How Much Money Do You Need to Live in the Philippines?

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Hey there, kids. In this video I want to talk
a bit more about the cost of living here in the Philippines and how you can manage it.
And if you watched my video last week on airfare, a lot of people seem to think the idea of
living abroad, or even just visiting abroad, a lot of Americans anyways just think it’s
absolutely impossible to do; you need lots of money or whatever. And I want to say no,
you don’t need a lot of money, particularly in a place like the Philippines.
The Philippines is not a third world country, let’s get that out of the way. It’s a second
world country. There’s obviously a lot of poverty here, but there’s a lot more wealth
than there would be in a place like, say, Somalia, okay. And there’s a very vibrant
middle class and a vibrant upper class here. So, the Philippines is very, very doable on
an American salary. Now, excuse me there. Basically, I would estimate you would need
maybe a maximum of $1,200 a month to live in the Philippines. If you can make $1,200
a month or if you have access to $1,200 a month, you can live pretty easily here. And
I’m not talking like some sort of hand-to-mouth existence. You can have a pretty good deal
of luxuries, okay. And the main reason you can hack it with that
much is because the cost of living here is obviously a lot lower than the U.S. The exchange
rate is very favorable. Right now the exchange rate is 23 Philippine pesos to one dollar,
so your money goes a lot further here. The cost of living is obviously much, much cheaper.
And I want to talk about the main expenses that you would incur here in the Philippines.
Number one, the flight over here, that’s probably what you’re going to be ending up spending
the most amount of your money. Like I said, if you watch my previous video, there’s a
link to it in the description, on how to save money on airfare, you can save a good deal
of money getting here and back. I paid about a thousand dollars for the one-way flight
here from Chicago to Davao City, and I’m paying about 750 to fly back to the U.S. next month,
because I got the tickets well in advance. I used the website Skyscanner, which again,
watch the video, I explain more about how to save money on airfare there, too. That’s
a pretty good deal, particularly considering that most—it’s a long haul distance, you
know, but flights, that would cover that. Lodging and housing is also relatively inexpensive.
It depends on how many luxuries you want. Now, to give you an example. I’m recording
this in Davao City. I am living in an apartment that costs me about $500 a month plus utilities.
Now, this apartment is on the fourth floor of the building; it’s got all the amenities
you could want. It’s got a fridge, it’s got appliances, a stove, the facilities have a
gym and a pool; it’s very nice. It’s got a guard, so it’s very safe.
The only thing it doesn’t have is wireless Internet. Instead, I get Internet through
one of these things. It’s basically like—they call it a stick here. It’s basically like
one of these MeFi wireless 4G modems you get from Verizon or AT&T or whatever. But that
cost me about $23 a month for about a month’s worth of bandwidth. So, that’s still pretty
cheap. You don’t have to spend $500 a month. If you
want to forego the pool, the gym, there are a lot of cheaper places you can get that are
perfectly safe. For example, here in the Philippines anyway, there’s a little something that’s
called an apartelle. Sort of a lodging option that’s unique to the Philippines. It’s something
that’s a bit between—it’s a type of lodging that’s between an apartment and a hotel. You
get some of the amenities of a hotel such as, say, maid service, but you can stay in
one of these places for a long time and it’s not that expensive.
There’s one particular one that’s recommended on Roosh V Forum, and other places in this
part of the Internet, in Davao City called Jun ‘n Dell Apartelle. There’s a link to it
in the description. I’ve seen their facilities; they’re very nice. I very nearly ended up
staying before I found this apartment instead, so. You can see what an apartelle is like
just by looking at that website. And like I said, if you’re willing to cut
corners on some things you can live here pretty cheaply. And you don’t really have to worry
about safety. I mean, obviously, depending on where you are, depending on what city you
want to go in, you want to make sure that—you want to do some research before and make sure
the neighborhood where you’re staying is safe, but beyond that you’re really not going to
run into any issues. Food. Depending on your tastes, you can either
spend a lot of money or you can spend very little money. Now, the staple of my diet is
pretty much tuna paella. You can buy it in cans, it’s manufactured by Century Tuna, and
it’s—I happen to love tuna. It’s absolutely delicious. Tuna, rice, peas, all the essentials
for a healthy diet. I eat it for lunch just about every day. It’s, like I said, 30 pesos
a can, so that’s what, maybe, maybe about five bucks a week.
I eat a lot of probiotic yogurt, that’s very cheap here. You can get, I forget the specific
brand of it, but it’s something like 50 pesos for four cups. So a week’s worth of those
is pretty cheap too. Soda is pretty cheap, coffee is pretty cheap, beer is really cheap.
Like this here is Colt .45. Now, this beer sucks, don’t drink this beer, but this cost
me about 35 Pesos a can. The two staple beer brands here in the Philippines
are Red Horse and San Miguel. Both of those go for about 30 Pesos a can; those are way
better. Red Horse has a much higher potency in terms of alcohol content; I think it’s
6.9 percent alcohol. San Miguel’s only five percent. Personally, I prefer the taste of
San Miguel but Red Horse is better if you want to get drunk, so.
You might get a little bit of a markup when you actually go out to bars at night, but
even so you probably won’t be paying more than a buck per can. And you don’t have to
worry about girls either, because, surprisingly, Filipinos actually don’t drink a lot. They
love to party, they love karaoke parties, they love to enjoy themselves, but they actually
don’t drink a whole lot. If you go to a bar with a girl or whatever, or if you pick up
a girl at a bar, she probably won’t have more than maybe one or two drinks.
Also, I don’t recommend getting smashed at bars for the simple reason that, number one,
it makes you into a target; and, number two, it makes you look bad. More or less, foreign
men in the Philippines have a reputation for being drunks. And if you try and work against
that stereotype by being more sober, you’ll have an advantage when it comes to picking
up women. Now, transportation in the cities, you’ll
usually do that through taxis. Taxis are very, very cheap. I don’t think I’ve spent more
than three dollars a day in transportation, at least here in Davao City. Now, you can
eliminate transportation costs in many ways by picking an apartment or hotel room that
happens to be in the city center. If you’re down where the action is, you won’t
be paying more than maybe a buck or two per day on taxis. So you don’t want to be out
in the suburbs even if it’s cheaper. You will save yourself a lot of headaches by just getting
a place that happens to be near the city center in a safe area.
There are also other transportation options in the city. Like here in Davao, there’s something
called a jeepney, which is basically sort of like a miniature bus. They ride on routes
on the major roads. Public transportation, it’s about maybe eight pesos per ride, I think.
It’s eight pesos per four blocks, and then an additional two pesos per each block, if
I recall correctly. It’s even cheaper than the taxis.
I personally don’t like them for the simple reason that, number one, you can get pickpocketed
on them; and, number two, there’s no air conditioning and it’s really, really hot here. But the
jeepneys are an option if you want to save even more money.
So, basically, and the last area I’d like to get to is nightlife. Nightlife is, again,
fairly cheap. Everything, all the prices here are designed to be affordable for the average
Filipino. So if you are coming here on an American salary, you will have a huge advantage.
Like I said, beer is cheap, cover charges are rare, but when you do run into it, cover
charges are going to be cheap, maybe about 50 pesos or so. Like I said, you don’t have
to buy drinks for girls because, you know, they don’t drink a lot. So, you can live very
cheaply here. There’s a regional variance when it comes
to the specific cost of living in each city. Like I said, here in Davao, you can get by
on maybe 800 to a thousand dollars a month. Davao is not really that popular with tourists,
because the idiots at the State Department are warning people to stay away from the island
of Mindanao because you might get shot by the Islamic extremists, even though the Islamic
extremists are on the whole freaking other side of the island, and Davao is one of the
safest cities in the freaking world. But I’m going to write about that one of these days.
But Davao is fairly cheap. There are even cheaper places that get even less tourist
traffic, such as Cagayan de Oro; maybe about $600 or more up there. And even cheaper if
you want to go into some of the more out-of-the-way cities, such as Iligan City or General Santos
or whatever. Now, the big cities like Manila and Cebu are
going to cost a lot more. That’s just going to be the case. Any country with big cities
that draw a lot of tourist traffic and a lot of immigration from the provinces, they’re
going to be more expensive. New York City’s always going to be really more expensive than
upstate New York. California’s going to be more expensive than Nevada. Living in Seattle’s
going to be more expensive than living in Spokane, you get the idea.
So, but even still, the prices are still very affordable for a Westerner, and the cost of
living in Manila is cheaper than the cheapest places in the United States. So, basically,
like I said, you really don’t need a lot of money to live here.
Now, the one thing I would recommend before you come to the Philippines is that you need
to have either a location independent job or source of income, or a huge pile of savings.
And preferably, even if you do have that location independent job, you should have some savings
anyway, because the Philippines does not have a lot of job opportunities for foreigners.
Now, one of the big advantages of, say, Thailand or Cambodia or whatever, these countries for
foreigners, there are a lot of job opportunities when it comes to teaching English. Because
most people there don’t speak English, obviously, and they want to get ahead. So, Thailand,
China, if you’re hard up for work you can become an English teacher and make some money
that way. But in the Philippines you can’t do that because
everyone here already speaks English. English is one of the country’s two official languages.
It’s the preferred language that the government uses. Learning it is mandatory in schools.
So it’s a good thing because there’s really not much of a communication gap.
Any Filipino you meet off the street will be able to talk to you. They might not be
able to understand your slang precisely, but they can understand what you’re saying and
you can understand them. But at the same time, it closes you off from what is one of the
easiest ways abroad to make money, which is teaching English.
So you want to have some kind of income to sustain you here, obviously, or a huge pile
of savings that can sustain you for the time that you have to be in the Philippines. Because
if you run into a jam, there really aren’t that many economic opportunities here.
so hopefully this video will help you out. I mean, this is just a basic overview. There
are some websites out there that you can use to learn more specific information. Aaron
Clarey talked about this in one of his recent videos; I have a link to it in the description.
One of the big resources I happen to like is Numbeo’s Cost of Living Map, which compares
the cost of living in a bunch of cities across the globe to the cost of living of New York
City, which has an index of 100. New York City is 100. Chicago, I think, is
78. Seattle I think is, I don’t know, 90. And I think on that same map, Manila is 47.
So, Manila, that would basically mean Manila is 47 percent as expensive as New York City.
I’m just shooting from the hip here. The numbers could have changed in that time; the cost
of living, according to Numbeo’s index, according to the price of food, lodging, whatever.
I have some other links in the description that should help you out, being able to determine
the cost of living in specific areas in the Philippines as well as specific areas in other
parts of the globe. Like I said, you really don’t need a lot of money to make it here.
Whatever you think you need, you don’t need a pile of money to go exploring abroad. You
just need some money, some source of income, and a sense of adventure, and if you’ve got
those things, then let the adventures begin. Illegitimi non carborundum, don’t let the
bastards grind you down. I’m Matt Forney and I am out.

 

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