As an avid reader of personal finance articles online, I observed that not one pinoy has talked about this subject, or what it costs to live anywhere else in the Philippines, for that matter. Pinoys can be coy (see Pinoys coy revealing net worth) about revealing money facts about their lives.
I therefore write this for the curious and those planning to move from their provinces to Makati City. I moved to Makati after graduation from college. I was 20 years old. Prior to my move, I already secured a job and a place to stay. Makati City is the safest place to stay in Manila. It felt like my hometown Cebu because its size was just right and it took only a few minutes to get from one place to another (generally, but traffic now is horrendous!)
Here’s a break down of my monthly living expenses:
Savings – 20% of net take home pay -deposited to bank account. At 20 years old, I frequently went over budget of course, so don’t kick yourself too much.
(a) rent with utilities– (fixed) PhP 3,000.00. I lived in a 3 bedroom condo with many house mates. It was a crowded place but had access to a pool and jogging track. The condo was centrally located (Pasong Tamo area) and I lived within walking distance to a church, fastfood joints, carenderias and a laundry and salon.
My parents helped me out with the one month advance and two months deposit.
(b) transportation – this varied. Since the condo was centrally located, I could cab to work for only PhP 50.00, one-way. If I wasn’t running late, it takes me two jeepney rides at PhP 8.50 per ride. I generally allocated PhP 100.00 per day for transport.
(c) food – I spent PhP 1,000.00 to PhP 2,000.00 on monthly groceries. This isn’t much because I mostly ate at work. Lunch at work for the first few months was on the company dime because we had a two-month training. After that, I ate at the building cafeteria. The meals there cost PhP 150-200.00.
My office mates and I eventually discovered this online carenderia that delivered meals straight to the office. It cost PhP 50-100.00.
(d) laundry -PhP 35.00 per kilo. For my lacy and delicate clothes, my room mates taught me how to do handwash. They also taught me how to iron my clothes and fry an egg. Aah, good times.
These are the mostly fixed expenses that one incurs while living in Makati. The rest i.e., going out with friends, dates, salon expenses are variable and will depend on how you budget your money. I remember my friends and I were always on the lookout for bars in Makati that served PhP 40.00 beers.
On a final note, I can say it would save you more money if you learned to make meals at home and lived in a cheaper area of Makati like JP Rizal.
20 something lawyer