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250 smackers. That’s all it takes to live on Cloud Nine. Utopia. Bliss. Heaven. Call it what you like. A recent poverty estimate revealed that an individual can live on 250 US dollars a month in a Guimaras “paradise.”  That’s around 12,602 Philippine pesos.

Sugar Plum, Please Take Note

First of all, sugar plum, please take note. In the past few months, I’ve written posts regarding our living costs in the Philippines for a family of five. Consequently, if you take an average of our past few months’ living costs, approximately 57,000 pesos, and divide it by five, you come up with 1, 140 pesos per person.

That figure is too not far off from the 12,602 peso mark provided by the Philippine Statistics Authority, PSA. However, we don’t have any housing costs. Our truck was paid for in cash. Hence, the PSA figures and our expenses different somewhat.

Above all, keep in mind that an American expat in the Philippines is in our household. Me. The Crusty Old Expat. All other folks in our home, including my asawa, are Filipino. I have a bit higher upkeep.

Live on 250 US Dollars a Month in Guimaras Paradise

According to the PSA figures from The Daily Guardian, an individual in Guimaras needed no less than PhP 8,800, 175 USD, to meet the basic food needs for a month.

On the other hand, no less than the aforementioned PhP 12,602, was needed to meet both basic food and non-food needs in a month.

This amount is considered the poverty threshold, the minimum income required to meet the basic food and non-food needs for one person.

Here’s what’s considered non-food needs in the study:

  • clothing,
  • fuel,
  • light and water,
  • housing,
  • rental of occupied dwelling units,
  • transportation and communication,
  • health and education expenses,
  • non-durable furnishing, household operations, and
  • personal care and effects.

Don’t think those figures are realistic? Probably not for a foreigner living in the Philippines but not impossible. Our Filipino nephew living in Guimaras resides in a boarding house. He used to live with us. He pays 600 pesos a month, 12 US dollars, for his rent now.

His mother, working in Kuwait, used to send between 5,000 to 8,000 pesos a month for his support and his sister. That’s 100 to 160 USD. However, though the lad’s sister, our niece, continues to live with us, she no longer gets any support from her mother.

Could you live on 250 US Dollars a month in a Guimaras paradise? Peace Corps volunteers from the States working in Guimaras used to. However, an expat acquaintance in Guimaras, “Bit” Davis, from Devil’s Fork, Wyoming couldn’t.

“Bit” is a single guy who has a self-acknowledged taste for buckets of beer.

“Bit” also has a Filipina girlfriend…or two.

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