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Rapid Cost of Living – What Can We Do? Juni 19, 2008

Posted by Jun in Being Expat.
Tags: ,

The recent hike in fuel prices has undoubtedly increase the cost of living. Maybe not as much as what they are experiencing at home in Indonesia, it is still making a dent for us who live in foreign countries. Not only affected those who are in foreign countries, it also have direct impact on those who have to support their family members on their home countries.



Big cities all around the world have become more expensive for expatriates with family members. In the Philippines, cost of living has increased 5% to 8% since beginning of the year.

The global cost of living study has comprised that London and Moscow are the most expensive global locations for expatriates, while 3 of the top 5 most expensive cities are in Asia; Tokyo, Seoul and Hongkong. 

The weakening of USD compared to Euro also contributes significantly to the changes in the most expensive cities for expat list compiled by FinFacts.Ie. This list does not account for cost-of-living savings accrued to local citizens through government-subsidized housing, health care, and education, differences in taxation, and many other factors irrelevant to expatriates. Cost of living may be much higher for expatriates than for local residents in a developing country, especially if expatriates expect a standard of living similar to a developed country. With the rising cost of fuel and gas, the impact of rising cost for basic goods and services are going to be stronger than ever, coupled by the poor performance of USD. 

How are we as expat deal with it? What sort of lifestyle changes are we most likely to conform with? We would love to hear your opinions and tips on saving whilst living away from home country. 

For more information on survey done on the topic, please visit City Mayors website.





1. Lorraine - Juni 19, 2008

Since the petrol cost has been raising and raising and doesn’t change (1 liter unloaded costs € 1,58), I’ve started to take a bike to go to work. Besides saving money, I don’t need to do more extra laps when I jog.

Another tip: groceries, try to buy veggies/fruits of the season. They’re cheaper and taste better too!

2. arman - Juni 20, 2008

– don’t go to expensive restaurant too often. if you’re in the mall, just buy lunch in the food court (panda express is still my favourite) 😀
– spend the weekend in the park, not in the mall too long
– bring lunch to work
– avoid outlets and sale!

3. andiesummerkiss - Juni 24, 2008


Great choice. Bike for work. Great timing to put all those cookbook collection in action too, I guess …


Love the park idea. It is silly to spend weekends in malls anyway.

4. Finally Woken - Juni 24, 2008

There’s a website called moneysupermarket.com which compares all prices from different supermarkets, credit cards, and so on.

5. Atniz - Juli 4, 2008


Great topic to discuss… 5-8% is not very high… They are forecasting that the oil price could reach $200 per barrel by end of this year… I really hope not… Every time oil price increase / USD falls – all over the world the price will shoot up and the cost of living will be raised.

I’m guessing to the recent petrol hike of 40% in Malaysia, the cost of simply everything shoot up… maybe, it will give an increase of 10 – 20% increase of cost of living here.

6. Andie Summerkiss - Juli 6, 2008

I think 5-8% is indeed high for a couple of months’ time. Considering the fact that wages are not yet increased by corporations / businesses.

When I got here in May, we paid PHP 53/liter for unleaded gas. This morning I paid PHP 60.59/liter.

7. Ery Satiti - Juli 9, 2008

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8. bonnie2405 - Agustus 27, 2008

Hem…Lorraine already answered it…take bikes everywhere and definitely cut big expenses for restaurant and all unnecessary things. And perhaps try not to use energy too much such as using heater only when it really needed.

In other hand, besides solar price, I don’t feel the prices of foods for instance going up. I meant…it is always quite pricey here since Euro was introduced. So the effect was not as immediate as perhaps in USA or Asian countries.

9. Teodora - November 23, 2008

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