Our monthly expenses living near Iloilo City. We find that, with care, we can live fairly well in Iloilo City on about $2,000 per month. We own or own home so no rent is included. The main cost of living questions you need to adjust for are:
- Prescription drugs and medical care. A $2,000 per month budget may cover routine medical and dental care for a reasonably healthy couple. Someone requiring expensive prescription drugs or expensive medical care needs to adjust the budget accordingly. A reserve account to cover emergency medical expenses is a must.
- Support you provide to your spouse’s Philippine family — routine and special such as medical emergencies.
- Family size.
- Dining out, entertainment
- Expenses in ones home country.
- Immigration fees.
- Overseas travel.
- Any installment payments such as for a motor vehicle.
Here’s our expenses for 2011 (in U.S. Dollars)
Bank Charge 80.74
Books, Magazines, Music 381.46
Computer 1,150.68 (includes hardware)
Dining Out 715.77 (includes travel)
Family Help 5,795.32 (medical, education, funeral)
House Construction 1,425.41
House Furnishings 1,160.30
House Landscaping-Garden 456.46
House, Maintenance 523.77
Household 1,274.56 (includes generator)
Medical/Dental 7,124.75 (includes major surgery – about $5,000)
Photography 443.54 (includes camera)
Postage, Shipping 179.95
Rent 00.00 (own house)
Bottled Water 175.15
Electricity house 1114.22
Garbage & Recycling 55.80
Generator fuel 39.41
Total Utilities Utilities 2,205.35
Total 2011 Expenses $31,000 (approximate)
Expenses were high due to completion and furnishing of new house, family medical (including major surgery) and funeral expenses.
Would be Philippine retirees often ask if they can live in the Philippines for $600 per month or $800 or $1000 per month. The answer to all these is yes. If you are healthy, can be happy living in a rural area, riding public transport, shopping in the public markets, avoid imported foods and can get along without air conditioning and maybe Internet access (if you’re reading this maybe you can’t), you can live on very little.
http://www.numbeo.com/common/ is an interesting site offering cost of living and other quality of life comparisons for various locations around the world. What’s especially interesting is that the information is supplied by persons living in the various communities. You can log in and report on things such as the cost of a dozen eggs or a loaf of bread in your community, so that the information numbeo.com reports is localized, detailed and practical. It’s worth a look. Since it’s a relatively new site with limited data there are quirks. For example it reports a lower crime rate (as reported by residents) in Manila than Iloilo City. To us that’s laughable.