This probably isn’t a surprise, but living in the Philippines is vastly less expensive than living in the West.
If you move to the Philippines and add up your monthly costs there, you will notice that you have to spend a lot less than in pretty much every single Western nation.
But how much exactly? How much does it cost to live in the Philippines?
In this article I’ll share some concrete data based on my life here in 2022.
General cost of living
The Philippines is located in Southeast Asia, a region known for its low cost of living.
Just like countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, your dollar or euro will last a lot longer than in the West – especially now that inflation there is 10%+!
According to figures from Numbeo, the average cost for one person per month is around 473 USD, plus another 265 USD for rent (for a 1 bedroom apartment).
In concrete terms, that amounts to 738 USD per month, a lot lower than in any Western nations, where you can barely pay your rent for that price.
Of course, this also depends entirely on where exactly you are going to live and what you spend money on.
If you live in a luxurious penthouse in Metro Manila and have a a few hookers come over every day, 2,000 USD per month will not be enough … but if you live in the same city in a less expensive neighborhood and don’t have crazy expenses , you can survive on a budget of 1,000 euros without any problems, even if you also pay for your girlfriend.
By the way, if you want to find a Filipino girlfriend, I can help you with that! Visit the Serenity Dating page to learn more about this.
If you move to another major city, such as Cebu or Davao (where I live), those costs will be even lower.
I will share some concrete details from my life in the next section.
And if you live somewhere in the countryside in a village or a small town, you pay ridiculously little to live, often less than 500 USD per month.
In short, any Westerm person who receives a pension, or who simply has enough savings or an online business or source of income, can lead a very good life in the Philippines – much better than in the West.
Another aspect I should definitely mention is inflation – things have really gotten a lot more expensive in the Philippines since COVID 19, in some cases even 50% more.
So the numbers I gave and will give you are the more expensive version of what it originally was – and it’s still hugely affordable.
My personal costs
Hopefully it’s now clear how much the Philippines costs in general – not very much.
I live in Davao City, and I support myself, my girlfriend and two young children.
My monthly costs are around 1,000 USD.
We live in a pleasant apartment in a secure compound with swimming pool and gym, in one of the best areas of the city – within walking distance of several supermarkets, hospitals, restaurants, and everything we need.
Are we lacking something? Definitely not, we live a better life than the majority of the population, we can eat everything we want, plan trips when and where we want, and live the way we want to.
In addition, I pay dues and bills for 3 condos.
Would I be able to do that back at home without government help? Certainly not.
But in the Philippines, not only is that not a problem, I’m also pretty generous in that budget – meaning I could easily save money by cutting back on expenses, with minimal loss of comfort.
In short, I had many reasons to move to the Philippines, but the low cost is perhaps one of the most important factors.
What things cost in the Philippines
Now let’s take a closer look at exactly how much I pay per month. I’m going to use an average exchange rate of 57 Philippine Peso to 1 USD, and give you both numbers:
- Rent: PHP 22,500 ($395)
- Electricity + water + internet: PHP 6950 ($122)
- A taxi ride to the nearest shopping center: PHP 60 ($1.05)
- Fruits and vegetables from the local market, good for 2 weeks for 4 people: PHP 3,500 ($61)
- Gym subscription: PHP 1,800 ($32)
- Groceries (this is a rounded number based on the average, and includes everything from meat to diapers for an entire month): PHP 20,000 ($351)
- About thirty eggs: PHP 250 ($4.4)
- One kilo of chicken breast: PHP 335 ($5.9)
- A liter of milk: PHP 85 ($1.5)
- 20 liters of water (delivered at home): PHP 50 ($0.9)
- A box of cookies: PHP 115 ($2)
- A bag of bread: PHP 79 ($1.4)
- 24 rolls of toilet paper: PHP 340 ($6)
- 25 kilograms of rice: PHP 1,100 ($19.3)
- A kilo of frozen broccoli: PHP 179 ($3.1)
- 3 kilograms of beef: PHP 490 ($8.6)
Some other costs that sometimes occur:
- Visit to the dentist (check-up + cleaning): PHP 1,500 ($26)
- Doctor (just a check-up, depends on what kind of doctor): PHP 600 ($10.5)
- New computer: PHP 35,000 ($614)
- Day trip to the beach with a boat: PHP 1,200 ($21)
As you can see, most things are cheaper in the Philippines, but there are certain things that are more expensive – like quality cheese, ham, apples, and bread.
Things they have to import here.
You’ll either have to adjust your budget if you eat those things often, but in general your costs will still be lower.
In short, in the Philippines most things cost a lot less than in the West, so you can live a much better life with the same budget.
If you have to make ends meet in your country, you will notice that you have quite a bit of your budget left in the Philippines, which you can spend on your “quality of life”.
Do you want to discover the Philippines? Then take a look at our Serenity Relocation Packages, where we can arrange everything for you for a stay of one month for a fixed price.