Why do Expat “Experts” disagree on Budgets in the Philippines?

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Hey there, fellow travelers! If you’re considering packing up and moving to the Philippines, there’s no doubt you’re in for a wild ride. From the stunning beaches to the vibrant culture, this place has got it all. But before you take the leap, you might be wondering how much dough you’ll need to live the dream. Well, my friends, it’s a bit of a tricky question, but fear not. As a seasoned globetrotter, I’ve got the scoop.  The short answer is you get to pick your own price.  That is, your lifestyle choices determine your cost of living as an expat in the Philippines.  Don’t let some random Vlogger sway you either way, either with clickbait or their own personal lifestyle choices.  

First off, where you choose to set up camp can make a big difference. If you’re looking to rub shoulders with other expats and soak up all the tourist hotspots like Manila, Cebu, or Boracay, you’ll need to be prepared to shell out a bit more cash for things like housing and food. However, if you’re happy to trade the hustle and bustle for a more laid-back lifestyle, you can find some pretty sweet deals in the less popular provinces and smaller cities.

Another thing to consider is your personal style. If you’re all about living the high life and insist on the finest threads, designer digs, and Michelin-starred restaurants, then you better have a healthy bank account to back it up. But, if you’re happy to keep things simple and enjoy local cuisine at mom-and-pop eateries, you can save yourself a pretty penny.

When it comes to finding a place to rest your head, you’ll discover a range of options, but prices can vary widely. If you’re on a tight budget, you might want to consider sharing a pad or living outside the main city centers. Trust me, there’s nothing like waking up to the sound of nature instead of traffic.  Regardless of what you choose, know that rent costs are a huge part of the cost of living as an expat in the Philippines.

Getting around can also eat into your budget if you’re not careful. While taxis and ride-sharing services might seem convenient, they can quickly add up. Instead, opt for public transportation like jeepneys and tricycles, or even better, get yourself a motorbike or scooter. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also have a blast exploring the countryside.

When it comes to chowing down, there’s no shortage of options. If you’re keen to stick to your Western-style diet, be prepared to spend a lot more. But if you’re willing to broaden your horizons and dive into the local cuisine, you’ll find plenty of affordable and tasty options. Think street food, fresh fruit shakes, and markets bursting with fresh produce.

And last but not least, entertainment. Now, this is where it gets really interesting. The Philippines is full of natural wonders like beaches, waterfalls, and hiking trails, and many of them won’t cost you a cent. Hop on a motorbike or catch a jeepney to explore your surroundings. Plus, there are tons of free events and festivals throughout the year, giving you the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture without breaking the bank.

The Western Lifestyle

Ah, the luxuries of the Western world. We all love our cars, air conditioning, and imported goodies, don’t we? But when it comes to living as an expat in the Philippines, these little indulgences can come with a hefty price tag.

Let’s start with cars. While owning your own set of wheels might be a priority for some, the cost of gasoline and maintenance in the Philippines can be a real wallet killer. Many expats opt to ditch the car altogether and rely on public transportation or ride-sharing services instead. It might not be as glamorous, but it’s a lot easier on the bank account.

And speaking of staying cool, air conditioning is another luxury that can put a strain on your budget. While it’s a godsend in the scorching hot climate, the cost of running an AC unit can add up quickly. Locals often prefer to use fans or open windows to keep cool, and you might want to consider doing the same if you’re on a tight budget.

Now, let’s talk about food. For those of us who are used to a Western diet, it can be a bit of a shock to find that our favorite foods and brands are not as readily available in the Philippines. And even when they are, they can come with a pretty price tag due to import fees and taxes. But fear not, my friends. There are plenty of delicious local alternatives that won’t break the bank. Embrace the local cuisine, and you’ll find that your taste buds will thank you.

When it comes to hobbies and leisure activities, things can get a bit tricky. High-end activities like golfing or yacht clubs can be quite expensive, and imported electronics, and technology can also come with a premium price tag. But don’t worry, there are plenty of local alternatives that can be just as enjoyable. Think hiking, beach volleyball, or even learning a new local craft. You might be surprised at how fulfilling these activities can be.

At the end of the day, it’s important for expats to be aware of these factors when considering their cost of living in the Philippines. While certain Western amenities may be more expensive to maintain, there are also many local alternatives that can be more affordable and just as enjoyable. So, my friends, embrace the local culture, and you’ll find that your wallet (and your taste buds) will thank you.  That’s my advice.  If you can’t do that, and you just love your steaks, Budweiser, and big, roomy house too much to give it up, then it will cost you.  At the end of the day, you can’t predict the cost of another expat’s lifestyle.  Bloggers and Vloggers that claim they can are just wrong.  Cheers to living the good life in the Philippines!

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Want to know more about dating girls in the Philippines?  Check out this article.

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