Last Updated on May 27, 2023 by Ellen
The cost of living in the Philippines is low enough to make the island nation an attractive retirement destination for Americans.
Below is a breakout of expenses for the calendar month of February. During that time, we stayed on Negros and Bohol islands.
Overall we are pleased because our cost of living in the Philippines for one month was well under our budget.
We spent a total of $1,255 in this calendar month. Our monthly budget is $2,000.
Cost of living in the Philippines breakdown
Food/Beer total: $530
This is a first: we spent more on food and beer than on our apartment rentals.
One of our apartment rentals this month is located at the same site as an awesome restaurant with many western-style dishes that are tough to find in Southeast Asia. So we have been spending $10 – $14 a day on food, which is way more than we normally spend.
I do not drink alcohol at all. Tedly drinks (usually) only beer. A couple who likes alcohol would find $530 for this category too low for their lifestyle.
So what do our rentals look like?
The first half of the month we were on Bohol Island.
Take a video tour:
The second half of the month, we were on Negros Island, at a bed and breakfast with that awesome restaurant I mentioned.
Take a video tour:
This category includes ferries, buses, jeepneys (local buses) trikes (cabs), and fuel for motorbike rentals.
As slow travelers, we explore a region of a country through conveyances listed above. We try to fly as little as possible.
This is for fun stuff: marine sanctuary fees for snorkeling or diving, entrance to waterfalls or hot springs, and even a movie. I felt like chomping on salty popcorn one recent day so I spent $5 on The Invisible Man in an air-conditioned theater.
No explanation needed here, other than to say this is an elective for some budget travelers. For us, some months are higher than others.
This category covers everything from cleaning supplies to thrift store trips. In February, I bought two new dresses and three new tops for $5. Score!
A big goose egg on health this month. That makes up for other months when I need to see an oncologist or fill a prescription post breast cancer.
I should note: we are slow travelers. We don’t really “live” in the Philippines.
As such, we are on a tourist visa that costs about the equivalent of one dollar a day, per person. We previously paid that fee so that cost is not reflected in this calendar month.
Could you do it?
Is the cost of living in the Philippines low enough for you to consider an early retirement in paradise?
Maybe you would rather live somewhere else. We have 11 other options in a robust report: Best places to retire on social security or small budgets.
Thanks for reading, “Cost of living in the Philippines for 1 month.”
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