This is a guest post by Anna from Anna Love Life. She is a travel and style blogger based in the Philippines.
Most expats choose countries where they can enjoy a much lower cost of living. If the Philippines is number one on the list, rejoice as you can definitely save more and spend less while you indulge yourself in a more luxurious lifestyle.
Whether the main objective is to retire, work, study or change your environment, you can comfortably live in Metro Manila*, also called the National Capital Region (or NCR), for between $500 and $1500 a month. While the cost of living in provinces, such as Cebu, Baguio, Pampanga and La Union, is even lower ranging from around $300 to $600, let’s focus on the general on how much it costs to live in Manila for a month, specifically in Metro Manila, Makati and Taguig City.
Personally, I’d recommend provinces near Manila to live in for expats in terms of a more peaceful environment, faster traffic and lower cost of living. But since it’s the capital of the country, Manila is a great choice for those who plan to start a business, dive into a new career or prefer a more lavish life. The economy is more improved – lots of job opportunities, higher wages, better rate of consumers, more available goods and services, fancy restaurants, numerous malls, and advanced tools and equipment.
Based on Numbeo, the cost of living in Metro Manila compared to New York City is almost 60% lower. A monthly rent of a two-bedroom house costs about $300 to $500, with or without the inclusion of electricity and water. Foods and grocery items worth $250 are consumable in two weeks. Refer to Numbeo or Expatistan for list of other basic expenses.
Only 6 km away from the nearest airport, Makati City has the highest cost of living among the cities of Metro Manila mainly due to its continuously increased economic value from real estate to basic consumptions. It is also where lies the leading financial and central business district called the Makati Central Business District (Makati CBD).
This is a recommended place for expats who want a more pampered life as you can rent a condominium unit as low as $600 or buy at least 5 millions of pesos (roughly $200,000 – see the expensive condominiums in Makati here), and enjoy the neighborhood consisting upscale shopping malls, fine restaurants, and party clubs. A monthly cost for basic needs is around $500 to $850.
Compared to Makati, Taguig City (Bonifacio Global City or BGC) is a more conducive area to live in for expats as there are more residential units, commercial buildings and nearby places for entertainment. This is located east of Makati and a few miles away from the airport. You can live in one of the condominium units of Serendra from $700 to $3800. When it comes to expenses, it is almost similar to Makati’s cost of living.
Living in the Philippines for expats is an investment and money-saving venture at the same time due to the low rates of almost everything purchased and paid for here. But rest assured you will find more comfort and luxury at affordable prices.
P.S. Plan on using AirBnb while staying in Manila?
*Note: Manila and Metro Manila are two different places. Manila or Maynila is the capital city of the Philippines, while Metro Manila refers to 15 cities plus the municipality of Pateros: Caloocan City, Las Pinas City, Makati City, Malabon City, Mandaluyong City, Manila (or City of Manila), Marikina City, Muntinlupa City, Navotas City, Paranaque City, Pasay City, Pasig City, Quezon City, San Juan City, Taguig City and Valenzuela City.