You can live decently on something like P40K a month if you own your property, more like P60K if you're renting. But don't even think about moving here unless you have at least P2M in savings (after you've bought house, car, furniture, etc). If you get sick you'll need it.
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My experience was, we lived comfortably on 60,00-100,00 php per month. My husband was very ill and this did allow for meds, dr. visits, hospitalizations. Our daughter was in school and there were many expenses related to that. I personally wouldn't want to even try to live there with less income than that, although I am sure it can be, and it is, done by others. For me, I wouldn't consider it for less than the 60,000 php.
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My monthly expenses are usually between $1,200-$2,200 USD per month and I live pretty well: Car, motorcycles, eating/drinking out regularly, regular day trips to resorts and such, traveling around the country (before this covid nonsense), imported and high quality foods, gym memberships, rental house with a pool, visa stays current, etc.
Monthly expenses are one thing, you must be prepared for emergency and unexpected expenses because they will eventually happen. If you come with only enough to pay for bills and entertainment, living paycheck to paycheck with no significant savings, you will probably sink and be begging friends for money (that will likely never be paid back, destroying these friendships and any reputation that had been built up) within the first year or two. It happens all the time, so much so that, personally, I largely avoid any personal interactions with the expat community here. The topic of money, investing in some scheme or local business, and/or hardships related to the lack of having money has came up with most expats I have had regular interactions with.
So yes, someone could live off of $500/month...until a $50k+ USD hospital bill or other expensive treatment is needed to keep them alive.
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