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Living In The Philippines On $1000 Per Month

Let’s face it 1000 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.

The Philippines is one of the cheapest countries to retire to. It’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.

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

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

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

So, if you want to be living in the Philippines for $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 for about $250.

One-bedroom Apartments in the centre of Cebu, one of the most developed provinces in the Philippines, can be rented at an 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 make cost savings further you can rent a room in a house.

A room with a shared bathroom in a location like Dumaguete 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!  Dumaguete City is one of the fastest-growing cities in the Philippines and is 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!  Let’s 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 lunchtime 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 month’s 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 an 823-kilometre taxi ride with the rest of your money or splash out $40 (£27) on 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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Wednesday 19th of October 2022

I've been living in the Philippines since 2019 it's 2022 as I write this. The exchange rate is around 59% which is great but inflation is out of control too. But I'm doing well here on 954 usd a month. But it all depends on this level of living .

Ola Degteva (Editor)

Wednesday 19th of October 2022

Thank you, Gerald, for your comment. We do appreciate any additional facts and thoughts.

Jay Hellwig

Sunday 9th of October 2022

Interested in taking a trip back to the Philippines been watching videos on YouTube place called Siquihor? I'm very interested in coming to live there on NY disability check so any info on this possibly would be greatly appreciated ty interested in how do I go about visa ,passport run down of col expense ty