American Living on $511 Month in the Philippines


This report is a recorded phone interview with an American Living on $511 Month in the Philippines. His budget is low for two people because he lives like a local outside the ex-pat areas in one of the provinces.

This American named Randy saw my report about “Why Some Expats Can’t Live on $800 per month in the Philippines,” and agreed with my analysis. He also agreed to be a guest star on my channel. Here is my phone call with Randy about his actual cost of living in the Philippine provinces.

Update: July 30, 2020:  Randy emailed today and asked me to update the table below to show his rent as $53 USD in the below table instead of $120 USD.  I had used $120 because he negotiated his rent 5 years ago but in his email, he said he could get similar cheap rents because he would take it as-is and fix it up.  So I changed the article also.

Here is the monthly budget he discussed in the above video.

Rent $53
Water $6
Electricity $100
Groceries $320
Restaurants $0
Bars $0
Internet $32
Total $511

Both Randy and his girlfriend live on this budget. He did not mention health insurance. Randy has been on social security disability starting at about age 50, he is age 70 now.  He doesn’t drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes.

He has been living in the Philippines continually since 2007 but was here most of the time between 2001 and 2007. He avoids all places that ex-pats are typically drawn to. He has lived on 7 different islands including, Leyte, Samar, Negros, Panay, Bohol, Cebu, and Luzon. He currently lives in Mabalacat, Pampanga going on 5 years now.

His monthly social security is $801. His rent is $53 but would cost about $120 month to rent in his neighborhood today. His water bill is about $6 a month, electric is about $100 per month because he runs his air conditioning 24/7 per day, and his high-speed Internet is $32 month.

His house has two large rooms. Both rooms split about equally are 510 Sq Feet each.

There is a modern grocery store and malls nearby. The social security administration of the USA deposits his monthly check into his American bank and he takes money out as needed at the ATM near his house.

He has super-fast internet with 35 meg up and down that costs $32 USD month.

This is the happiest time of his life as he says in the above video.

Randy has written multiple books including living in the Philippines that are available on Amazon. His web page and Amazon links are as follows:

Grab a free copy of my eBook “How I Fired My Boss and Traveled for 13 Years.”

My goal is to make this channel, web page and reports better every day. But I need your help. Please leave your new topic ideas, criticism, and other thoughts in the comments below.

This is Dan from Vagabond Awake, the Youtube Channel for The world is your home. What time will you be home for dinner?

4 thoughts on “American Living on $511 Month in the Philippines”

  1. Hi maybe you could help me out I’m living in New York now but after watching your video it sounds very interesting I’m tempting maybe you could help me I’m out I could start making plans and what do I need to get there thank you.

  2. Great work Dan!
    Getting accurate answers to the most important questions and summarizing in the notes below. Your followup written detail is important as the audio is not always clear.! Even when sound is good my older ears don’t always comprehend so the written summaries are always welcome.
    Kudos as it IS your consistent, methodical work that motivated Randy to reach out to you. Love your sequence of questions – Randy’s background, his travel timeline, relationship experiences and of course Randy’s candor through it all! I love Randy’s actions with the local monthly parties speak louder than words.
    Thank you for continuing to deliver great information on a silver platter. It’s why I look forward and listen to and like every video you and Qiang share with us. Look forward to meeting you sometime, somewhere in Asia.

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