From the Midwest redneck author of "The Rooster Crows at 4am!," "Lizard Poop!," and "The Philippines Expat Advisor"
How Cheap Can a Single Guy Live in the Philippines?
Just how cheap can a single guy live in the Philippines? Can he survive on 250 US Dollars a month? $500? How about 1,000 bucks a month? And surely anyone could live on $1,500 a month quite comfortably, right?
Depends if you merely want to survive, live comfortably or retire like a king (or queen) in this archipelago. Factor in location and lifestyle. Throw in how many relatives of your asawa or girlfriend you are supporting. If you have a asawa AND a girlfriend, toss that into the mix. (And if you DO have a spouse and a cute Filipina honey on the side, do you feel like spending six years in a Third World Country?)
My American expat friend, Scott B, moved to Iloilo City about two months ago. He recommends having a budget of $1,200, around 50,500 pesos at the current exchange rate. He occasionally goes out to movies, priced at around three dollars a ticket, and eats out quite frequently since he is an unattached single guy without a live-girlfriend or maid.
Scott cannot cook in his room unless he would sneak in a hot plate like Barney Fife used to do at Mrs. Mendelbright's boarding house on The Andy Griffith Show. But he's also a thrifty guy that shops at the local ukay-ukay stores to pick up clothing at a bargain price. The expat also uses the local jeepneys to get around Iloilo City just as my asawa and I do.
(Photo source: courier-herald.com)
I've known Peace Corps workers in Guimaras surviving on $250 a month. They eat a lot of rice and fish. I've also known some expats struggling to make it on $3,000 a month. I can assure you that if you want to live a "Western" type lifestyle when you retire in the Philippines, be prepared to pay for it. Those that adopt a more frugal "native" lifestyle will find more pesos in their pockets at the end of the month.
So how about you? Are you a single guy living in the Philippines? Would you care to share how much it's costing you to live here. Maybe it could help out some others and give them a general idea of the cost of living in the PH. Me? I'm married and supporting three nieces and a nephew that live with us. I'll have some budget figures coming up in a future post.