Cost of living 2018 in Malaysia

Hello everyone,

As per our annual tradition, we invite you to share your experiences and tell us more about the average prices of products and services in your town/city/area, so that we have updated information regarding cost of living and inflation in Malaysia.

Thanks to your contribution, future expats in Malaysia will be more informed and will be able to refine their budget and better prepare for their big move.

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Malaysia?

How much does it cost to buy an apartment or a house in Malaysia?

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)?

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta?

What is your monthly budget for groceries?

How much does it cost to see a doctor/dentist/physician/specialist in Malaysia?

How much do you pay for health insurance per month?

How much does childcare cost on average per month?

What is your child's schooling budget per month?

How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank?

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month?

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription?

How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays?

How much do you pay for an espresso coffee?

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket?

How much does a gym membership cost in Malaysia?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Malaysia?
1000 to 1800 .. im paying 1200
How much does it cost to buy an apartment or a house in Malaysia?  200k

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)?
Average monthly 200 to 300
How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta? 50 to 80

What is your monthly budget for groceries? 200 to 300

How much does it cost to see a doctor/dentist/physician/specialist in Malaysia?

How much do you pay for health insurance per month?

How much does childcare cost on average per month?

What is your child's schooling budget per month?

How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank? My car tank fill up in 60 but monthly average  250 to 500

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month? 150

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription?
170
How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays?
12 to 15
How much do you pay for an espresso coffee?
17
How much do you pay for a cinema ticket? 12 to 25

How much does a gym membership cost in Malaysia? 200+130 and monthly 130

All cost in Malaysia ringgit

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Malaysia? I pay 700 now but am moving soon to 1400 in Puchong Bandar Kinrara

How much does it cost to buy an apartment or a house in Malaysia? no idea

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)? 60 - 80 a month

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta?

What is your monthly budget for groceries? 500 -600

How much does it cost to see a doctor/dentist/physician/specialist in Malaysia? I go to the gov hospitals so not much dentist not sure

How much do you pay for health insurance per month? none

How much does childcare cost on average per month? 0

What is your child's schooling budget per month? 200

How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank? 0 no car

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month? 250

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription? 149

How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays? 0

How much do you pay for an espresso coffee? 0

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket? 11-18

How much does a gym membership cost in Malaysia? 0

Priscilla :

Hello everyone,

As per our annual tradition, we invite you to share your experiences and tell us more about the average prices of products and services in your town/city/area, so that we have updated information regarding cost of living and inflation in Malaysia.

Thanks to your contribution, future expats in Malaysia will be more informed and will be able to refine their budget and better prepare for their big move.

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Malaysia?
800-5000? (Depends on room)
Currently paying 3000 for 2 br, 2 bath apartment in KLCC

How much does it cost to buy an apartment or a house in Malaysia?

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)?
Grab 5-20

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta?
Rice meal at mamak around 5-10RM
Bread 3RM
Pasta 15-30RM

What is your monthly budget for groceries?
500RM

How much does it cost to see a doctor/dentist/physician/specialist in Malaysia?
My last check up cost me 170 for fever  and flu.

How much do you pay for health insurance per month?
NA - covered by company

How much does childcare cost on average per month?
NA
What is your child's schooling budget per month?
NA
How much does it cost to fill up your cars fuel tank?
NA
How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month?
180 - 200RM

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription?
157RM
How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays?
5-20RM
How much do you pay for an espresso coffee?
8-12RM

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket?
18RM
How much does a gym membership cost in Malaysia?
200RM / month in our  condo

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

I suggest some preliminary questions at beginning about the status of living of the person, for i.e stay alone or with family; how many meals a week cook/eat out,...

* Mine: Married couple with 2 kids in preK ages *

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Malaysia? 2400 , 3 bedrooms in KL city area (5 km from KLCC)

How much does it cost to buy an apartment or a house in Malaysia? NA

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)?  month when there's no driving, only public transportation around 400rm

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta? Rice 6 rm/1 kg for jasmin rice; 3rm toast bread loaf, pasta box 5-20rm upon brand/organic-not

What is your monthly budget for groceries? 1000 rm cook fresh 2 meal aday, less on weekends

How much does it cost to see a doctor/dentist/physician/specialist in Malaysia? average 100rm for dr consultant fee at private hospital; normal cold flu medicine around 20-50.

How much do you pay for health insurance per month? NA

How much does childcare cost on average per month? NA

What is your child's schooling budget per month?  pre K for private academic kindy 500-700rm/mth; -private montessori-play based kindy above 1000rm/mth

How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank? 70 rm

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month? 150 rm

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription? 150 rm

How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays? 5-25 rm

How much do you pay for an espresso coffee? NA

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket? 9-15 rm

How much does a gym membership cost in Malaysia? free at my condo

Thank you for sharing your experience.

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Malaysia?
- RM 2,500 - RM 5,000

How much does it cost to buy an apartment or a house in Malaysia?
- RM 1 Million - 3 Million (for expat the min. property price should be RM 1 Million)

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)?
- RM 300 monthly

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta?
- RM 500

What is your monthly budget for groceries?
- RM 300

How much does it cost to see a doctor/dentist/physician/specialist in Malaysia?
- RM 250 minimum to see a specialist

How much do you pay for health insurance per month?
- RM 300

How much does childcare cost on average per month?
- No idea

What is your child's schooling budget per month?
- N/A

How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank?
- Myvi around RM70 full tank.

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month?
- RM 150

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription?
- RM 160

How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays?
- RM 15

How much do you pay for an espresso coffee?
- RM 15

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket?
- RM 20

How much does a gym membership cost in Malaysia?
- RM 229

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Malaysia?

It’s a renters market especially in the ‘old money’ areas such as Bangsar and Damansara Heights . A good bungalow on the market at 15,000 MYR a month 2 years ago can be secured for 10,000 MYR or less. That’s 5 bedrooms , private pool and nice gardens .

How much does it cost to buy an apartment or a house in Malaysia?

Too much . Not good value compared to other countries. The residential building sector is slowing down. Lots of empty properties . The average person can’t affoed a house in the vicinity of KL. Seems like a property bubble . You can rent something that would cost 5 to 6 million ringgit for 10,000 a month . A homeloan with 30% deposit would be about 28,000 a month after putting up 2 million . Money is better off investmed elsewhere .

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)?

Uber and the LRT have made it almost pointless to own a car . I use uber black . Maybe spend 1,000 ringgits per month .

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta?

Weekly shop for 4 people probably 500 to 1000 ringgit before buying alcohol

What is your monthly budget for groceries?

4,000 to 5,000 . If you want to go to the wet markets and eat local recipes of course it can be much lower . Western type products come at a premium.

How much does it cost to see a doctor/dentist/physician/specialist in Malaysia?

Probably one of the best benefits of being in Malaysia is excellent healthcare choice at reasonable prices. 50 ringgits for a GP visit . About the same for dental checkup . Filling and scale and polishwould be 200 ringgit maybe.

How much do you pay for health insurance per month?

About 300 USD per month for international cover

How much does childcare cost on average per month?

A good Maid who has expertise with kids can be 1600 to 2000 MYR a month for live in full time .

What is your child's schooling budget per month?

5000 to 6000 a monrh for international school with bus And after school activities

How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank?

Very low . 150 ringgits for 2 litre sedan

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month?

Expensive due to aircon. 1500 to 1800 a month . That’s for 500sqm house . Small condo maybe just 200 or 300

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription?

Internet with phone is about 250 a month

How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays?

What’s a lunch pack ?

How much do you pay for an espresso coffee?

Don’t drink coffee

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket?

20 MYR for basic sear . 50 to 60 MYR for premier / gold class

How much does a gym membership cost in Malaysia?

200 MYR a month

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Malaysia? : 1500-200 for a 2BHK

How much does it cost to buy an apartment or a house in Malaysia? : 400-500K. Expat 1M is what I understand

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)? : N/A

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta? : rice: 3-4/kg,  bread : 4 for whole wheat.

What is your monthly budget for groceries? : 500 MYR for family of 3

How much does it cost to see a doctor/dentist/physician/specialist in Malaysia? : 50-80/GP; 100-150/dentist; 300/specialist

How much do you pay for health insurance per month? : company provided.

How much does childcare cost on average per month? : 300/visit/month

What is your child's schooling budget per month? : n/a

How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank? : 70-80

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month? : 80/elec ; 35/gas; 40/water

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription? : 220/month

How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays? : 15

How much do you pay for an espresso coffee? : 10

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket? : 14

How much does a gym membership cost in Malaysia? : N/A

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Malaysia? : N/A (own house) - but equivalent house as ours would be about RM2500

How much does it cost to buy an apartment or a house in Malaysia? : 400-500K. Expat 1M is min in KL, 2M in Selangor or Penang

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)? : N/A

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta? : rice: 3-4/kg,  bread : 4 for whole wheat.

What is your monthly budget for groceries? : 700 MYR for family of 2 (fair amount of expat type food, which costs more)

How much does it cost to see a doctor/dentist/physician/specialist in Malaysia? : 50-80/GP; 100-150/dentist; 300/specialist - however my wife is a retired govt servant and we can use the govt hospital/clinic for free.

How much do you pay for health insurance per month? : company provided and what's not covered we use the govt hospitals/clinics

How much does childcare cost on average per month? : N/A

What is your child's schooling budget per month? : n/a

How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank? : 70-80 (RM10 for motorbike)

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month? : 500/elec ; 35/gas; 6/water (3 room using A/C)

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription? : 270/month

How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays? : 10

How much do you pay for an espresso coffee? : n/a

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket? : n/a

Our housing is very cheap since my wife bought a terraced house about 30 years ago which we paid off before moving here. But our A/C cost is high because I grew up in the upper Midwest USA and Malaysian heat gets to me at times.

How much does a gym membership cost in Malaysia? : N/A

Priscilla :

I'll try to fill in what I can but I can see there is much difference in prices between everyones replies because of location and individual lifestyle. The important thing for new expats to know is that regardless of someones price for something, prices are steadily RISING regardless of where in the country you live. Unlike many other countries, Malaysia has stopped controlling prices through interest rate adjustments. Let me re-phrase that. In the past, interest rates were left alone and govt attempted to control prices by placing price ceilings on basic items and by subsidies. Both are ending, which forces the govt to consider interest rate adjustments which they may do but have no experience about. The current result is that prices are jumping, and far ahead of basic local wages and this means super high inflation. Unfortunately, in Malaysia prices are directly tied to politics. If the govt can continue to make it easy to buy a house or car or goods through easy lending, maybe you will leave the govt alone. Make it too hard and maybe you will vote them out. The situation is the former and the result is massive consumer debt. Foreclosures and bankruptcies are steadily rising because people heavily borrow to maintain their life but dont have the cash/salary/wages to pay it back. The appearance is prosperity, what with new houses and new cars everywhere, but look behind at what people owe. Its quite scary to me. They do this because to many people, looking rich is the same as being rich. God help this place if the govt shuts down easy lending and people have to pay cash for things.

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Malaysia? RM1000/mo would be the bottom average for an apartment.

How much does it cost to buy an apartment or a house in Malaysia? RM300K would be the bottom average to buy house or apartment for locals in a normal city, but expat purchases are governed by much higher minimums.

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)? In Penang there is no public transportation on a wide scale. Some buses, some taxi, no LRT. Taxis mostly dont use meters, a ride to the airport from the mainland would be RM50. Small rides, RM10-20, but there are extremely few of them. Having a car is more or less mandatory.

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta? Basic items, RM300 a month.

What is your monthly budget for groceries? Was RM500, now not less than RM1000 for steadily fewer items. Two people.

How much does it cost to see a doctor/dentist/physician/specialist in Malaysia? In a neighborhood clinic, was RM30, now RM60 for a doctor. Dentist was RM60, now RM90 for checkup and cleaning. Fillings were RM30, now RM60.

How much do you pay for health insurance per month? N/A for me.

How much does childcare cost on average per month? N/A for me.

What is your child's schooling budget per month? N/A for me.

How much does it cost to fill up your cars fuel tank? This is a misnomer. How big is the tank? Petrol 97 is RM2.62/liter and has been rising.

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month?
Elect RM50
Water RM3
Gas RM6

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription?
8mps and phone are RM150/mo

How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays?
Lunch in a mamak stall is below RM10 per person

How much do you pay for an espresso coffee? N/A for me because I never go to Starbucks. What is the cost now, RM12?

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket?
RM11 on Wednesdays at AEON cinemas.

How much does a gym membership cost in Malaysia? N/A for me but people I know pay RM130 upwards.

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

It based on where you from and where you work before.
I am from indian and i was work before in dubai.
As everyone knows kuala lumpur is 47% cheaper than dubai.
For me i am seeeing everything is cheap in Malaysia specially food and accomidation.

But it is about 25-30% more expensive than India. Some areas are cheaper than others and it is possible to survive on about RM30 per day after accommodation. But not fun.

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