Living in the Philippines has been an adventure for most. The Republic of the Philippines is a country detached from the rest of Southeast Asia. This is an archipelago which has 7,107 islands. It is bordered by Borneo, Vietnam and Sabah. The Philippines is one of the countries in Southeast Asia that is rich with natural resources. You will find great rainforests and wildlife here in the Philippines. One thing that is remarkable is the great mix of cultures that has influenced this country based on a colorful history. This is what makes the Philippines such an interesting place to live in. Let us continue to learn about the low cost of living in the Philippines compared to the United States.
The economy of the Philippines is rising up from the Great Asian Financial Crisis. But living here is very convenient with the low cost of living set for the residents. The currency of the Philippines is the Philippines Peso (?, PHP). Currently, the exchange rate of the Peso is at 1 PHP is equivalent to 0.02 USD and against the EURO, it is equivalent to 0.015 EUR. With such a low cost of living, you will technically enjoy it here. Hot spots for living here include Manila and Cebu City. For vacations, Boracay and Bohol will be a top destination to go to.
Housing in the Philippines is variable. Manila will always have the highest renting rates especially for apartments. A fully-furnished apartment here will cost around $150 to $200 for the average kind of apartment. If you want a nice place to live, these can cost anywhere from $400 to $1000. You have to be careful when you look for a place on Manila because there are places where apartment rentals are really low depending on the area that you will live in. Aside from apartments, there are also homes for rent here but these will obviously cost more. You should always check out the possible options here.
Transportation is never a problem in the Philippines with the abundance of the public transportation here. If you have a car, you gasoline here costs around $0.86 per liter. Renting a car may cost around $40 per day. If you want a convenient way, you can always ride a taxi cab but this can be a bit expensive. This starts at a $0.60 flag down rate and increases by 0.05 per km passed. There are so many jeepneys available in the Philippines. The rates depend on where you are but in Manila, the standard rate is at $0.15 per ride. As for bus rides, the air-conditioned bus costs $2 for the fare. The fastest way is by riding the MRT which is the train in the Philippines with the tickets approximately $0.33 for one-way. A better deal is by buying a $2 worth ticket which is consumable. Transportation cost is around $40 per month when you live here in the Philippines.
Average cost of Monthly Utilities
Electricity bills in the Philippines do not cost a lot even if you spend the whole day with the air-conditioner turned on. Electricity prices usually cost around $60 to as much as $200. Depending on how much you abuse using your electricity. As for the internet, the DSL or high speed internet costs at least $49.95. Cable TV cost around $30 per month here. As for the telephone bill, you can expect $40 per month. Mobile phone rates differ but with a monthly budget of $25 per month, you can call and text with that amount.
Maid services are common in the Philippines. You can expect that every household has at least one maid. Full-time and stay-in maids are more common. The salary for a maid is at $60 to $100 per month. But for most households, their maids only have a specific job to attend to. There is 1 who cooks, babysits, the laundry and the cleaning. It depends on the job which will determine the salary of the maid. But if you are looking for a maid, you will never have a problem hen you look in Manila.
Cost for Food and Drinks
One thing that the Philippines is known for is their cuisine. You will find that eating out here is very convenient because besides from being cheap, you will get to enjoy how these taste. You will get to taste fusion cuisines that add international recipes with the Filipino recipes which give it a unique taste. Dining out in a regular restaurant here costs around $4 to $6 a meal. Fine dining here is available and you can find these in hotels and establishments, be ready because these cost around $60 per meal but you will surely be satisfied with what you get.
As for grocery items, you will not have to spend too much here. For a month, a typical grocery bill would reach $150 to $200. You can also try public markets where the fresh meat, seafood, fruits and vegetables are cheaper. Take a visit in the public market if you want to buy something for a cheaper price.
Healthcare in the Philippines is excellent. There are so many doctors here trained locally and internationally providing the best service for the residents. You can go to public hospitals but the private one does have better facilities. When you visit a doctor for a consultation, you can spend around $30 for your visit. Health insurance is something that is expensive for residents here. If you get insurance, you have to pay for it around $150 per month.
Shopping in the Philippines is great. There are cheap clothes as well as branded ones. For the imported clothes and branded ones, you can expect the prices to be the exact conversion of their retail prices in USD. For cheaper places, you can go to flea market, second-hand stores and small shops that sell local brands and overruns. For a shopping budget, you may need to set this at $100.
As you can see the Philippines has a very low cost of living compare to the US.
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