What would be the average fixed cost of living in Cebu, Philippines for a foreigner?

This is the most asked question I hear about life in the Philippines. I think there are major factors which affect the figures. Firstly because there is no real rental structure the cost of properties varies person to person, different areas have different tariffs for electric and also there are “maintenance charges” associated with living in a sub-division or condominium. Then you have peoples food habits if they have adapted to local foods and to what degree. As well as eating in or eating out regularly. Then there are beer habits as most expats consume a lot more alcohol than they should due to a mixture of boredom and socialising.

So its a difficult question to answer and one I will base on my figures that can be varied by yourself to work out your own budget. I will put my provincial costs and then that I would think city living would cost for a “single person” because there are way too many variables for adding a partner as many people here then choose to send their partner to school to train as a nurse etc. which then throws the figures out.

Provincial description Cost City life description Cost
Transportation 2500 Transportation P3000
Rent 3000 Rent (including maintenance fees) 15,000
Electricity 2000 Electricity 2500+
Grocery budget 8000 Grocery budget 8000
General medical expenses 1000 General medical expenses 1000
Dining out 2000 Dining out 5000
Water bill 400 Water bill 600
Telephone 600 Telephone 600
Internet 999 Internet 999
Cell phone load (top up) 100 Cell phone load (top up) 100
Laundry washed and ironed 1000 Laundry (washing machine) Elec bill
Nanny (yaya) 2000 Not needed 0
Visa renewal not needed on 13(a) 0 Tourist Visa renewal (fluctuates) 4000+
TOTAL P23,599 TOTAL P40,799


This is a rough guide but you may find it useful to list your own expenses and get an idea of the real costs here. Our expenses never go over P30,000 except on construction months.

2 comments for “What would be the average fixed cost of living in Cebu, Philippines for a foreigner?

  1. Tropicalpenpals
    July 3, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    It maybe high at P4k but I have had to pay it as high as that before when the prices fluctuated. Also if you work your budget on it being P4k there is nothing wrong with having to take home P1,500 but if you fix your budget and plan that it will be P2,500 then it goes up your stuck and having to scrape around to pay the fees.

  2. Ofoo45
    July 3, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Extending a tourist visa costs some 2500 pesos per month on average. 4000 is a bit exaggerated.