Mangos at Carbon Market - Living Cost in Cebu

What is the cost of living in Cebu Philippines

How we live our living in the Philippines everyday define what we really want to do with our lives. This is the same with the expenses that we acquire everyday. Every choice we make will matter because we would be able to save or spend depending on the things we do day by day.

It is true that every person is different and there is always a possibility that what we spend is different from other peoples cost of livin in Cebu. However the figures that we have put here is based from our personal experience. It is a sad thing that the pound has taken a huge downfall over the past years. It’s a good thing though that the cost of living and retiring in Philippines in general is still lower than our expenses back in Europe.

Living Cost in Cebu Philippines

The cost of imported food in the Philippines is a bit higher than the food in the USA. However, most of the items being sold in the Philippines are similar to what you can find there.

Cost for Food and Beverages:

What we spend on food monthly depends on how people eat and what people eat. A single person might be able to spend around 2,000 PHP to 5000 PHP but can spend more or less than that. There are a lot of huge supermarkets around the Philippines and a lot of those supermarkets will satisfy the craving of foreigners.

It is possible to save more money if people would purchase their fresh products like meat and vegetables from the wet market. However, a lot of people do not find this comfortable because it can be dark and a bit muddy. Expats find it a big comfort when they shop in the supermarket.

There are times when people eat out to spare the trouble of cooking. If you are alone, this can be less expensive and less stressful especially if you know where to buy inexpensive food but this is not too advisable if you have a family. It would be cheaper to cook your own food at home.

For those who are fund of drinking alcoholic beverages, a lot of beers in the Philippines are sold cheap especially the world famous San Miguel Beer Pale Pilsen which can be bought even from the nearest Sari Sari store. Do remember though that if you buy alcoholic drinks from bars it would be more expensive but still not as expensive as the alcoholic drinks in Europe.


In the Philippines, electricity can be a bit expensive than usual. Sometimes our bill goes up to about 4,000 PHP a month which is pretty expensive. Do remember though that the Philippines is a tropical country with very warm weather and air conditioning is required especially in the summer when extreme heat can sometimes be experienced.

If you are not yet familiar with your expenses in the Philippines, you should at least shell out about 2,000 PHP a month. Do remember that if you use electricity more frequently, the cost would also become higher than usual.

Even though there are a lot of electricity suppliers in the Philippines, the biggest supplier of electricity is Meralco. In the provinces, there are other suppliers of electricity.

LPG Gas:

This is essential in cooking in the Philippines because a lot of people do not use electric gas ranges here to save up on electricity. The gas here are usually placed in cylinders that are a bit below 1,000 PHP each. There are some that would cost less but remember to try the popular brands here just in case.

In case you would need a refill, there are a lot of gas stations with refills. You would just have to ask your local gas station for more information about this matter. The refill is about half the price of each LPG cylinder.

A cylinder will last from a month to about 3 months. This depends on how often a person would use it.

Water Supply:

One of the good things about living in the Philippines is that water is abundant. Still, there are some areas in the Philippines that encounter water shortages once in a while because of a variety of reasons. Usually, big subdivisions have their own water supply and you do not have to worry about running out of water.

Some people opt to just buy their drinking water from a lot of situated purified water stations. Depending on the usage, people would spend around 500 PHP a month (minimum) on drinking water and about a bit more on water that would have to be used for washing, bathing, etc.

Telephone Services/ Internet Communication:

Communication is not a big problem in the Philippines because there are a lot of telecom companies in the area. If you would need a landline number, you just have to contact the nearest telephone service near you and in a few days, you would be getting your own unit and number.

Purchasing cell phones here are very easy. You also have the option to have prepaid or post paid phone lines. Prepaid would have to be reloaded from time to time while post paid should be paid monthly. Post paid plans usually come with free phones depending on the plan that you would choose.

For the Internet, there are also a lot of options that are available. You can use different Internet broadband sticks wherever you are and you can get a connection depending on your location. Like the phone lines, Internet can also be post paid or prepaid. What you would choose depends entirely on your usage.

Television Options:

This can be a bit of a problem if you have grown accustomed to the channels that you used to watch in your previous home. However there are a lot of cable services that are available already with different options depending on the type of channels that you would want to include in your plan. You would have to check out the different cable services and choose the one that will give you the type of channels that you would want.

Household Help:

One of the good things about living in the Philippines is that hiring househeld helpers and maids can be done easily. You can employ maids for about 3,000 to 4,000 a month and they will be in charge of doing all of your household chores. Just make sure that you hire from agencies that are known for producing people who can really work well. Make sure also that you will treat your helpers with utmost respect.


There are some appliances that I have brought with when I left my country a few years back and they have worked well here in the Philippines. However, in case one of those appliances would start to have problems it can be a bit hard to have those items repaired since most of the items being sold there are from other Asian countries or from the United States.

Another problem is the voltage of the products. Some of the voltages here are too strong than what I have been accustomed to. Make things easier by purchasing voltage regulators from hardware stores all over the metro.

How much is Living Cost in Cebu: Sample Budget Sheet:

I have put together an example budget sheet about living cost in Cebu showing how much we should typically allow for our monthly bills. As already said that this can only be used as a guide and your personal lifestyle will ultimately determine your final bills.

Essentials Estimated Monthly Costs(PhP) Average Expenditure (PhP)
Food & Beverages 16,000 15,000
Electricity 4,000 4,000
Water Tap/Drinking 1,000 700
Gas (LPG) 500 300
School Fees 2,000 2,000
Telephone/Internet 2,000 1,500
Health/PhilHealth 2,000 1,000
Total 27,500 24,500
Non Essentials Estimated Monthly Costs(PhP) Average Expenditure (PhP)
Satellite / Cable TV 900 900
Dining Out 3,000 2,500
Maid/Helper 3,000 3,000
Gardener/Window Cleaner 1,500 1,000
Transportation 1,000 600
Telephone/Internet 2,000 1,500
Total 11,400 9,500

It would be hard to put exactly how much we spend every month on the things that we buy here in the Philippines. Sometimes there are extra expenses that are not within our usual budget and sometimes we save more because of the things that we acquire from other people. The costs mentioned above do not include cost for rent, we live in our own house. Hopefully the explanation that we have given for each category is enough to help people gain more information about how much money do you need to live as well as to get an idea of living cost in Cebu and that Philippines can be a great place to retire even on a tight budget.

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