How Much Does It Cost to Live Independently in Metro Manila?

Cost of living in Manila for young professionals. This post contains the eight essential costs to consider when living independently in Manila. By Arlene Briones

By Sonnie Hiles on Unsplash

You’ve certainly imagined it: making your own money, moving out of your parent’s house and living an independent life. Not having a curfew, watching Netflix at all hours and eating that leftover matcha cake without watchful eyes certainly feels pretty liberating!

Add the fact that young Filipino professionals who either own or rent their own place report being happier about their living situation, compared to those living in their family homes.

Ready to move out? Read on to learn more about eight essential cost categories of living independently in Metro Manila — and see if you’re ready to break free!

1. Housing — P7,000-30,000 per month

Housing costs usually make up the bulk of your living expenses. Whether you’re amortizing, renting all to yourself, or sharing a room to cut down on costs, rates will depend greatly on your location.

If you work in a central business district and get a condominium close by, it could increase your allocation for rent, but save you a considerable amount on transportation.

To give you an idea, rent for a one-bedroom unit can go for the following rates:

  • Manila: P15,000-30,000
  • Makati: P18,000-60,000
  • Quezon City: P7,000-20,000
  • Taguig: P10,000-50,000

If you’re thinking of owning a condominium of your own, rates start at P3M, with about 10-20% downpayment, and monthly amortization of P18,000 to 30,000 depending on financing terms.

2. Groceries — P4,000-10,000 per month

This will vary greatly if you eat out more than cook in your unit. Otherwise, it represents mostly household & personal care items. By buying your own groceries, you’ll get a good grasp of the cost of basic food items like chicken, pork, beef, fish, rice and vegetables. That’s a good skill to develop, one that comes along with living independently.

3. Eating Out — P3,000-10,000 per month

With a basic meal in an inexpensive canteen or restaurant ranging from P100-350, you’ll find that P3,000 easily covers lunch for a month. Being too busy to cook dinner (as is often the case) and having occasional dinners with colleagues, friends, and dates (how could we not forget!) increases the cost allocation for this category.

4. Transportation — P4,000-8,000 per month

Whether you’re riding the MRT, getting a Grab or driving your own car, one of the biggest chunks of your budget goes to transportation. Having a car jacks up the cost considerably, with maintenance, gas, and parking fees.

If you live near your work area, going there on a bike will not only be cheaper but more eco-friendly, too. Walking, you say? Great! Because that means hitting two birds with one stone, helping you meet your health goals, too.

5. Utilities — highly variable

Things you can’t live without — light, water & internet connectivity — all have their place in the costs of living independently in Manila. Expect to pay these ballpark figures for essential utilities:

  • Electricity: P1,500-3,000
  • Water: P100-500
  • Internet: P1,500-3,000
  • Mobile Phone: P600-3,000

6. Clothing — P1,000-5,000

Showing up at work calls for proper attire, whether the vibe in your office is dressed-down laid back or straight-on corporate. Clothing will always be a staple even if it’s just to get through wash-day Fridays.

7. Entertainment — P2,000-3,000

Factoring in some fun in the budget will help you unwind after all the hard work you’ve been doing. This budget item can pay for the occasional movie, play, concert, or a night out with friends.

8. Sports & Hobbies — P2,000-10,000

Recreational activities will help balance you out as a person, contribute to your overall well-being & growth, and are well worth the monthly costs they require.

To sum up, the cost of living independently in Manila can range from P26,000 up to P85,000 depending on your spending choices — with the bulk of the expenses going to housing, food, and transportation.

Are you ready to make it out on your own? Start the hunt at Soon you’ll have it figured that living independently in Metro Manila is not as daunting as it seems!