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  1. #1
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    Cost of Living in the Phils...

    Silly season topic i know.....but what do you guys think a single guy would need for a minimalist existence in the Phils? I have a neighbour from Davao City who swears that Eu300/month is enough for a middle class existence - maybe for him but us farangs need a/c round the clock. There is currently an english guy on Youtube who is trying to live on a budget of USD$575/month. (Not sure in what town).

    You can live out of town a little bit but then you'd need a moped i suppose. A hot shower may not be a necessity but a flushing toilet is...

    Any opinions on a minimum monthly budget - without resorting to eating street food? No housekeeper, just the essentials of a/c, internet and access to a supermarket in a reasonable distance? Quite happy to get quietly shit-faced at home, instead of listening to Yanks going on ad nauseum bout what an awful president Obama is...

  2. #2
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    I believe the utility prices make it more expensive from a simple cost of living perspective. That and many areas suffer regular outages. Moreso than you would be likely to experience in Thailand. It is possible to live without aircon and it does not hurt to do so.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by chassamui View Post
    I believe the utility prices make it more expensive from a simple cost of living perspective. That and many areas suffer regular outages. Moreso than you would be likely to experience in Thailand. It is possible to live without aircon and it does not hurt to do so.

    But very nice to have. You don't have to run it at 23C. I run it at 27C and it is very comfortable, because it gets down the humidity. That does not cost a fortune. I don't live permanently in the Philippines, just extended holidays.

    Hot water not needed. For water outages a container helps. Biggest obstacle in cheap areas is decent Internet.

    If you cook for yourself using gas 575$ or 500€ should be very doable. But canned food and western food is probably more expensive than in the West. Go native with food supply.

    My biggest gripe is that there is no rye flour for baking decent bread. I need to bring that with me. At least I was not able to source it in Manila or Cebu.
    "don't attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence"

  4. #4
    Kraut Koonta stroller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paddy Whackery View Post
    a neighbour from Davao City who swears that Eu300/month is enough for a middle class existence
    If you own your place of residence, the car is paid for and you don't travel and don't go out much. Then, if you eat Flippo food, you'll have a middle class Flippo life.
    - maybe for him but us farangs need a/c round the clock.
    Do we?
    A hot shower may not be a necessity but a flushing toilet is...
    Is it? Anyway, that's a one-off expense which won't set you back much.
    I'd be more concerned about safety against burglars and 'animal' invaders. Again an initial one-off expense.

    Quite happy to get quietly shit-faced at home, instead of listening to Yanks going on ad nauseum bout what an awful president Obama is...
    Not many, if any, yanks in Davao leading a Flippo "middle-class" life.

  5. #5
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    Is there a concensus on whether it's (relatively) safe to drive a moped? In a certain country i could mention, the boys in brown would just say "you know how that's people drive around here so what's your problem?" Tough titty if farang gets run over...

  6. #6
    Kraut Koonta stroller's Avatar
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    Been driving a scooter in Thailand for 16 years, wouldn't dream of doing so in the Phils.

  7. #7
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    Not sure I love driving scooters in India..Take your Life in your own hands.
    Thailand seems pretty safe compared to India

  8. #8
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    Driving standards of the locals is far higher in Philippines than in Thailand.

    I live in Makati and my girlfriend stays with me also, so my expenses are quite a bit higher than if I lived out in one of the provinces (or even somewhere further out, but still in Metro Manila.

    My rent is 25,000 pesos per month. My last water bill was 132 pesos and last electricity bill was 1,077 pesos.

    I don't run the air cond 24x7, but usually just turn it on when I come home for an hour or two.

    I pay a lady to come in each week to clean and do laundry etc. I pay her 1,000 peso per visit.

    I don't own a car here as my office is directly across the road from my condo. Just catch taxis when needed for short trips, and hire a car and driver for longer trips.

    My total expenditure is about 100,000 pesos per month, but that includes a weekend away with my GF each month as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TizMe View Post
    Driving standards of the locals is far higher in Philippines than in Thailand.

    My rent is 25,000 pesos per month. My last water bill was 132 pesos and last electricity bill was 1,077 pesos.
    Now here's the question:
    Can you get BBC World Service?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TizMe View Post
    Driving standards of the locals is far higher in Philippines than in Thailand.
    I'm told they have some kind of emergency responders in the Phils (Cebu?). Whatever it's like, it's better than tiger balm...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TizMe View Post
    Driving standards of the locals is far higher in Philippines than in Thailand.

    I live in Makati and my girlfriend stays with me also, so my expenses are quite a bit higher than if I lived out in one of the provinces (or even somewhere further out, but still in Metro Manila.

    My rent is 25,000 pesos per month. My last water bill was 132 pesos and last electricity bill was 1,077 pesos.

    I don't run the air cond 24x7, but usually just turn it on when I come home for an hour or two.

    I pay a lady to come in each week to clean and do laundry etc. I pay her 1,000 peso per visit.

    I don't own a car here as my office is directly across the road from my condo. Just catch taxis when needed for short trips, and hire a car and driver for longer trips.

    My total expenditure is about 100,000 pesos per month, but that includes a weekend away with my GF each month as well.
    Your total expenses are very close to my number here in Thailand per month, but I am paying for a new Toyota TRD and private school for my 5 year old son. So all things considered my actual living expenses are close to half of yours Tiz me. I have no house payment and only pay the utility bills. It can be worked several different ways depending on ones lifestyle. I know I am not really talking apples to apples here, but just a comparison.

    It also depends on how much it cost you to reach a stable monthly cost of living. Since I have three cars and two motorbikes along with a 200 sq meter house that is free and clear, my total investment is probably quite a bit higher than yours.

  12. #12
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    The 100k per month includes every purchase I've made since arriving here.
    I've been here since March this year, so it includes rental deposit of 100k, purchase of washing machine and all the kitchen appliances (except refrigerator).
    It also includes our trips away, one was a 66K package deal to Palawan for 5 days.
    Another was a 3 day trip where we hired a car and driver, maybe that was about 30k.
    I expect my average spend will reduce in coming months, especially there will be less traveling until the wet season ends.

  13. #13
    Head Skivvie Stacker Storekeeper's Avatar
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    Have had this memorized for years:

    HOME | live and retire

    Great blog source for living in the Philippines.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TizMe View Post
    Driving standards of the locals is far higher in Philippines than in Thailand.

    I live in Makati and my girlfriend stays with me also, so my expenses are quite a bit higher than if I lived out in one of the provinces (or even somewhere further out, but still in Metro Manila.

    My rent is 25,000 pesos per month. My last water bill was 132 pesos and last electricity bill was 1,077 pesos.

    I don't run the air cond 24x7, but usually just turn it on when I come home for an hour or two.

    I pay a lady to come in each week to clean and do laundry etc. I pay her 1,000 peso per visit.

    I don't own a car here as my office is directly across the road from my condo. Just catch taxis when needed for short trips, and hire a car and driver for longer trips.

    My total expenditure is about 100,000 pesos per month, but that includes a weekend away with my GF each month as well.
    Dirt cheap rent for Makati, Tiz. Where? Also you must only turn on one lamp at night for an electric bill like that!

  15. #15
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    I'm in Valero Street, just a stone throw from the Ayala Triangle.

    My place is only small, but it's big enough for me and my girl.

    The lamps are low energy

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Storekeeper View Post
    Have had this memorized for years:

    HOME | live and retire

    Great blog source for living in the Philippines.
    I found it to be a little top heavy with ads for ebooks etc but still has some good basic info. There's no such thing as doing too much research imho, even if any potential move to the Phils (even on a part-time basis) may well be years away...I worked with Flippers for about 20 years in nyc and feel i understand them to a degree. They are notoriously clannish but that's a whole other discussion. Thanks for the info.

    I'd buy you a white russian if i was over there.

    The Dude abides...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Storekeeper View Post
    Have had this memorized for years:

    HOME | live and retire

    Great blog source for living in the Philippines.
    I spent a few hours last night on this forum:
    Living In Cebu Forums

    It's got an awful lot of information about life in the Phils and it's a "warts-and-all" view of life in the Phils...unlike certain Youtubers who present a somewhat (imho) sanitized view of life in the Phils...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by chassamui View Post
    Very interesting...ta very much. The flippers' resourcefulness and and ability to make-do with what they have stands to them...If only they could improve their infrastructure? (My neighbour from Davao says it was politics NOT the hurricane that closed Clark - reakon it would take them a loooooooong time to to replace that kind of earner)...

  20. #20
    Kraut Koonta stroller's Avatar
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    (My neighbour from Davao says it was politics NOT the hurricane that closed Clark - reakon it would take them a loooooooong time to to replace that kind of earner)
    A combination of the two, actually. Subic/Olongapo as well.

    US forces have come back to the Phils in various forms and agreements since.

  21. #21
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    Despite the protests of special interest groups, the US and Japan will continue to press for a significant increase in troops rotating through PI military facilities. In mutually beneficial moves both sides are keen to augment the current VFA with an increased presence in the Pacific.
    The US can keep an eye on perceived threats from China and the PI gets big brother to support claims for sovereignty of disputed maritime regions.

    U.S. negotiating to rotate troops to 8 Philippine bases

    Japan and U.S. to establish military bases in the Philippines

    Once the ladyboy killer is jailed, and the Phils supreme court rules on validity of VFA, things will move quickly I suspect.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paddy Whackery View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Storekeeper View Post
    Have had this memorized for years:

    HOME | live and retire

    Great blog source for living in the Philippines.
    I spent a few hours last night on this forum:
    Living In Cebu Forums
    I came across a guy in their archives (Cebu forums) who's income didn't match up to the expectations of his teeruk's family, a common enough experience i believe. He thought he had been clear from the start about his financial situation, until they told him they had to tell the neighbors that every new purchase had been paid for by him "just to save face". This all-important saving face seems to be the be-all and end-all for Flips as well as Thais. The last straw came when they told him they were constantly being humilated on front of their neighbours because he doesn't make 3 x times his girlfriend's salary...

    This really struck a chord with me and the very first flipper girl i ever got to know in my first job in nyc in the 90's. She had a nice, new Toyota Camry, co-op apartment out on Long Island. The usual three jobs to send all those $$ back home...I used to go by her desk to chat her up at lunch time and she'd pull out her last three pay cheques from the drawer and start fanning herself with them, just to show me she hadn't needed to cash them...Eventually a friend pulled me aside and told me that unless i made three times her salary, all her friends would just laugh at her. So, basically i'd have a better chance of angels flying out of my arse...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by stroller View Post
    Been driving a scooter in Thailand for 16 years, wouldn't dream of doing so in the Phils.
    ridiculous statement. If you have what it takes to drive a scooter in Thailand you have what it takes to drive a scooter in the Philippines as well. Have you got a problem with driving on the right hand side of the road, or something?

    Philippines is probably a little bit more problematic drive-wise than Thailand (not anything to do with on which side they drive) but not all that much more. Both are quite challenging, but Philippines is just a touch more challenging. I've driven all round the Philippines island-to-island, on and off ferries, with all my stuff and usually at least one girl and her stuff on the back for years. Thailand is easier because the roads are better and there is better traffic regulation in cities. Thailand is easier because it is less densely populated with fewer people this also means less animals that can run out in to the road and F*ck you up. Thailand is easier. But it's not all that much easier.
    Last edited by callippo; 04-09-2015 at 03:24 AM.

  24. #24
    Kraut Koonta stroller's Avatar
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    Compare Manila with Bangkok.

    How many fellow bikers do you see driving in Manila?


  25. #25
    Thailand Expat Exit Strategy's Avatar
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    Strange thing is that Philippine people have the right attitude and they have the skills and the country is beautiful but then it fails. Police and bureaucracy. Stayed there briefly before relocating to Indonesia. Once upon a time.

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