Home » Asia & Pacific » Philippines » True Cost of Living in the Philippines for 2009

True Cost of Living in the Philippines for 2009

by Counselorhelp on 18/05/09 at 1:34 am

This is a breakdown of how much it costs for my wife and I to live in the Philippines per month with Real Budget Figures in Dollars and Peso! This is very different from other sources – read on to find out why.

It seems that in a lot of cases the information on cost of living in the Philippines is grossly out of date(pre credit-crunch/depression/recession/”financial crisis), or, its very optimistic, giving you false hope, or it’s written by a party animal who spends too  much! This one is going to be different because I will give you actual figures, first in Pesos and then a dollar figure for the total.

In case you are wondering, currently if you want to translate your US dollars into Philippine Pesos, you need to multiply your dollar by around 50 and you will have the peso amount (although currencies fluctuate)!

So, Here’s the Budget!

  • Monthly House Rent – 2 bedroom/2 bathroom detached house - 5000
  • Monthly Food + shopping – eating fresh food. - 7500
  • Water (tap water) - 300
  • Mineral Water (delivered to our door) - 300
  • Electricity – 600 – 1000
  • Fuel (gasoline) - 800
  • Monthly Installment on motorbike – 1,500
  • Monthly Installment on Big TV – 1000
  • DVD rental (3 new release films per week) – 120
  • Cable TV bill- 360
  • Clothes washing bill -1000
  • Gas (cooking gas for stove) - 200
  • Visa waiver (2 month visa extension)- 1600
  • Internet Bill- 1000
  • Travelling - 700
  • Dining out – 1500

Total Monthly Expenses in Peso — less than 24,000

Total Monthly Expenses in US Dollar — 475-480

This is for 2 young marrieds to live a fairly nice middle class life. If you want to be a party animal, then you can spend a lot more, of course.

If you like this and maybe want to visit the Philippines, then I suggest you also check my other page “top 11 reasons to visit the Philippines”

If you want to read more of my writing, then please check my profile, or look at my website.



Liked it


May 19th, 2009

Thanks for sharing … I complain about the cost of living where I live but the prices are much higher in the Phillipines for sure !!


May 20th, 2009

In Nova Scotia?

t simon

May 26th, 2009

your rent is pretty low for a detached house. I assume you live outside Metro Manila? Thanks for being upfront with the figures.


Jun 22nd, 2009

I’d like to know where in the Philippines you are living. Under $500.00 US is extremely low.


Jun 27th, 2009

I am very glad to have read your link.I was thinking if you could also give me the cost for living in camiguin island include renting of a small 2 bedroom house.
Best regards:John from Cairns,Australia


Jul 28th, 2009

well, I am renting a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom detached house in Negros Oriental, near Dumaguete :)


Aug 1st, 2009

WOW! I live in Chiapas, Mexico and it is so cheap here that I can’t seem to spend any money to speak of. But PI, based on your report, is even cheaper, and I will be there in Dumaguete in October. Sounds good to me. Thanks. Got any rental tips for a small (furnished?) apartment in Dumaguete area?


Aug 1st, 2009

hola elgatogordo

sure, just send me a message on triond and I’ll do my best :)



Aug 2nd, 2009

We are looking to live in the western coast of an island. We want to be able to in a semi-remote area so we can start a church and school. Can you give us suggestions and the amount of money to live there.


Aug 9th, 2009

want to move to Gingoog very soon. anone have info on cost of living, finding a nice apartment cheap. any help would be apreciated. thanks….patrick


Nov 2nd, 2009

here is mine
I live in new corella mindanao.

me and my wife live on 4500 per month only.
we have own house
I eat filipino food like bangus, tinapa with odong etc.

water bill – 187
electric bill – 100
stall rental for our buisness – 500
electric bill for buisness – 350
food – 2500 per month
others 1000


Dec 22nd, 2009

Get real on cost to live in the Philippines:

1) I own my house so electric,, city water, bottle water, cable, cell, land-line phone cost. and internet is:
P22,000 monthly.
2) Food plus household items for 3 in Family plus two helpers
P45,000 monthly
3) 12 year old Daughter schooling since public school is a joke.
P5,000 monthly
4) Cooking gas-P720, car gas P3,000, 6 dog food= P12,000 for
P15,720 monthly
5) Others
P20,000 monthly estimated
Total monthly cost:
P107,720 = $2,331.60 USD monthly


Jan 3rd, 2010

You must be living like a rat. You can live like a king on $2K per month. Why not enjoy yourself? You can’t take it with you. Be like Obama,spread the wealth.


Jan 13th, 2010


107.000 per month

i guess you live in manilla and eat on mcdonlads everyday?

As I said

I also own my house.
water bill is minimum 187.56 per month
electric bill was this month only 339 pesos for 2 houses.
mine and my wifes family house.
you can live pretty cheap like 5k pesos per month is ok
if you live in a muncipality and like the nice taste of fish.
vegetables etc.
and skip americano food.

if you eat filipino food cost of rice is not more then 500 per month.
then you eat some viand 2500 maybe
my expenses are high because i have a buisness
so i have many payments
without it you can live on 3500 pesos per month
maybe 400 if you use gasul instead of firewoods.

but i know many foreigners and the cheapest i known his living cost is 40.000 per month
I cant really understand why ??
maybe 15 aircons . 3 cars eating burgers daily
having 15 house maids.

well i dont know.

to me anything over 10k even for a city sounds very high living cost.


Jan 22nd, 2010

a list of saleries:

my neigbour is a policemen
salery: 17.000 pesos monthly

my bilas is a office worker in the goverment
salery : 5500 peso

a nurse : 8000 pesos.

a driver : 3500 per month.

housemaid : 1500 per month.

a carpenter: 300 pesos per day.


Feb 2nd, 2010

Ok, I’m completely confused. Some say you can live on under US 500, others say you need more then US 1500. Whats upi with that?


Feb 5th, 2010

depends on where you live
the big cities are more expensive but not that much more
maybe 10.000 per month living cost in manilla
that is 200 dollars.

but i live here and i have noticed most americans spend sooooooooooooooooo much money.
because they live like kings.

if you live a normal simple life style 5k-10k is enough.


Feb 11th, 2010

I was stationed at Clark back in 1967-69. I loved it, and been born the the caribean, it was like when I was a kid. I would like to return soon, or even live there. I read about so many changes, most for the better. Your site info is great and I see that you can still get your money’s worth. It is a beautifull country, and I found that traveling around the country is the best way to see the beauty and get to know the people. Of course one should always be aware of crime. I doesnt hurt if you know a phillipino(a) and language. Thanks for a good site….

jack t

Feb 17th, 2010

Is it true that if you are not a citizen of the Philippines that you cannot buy a home or land unless you are married to a filipina?


Feb 23rd, 2010

yes that is true but u can lease land, note the only thing you can buy is a condo unless you become a resisident or start a business there


Mar 18th, 2010

Please some on help me with a true realitic budget. I want a nice simple life style budget.

I’ll outline the bullet points:

> Live like locale
> Live outside Cebu City in small town
> Live in small one/two bed apt or house
> No air con or very limited use/use fans insted
> Eat local food/cook myself ot have gf cook for me
> Buy bottled water
> No alcohol
> Limited entertainment
> Enjoy walks and beaches and nature for entertainment

thomas key

Mar 26th, 2010

note the exchange rate from the usd to peso i think right now it is 44.? to one. i also just bought a house in angeles city in one of the old neighborhoods for less then 125,000 peso (less then 3000 usd) every thing is cheep here a ride across town is 2 usd where in new orleans is 13 usd to go 5 blocks

rudy valmonte

Mar 27th, 2010

I would like to check out dumaguete.

going home for first time

Apr 15th, 2010

HI guys im going on vacation in the philippines on may 12, i just need some estimate in costs, I will be staying with relatives, i havent been to pinas since i left 30 years ago and is excited to go, my budget is 1500 dollars for 3 weeks, im planning to go out and have fun , i will be staying in manila by the way, im talking about some nightlife outings and restaurants and little bit shopping, would 1500 dollars be enought? i guess that rounds up to about 64k pesos. thanx


Apr 19th, 2010

lol. i am living in the the suburbs metro manila(cainta,rizal).
P30,000($666) a month is actually enough to live a middle class life here. that\’s everything you need except RENT. If you\’re planning to tour JUST around manila and shop a LITTLE BIT, then $1500(67k) is actually more if not enough


May 23rd, 2010

hi people i’m an aussie and have been to the philippines at least three times in the last three years i want to open a bar there but have only ever been to manila i would really like to know if manila is the best place, or if there are better places to have a bar in the philippines????

fred miller

Jun 10th, 2010

I live in Kentucky U.S.A i want to tell you i pay less than 500 a month i live in a mobile home paid for the property tax is 25 bucks a month electric 75 water 60 cable internet 100 propane 30 i dont know why you would want to live in asia i pay less here than you do and have a beatifull scenery no crime your crazy to live in a country like that your not saving nothing


Jun 11th, 2010

anyone living in Mindanao have any direct information for me? I am moving there soon. I wanted to visit new corella so any info on that. You can spend more to live anyplace depends on the lifestyle you want. niceguy333m@yahoo.com


Jun 26th, 2010

We have a family of 4 and want to move from Florida to either Metro Manila, Valenzuela City, or Angeles City next year. Can we afford to live in PI on a $1000 per month pension? We need a 2 bedroom house or apt with about 1000 square feet. We want air con, cable tv, internet and hot water for shower. We like to eat out 2x per week and go to mall or sight seeing 2-3x per week. Also have about $100K in saving that can use to buy home or for investment income to help pay rent. Can we live this lifesyle for a family of 4 on $1000 per month? Any info you can provide is very much appreciated. Thank you.

Keith Stone

Oct 22nd, 2010


I was put in a prison for drugs they were planted on me, i did not have enough money to pay the cops off i was raped over 100 times in prison i was made a prison sex slave i served men day and night you want to live there go ahead you WILL BE SORRRY


Feb 18th, 2011

wow i really like see some of the things that have been wrote but i want to come there for a visit and would like to know where is a good place i want to stay on the beach and by the locals see how they live and what they think of other people moving there so if i could get some in put i would love it thank youll

Karl Walker

Mar 20th, 2011

I have so many questions, until i am not sure where to start. However some of those questions has been answer,such as what are the pay rate for those who work there and the many jobs. I guess what i would like is a list of a updated imformation concerning cost of living, food, safe place to live and any related issue or area that may lend to living a peaceful life.
If you can that would be a help to me in making some discisons and in return perhap i can be a help to you.


Mar 21st, 2011

hi. i am canadian 56 years old separeted i want move for retirement in philippines. i visited already .its great. its sure that 1000 $ to 1500$ is more then enough to live well.
All i want to know is as foreigner can i rent a house even if i dont have work ? what proof do i need ?
the entrance visa is valid for how much ?
and the medical insurance cost ?
thanks for any help


Mar 23rd, 2011

Sail boat the hand made precious jewelry to successfully abercrombie fitch.
To get the most prices through abercrombie & fitch,Send a person’s hand made rings if you want to abercrombie and fitch clothing.let me reveal learn how to coming back again fashion accessories brought by way of abercrombie sale. To get the majority of well-liked selling prices for abercrombie uk sale,by abercrombie and fitch uk.
Send a person’s hand made diamond jewelry to assist you to fitch clothing.


Apr 13th, 2011

Hi Mario, I’m a filipina living in South Carolina, USA for 21 years now. I have many relatives in the Philippines and flew back there many many times. The answer to your question is YES. Anyone can rent a home there regardless if you’re a native there or not. The filipino landlords would love to rent a home to a foreigners because to them, they have a better chance of getting rent on time than to a native. You dont have to provide anything to rent a place indefinitely.

As far as health insurance, sorry no insurance there. Very few employees can have this benefit. When you see a doctor, you pay cash ahead of time. It’s not much to see a doctor, It’s $10 per visit.

You can get an extension visa yearly for a fee, I think nowadays around $30 a year. You can live well with $1000 a month. This will even include having a maid that stays with you 24 hours a day.

Best of luck on your trip. Have a great time in the Philippines. Be careful as the natives always will see you as a walking money. :-)

mari takahashi

Oct 29th, 2011

We soon be living in the Philippines , particularly in d south General santos city,hubby is a Japanese guy. I left Philippines 5years ago and when i came back 2010 for a visit, prices of commodities skyrocketed. I have also this question in mind how much life-money we need everymonth,since we will live w/in his retirement benefits and we want more savings^.^…I can live w/ a 20,000pesos per month since we`re not buying rice( we have a farm) and we don`t need to rent a house, but he just couldn`t easily adjust to filipino food so we opt to imported frm japan which will surely double our food expenses…haaaikkks. i would be glad if he can already adjust to Philippines lifestyle, so guys yeah 20 to 30 thousand is just enough for u to live a decent life in the Philippines ( outside big cities ), that\’s for the family of three plus 1 maid.

Leave a Comment
comments powered by Disqus