will build in a subdivision lot in Das Marinas after retirement and split out time in each. We expect to spend around $250 for food, $75 for diesel, $50 cell and $50 for misc. Our retirement income will be around $5500 combined. Our home is modest. The neighbors are poor but so what. They have bigger hearts than most of the people I know who are well-to-do in the US. Just telling the truth. We will make our move in 2027.

I am interested in knowing the cost of living in LA Union,  Baguio, and Dumaguete for expats who are not married to a filipina?

sekmet :

I am interested in knowing the cost of living in LA Union,  Baguio, and Dumaguete for expats who are not married to a filipina?

For Dumaguete:

Drinks at bars &rent will be a little higher as it is a bit of a tourist town.

Every thing else will be comparable to any other city in the Philippines.

I wouldn't live in Cagayan if you paid me. an overcrowded, noisy, dirty metropolis. i live in Iligan city so much nicer, so much more friendly, no over the top expats to spoil my life

hi randall2,

i know you’d be bombarded with info re. living in the Phils. on US$1000/month.   it may not be much to others but it’s enough to live a decent, simple and  stress-free life in the countryside.

you may want to live in a granny flat-like accomodation (shared accom with private entrance, baths, kitchenette etc.)  or it could even be a separate building in the provinces. best bet would be the coastal towns.  monthly rental will be around $200-$250 (could be cheaper)  elec, gas, water & netflix $150, groceries $200, fresh food (veggies, meat, fish) $200.  you can get a massage for $10/hour and that’s including tip. sometimes even less.

i have to point out though that this does not include meds, hospitalizatikns or health insurances etc.  emergencies excluded.

hope this helps.

by the way, i am from Leyte (Eastern Visayas).

good luck.

aileen

Can you please tell me how easy it is to get a  mortgage in the Philippines for an English guy who has a Fillippino girl friend

winston007 :

Can you please tell me how easy it is to get a  mortgage in the Philippines for an English guy who has a Fillippino girl friend

..........................Hi Winston, Saw this post  on this site from an expat under the heading "Bank Loans In The Philippines". ...........
1 post Manila, Metro Manila
I am also a resident since 6 years and i have my own bank account with BDO. With my Filipina wife, we have 2 loans also with BDO bank. As long as the income is according to the loan applied for and the main mortgage holder being a Filipino citizen (wife), they did not give a lot of problems.
However, we are both in retirement age, so length of loan term is limited to end the amortization when reaching 70 years old.
The application process through BDO was quick, but then signing all the documents with approximately 100 signatures takes a lot of patience.

Its a generic drugstore in Ph.Cheaper than branded.

I have just read your comments, Salamat, my Filipina wife and have just bought a small house to live in while they finish our two story house on mountain near her family,I plan to live on 1000$,us, plus monies from some rents , I hope it works for us, thank you again for your help

Scott,

What is the name of your condo complex please and do you have a phone number or contact info for them?

Thx,

Smitty

Scott,

What is the name of your condo complex please and do you have a phone number or contact info for them?

Thx,

Smitty

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