Manila - Post Report Question and Answers

Can you save money?

Yes, especially if you don't take trips. But you should definitely take trips, they're worth it. - Jan 2016

It depends. Groceries and weekend travel get expensive, but household help is very affordable. So, realistically, the cost of living depends on your lifestyle. Families tend to do best here. - Jan 2016

Yes. - Jan 2016

Yes. US$1,000 per month and you will live like a king here. - Sep 2015

Maybe, if you don't travel around the country and region or eat out a lot. - Aug 2015

It's not easy. - Aug 2015

It's difficult. - Sep 2014

You can save money, but then, you would miss out on so many exploration opportunities. - Jan 2014

Yes, absolutely and travel/employ domestic help at the same time. - Dec 2013

Yes. Even with traveling a lot we're going to be able to save some money while at post. We're vegetarians and eat at home a lot though so our food costs are pretty low. - Aug 2013

Yes. - Apr 2013

We've saved a ton of money. Hardship pay (20%) and the 15% COLA goes a long way. But we don't have kids and are thrifty people. - Feb 2013

Yes, depending on how much travel you do and how much eating out. - Sep 2012

No -- services are cheap but you pay for things you normally do (clean, cook, drive, etc) and goods are expensive. - May 2012

If you don't travel, yes, but we choose to spend our money on travel, since it's so affordable and we're taking full advantage of Asia. If both spouses work, then you can save a bundle, even with travel. - Mar 2012

Yes - if you don't shop for groceries at the high end stores or eat out a lot. - Jan 2012

Yes. Even if you travel and buy American products. It's about being sensible with your money. - Jul 2011

Yes, if you buy local. - May 2011

We have been able to. - May 2011

You can save a lot of money, if you make the right choices. If you live in Makati, Fort Bonifacio, or the Villages, then everything will be more expensive than if you live at Seafront or elsewhere in Manila. If you buy American goods, you will pay for it. Philippine equivalents are cheap, plentiful, and usually similar quality. Local travel is very affordable, and international travel is slightly less than U.S. prices. - Feb 2010

Yes, lots - Jan 2010

Yes, particularly if you buy local food and goods. - Jul 2009

Yes, if you don't hire a staff of 20 people. - Apr 2009

Yes, if you don't have children in activities (sport/dance), don't travel to the beach every month, and don't go crazy buying handicrafts and furniture. - Jun 2008

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