Manila – Cost of Living, Makati & BGC

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Makati and Bonifacio Global City Cost of Living
Manila, Philippines has a low cost of living compared to other major cities around the world.
So how much does it cost to live in Manila?
$600 per month is possible, but not comfortable.
$1,000- $2,000 per month is comfortable. Most nomads and ex-pats I know live within this range.
$2,000+ per month and you can live quite nicely.
Coming up will show you what these budgets look like in Makati and BGC, two of Manila’s most popular destinations for ex-pats and location independent entrepreneurs.

Cost of Accommodations in Manila
Cost of living in Manila can vary considerably depending on your own level of comfort and convenience. Your accommodation will be your largest expense.

Best Neighborhoods in Manila
The urban development of Bonifacio Global City (or BGC) is a pedestrian-friendly, self-sustainable, and flood-free neighborhood and is my top choice for high-end city living. Makati is another popular area known for being a major business, cultural and entertainment hub in Metro Manila.

Here’s a breakdown of what you might find:
Basic Studio: $250 – $350 US
Simple Apartment: $450 – $600. USD
Nice Apartment: $600 – $1,000 USD
Luxury Apartment $1000+ USD

Monthly Overheads
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) $150.
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $54.
Smartphone service will be another $15.
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult $50. – $70.

Cost of Food in Manila
Local food can be tasty and very affordable.
Great international restaurants are found all over the city with a meal often costing less than $10. and local meals can be found for less than $4. If you shop at the local markets and stick to Filipino food brands and local fruits and vegetables you can spend less than $200 per month for all your meals.

Shopping in Manila

You can get just about anything in Manila however you will be paying a premium for anything imported, around 20% more. Locally made items will likely be much cheaper than in your home country.
Many items from around the world can be ordered on Amazon and Lazada, but not all products listed at Amazon USA are eligible for delivery to the Philippines.

Getting Around Manila
Jeepneys are the cheapest mode of transportation and most major roads and destinations are covered Buses are also available on main routes.

Travel from Manila
Filipinos are warm, friendly and helpful, and many speak English fluently. They are welcoming to different cultures and there is a large ex-pat community I Manila as well. It will be easy for ex-pats from all types of backgrounds to settle in Metro Manila. Filipinos are world-renowned for their hospitality and their friendliness.
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