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Bali, Indonesia

Living Costs in Bali

This place is called the “enchanted land”, and no wonder, fordespite its small size, this island packs in everything you expect of paradise, from coral reefs to the jungle-clad slopes of mighty mountains complete with tribes of naughty monkeys. Here, amid the most gracious and hospitable of peoples, you can live for as little as US$1,500 a month.

When you first arrive, you will probably find shopping at the western-style groceries and supermarkets easier and more familiar. This is the time to pay attention. Keep your eyes and ears open, ask your friends, neighbors, and acquaintances questions about where they shop, and you will soon learn where you can find the freshest food, best selection, and most reasonable prices.

By any standard, Bali is an inexpensive place to live. Here’s a sampling of prices for the island. Most of the food prices are derived from the big international grocery in Denpasar and are intended for comparison only. As a rule of thumb, the more you shop in local and traditional markets, the more you will save.

Budgets

All prices are using the Indonesian Rupiah. Click here for currency conversion at today’s exchange rate.

Eating out:

A beer: 28,000

Glass of wine: 50,000

Rum and coke (or other local cocktail): 60,000

A coffee: 30,000

A sandwich (or equivalent): 45,000

Average cost of a meal out per person in your city:

Lunch: 75,000

Dinner: 110,000

If you are able to give costs of car/motor bike ownership please add here:

  • Vehicle insurance: people rarely opt to insure their vehicles.
  • Fuel: 200,000 (tank refill for a car)
  • Upkeep: see below
  • Monthly payments: roughly 500,000 a month (combined with upkeep)
  • Parking: NA

Apartment or House Ownership Budget (for a couple)

ExpenseMonthly CostNotes
Property Taxes250,000Estimate annual tax for 300-square-meter property.
Transportation500,000Monthly cost for motorbike rental. Fuel refills approximately 20,000 per week.
Gas100,000For cooking.
Electricity685,000Highly variable depending on size of house and air conditioning use.
Water100,000
Cell phone150,000Monthly package.
Internet and Cable380,000Basic plan with IndiHome. Includes 10 Mbps internet, 92 TV channels, and 100 call minutes.
Household help2,000,000Monthly wage for a cleaner. Visits everyday for roughly three hours.
Entertainment2,344,000This should include the couples’ cost for:

  • eating out twice a week at a mid-range, local restaurant (150,000);
  • (local) drinks twice a week at a nearby watering hole (beer: 28,000; wine: 50,000; cocktail: 80,000);

movie theater trip twice a month (70,000 per ticket).

Groceries1,000,000Basic items. Most expats tend to eat out more than in.
Gym Membership150,000Monthly fee at a basic gym.
Medical appointment800,000Basic clinic/GP visit (without insurance).
Total8,459,000

Apartment or House Rental Budget

ExpenseMonthly CostNotes
Rent8,500,000Monthly fee for unfurnished, two-bedroom villa. Rent is paid as a one-time annual fee rather than monthly.
Transportation500,000Monthly cost for motorbike rental. Fuel refills approximately 20,000 per week.
Gas100,000For cooking.
Electricity685,000Highly variable depending on size of house and air conditioning use.
Water100,000
Cell phone150,000Monthly package.
Internet and Cable380,000Basic plan with IndiHome. Includes 10 Mbps internet, 92 TV channels, and 100 call minutes.
Household help2,000,000Monthly wage for a cleaner. Visits everyday for roughly three hours.
Entertainment2,344,000This should include the couples’ cost for:

  • eating out twice a week at a mid-range, local restaurant (150,000);
  • (local) drinks twice a week at a nearby watering hole (beer: 28,000; wine: 50,000; cocktail: 80,000);

movie theater trip twice a month (70,000 per ticket).

Groceries1,000,000Basic items. Most expats tend to eat out more than in.
Gym Membership150,000Monthly fee at a basic gym.
Medical appointment800,000Basic clinic/GP visit (without insurance).
Total16,959,000

Penny-Pincher’s Budget (for a couple, bare minimum costs for all)

ExpenseMonthly CostNotes
Rent2,3500Cheapest part of town (still desirable), most basic one-bedroom rental.
Transportation500,000Monthly cost for motorbike rental. Fuel refills approximately 20,000 per week.
Gas100,000For cooking.
Electricity425,000Highly variable.
Water100,000
Cell phone150,000Pay-as-you go data.
Internet and Cable0No cable or internet.
Household help0No household help.
Entertainment464,000Local meals (30,000 each) twice a week.

Local drinks (28,000 each) twice a week.

Groceries875,000All local-brand items only, shopping markets and local vendors along with grocery stores.
Gym Membership0No gym membership.
Medical appointment0Medical expenses not included.
Total4,964,000

Sanur

Sanur, located in the south of Bali, is on the quieter side with a more relaxed vibe and a slightly older crowd than that of nearby Kuta.  This town, made up of 7 districts, has become popular with expats for its mellow lifestyle and proximity to international schools.  Even though it is a quieter area there are still plenty of restaurants, bars, and cafes to choose from.

The beach in Sanur is about 5 kilometers long and protected by a barrier reef which makes the waters calm and safer for swimmers.

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