cost, money, philippines, daily expenses, cost of living
English Posts

My Cost of Living in the Philippines

Time for another update on the cost of living in the Philippines. A question asked the most is: can I live in the Philippines for …. X amount of money. And my answer is always the same: that depends on how you want to live. What you need in life to be comfortable.

But to give all ye seekers for financial information for an expat life in the Philippines, here is what I pay for things and that should give you a picture of what you might need to make it out here in the sun.

Quick overview of my housing costs:

  • Rent 15.000
  • Electricity 947
  • Water 190
  • Fuel MC 757
  • Eating out 9048
  • Groceries 7181
  • Clothes 2449
  • Phone Smart 99 Globe 299
  • Gifts 215
  • Ferry to Dumaguette 610

total 36,798 is 663 Euro or 739 US$ * price 2017  

How do I keep track of finances?

I use a free app on my phone. Every time I buy something I add it to the app, in the basic setup of the app I entered the amount of money I can spend each month, and how much I want to save up for unexpected costs, like medical stuff, and the app does the magic.

I made categories that are useful for me so I can keep track of specific costs like groceries, fuel, and how much money I spent on gifts, clothes, and eating out.
Always wise to have a total view at the end of the month to see if you can cut back on costs.
The setup is easy, it takes a few minutes and you can even do it on the go. For example, I did forget my Visa costs, and I added them while my visa was being processed.

The app gives you an overview per month and the money that is left to spend, you can pass leftover money to the next month, or not, and if you tilt the screen you get a pie chart

I believe the power of surviving in a foreign country is to keep track of your money

Unexpected (financial) surprises lurk everywhere. Your laptop can break down, there is a maintenance man to be paid, and you can get sick. In my opinion, it is wise to know how much money is coming in and going out.
I see tourists getting stranded at the end of their budget wondering where all the money went, I hear terrible stories of expats ending up homeless because of mismanagement of their funds.

Be in control of your money and live accordingly to your income. Know what you can spend, budget, and do not overspend (too often), says she who overspends in December on Christmas gifts for everybody but herself.

For me, that means keeping my spending tracker updated and dividing the leftover money by the days that are left in the month so I roughly know my daily budget. For example:

After deducting all my spending I have 15K left in my budget, and it is May 18…… 13 days left till June 1, which makes 15,000 divided by 13 = 1,153 pesos per day. Lucky me! That is a lot of money here on Siquijor.

Another thing I like to mention: the cost of living may differ from place to place and from island to island. Life in Palawan or Boracay or in Metro Manilla is way more expensive than in more rural areas, like Guimaras, Sipalay, Siquijor, or any other place that has no Mall, no fancy hospital, and no excessive tourism.
Eating out in resorts and Western-orientated restaurants can put a huge strain on your budget while eating out in local eateries can give you just the extra money you need to rent that jet ski every now and then or go island hopping with a private banka.

Big La Laguna Puerto Galera

You decide what is plentiful for you, and that might have nothing to do with money!

I cannot tell you how much money you need if you want to live in the Philippines and if you can make it on whatever budget is available for you. It all depends on how you want to spend your life here. But I can share with you what my daily costs are, so you can decide for yourself if it is worth the while moving here.

For those that love to watch my clothes, house, and such: I made a vlog with the visualization of my spending.