How can you get to being sustainable to live in the Philippines?

Matt Wilkie relaxing in the Philippines after a nice meal with his wife April.Fact is that living in the Philippines prices have not crept up but increased significantly since 2007 when I first arrived in Cebu. But the same thing I was doing then I could do today because it still works and still makes an income in the Philippines.

If you think its impossible and a waste of time I would say don’t bother reading any further as there are plenty of people with those opinions sitting in bars whining about the Philippines and it being impossible to make an income off a business.

Reality is though its about making as much money from as many revenue streams as possible. A coin operated PC sat outside your home for example could be paying out P200 upwards a day. Not a huge amount of money, but for the average person that covers the electric bill for the month. In smaller sub divisions and provincial living it could also cover the rent. All from one machine chained up to the side of the house.

Working online still continues to generate incomes for me and it all began with the blog I wrote from 2007 (this one). Its not a huge money maker but it gives a steady income year in year out. Add that with another site development I have and the YouTube videos that’s another P20,000 a month. If I stopped writing tomorrow and I have done often with the blogs that income continues to roll in as its already churning without much input.

The call center is also a good cash generator although extremely hands on and while I am busy with other things out of the country and my wife and family with me I have put it on pause. The advantage of owning everything is simply we just turn the light off and its not costing anything extra. But the reason I mentioned the call center is there are plenty of people out there needing people to do things for them. Using the online sites like and Freelancer ( Im not upto date on which is still going!) but I have made $250 a week part-time doing web design for people. The fact is you have particular skills you can make easy money from. E.g. can you do CAD drawings? Web design? Secretarial services? Whatever it is you can find people out there and its not all at Indian rates. The reason I mention Indian rates is they have pushed the prices down a lot on sites as they try to compete for the work. Personally I prefer working with people who say “yes I can do it” and actually mean it. I have had several bad experiences in hiring people to find the “yes” meant actually “no”. I have no idea why people would take on work they couldn’t complete but they do!.

Renting out property is another earner and although we are very fussy with tenants as we know of some really bad experiences others have had. There is some money to be made in it. We have an apartment currently rented out and looking to rent another 2 out very soon. We are just in the process of getting air conditioning and kitchenettes fitted.

Now all of the above started from nothing, we took one idea and got it working then it opened up another idea and we went with that. Although it seems sometimes if you read the blog I am chopping and changing the fact is we haven’t stopped doing the other ideas we just add to them.

Interesting thing currently is we are now in Spain and I am looking at opportunities here that will be slightly different but will follow similar patterns of getting things up and running. But it all starts with starting on something and expanding with it. Don’t assume your going to make a lot of money off one idea, but also do assume your better off with your eggs in multiple baskets.