108 responses

  1. Clark
    January 26, 2012

    I can live with my girlfriend, in the Philippines, with P22.000/month ?
    Not in Manila, which is too expensive, but in some other places, such to Cebu. This is possible?
    Please, answer me.

    Thanks so much.

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      January 26, 2012

      I have no idea what your living expenses are, so couldn’t answer that. Certainly Cebu is cheaper than Manila to live. See the minimum wage section here for a rough indication on the cheapest areas to live in The Philippines are. Keeping in mind, it’s based on Filipino living standards.

      • Clark
        January 26, 2012

        I just want to know if with PHP22,000 or so, we will also cover expenses for food, transportation, clothing and any other charges.
        We don’t ask so much, we not be interested in dining at restaurants or go shopping spree…
        Living a simple life in a rented apartment for two persons + a baby.
        With PHP 22,000 may live decently, then?

        ( sorry for my english, i’m italian )

        Thanks.

      • Dave from The Longest Way Home
        January 26, 2012

        Again, it depends on you. If you can eat basic rice meals 3 times a day, live with no air conditioning, in a rural area then yes. If you want a car, air-con, buy/ cook European style food, and have to pay for things like tourist visa’s and get health insurance for yourself, partner or baby then the answer is “you will struggle”.

        If you can manage to find an apartment for 10,000 pesos a month. Then you will do okay on the basics, short term. But long term you will find it hard. e.g. never going out, etc.

        If you are planning a permanent move to the Philippines, then please be aware of the whole “support a family” issue over there. And the fact that you as an Italian will be looked at as being rich. And people will wonder why you are not paying for better things. This can be difficult socially!

        Send me an email if you want to discuss more.

      • Clark
        January 26, 2012

        You have a PM. Thanks.

      • Maria
        January 27, 2012

        thats ok to live with that amount if u guys already have ur house and appliances, cuz that amount will just covered for ur food, bills and some extra of course esp if u have a kid….things in the philippines now r not cheap anymore. not to mentioned u have to atleast give or help the family of the girl…but then again its all depends on the way u spend ur money or on the way the girl handle the money.

      • Clark
        January 27, 2012

        Hi Maria,
        Thank you for your answer.

        but this thing to help his family, I do not really like. I’m not rich, and I’m not their benefactor … if she really loves me, she should understand. I will help his family if I can.
        But apart from these speculations …. you can give me some useful web address for me? Prices, apartments and everything I need ?

        Thanks so much.

        I’m sorry for my bad english. I’m just learning..

      • Dieter
        September 28, 2012

        22000 P is aprox. 500 .- CDN dollars. I live in Cebu City-Guadalupe and pay for an unfurnished apartment 7000 P a month + utilities so that brings it up to 11500 a month. If you have 22000 P a month, a filipino young wife and a baby ,your life will be a very unhappy one after the first few months of initial happyness. I am also married to a filipina and met many young ladies before and I know of the constant demand for money and other things the ask for themselfes or family .

    • Ann
      September 6, 2012

      This is so true

    • Daniel Sadler
      September 17, 2012

      You could live say in Central Visayas for that, it depends on what you have to pay for housing. If you can find a place aways from main cities, your rent would be around P3000 – P8000 per month. But overall, P20,000+ per month will do well. I lived there with my wife even in Manila for P40,000 per month, and that is the most expensive place to live over there.

      • Rick Sadler
        October 11, 2013

        What do you do for a living in Manila Daniel ?
        My wife and I were there for 5 weeks at Christmas and we spent a lotmore than that and stayed 3 weeks with family !

    • Myles Delfin
      January 11, 2013

      Hello Clark,

      I’m from Cebu in the Philippines. Although, I live and work in Manila for most of the year now. Cebu is a good place to live in, you get all the urban benefits of a city but are never more than 15 minutes away from the beach. You also have the option to go to other nearby islands through a relatively cheap ferry service, though not all of them are as well-appointed as other ferries abroad. Still, you get to visit places like Camotes Island, Bohol, Siquijor, Negros, among others.

      The first thing you need to know about the Philippines is that foreigners are looked at as people who can afford expensive things. Often, you will be given a much higher rate when you start inquiring about houses. One way of getting a good price is to go with a local you trust who can help you haggle the price. This is not a sure thing, but its much better than going house hunting on your own.

      The transportation system in Cebu City and nearby places is dominated by a small vehicle called a mutli-cab and it is incredibly cheap. For a trip to a town called Consolacion just outside of the city for example, the fare is only 24 pesos. You can also take an air-conditioned taxi, public transport vans (vans that are shared like a bus by passengers), and of course there are buses. If you live within the city of Cebu, most places are actually within walking distance, including churches, malls, groceries, and other places.

      Utilities in Cebu can be just as expensive as Manila. Although, if you know how you can save some pesos. Cable television for example, you can get the pre-paid cable service where you can buy pre-paid cards for your digital cable television. That way, you only spend a specific amount. The water in Cebu has residue when you boil it, so I wouldn’t recommend it for drinking, I would suggest you look for what is called a “mineral water” store near your house and have your weekly supply delivered. Different stores have different prices, you can actually look for a good deal. Don’t use electric stoves because they use more electricity, also, it would be best to buy a small brand-new regrigerator that is suited to the amount of food you intend to keep per week. Take note, in Cebu, public markets and stores are almost always nearby so you can actually buy a lot of things on a daily basis including fresh meat and fish.

      As it is in almost any other city, the biggest expense is going out. The prices in the malls in Cebu are sometimes a little bit lower than in Manila, but they are still more expensive than eating at home. The cheapest form of entertainment is still of course gong to the movies, walking in the malls without buying anything (it can be fun too!), or catching a band in any of the small bars and restaurants in the city where you can watch the performance for the price of a pizza or a bottle of beer.

      One of the best way to save money in Cebu is to get a bicycle. You can actually pedal your way around most of the city and around the towns. Just be careful when you ride in the main roads, watch out for the buses and the motorcycles, they almost always drive very fast.

      For a Filipino family, a 22,000 peso budget is enough money to live on for a month. Although, foreigners sometimes end up with a higher cost of living because of the way they’re used to living life back in their home country or because of “family expenses” brought on by the “extended” Filipino family.

      Let me clarify those things:

      “Family Expenses” might include spending for gifts for relatives kids at Christmas and birthdays. Sometimes, when a relative gets sick or gives birth, relatives will approach you for help. Even for trivial things like electric bills and unpaid rent, people will knock on your door and see if you have “extra cash” that you can spare.

      “Extended Family” will include grand mothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins and their neighbors. It is customary for people to ask if you can give some form of help every now and then. The good thing is, if you have a good family that you’re with, they will also reciprocate the gesture in any way that they can when its your turn to ask for help. Remembering that, in the Philppines, a lot of humility and patience goes a long way.

      Lastly, with whatever budget that you eventually work with, just always prioritize your “fixed expenses” such as the rent for your house. All other things like cable tv and internet connection can be disconnected but just as easily reconnected when you have the money to pay for the bill.

      An important reminder, do not, at all costs, invest money in anything unless you are a hundred percent sure about anything that is offered to you. Remember that, as a foreigner, you can only own 40% of a business and you can’t own property. If you really want to do some kind of business in the country, Read about it here: http://real-estate-guide.philsite.net/foreigners.htm

      I work as a travel and adventure writer and photographer. From experience, the easiest way is never the cheapest way to go around the Philippines, nor is it necessarily the best way to get anywhere. Sometimes, a bumpy and dusty bus ride can be more fruitful than paying for a seat on an air-conditioned tourist bus. But, of course, as it is with any other country, just go with what your common sense tells you and you’ll be just fine. Have fun!

    • abby
      February 5, 2013

      Hi Clark,
      I am filipina with swedish bf, we are living in South Philippines, (General Santos City), with 22,000 pesos/month we lived like standard living,, we can go out sometimes, shopping. beach,, name it we can still do that things.. we built a simple little hut house with 2 bedroom, living room, kitchen and toilet,, if you have little savings you can build your own little hut house too beside us hehehe,,

  2. Maria and Chris
    January 28, 2012

    Clark,

    I’m sorry to say that even though you are not rich, the culture in the Philippines is VERY close when it comes to family. The family may not expect you to be a benefactor, but very often families will share what little they have with eachother. Taking care of parents is just about second nature because they went through so much to raise the child it is seen as a debt that cannot be repaid but an attempt must be made. I am not saying you HAVE to pay them but do not be surprised if pressured to give some money here and there. Secondly, Cebu is a tourist area, it is second in expensiveness only to Manila. My best advice to be to find a less well known city/area to live because costs can double or even triple the closer to cities you live. The best place to start when looking at prices for items would be local malls in the area you plan on staying. If you can afford the prices in the malls you can pretty much afford buying from smaller stores for the same item. Hope this helped and enjoy.

    • Clark
      January 30, 2012

      Thanks for your comment and explanations, Mary.

      In which sense should I look for an apartment in the malls? even in the same Manila? I do not think you understand …. I may have mistranslated with my Italian.
      uff ….. I WANT LEARN ENGLISH! : (

      Can you be as clear as possible? thanks a lot!

      • Maria and Chris
        January 31, 2012

        hahah no thats not wut i meant, wut i mean is if u can afford things in the big malls then u can afford small things around it….get it? but anyway we lived in negros occidental and we have our own house already and appliances, so 22000pesos is much enough to pay our bills and some extra..but i dont think u can do that in cebu esp if ur in the city…. my advise is just be clever with ur money, things in philippines is not cheap as it was. if u know u cant afford it then just dont get it….goodluck and im sure ur partner knows where to find a suitable place for u and ur family esp if she living in cebu.

      • Clark
        January 31, 2012

        well, now you have been much clearer, thank you very much!
        chiederò alla mia ragazza… troverà lei un posto carino..

        just a curiosity, that has nothing to do … but the Filipina girls, get drunk? 😀

        Are you Filipina, you were there, or live there now?

      • Maria
        February 3, 2012

        yes im filipina and married to an american. but we r not in philippines anymore. anyway if ur partner is filipina then u should know if filipina gets drunk or not but of course all people in the world drink…u should explore philippines to know more or do some research….try to know ur partner culture and background first before u live with them so that u wont regret at the end. goodluck and hopefully youll enjoy living in philippines…

      • james
        April 2, 2012

        Sorry to say but 22,000Peso isnt going to be enough for your monthly expenses unless you will have a home paid for or rent free.

    • Robert
      April 5, 2013

      I have been here in the Philippines for two years now. I’m married to a Filipina,we live in Agdao near San Carlos City, Pangasinan. It is a little town just like living in the country back home in Florida where I grew up. I built my own house a 2/1 home for 850,000 pesos. The cost of living here in this town is very cheap with bills and food the monthly cost is 18,000. That’s 15,000 food, 2000 lights, and 1000 internet (broadband)signal is ok unless it rains lol. I maybe 38 years old but still play basketball with a bet of 20 pesos per head (man) and we sometimes gamble. My wifes family will buy meals dinner and lunch and I buy also its pretty much 50/50 on that. For the most part from what I have learned here so far from others “Don’t loan money or borrow”. The percentage is very high from 10% to 40% on a monthly return and some charge this by the week and you may not get it back. So don’t take the chance. For the most part I enjoy it here but still wish you could get things just as easily like back in America.

  3. Clark
    February 3, 2012

    Hi Maria
    I LOVE so much the filipino girls, are so beautiful and sweets! :))
    my girl is the most beautiful thing happened to me! i’m not kidding! and i hope really to realize my dreams to living with her, after we know each other better..i love her so very much! :))

    a question again: it’s very difficult marry her?

    Thanks a lot for your answer.

    • Maria
      February 3, 2012

      what do u mean “difficult to marry her”? u mean the law in philippines or papers?? me and my husband married in philippines but it was easy bcuz it wasnt a church wedding and we didnt deal with alot of papers cuz we have it all ready and we didnt wait for dates for simenars and stuffs bcuz we paid people to make it quick…so all in all it wasnt that hard or difficult cuz it was all simple and just family…but i dont know bout u, i dont know how u going to handle all the papers and i dont know where u going to get married….but of course ur gf should know all that, she should help u to get all the papers done. she need to ask wut and how in her local place how to get married a forienger. u need to do some research too cuz thats wut we did before we get married….

      • Clark
        February 3, 2012

        can you leave me your email ? i would write you in private, if ok for you.. thanks.

      • Maria
        February 8, 2012

        how bout leave me ur email then ill write u asap…thanks

      • Clark
        February 8, 2012

        Yeah, write me here:
        kalelclark75*NOSPAM*@gmail.com

        Thanks!

  4. Neo
    March 17, 2012

    Great article about salary in PI!! And to the Italian asking about living expenses, Philippines is getting very expensive. I think to live up to US/Europe standards it would cost probably around 42k pesos per month, not including getting a car or scooter. That’s just for apartment with AC and hot water, food, clothes, healthcare, going out once in awhile and buying a few things here and there. 42k per month you cannot live like a king in Philippines as you once could. I’m looking to retire there someday so hopefully I will have enough monthly income to do so. Luckily the healthcare is very affordable still.

  5. ghui
    March 23, 2012

    Nice article you’ve got here. I can really see that you’ve spend time collecting these information. These things are very true and evident here in the Philippines. The government is claiming that they are doing their best to address the problem but we cant seem to see any progress that’s is why we resort to our own solutions which includes working overseas and even being underemployed (like working as a call center agent even if she’s a nursing graduate) as long as the pay is high even and will help them get by..It so sad but true..

  6. yakan
    May 28, 2012

    great article!
    if you want to get rich, get elected! the government allots money for farm-to-market roads for a supposed better transport of goods by farmers to consumers. but in reality, they become farm-to-pocket roads for government officials. etc.etc.
    but i’m staying here. and hopefully, one day, i won’t have to curse every time i pay my taxes.
    22 thousand will be enough i think. but it depends o how you spend. filipinos, unfortunately, spend a lot. apparently on things that we don’t really need. like cellphones with all the cool features but we rarely use. we’re status conscious. and we like imported things a lot. =)

  7. Ger
    June 25, 2012

    Can anybody help me to decide. I am a 54 year old Irishman with a monthly pension of about 59000 pesos. I am hoping to retire to The Philippines. Would this give me a good standard of living. My email is ger.roche@live,ie Thank You

    • Andrea
      June 29, 2012

      I’m earning 40,000 a month and my husband at around 20,000 a month so our total earning is around 60k a month. We don’t have a baby yet and we’re only renting a house in an executive village in Quezon City. I can say 60,000 pesos a month for the two of us is just enough but not too much as we pay our rent in an exclusive village and we dine out regularly. But if you’re living alone OR if you’re going to have a family here and live in an ordinary subdivision, 59000 pesos a month is already more than enough. It actually depends on the lifestyle you want, whether a simple one or a luxurious one. With our salary, we always get to watch movies and go shopping at least twice a week. But if we get a child, I doubt if we can afford to send our child to very expensive international schools at this rate.

    • Ker
      July 26, 2012

      I think 59,000pesos per month would be enough. In zambales (central Luzon 4-5hrs from manila), you’ll be spending *around 5,000pesos for a decent house or apartment,
      *3,000-5,000 for utility bills (water, electricity etc)
      *3,000-5,000 for a helper
      *500 pesos a day for grocery /15,000pesos a month
      *1000 for transpo allowance per month (tricycle 12pesos per ride)
      ***2,000pesos for shopping,leisure(massage,spa,salon) every week etc.
      a total of 35,000-39,000 expenses a month
      You have an approximate savings of 20,000 a month :)

  8. Lukban Mojica Sakay
    June 30, 2012

    If you live in Tacloban City which is a tertiary city by Philippines’ standard then you can live comfortably. Anyway, Manila is probably the worst place to retire to. Here are some basic costs of living-

    House (Furnished, within the city, it gets cheaper as one goes further away from the center, which is really a nice thing) – 5,000 Php roughly around $122

    Dining out-

    Sari-sari (Common man’s restaurant) – 35.00 – 50.00 = .75 cents to $ 1.25 (rice, fish/meat stew and vegetables)

    Fastfood – (Mcdonald’s) – plain burger and soda 35.00 = .75 cents (JCO local fastfood) – Big serving of Chicken with rice – 49 = $ 1.25

    Casual Dining (Sunzibar-Mexican, Red Salt – New Asian, Ayo – Fusion, Canto Frescov-Designer Pizza, Rafael Farm’s (Modern Filipino), Mall restaurants – Average cost per meal is $ 2.5 to 4 dollars

    Fine Dining – Ocho (Filipino/Oriental), Giuseppes (Authentic Italian), Royal Seafood Chinese, Stereo Sushi (japanese)- Average cost is from $ 2.5 to 6 dollars

    San Miguel Beer – Mom and Pops store – around $.35 restaurants- $ .5 to .75, Clubs and bars = $.75 to 1.5 , Girly bars – $ 1.5 to 3

    Public Transpo – $.20 within the city, interisland travel 3 dollars

    Doctors fee – consultation is $ 10

    Gym Membership – 40 to 50 dollars a month (High end)

    House helper- (will cook, do laundry, clean the house daily) 80 dollars (good rate)

    An adidas/nike/converse shoe will cost – $80 up

    Travel to the near islands (food transpo lodging included)- $100 to 150 (3 days)

    Occasional happiness – $ 75 to 100 (model types already)

    You can buy a decent small van/car/multicab for 4,000 dollars

    Cost of
    pork per kilo – 5 dollars,
    Chicken – 3.5 dollars
    Beef – 6 dollars
    Crusty bread Loaf – 2.5 dollars
    Fresh Milk – 2 dollars
    Deli ham – 2 dollars per 100 grams
    Deli Cheese – 1.5 dollars per 100 grams
    Potato – 1.25 akilo

    Hope this helps. Cheers mate!

  9. paul
    August 13, 2012

    Great Article. I’m just back from spending some time in Philippines. Would love to find a way to live and work there but it doesn’t seem likely. Unlike other Asian countries the is no market for the usual traveller jobs such as English teaching. Its hard to see such wonderful young men and women working in malls and fast food outlets, earning as little a day as I would spend on beer in two hours. With such little opportunity it becomes easy to understand how so many young woman chose to make their money befriending foreign men in the bars at night. One encounter can be worth the equivalent of two weeks salary in Jolibee. So many having come to towns and cities to support families at home in the poorest regions.

  10. Ron
    August 28, 2012

    Within the next year I plan to move to the islands, not manila for sure. I will have stateside kind of small income from retirement but as of now it wowuld convert over to approxmately 45K-50k pesos, so I think i should be comfortable, GF is a nurse there.. Recently I have been reminded about something I heard a few years back, REgarding safety, are americans safe or should they be concerned about kidnapping and ransome. Any info would greatly be appreciated

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      August 28, 2012

      Perfectly safe unless you go around flashing your money or helping entire villages out. Areas around Jolo and Lake Lanao in Mindanao probably best avoided re kidnapping of any nationality.

  11. R. Cole
    September 4, 2012

    Going to be retiring in about 2 yrs. Thinking about retiring in Cebu/Lapu Lapu area. My monthly retirement will be around 1800.00 USD a month. How well will I be able to live there. I will be looking for a wife as well. Hope maybe to find a nice professional lady there and settle down. I have to come back to Texas 1st of every yr to take care of taxes and check on my properties. Any expert advice would be welcome.

    • ben
      December 15, 2012

      $1800.00 a month will be fine you can rent a apt for $250.00 or so , Finding women will be the least of your worries
      Their everywhere there . You will live comfortable on that for sure with room to spare. You will be helping your new gf family once in awhile. You’ll love it there or hate it.
      It’s a whole new ballgame there

  12. Lynn
    September 16, 2012

    Hi, great article! I’m a Filipino and been living overseas for 21 years. I am a widow with a very young child. I’ve been offered a job by the company I used to work for 10 years ago. This job is based in Manila. Im really concern with the cost of International Schools in Manila. Can anyone give me an idea how much should I expect to spend for monthly living there.

    Thanks

    • Greg
      March 10, 2013

      Hi Lyyn

      I am currently working in a n international school in Las Pinas. The tuition fee runs around a hundred thousand per year. Assuming that your kid is on the primary or secondary level. As for international baccalaureate, it is way expensive.

  13. superdonkey
    September 26, 2012

    i have been philippines 5 times and have a filipina wife a and our daughter is half british/filipina.
    we have our house / car already paid for and intend to live there from next year. my goal is about 15k peso a month considering we already have a house.

    i would say:
    electricity: 2000 (with low powered devices)
    internet: 1000
    phil health: 1500
    food: 8000 (not buying from mall)
    beer and other: 2500 :)

    for foreigners i would say the following.
    you will need about 4k peso extra for rent each month if you do not have your own property.

    for electric be conscious of how much an appliance uses, bring a electric wall meter with you and only run efficient appliances. consider solar power if you have the money to invest and a house to put it on.

    let your filipina wife do the shopping and not in the malls! if she lives like she used to before you dazzled her with cash then then she will buy from local outdoor markets and consider 100peso to be very expensive. dont try to buy stuff as a foreigner you will be ripped off.

    dont keep a car when you can get a jeepney. trike so cheap.

    be aware that filipino women like to show off to each other a lot and are very very conscious of how their community sees their status – its a generalisation of course everyone is different but most will spend spend spend and you will pick up the bill.

    family, if they are fairly poor you will be asked for money for her family and saying no if you have the money can get very very bad. do not underestimate the family ties. its not like usa/europe where you dump your mother in a pensioners home and run. The good side of this is once you are in the clan you will always have people to depend on so its best to be diplomatic – if i dont want to pay i usually say “its ok we can sell something to help your friend / family etc” then tell her you will sell the car / tv / whatever and say you will sacrifice for her family.. good chance she will back out straight away if the request is not really serious.

    enjoy a slower more relaxed pace of life and days in the sun!

    • Ker
      October 3, 2012

      Well said Superdonkey! I must agree with everything you said. :)

  14. Chris Simpson
    January 16, 2013

    My house in Zambales (near beach, nice town of 30,000)is p3000 month. 3000 a week feeds my wife and I as well as my mother in law (who lives with us).
    My PI budget looks like:

    Rent: 3000
    Electricity: 1200
    Gas: 600
    Food: 12000
    Scooter: 400
    Beer: 6000

    Basics total:P23,000 Month

    We have 2 children born in PI and live back and forth between Oz & PI. Children’s needs are expensive; I can buy both nappies and formula cheaper in Australia than in the Philippines. Medicines are relatively cheap, doctors also, but seem to me less qualified than Australian nurses (a doctor qualified in 1974 in the Philippines has very likely not read a single paper or attended any update seminars since graduation. Beware that medical specialists in PI are not at all specialists by western standards, only requiring 80% mark in a subject to ‘specialize’, no internment programs etc.)

    The wife’s family are always an issue. Most foreigners wind up having to put some distance between themselves and the family as the almost constant pestering for money drives us nuts.

    Marrying a Filipina is a seriously huge step fraught with peril. Culture clash is huge. Be very careful.

    NEVER show or brag that you have money. I would suggest if you can’t live without a car or without a/c, you can’t live safely long term in the Philippines. Having these things makes you a target, much more so than your white skin.

    • marco spanos
      January 27, 2013

      i agree with the last comment. I travel to Manila about 7 times a year for work, i have a g/f there who i met last year. She is great and i care about her dearly but her family has almost broken us up to the point now that she wont let them associate with me for fear of losing our relationship. Not once did she ask me for money as she has a full time job in Makati but on the second instance of meeting her family her mum hit me up for some assistance. Then again every other time i was there. I didn’t mind giving them some money but her mum would get upset if i gave them less than 10,000 pesos. In the end my g/f even said enough and now doesn’t let them see me, which suits me perfectly.

      It is very true that marrying a Filipina is a perilous move, you do so at your own risk. And don’t get me started with the “accidental” pregnancies, never take their word that they are on contraception, use a condom always, trust me on this point as 2 of my co workers have had this happen to them.

      On the living cost issue 20,000 pesos in Cebu will allow you to survive but without luxuries, your g/f should find some part time work or something she can do from home. If you are disciplined you can survive on 20k pesos a month, but survive is all that you will do.

      Otherwise good luck with it all, i wish you all the best.

  15. ALICE
    January 29, 2013

    I really don’t understand, why some of the Filipinos think that foreigners have lots of money. In reality, they earned the same way. The debts are at the top of the neck. I wonder the family of these girls with FOREIGN BF have common sense. If they only knew the real story behind it, i bit you. They might decline. Sorry, for those girl’s relative who took advantage. If i am a foreigner, i’ll tell them straightforward that i am not a walking bank..sorry..

  16. Joy
    March 11, 2013

    Hi. Im 19 years old. I already have my own family. My BF is 21 years old. My baby is already 1 year and 7 months already. We live together for 2years and 1 month. We live here in bulacan in my parents house. My parents are seperated already but my dad pay all the bills here in our house. Including electricity, water bills and maids also. My mother didnt live here also. Me, my baby and bf including maids who only live here in this huge house. It has 6 big rooms 2 big salas and 1 pool with big gardens. The only problem is our budget. My Dad still giving me a allowance 8k – 10k monthly and my BF parents gave my BF 8k pesos also. So we have 16,000 every month. But i dont know why we cannot save money. Even my dad pay all the bills here in our house. With sacks of rices, dad pay also the mgas. Our problem is how to save money or budget our money for food, my baby’s needs. And the Gas also of my BF’s Car. I think we spent 2,500 every week. And also my bF is still studying.. Someone help me to budget out money… My BF budget everyday for his school i think its 300 pesos. Becase he bring his car.. Everyday. Except sundays..

    • kel
      April 4, 2013

      to joy,
      i somewhat calculated the amounts that you have mentioned like the school expenses. if that amount from monday-friday then its about 6000+ per month. the car expense for about 2500, for a whole month its about 10000. so actually you are already over the budget of 16000 a month and thats why you guys are not saving any. first thing you need to do to save money. is write down all the expenses and cut down all the unnecessary expenses. write down the most important expenses and see how you can lower the amount of your important expenses to a more affordable way. try that and see how things go.

  17. Juliah Vera
    March 24, 2013

    To Joy,
    I enjoyed reading your post regarding how to budget your money. First, I am going to give you both credit for being very young (19 & 21). People your age seemingly do not know how to budget their money. With your dad paint for everything, the one thing you and your boyfriend lack is DISCIPLINE–that is, in terms of budget. But budgeting is rather simple. Start with the basics. First, invest in a cheap but reliable calculator (do not buy one over p200). Second, since both of you are in school, I trust that you know what to do next. Keep a written list of every day and weekly expenses and post it everywhere (door, bathroom, kitchen,etc–trust me on this). This will help you be physically and mentally reminded of your budget to such a time when you’ll remember this consciously and unconsciously (because the mental image will be permanently stored in your brain). That way, when you start to go “over budget”– this image will act as an “alarm clock” if you will, to remind you that you are overspending. Try this simple exercise first and see if it helps. If not, I believe your dad is rich enough to hire you an accountant to sit down with you and go over your budget. Best of luck. P.S. enjoy your life and have fun raising your baby. I’m proud that even as young parents, you are both in school. Keep up the good work and stay focus. You’re on the right tack.

  18. Christopher Coles
    July 11, 2013

    I started to read the many posts upon this page and found that it was like a good book that you can’t put down. I have been to the Philippines once for 2 months and will return this Christmas 2013. I intend to open a pawn shop with a good filipino friend (female, friend only) as my manager and ofcourse she will have 70% ownership (on paper). I have learnt so much from all the good people that have wrote there comments and given there advise, I thank you all for that. I hope to commute between Australia and the Philippines on a regular basis to participate in this new venture but will be running the online part of the business and the technical side of things from Australia. I have a question…..what is the current weekly rate of pay for a shop assistant in the Philippines? I can’t seem to find an accurate up to date answer, any help on this matter would be appreciated.

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      July 18, 2013

      It depends on the shop. In a mall or corner store some people work on how much the store makes in a week/month. Otherwise the salaries can also be fixed. Starting again at 250 pesos upwards per day.

  19. Saneel
    July 30, 2013

    Hi, I’m from Malaysia..Many friends/relatives here told me that moving from Malaysia to the Philippines is a crazy thing to do…since i have a good job here and good salary, but i’ve told them, money is not a concern..all i need is a good life and a happy one..i been to Philippines for 5 times before this on vacations and i think u could get the best hospitality there plus great people..all i’m looking for is to land a job that could pay me about PHP25000 a month. Anyway my main concern is, if i dont get a job there soon, can u advise , is it possible for me to gain the SRRV SMILE Visa and how long can i stay in the Philippines under that option. TQ

  20. Lilybeth
    June 11, 2014

    Well, very extensive commentaries here. Anyhow, I am a Filipina married to a Canadian once, now a widow. I explained to my late husband my culture but lucky for him I don’t tolerate my family asking hand outs. I always insist that my partner is not shoveling money in the snow.
    But anyhow that mentality should really go. It must be the economic issue no matter what. I live in Canada and work and when I visit home they always look at someone as a dollar sign Filipino or not as long as they know you are a foreigner or a Filipino living and working abroad. hhmm bad mentality indeed of my own culture. Don’t give in. Be firm with no. I would love to, but I don’t have much to spare. they will raise their eyebrow but you see they were in the Philippines living there forever and they manage to live without your help. If you must it has to come from your heat.

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