Our living costs in Penang as slow travelers

theo and ellen in penang

Last Updated on May 27, 2023 by Ellen

Goodbye, Malaysia. We’ve moved on. But not without tallying our spending.

The grand total for our 88-day stay is:

$7,624. (Includes about $1,500 for Ellen’s broken wrist treatments.)

We greatly enjoyed our three-month stay in comfy, busy, modern Malaysia (90-day no cost visa on arrival for Americans).

We succeeded in catching up on all our medical/dental/vision issues in both Kuala Lumpur and George Town,  Penang.

Of course, we made great new friends and reconnected with folks we knew from our previous Malaysia visits.

Don’t miss: What a slow travel lifestyle is really like in Malaysia for early retirees

At this time, we have already resumed our ‘earth vagabonding’ with an extended tour around India. I’m writing this on a rainy day in Mumbai.

Still, we promise monthly budget breakdowns of our slow travels. So below is the exact spending for our final 30 days in Penang, Malaysia.

Living costs in Penang

  • $640 – Housing
  • $633 – Health
  • $324 – Charity/gifts
  • $285 – Groceries/beer
  • $268 – Restaurant/bar
  • $179 – Supplies
  • $164 – Travel
  • $115 – Local travel


Total: $2,608 for 2 persons

As always, a few qualifiers:

– Health includes an advance supply of necessary medications totaling $350.

-I bought a cheap digital camera for our continuing travel: $105 of supplies.

– Travel is $82 per person for Indian visas (valid for five years).

– Local travel means local buses, taxis, Uber/Grab rides.

Pie chart of living expenses in Penang

Obviously, we exceeded our $2,000 monthly budget goal. But subtracting out the qualified cost mentioned above, puts us on target.

Still, ‘special expenses’ are to be expected. Thus as we advise, a cash/credit cushion is always part of our planning.

As always, be thankful and generous, happy trails & more beer.

Life is NOW!

Thanks for reading, “Slow travel monthly expenses in Penang.”

Other posts about Penang:

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