Living 2014 on $5000.00 a month in Philippines (living in provience)

In 2010 I read a question on blog of what is it like living on $5000.00 (U.S A. Dollars) a month in the Philippines. It is 2014 soon to be 2015. I would like to know now how life would be like living on that amount in both the city and country. I know the Philippines has gotten expensive but not sure how much.

I have a hard time spending $2,000 a month here.  That is for a 2 bedroom in gated subdivision, with pool and park. Utilities, food, taxi, and all.   That includes cloths. I know how to dig in the discount bins as well and I mean nice cloths. Trips to the beach, movie, and most you would do as normal middle class in American. I do not own a car here but can drive here.  So on $5,000 I would need a 4 bedroom, 3 girlfriends, and take up golf and go out fishing on charter boats.  That is a town house at the edge of town. Down town add $100 a month rent. Province take of $100 a month rent. But in the province unless you travel by bus you will spend more than that on transportation here.  You would need buy most food from the import store as well to spend that amount here. I shop at the market for most. But eat very well.  So on that amount you can live like a king here.  Not my stile.  I live like a prince here on $2,000 a month and want nothing more.

You are funny with the 3 girlfriends.

No only have 1 myself here. On the $2,000 a month.  And 3 could get your throat sliced here as well.

I want have to worry about that. I believe in one man and one woman. Been in and out of the PI since 1971, I am well aware of the butterfly knife.

$5000 is a huge amount of money in the Philippines its like a year salary for an average person.. so if planning to live of $5000 that's somwhere around 200,000 php. and the middle class grocery for one person is only 10,000/month and to own a car its 10k to 20k/monthly.. house it depends. to rent a condo it can run you up from 12k to 50k depends on the lifestyle but still! its hard to spend $5000 in the Phil... so basically you'll live like a king..  almost :)

It amazing to me the cost of living in U.S. and Philippines. Granted some places in both countries are more or less expensive. But the average is amazing.

$5000 or 200,000p is quite ridiculous why live in Philippines if u have that kinda money, well u gonna come here don't leave Manila u find enough to spend it on in the provinces

I have always plan on retiring in the Philippines. Expensive is a reality term. And I know things have gotten more expensive since 2010. Just didn't know how much. I believe in being blessed to be a blessing to others. I do my best to help people help themselves. Welfare don't work in the USA and want work in Philippines. I know the Philippines is no place to be if you are a foreigner and broke (smile)!

Money nor girls is the reason I am coming to the Philippines. Its the place I feel most at home outside of the USA.I love the country side and would not live in the city. I don't live in the city in the USA and want do the same in the Philippines.

5000USD (220,000) is already enough to sustain your needs for atleast 2 months given that it is only you and a partner maybe.

I have a family in the Phil - 2 kids with my mom (both of my kids are studying in an International School). We are living in middle class area near the airport and we usually allot the following.

Rent - 18,000
Electricity - 10,000
Cable - 500.00
Water - 400.00
Kids - 20,000 (school bus and tutor)
Kids allowance - 30,000(20,000 - for the teenager and 10,000 for the gradeschooler)
Groceries and Market - 25,000
Misc - 15,000

We only spike our expenses when it is due date for car maintenance, insurance etc.

Please take note that this is for 4pax expenses so if you are just 1 or 2 then your cost will be more lower than us. You may also want to exclude the kids maintenance if you do not have kids :)

Oh, and this is in Manila - province will be way more cheaper, I guess :)

$5000.00 a month in the Philippines? You live like king and queen in paradise. I live with my wife and son for $600 a month in General Santos and we are very OK.

Well as u can see most expats are gob smacked, u see the average foreign pension is $1200au p/mth or 4,5000p approx which is plenty

But you have to consider medical expenses here! In an emergency, you have to be ready to shell out more that $2,000 depending on the emergency! Per day on a private room with all diagnosis and dr will make you spend $1,000;

It totally depends on your disease and the hospital you go to. And of course you should have PhilHealth that covers a lot.

But that cheap if anything serious hop on a plane home it's free there

I guess you need to immediately stop over in a hospital if you are having a heart attack!

I have read a number of replies that feel usd 5000 a month is excessive - however it depends on your lifestyle - if you wish to live in the best parts of Makati such as greenbelt or rockwell, you can easily spend half of that on a three bedroom apartment - if you want to shop at an up market supermarket within a couple of blocks walk you will be spending as much or if not more than you would spend in the usa - travel and entertainment can also be expensive depending on your tastes - boracay is a wonderful resort but hotels can cost usd 100 per day -  however the replies that suggest that you can live happily on much less are also quite correct - if you can be more specific about your lifestyle than one or more of the members can better estimate the monthly cost

Ok point taken but seriously $5000p/mth are u serious? as ive said before why live here, that's 3 times more than my wife and I raise 3 teenage kids in college on.
It's a typcial filipino big note story

Hello there ..... I too have been reading quite a few replies/comments!  Once again does make interesting reading!
In my view, being a single, female retiree from and still residing in the UK, considering retirement to the Philippines within next year or two; respectfully, I almost fell off of my chair when I saw the figure of $5000 per month pension to live on in the Philippines. Phew .... this is a huge amount of money for a retiree to live on, whether living in the USA ... or especially the Philippines, or any south east asian country come to think of it. I am not jealous in any way; good luck to you accruing such a pension.
For myself, a very recent retiree, and in receipt of both UK State Pension, and Occupational Pension (subject to UK tax!), this equates to just over the quoted average foreigner's pension of $1200 per month.
Having read many Thread topics and blog comments, it does appear that one can live quite well on this amount, obviously, dependent on one's life style requirements. For me, still living in the UK, living frugally/simplistically for many years to make ends meet; have for years wished for warmer climes to sooth the ole bones! Desperately wishing to relocate to south east asia, but, financially, for the moment, the time isnt quite right, plus I am torn between a number of south east asian countries.
For a UK State Pensioner, if deciding to live in Philippines, one's state pension is indexed linked .... Im sure most UK expat pensioners will well be aware of this before taking the leap? .... However .... in other south east Asian countries, the UK State Pension is not indexed linked and would remain Frozen!!

I would like to echo one comment, and one in my view, doesnt tend to be factored in, on expenditure examples ... that being .... Health Insurance!!! .... and the cost of .... Are Not spoken and expanded on enough.
Once again Folks ... I am all ears on this subject.
I would like to point out!  That yes, the UK has a National Health Service (NHS), and Funded by taxations.  Maybe .... It has become a Figure of Speech!  That ..... It is a Free service; this does annoy me, because it isnt!  Yes, once a UK state pensioner, one stops paying the National Insurance component (I hasten, for the moment!) .... Soooo .... one could then say, that the NHS could be seen as free .... Yet! .... Is it??
I pick up on a point made, that if a medical intervention would be required when residing in the Philippines, that one could fly back to Blighty ... Obviously dependent on the severity of need at the time .... Not so smart a strategy if one were to experience cardio, stroke issues.
Therefore .... surely Medical Insurance definately requires Factoring in on ones monthly expenditure.  Obviously, I guess for those on a very basic pension income, or falls on hard times, that Health Insurance may not be sustainable.
So, so much to take into account eh.

Anyways folks, I will close for the time being

Vee52 ..... ;-)

Hello All,

Not to hijack this discussion but would like to have bit more clarity on the housing and school expense in Manila. I will  be arriving in Manila and plan to reside around Mandalayung area with a budget of 30K for housing and 20-30K for kids education. I was surprised to note that it is possible to manage within 18K for housing for 4pax. I would appreciate  if you can please share the below information
Which area are you located?
How is the quality of teaching and the quality of education in private schools in Manila? Specifically I'm looking at La Salle Greenhill,Poveda and Aguinaldo.

I agree with the hopping on the plane thing

I am the guy who started the initial question. I am currently living in California. I live in the desert. $5k is not a lot of money in California. I don't live in the city. I live a modest life style. I want to do the same in the Philippines. But, if I decide to go out someplace that cost more I would like to be able to afford it.

Having been in California for so long (26 years) it's hard to image one can live off $1200.00 a month in Philippines. The wife and I have been planning our move for about 20 years.

Looking forward to meeting some of you once we get there.

The one good thing about the medical situation in Philippines is because you pay when you go, you only go when absolutely necessary not like in Australia where it's free it has breed a generation of hypochondriacs anyway a visit to the doctor here is only $10

Yes, I agree!

Dental expenses however, in Australia, are not free, unless as a pensioner you are prepared to wait for 2 years to get anything other than emergency treatment done.

Dental work in Philippines is a miniscule amount compared to Australia or USA.

I lived in gen san for 2 yrs. it is paradise.m moving back for good in 3 weeks with my puppy. a new house can be had for $13000 if married to Philippina. Cable, same as here in U.S.. is $10 month, not $180 like Cox rip off cable , here in Vegas. I had a new 1 bedroom +extra rrom , cooking, lock up motorcycle, stereo, $70 month. Shoot fireworks everynight. Red horse grandes for $1[  Beer]. Beautiful young wife. Disco at Manny"s wife's bar. Reserved front row every sat. Cost $40 to take wife and 5 friends. Doctor $5, all American trained. $10 for specialist, all American trained. $20 to pull new wifes wisdom teeth.  Cost $4000 to get my sons wisdom teeth pulled in Seattle. $3 per cavity. $600 for braces for wife. Plates for motorcycle $6. Insurance for 1 yr motorcycle, $6. taxes for house, $7 yr.. They treat you like a movie star. Oh, all on $2200 month, lived like celebrity. My wife had all custom clothes made up. I brought her back to u.s., and 4 1/2 yrs later she ran away with her phil. girlfriends, to find a richer guy. Never bring one back again! (moderated: inappropriate comment)

I agree the USA is an expensive place to live. Everything cost a lot. Americans aren't really rich. Credit is the one thing that runs things here. It's really easy to get in debt. It's hard to get in debt in Philippines because it's hard to borrow money. I wonder is that a blessing or a curse (smile).

Sorry about your wife. That happen to me once. Got a great one now. I have to admit its nice to live in a place where money is one less problem that you have.

Philippines is cheaper but never go broke living there! For me living there, it's the ability to help people not cripple them that I love. We try to do the same thing here. God has blessed us to be a blessing!


you should see my new philippina wife. she makes American girls look like farm animals! and yes, I used to be married to a famous porn star and stripper for 20 yrs. I wont say who, but was with vivid, jenna Jamison,,, briana banks, etc,,and new baby is just a hot. only no more boob jobs. I have paid for 6 boob jobs,, and it just creates a monster.  but she will have anything else she wants.. .bringing her new rolex for her wedding present, and will start having custom clothes made for her, to dress up as doll y when I get new high heels every week.  Guess,, Marciano,, Bebe,. they love it. I will buy here a new house etc.  yes, I already lost $100k on the last one,,but all good fun, I guess

I spend U.S.  $450 a month rent for a furnished house 2 bed 2 bath 2 air conditioners, gated subdivision, park and pool gardage pick up and such a month.  High class area.  $400 a month utilities All cable phone. the works. $500 a month  for food and store. And that is eating very well.  Then there is go out. expat meeting once a week, trips to were ever. $300 to $400 a month. I do get around here. I am also a tight wad in a way.  I like to flea market and bargen bin hunt for cloths shoes new and what ever. That rounds me out to under $2,000 a month U.S. So I can cut back quit a bit here. I do live like a prince on $2.000 a month. I know a American who pay's $125 a month rent for a 3 bedroom with large yard stand alone home in a middle class area as well.  So yes $5,000 I could not spend here a month.

You know James is spot on with his costing and living very well.
so the rest of us think.FM. what do you need 2.5 times for?????????

i think everyone is saying the same thing you could do it easy !................dont flash your cash or you will be robbed but hell no one would do that in New York you just have to use your brain ....heath risks well we are ALL going to die sad fact yeah no amount of money will prevent that people will slam me for saying that cos its a uncomfortable truth ....some say you can live like a king well why dont you live like the person you are a king has a image to maintain and the money to go with it and your in a place where to be seen to be rich puts you at high risk and your a magnet for trouble

Well said

(Moderated: inappropriate comment +  :offtopic:  )

Thank you for good advice!

My wife came to USA from Philippines in 1990. We dated when I was station in Subic bay from 87-89. We have been married for 25 years now. She has not cheated on me once.

My wife parents raised the family correct. When her mother was alive, I thanked her for the values she placed in her daughter. I was married to a filipina before for 6 years. Brought her from Philippines. She was a big mistake. She Left me for another. But you know what, I kind of knew she was going to. But, I let her beauty override my gut feeling.

This time around I took my time to know the person. I sought God's council. Got a good thing. We are returning both back to the Philippines to live. My point we should do our due diligence to check out the girl.

Back to my question about the cost to live in the Philippines for 5K. I see it is possible. I will do my best to not be a broke expat in the Philippines. I know there is no safety net there for us. Long gone are my days of drinking and chasing young girls. To grow old with the same woman is a real treat. Because you both go through so many things together. The good, bad and the ugly. Because my wife have stayed with me through all of this. I want to treat her with whatever I have and posses.

Hi everybody,

Just to inform you that some off topic posts have been removed from this discussion.


Priscilla  :cheers:

OK, back to the politically correct, boring posts. greygrey is right about the farm animals!

Yee but this tread is going no where
I think the moderator is correct

theres nothing correct about censorship.. we are all adults. if we don't like whats being said, we are free to not reply