Living In The Philippines On $1000 Per Month

Philippine Living Expat

Let’s face it 500 dollars isn’t a vast amount of money. So is it possible to live abroad anywhere on that amount of cash per month, or are we talking cardboard boxes under flyovers?

Well you can live in the Philippines on $1000 per month and here’s how.

Cheapest countries to retire
A stunning sandy beach of the Sumilon island near Oslob, Cebu, Philippines

The Philippines is one of the cheapest countries to retire to. Ir’s also very affordable if you want to relocate to a warmer climate close to a beach and take your family and business with you.

First thing you’re going to need to sort out is your accommodation. 

Obviously there are plenty of houses for rent throughout the Philippines.  A small house in Manila might set you back to minimum $600 per month – which is going to eat into the budget quite a bit. 

So, if you want to be living in the Philippines on $1000 per month or less you need to be getting away from the capital city.

You can rent a centrally located one-bedroom apartment in cities such as Davao City, Baguio, and Dumaguete at about $250.

One bedroom Apartments in the centre of Cebu, one of the most developed provinces in the Philippines, can be rented at average of $510 per month.  Not that Cebu is particularly off the beaten track. 

Cebu city boasts 5 star hotels, casinos, shopping malls, golf courses and nearby sandy beaches.  If you’re prepared to take cost savings further you can rent a room in a house.

A room with a shared bathroom in a location like Damaguete City in the province of Negros Oriental, can be had for as little as $150 per month.  But don’t think you’ll be living in a flea infested backward city at this price!  Damaguete City is one of the fastest growing cities in the Philippines and known as the “university town” as it has 7 universities and colleges.

Home to around 115,000 people, the city also offers nearby whale and dolphin watching, excellent beaches and is fast becoming a prime location for those wanting to retire in the Philippines as it has a large number of medical clinics, good city amenities, as well as a laid back lifestyle.

So we can tick off housing.  You can find accommodation cheap enough to allow you to live for less than $1000 per month in the Philippines.

Next it is on to groceries. If we are living in a rented room we have around $850 of our $1000 budget left. 

Starting with the essentials, a pack of cigarettes will set you back around $2 and a 1/3 of a litre of San Miguel beer $2.1.  So to live a typical expat lifestyle of 2 bottles of beer each night costs around $130 per month.  We are down to $620.

Next, on to the secondary products such as food!  Lets say you use half a litre of milk per day, 3 litres of bottled water per day, breakfast on two boiled eggs, buy a kilo of rice every 3 days and usually eat out every lunch time and evening at a local roadside stall – something like sizzling pork cheeks or Tapsilog (beef fried rice and eggs), and you obviously get through a kilo of coffee a week, average costs for a month would run to around $350. 

So a months worth of groceries plus accommodation costs would still allow you to live on less than $1000 per month in the Philippines.

We’re now down to the final $270.  A 5 kilometre taxi ride costs around $1.64 so you can either go on a 823 kilometre taxi ride with the rest of your money or splash out $40 (£27) on a Brazilian wax and head for the beach with a sizeable chunk of cash in your pocket.

You can see from the above figures that it is possible to live on less than $100 per month in the Philippines.  Obviously you won’t be saving an awful lot of your cash, but then, the sun’s going to be shining and the beach is free!

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Philippine Living Expat
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