Author Topic: 2011 Philippines monthly living expenses  (Read 10384 times)

Offline rm86

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2011 Philippines monthly living expenses
« on: March 15, 2011, 01:41:06 AM »
Hi folks,

I\'ve seen information stating that it\'s possible to live - albeit quite simply - on $600 per month in the Philippines. I\'ve also seen posts stating that $1000 is the recommended bare minimum. There\'s some conflict between the information, whether out of date or due to variation based on location, so I\'m going to use this post to attempt to work out my own, up to date, 2011 living costs to cover 1 months living expenses for 2 people.

We\'re both fairly low maintenance. I\'m a vegetarian (in Philippines of all places, lol) - and yep, that excludes fish and chicken (had a hard time trying to explain that on vacation) however, I may be willing to adjust my diet to comply with the country and culture. I\'m a slim guy, not a big eater and not the type to indulge in expensive food - I could live with rice and noodles with some fruit and veg thrown in (my idea of a culinary treat is cheese on toast and a bottle of beer)!

As a Brit, I\'ll be working out the numbers in £GBP. My ideal budget is no more than £500 per month for everything.

Expectations

The most important requirements for me are comfort and security. I don\'t neccessarily need or want to be in a gated community, I\'m fine with living alongside the locals - that\'s part of the reason I was drawn here, after all - because of the people and culture. By the same token, I\'d rather be in a \'better off\' area of Philippines where crime and poverty were lower. Preferably as few \'ipis\' as possible

No maids etc. are taken into this equation, I\'m not the type of guy who would feel the need for the services of a maid - Partly for budgeting reasons and partly because I like to do things for myself (shopping, cleaning etc.) - However, some guys swear by them and have mentioned it saves them time and money in the long run. But for now, I\'ll leave maid services off the list.

So, here\'s what I\'ve come up with:

Monthly Outgoings

Rent

Had a quick check of Sulit.ph and this was one of the most recent listings. Seems like it would do the trick, so I\'ll use it as my example rented apartment. Possibly lower price w/ some research (saw some 4,000 peso / month properties), but this will do for now.

6,000 Pesos / £85 per month

For rent: BNEW condo unit. studio type. 30 sqm. with flooring cabinet kitchen and sink. with toilet and fixtures READY TO MOVE IN! location: Commonwealth QC near Sandigan bayan. 15 min away from EDSA, UP, Trinoma mall. accesible to public transpo markets and schools. P6000/ month inclusive of dues. minimum 6 months stay. 1 month advance. 2 months deposit. max of 4 persons. 09178582585

http://www.sulit.com.ph/index.php/view+classifieds/id/2836216/BRANDNEW+CONDO+UNIT+FOR+RENT?referralKeywords=rent+bayan

Groceries: Food & Drink

Estimating 2500 pesos / £35 per week for basic food and drink. Maybe off the mark here. I was looking for an online food shopping site in the Philippines for an idea of prices but couldn\'t find anything.

Groceries: Cigarettes & Beer

I was buying a pack of 20 cigarettes for 40 pesos in Makati - that\'s about 50 pence per 20 pack (By comparison it\'s almost £6 for a 20 pack here). 20 cigarettes (give or take) per day at 50p per pack is roughly £15 per month.

I picked up some Red Horse from a sari-sari store for 30 pesos for a standard sized bottle (67 pesos for a large bottle). I like an evening beer or two, so I\'ll say 90 pesos / £1.30 per day for beer = £40 per month. Though that seems more expensive than I\'d like, so I\'d adjust and aim for a £20 per month beer budget.

Internet & Telephone

http://smart.com.ph/bro/products/postpaid/smartbroplan999unlimited.htm

1,000 pesos per month / £15. Any outgoing calls abroad would be made using Skype or YM. I don\'t use my home telephone here in the UK, other than for my internet connection, so I can\'t imagine needing a telephone in the Philippines.

Electricity

Estimate: 2000 pesos / £30 per month

I\'ve spoken to a few people about this, but would like some more input. I\'ll be using the computer a lot for work. I\'d also imagine the TV will be in use quite often as well. Not entirely sure if I\'d want air conditioning or if I\'d rather just pick up an electric fan.

Monthly Cost
Rent - £85
Groceries - £140
Cigarettes & Beer - £35
Internet - £15
Electricity - £30


Total: £320 per month so far. Going to round that up to £350 just for the sake of it, which makes it around 25,000 pesos per month.


This doesn\'t include a clothing budget, travel expenses, dining out, disco, miscellaneous purchases. Just the costs of the basics. Rent, groceries, electric and internet.

If anyone would be willing to look over this and provide some input that\'d be great and much appreciated.

Offline c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n

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Re: 2011 Philippines monthly living expenses
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2011, 02:15:59 AM »
Rent - OK

Groceries - push it up to P3000 - as a veggie - shop at local barangay market - the farmers bring local produce in twice a week to our local market -
  • forget cheese on toast -\'tain\'t cheap in Philippines
  • forget most western foods except as a treat now and again

Beer - Get directly from a brewery - I don\'t know about Red Horse but my San Mig Dry is about P20/bottle when ordered by the crate (24) - but I\'d guess no more than P30/bottle for RH ordered in volume - and they deliver to the door  ;D and take the empty bottles and crates away

Internet and phone Double that - you forgot 2 cell phone monthly costs
 
Electricity Make that P3000 and you should be fine, how will you cook, electric/gas/bbq?

Transport?  Staying home will pale pretty quickly - I\'d figure a mini of P1,000 - personally I walk a kilometer or so but any further than that and it\'s a trike job - but I\'m 62

Dining out - I know a great little place that costs me about P1000-1200 for 5 of us......so around P200/head includes drinks and desert.....let your gf guide you

£400 - P28,000 looks more realistic to me

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Re: 2011 Philippines monthly living expenses
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2011, 02:44:02 AM »
6000 a month for a new condo, can\'t be bad, even though it is a touch on the small side.

You might find you need ear plugs at night, with condos on all sides, as I can almost assure you you\'ll have some noisy neighbours, or at least people who have different ideas about what are acceptable times of the night to ruin good songs with their karaoke systems.   ;D

You can live to your sort of budget, but what will you do with yourself all day and night? I\'ve done it myself before, when I was in Thailand, money ran out, no future looked in sight, and I was surviving easily on a $10 a day. But that was in Phuket, right by the beach, so the whole day could be spent swimming, sunbathing, eating dirt cheap local food, wandering around sipping soda in bars etc.

What will you do in Quezon to stop yourself crawling up the walls? Working hard at living cheap is fun for a while, but it grows old real quick.

When you call about the condo, get your girl to do the talking or you might find the price magically rises when they hear a Kano on t\'other end of the phone.  ;)




Offline rm86

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Re: 2011 Philippines monthly living expenses
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2011, 02:44:56 AM »
Great, cheers Ron - still looks good - anything under £500 is great -the further under, the better  :D


Good call on the beer! Forgot about San Mig Light :o

Cell phone - Thinking I can go without one, but the gf will need hers so I\'ll take that into consideration. Then again, I\'ll probably need one for keeping in touch w/ her if & when needed. Would go for cheapest option. Just wondering if I\'ll need a phone line for the internet connection?

For cooking at home, depending on what the apartment offered it\'d probably be gas / electric cooking.

Budget constraints mean I probably wouldn\'t want a car there - not sure I could even handle driving in PI. So, like you, Ron, transport costs would mostly consist of fares for getting to & from the shops.

Dining out - I\'ll let budget dictate that, would be done on the cheap, p200 each sounds great!

Can you say which part of Philippines you\'re in, Ron?

Cheers for the info

Offline rm86

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Re: 2011 Philippines monthly living expenses
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2011, 03:01:12 AM »
Heya King,

That\'s something I wonder all the time - what\'ll happen if / when the money runs out. But then again I think the same about my future here in the UK.

Not too long ago, it dawned on me, like a revelation; \"Hey, I don\'t have to be stuck here in Britain, working hard and... not living cheap!\" So that set things in motion. I had a look around, thought about joining a friend of mine who moved over to Oz to work in a diamond mine, but ruled that out - seemed too much like Britain. Eventually decided on Asia, originally Thailand, then after some more research, the Philippines.

It can be daunting to think about how to maintain an income in the Philippines - \'course I don\'t have any pension or other income that\'d keep me afloat, so it\'s all down to my own ability to make things happen. Luckily, I\'m not an idle guy. I\'m sure as I grow accustomed to the country and lifestyle, I\'ll become more aware of how things work and how to make things happen. The only benefit of being penniless in UK compared to penniless in PI is that the government would maybe help me out. Even then, it\'s a game of constantly jumping through hoops and scraping by, trying to rebuild and being back to square one.

Essentially, I want to enjoy myself, do something a bit different, be happy. I don\'t want to wake up to freezing cold mornings and make stale sandwhiches, break my back for 9 hours a day, 5-6 days a week and at the end of the month only have enough cash to cover rent and food. I grow more and more disheartened with this country each day, and at the moment, anywhere but here would be great!

Rambled a bit, but basically - I\'ll try to keep myself sane and occupied!

Offline c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n

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Re: 2011 Philippines monthly living expenses
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2011, 05:11:25 AM »
Great, cheers Ron - still looks good - anything under £500 is great -the further under, the better  :D

Good call on the beer! Forgot about San Mig Light :o

Cell phone - Thinking I can go without one, but the gf will need hers so I\'ll take that into consideration. Then again, I\'ll probably need one for keeping in touch w/ her if & when needed. Would go for cheapest option. Just wondering if I\'ll need a phone line for the internet connection?

For cooking at home, depending on what the apartment offered it\'d probably be gas / electric cooking.

Budget constraints mean I probably wouldn\'t want a car there - not sure I could even handle driving in PI. So, like you, Ron, transport costs would mostly consist of fares for getting to & from the shops.

Dining out - I\'ll let budget dictate that, would be done on the cheap, p200 each sounds great!

Can you say which part of Philippines you\'re in, Ron?

Cheers for the info

For dining out a rule of thumb I use, if a bowl of rice or a San Mig Lite is more than P30.......it\'s a tourist spot  ;)

Beautiful Bisayan Bohol

P7500 for 2 bed townhouse in a 6 unit compound with parking

My P200 meal is 2 San Mig Lites, Sizzling Squid and Garlic rice......well maybe P240......wife and kids are usually cheaper, unless the go for extra rice and halo-halo  ;D

Vegetarian eating out MAY be a challenge

Offline c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n

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Re: 2011 Philippines monthly living expenses
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2011, 05:15:12 AM »

Essentially, I want to enjoy myself, do something a bit different, be happy. I don\'t want to wake up to freezing cold mornings and make stale sandwhiches, break my back for 9 hours a day, 5-6 days a week and at the end of the month only have enough cash to cover rent and food. I grow more and more disheartened with this country each day, and at the moment, anywhere but here would be great!


I don\'t know what kind of job skills you have but if I was your age I\'d try and work 3 months in UK (summer preferably) and then head for Philippines 9 months each year

Offline dylanaz

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Re: 2011 Philippines monthly living expenses
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2011, 05:34:05 AM »
Groceries - push it up to P3000 - as a veggie - shop at local barangay market - the farmers bring local produce in twice a week to our local market -


VEGGIES - Eating these daily is the lowest cost way to live in the Philippines. I too had bouts of Vegetablism :)
Many many many locals seem to equate non-meat living with poor people - as veggies costs so much less than meats to live off. In fact you can find past posts from me where locals asked \"WHY DO YOU EAT LIKE A POOR PERSON\"

I just really enjoy the taste of veggies - and many times more than meats -

You have so many choices and maybe we can toss around some veggie recipes in the FOOD section of this forum...

You may look for these now in your local asian market to prepare your tastebuds.

1. AMPALAYA (£1 gets around 2 kilos) - bitter and looks like a wrinkled cucumber - good as a rice topping spiced up. Most locals mix this with egg. I pass on the eggs to avoid projectile vomiting (not an egg man).



2. LANGKA (£1 gets MANY kilos)- used in MANY ice cream treats and tastes like a bananna, but can also be prepared as a veggie in its unripe form (as seen below) and does NOT taste fruity - boiled down in a coconut milk broth and spiced up - also a good rice topping. Locals often add fermented fish paste - I always skip that part... not  sure why .. such a .. smell :) - it is traditionally boiled down to remove the soup base.. I prefer sauce as it makes it perfect as a rice topping.


3. UBE - a purple potatoe with a twist

I have seen so much conflict while in the Philippines - amazingly 99% of it was merely online computer experiences :D

Offline richardsinger

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Re: 2011 Philippines monthly living expenses
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2011, 05:44:48 AM »
Don\'t forget to put aside some money for contingencies. Hopefully you will never get sick and need medical treatment, but you will need to replace shoes and clothes at some point. Personally, I would prefer to budget with some margin in mind, rather than try for the bare minimum existence. If you find you have more than enough, you don\'t need to spend it all, (unless you want to of course). But if you are short, because of something unforeseen, yiou could easily become miserable very fast.

Richard

Offline c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n

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Re: 2011 Philippines monthly living expenses
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2011, 06:11:33 AM »
If he can stay under £400 out of his max £500, £100/P7000  a month should be a fair contingency fund

I\'m more concerned that I detect he thinks he can earn a living in the Philippines...............

Offline rm86

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Re: 2011 Philippines monthly living expenses
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2011, 07:20:55 AM »
Quote
Many many many locals seem to equate non-meat living with poor people - as veggies costs so much less than meats to live off. In fact you can find past posts from me where locals asked \"WHY DO YOU EAT LIKE A POOR PERSON\"

lol, they wouldn\'t be far off the mark with that comment though Dylanaz, I guess I would be considered pretty poor for a foreigner - On the plus side, might make me less of a target for any potential muggers - \"hey there\'s one, let\'s get him\" - \"nah, I heard he\'s a vegetarian\"  ::)

Some of those foods sound great - as unappealing as a wrinkly cucumber sounds - I\'ve learned looks aren\'t everything with the food over there  :D I didn\'t try as much as of the exotic foods as I should have when I was on holiday, I was more amazed at how fresh the bananas etc. were compared to the comparatively dry, bland stuff we have here by the time it gets into the UK  :-X Definitely up for some veggie recipe ideas as well.

Richard - Definitely keeping in mind some emergency cash, I understand how important that is - though probably not entirely until I\'m in an \"oh *** situation\". I\'ll be taking a ton of clothes over with me, which I hope to make last - and I know I can grab some cheap clothes from the stalls in SM when required. Not really thought aboutmedical costs, and hoping I won\'t have to... But knowing my luck  :P

Ron - Other than the rare possibility of landing the classic \'teaching English\' job, I\'ve definitely ruled employment out. I currently freelance from home part time (whilst working a regular job). I\'m hoping to build some long term client relationships and freelance full time to generate a steady income from freelancing whilst I\'m over there in the Philippines - also looking into using the internet to bring in some cash through websites / advertising / blogging / digital products etc. which is a work in progress.

I have a few cash generating ideas in mind which aren\'t computer based. I was thinking something along the lines of a T-Shirt printing gig. Things like that - I can\'t really say for sure whether that\'s something that would work until I\'ve been over there and got a proper feel for how stuff \'works\' out there.

When I do go over, it\'ll be after the sale of a property here - which should, optimistically speaking, be enough to tide me over for 2 years with my proposed budget. If I go over for 6 months and just can\'t get my head round the place and make things happen, I reckon I\'ll jump ship and me and the gf will head back to the UK. I\'m more concerned for her in all of this. I don\'t want her to feel that I can\'t support her adequately, or that her life is going to be a struggle and governed by budgets etc. Basically, I\'ll stay on top of things until I feel it\'s not going well, then I\'ll take action and make sure to jump ship long before said ship sinks!

Cheers all, great readin\'  :D

Offline halibaitor

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Re: 2011 Philippines monthly living expenses
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2011, 07:43:16 AM »
I have a few cash generating ideas in mind which aren\'t computer based. I was thinking something along the lines of a T-Shirt printing gig. Things like that - I can\'t really say for sure whether that\'s something that would work until I\'ve been over there and got a proper feel for how stuff \'works\' out there.

Two things... 

The first being, that is is expressly illegal for you to do any kind of \"work\" over there.  (Your internet based enterprises might do you some good however.)

The second being, for anything you actually try, the Pinoy will beat your socks off, and do it at a fraction of what you are willing to work for.

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Re: 2011 Philippines monthly living expenses
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2011, 08:12:02 AM »
I have a few cash generating ideas in mind which aren\'t computer based. I was thinking something along the lines of a T-Shirt printing gig. Things like that - I can\'t really say for sure whether that\'s something that would work until I\'ve been over there and got a proper feel for how stuff \'works\' out there.

Two things... 

The first being, that is is expressly illegal for you to do any kind of \"work\" over there.  (Your internet based enterprises might do you some good however.)

The second being, for anything you actually try, the Pinoy will beat your socks off, and do it at a fraction of what you are willing to work for.

I think you should forget anything other the the internet for earning money, unless you have a whole bunch of it to start up something out of reach of most Filipinos. The T-shirt idea is out, there are plenty those around.

Colin

Offline fred

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Re: 2011 Philippines monthly living expenses
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2011, 08:46:13 AM »
Personally,I respect the reasons you wish to escape the UK as I have been trying to do that (full time) for 30 years..
Been here 4 years straight this trip so it looks as if I have finally cracked it.. I was 44 years old with 3 kids in tow when we landed 4 years ago. No pension or income from the UK.
Tried many business start ups here from the age of 17 from bakeries to beauty parlours to piggery`s to you name it!!
After our first venture went pear shaped I was stuck here in the R.P for a further 2 years completely broke.. Best two years of my life which taught me far more about the Philippines than any Internet forum or book ever could..
If I were you I would find a way to stay here for as long as possible without touching a penny of your lump sum..
There are opportunities for that kind of cash to give you a reasonable monthly income but you need to thoroughly acclimatise and observe for a long period before investing..
If you blow your lump sum over 2/3 years you may kick yourself after returning broke to the UK.. (What a depressing thought)

Ive met a few guys here that live a pretty good life working on their laptops..
I`d say that is something you should seriously develop before you arrive here.. AND LEAVE YOUR CASH IN A UK BANK to earn interest..
If you can manage to spend enough time here you will eventually observe that there are indeed a good few expats that live here full time without a pension from overseas..
Given time you may wish to try something similar IF you still think that the R.P is still a place you wish to live either full or part-time..
Fully agree with Captain Rons recommendation in regards Bohol but then I may be biased as I live there!
Regards and good luck on your future ventures..
Fred.




Offline rm86

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Re: 2011 Philippines monthly living expenses
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2011, 09:31:49 AM »
Halibaitor - Yup, fair point! Two things I definitely intend to avoid - doing anything illegal and \'stepping on the toes\' of any pinoy entrepreneurs, from what I\'ve read here on the forum and a few other sources, that can be a potentially dangerous move  :-X

Colin - Thought as much! Seems like all the smaller nichés over in PI have been filled, still planning to keep an eye out for potential openings though  ;)

Fred - Truly inspiring stuff. As much as I enjoy reading about everyones experiences over there - and the journey involved in actually getting there in the first place - Whether it\'s the older guy with a pension or the part time visitor making plans and dreaming of the future. It all makes for great reading. Though for me, it\'s the guys like you who had a plan, which may have seemed out of reach at times, yet persevered and persisted and kept going in order to make it happen - hearing stories like yours helps to keep me motivated. And it\'s awesome that you seem to have cracked it this time round  8)

I\'d love to hear more about what happened in the 2 years you were there and broke - Sounds like the type of experience that would make for an interesting ebook  :o

 


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