Contributions By Members > Living Costs in different areas, cities, provinces

Cost of living, don't be fooled

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BudM:
Too many people listen to the crap about how cheap it is to live here.  Yeah, you can live out in a province away from most everything but in the US, you can get away from the cities and get out in most countrysides and live cheaper too.  Besides a few things like labor, medical, and a little lower on insurances along with a couple or few other things, my everyday living is no cheaper than the city I came from.  When you throw it all together and boil it, the result is damn close to being the same.  Granted, I live in Metro Manila area, and with Manila being the capital of the Philippines  it is a lot cheaper than the capital of the US or any of the large city and metropolitan areas.   But, all this business about how cheap it is would turn out to be just that.  Crap.  And anyone relying on it has no one to blame but themselves if they did not do enough research on it prior to making their jump no matter what motivated them to do it.  They want to blame someone, all they need to do is look in the mirror.

JoeLP:

--- Quote from: BudM on March 21, 2018, 11:34:21 AM ---Too many people listen to the crap about how cheap it is to live here.  Yeah, you can live out in a province away from most everything but in the US, you can get away from the cities and get out in most countrysides and live cheaper too.  Besides a few things like labor, medical, and a little lower on insurances along with a couple or few other things, my everyday living is no cheaper than the city I came from.  When you throw it all together and boil it, the result is damn close to being the same.  Granted, I live in Metro Manila area, and with Manila being the capital of the Philippines  it is a lot cheaper than the capital of the US or any of the large city and metropolitan areas.   But, all this business about how cheap it is would turn out to be just that.  Crap.  And anyone relying on it has no one to blame but themselves if they did not do enough research on it prior to making their jump no matter what motivated them to do it.  They want to blame someone, all they need to do is look in the mirror.

--- End quote ---

I think you are correct in most cases.  I lived in Grand Rapids, MI before coming over here.  2nd biggest metro area in Michigan behind Detroit.  I enjoyed it.  But having had a taste of the Philippines already, it's where I wanted to go.  I was ready to move and live in Las Pinas and probably would have enjoyed that if that was to be what would have happened.  Had enough finance to afford it and have the extra for emergency.  And as I mentioned in previous posts, at that point in time I never visited the Visayas and had zero intent on living in the Visayas.  Well, met Tina and that all changed.  Did as much research as I could on it.  Having lived in Bataan already I knew a little of the Provincial life but was still close to Manila.
I will say this, I am saving much more money in my bank account now than what I would have ever believed I would be saving at this point in my life.  Catarman is much, much less expensive than the capital area or even Bataan was.  As a diabetic I am safe here as there are multiple pharmacies that carry my needs.  The hospitals are adequate to take care of any issues I might have come across. 
Sure, the net sucks, but that's true across most of the Phils.  I never really sat down and did the math on what it costs here vs. Las Pinas.  I can say with a lot of confidence that my costs here in Catarman, compared to what they were in Orion, Bataan are about 60%.  Granted, there are other factors than just the area so it's not a fair comparison.  As Tina manages the market and gets some of the best deals that can be gotten and saves a lot on our food and all.  But everything else...it's pretty damn cheap here.
I got lucky.  That's what it boils down to.  I was ignorant of the Visayas, just as I am still ignorant of anything in Mindanao or south or west Visayas.  But I'm guessing there are places like Catarman in them also.  I guess it's what you decide you need and desire for a place to live.  I thought I needed to be near Manila.  I was wrong.  Now I'm putting away more into the savings account than what I thought would be possible.    I do know a few foreigners over in East Samar who are paying even less every month for their living than I am.  One being a former corporate worker.  He's loving it.  But that's his cup of Tea.  Where he's living I don't think I could take it for more reasons than just the fact that there is only one pharmacy that carries the needs I have and they don't even have that in stock all the time.  But also he's really in the boondocks, if you will. 

Lee2:
I think it is true for those of us from inexpensive places within the U.S. but for those from parts of Europe, then it can be less expensive to live in the Philippines than back home.

I also find that my wife and I spend as much while living in Cebu, as we do while living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in overall costs, some items are much less expensive in the Philippines and others are much more expensive, so it all balances out.

Rents are less expensive in Cebu but you get what you pay for, a smaller place and often not up to western standards.

Water cost less but I would never drink the tap water, and the filtered water we buy, I would bet the filter company makes way more bottles than they are supposed to make, before changing the filter, since there are few standards here and no one checking up on them.

Next comes cable TV, much less expensive but not much for me to watch and then on top of that, I do not know about all over the Philippines or even all over Cebu but here our cable often goes out during the best part of the show, thus ruining the ending for us, which makes watching much here not worthwhile for me.

Labor related items cost way less here, that is where the savings come in big time, so a taxi only cost around p70 to p120 to most places we go, that is less than the fuel and wear and tear on a vehicle would be for us, so we do not need to own a vehicle here, thus no insurance or maintenance costs for that either.

Property taxes are much less here but with that comes little on services, so poor roads and calls for help to fire or police can take forever to get help and an ambulance might cost us our life, instead of being quick, so with lower taxes comes you get much less, some people do not care, well that is until they might need one of those services, then they will likely care or die and then it will no longer matter.

We pay much less in condo fees monthly here than in our Florida condo but with that comes low upkeep on many items, not so in Florida. Here in the Philippines it seems upkeep is not a priority for many.

So yes it cost less on some items and renting a house would cost much less but it also would likely not be a house up to western standards or even western size.

I am sure others can toss in their thoughts but my thoughts are that the reason most people move to the Philippines is either for the weather or the great partners we can find here. YMMV...

FastWalk:

--- Quote from: JoeLP on March 21, 2018, 03:10:19 PM ---I will say this, I am saving much more money in my bank account now than what I would have ever believed I would be saving at this point in my life.  Catarman is much, much less expensive than the capital area or even Bataan was.  As a diabetic I am safe here as there are multiple pharmacies that carry my needs.  The hospitals are adequate to take care of any issues I might have come across. 

--- End quote ---

Congrats.  That is a great situation to be in.

FastWalk:
Although it does occur it is not as common for a family that does not have at least one member from the Philippines to move here. So cost alone is not enough of a reason but it can have an effect.  Think about it like an indexed fund.  With an indexed fund you will get a little bit of everything so that your cost is stable (maybe).  But if you have a more targeted focus then you might get larger swings in value/results depending on all sort of things that relate to the targeted focus.

When we compare the cost of living from the viewpoint of an index of everything it is likely really close.  Or is it ??  For example try adding a full time maid and driver in any US location to the budget and see how it adds up.

It is a process of determining what things in each location we will need or want,  and then compare the cost.  For me it will be about the same cost either place,  but the distribution of that spending will be on different things.  For example school vs massive property taxes.  In either case if we take all the exact same bundle of items and services and try to buy it in the other place it will be a much different cost.  The cost of a family sized home in the Philippines province city is/was much less than the same in Seattle.  However in a province city in the US I might get something similar for about the same initial capital.

I also believe that a person that is broke in one place will eventually be broke in any place.  There are many lottery winners that end up broke again after having a huge party.  Showing off is expensive in any location.

Another point is that the average (or is it mean..) income in the Philippines is about 25k peso,  and the same in the US is about 4-6k dollars per month.  With the exchange rates it works out to the US person having on average about 10 times more.  Other numbers can be found,  but the general theory is still sound.  In either place there are ppl that are above or below the averages.

If we want to live Exactly like we do in a western place (USA) and cost saving is the only reason to move,  IMHO don't do it.

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