Estimated (Monthly) ‘Cost Of Living’ As An Expat In Bali
Posted by Amanda Froelich on Nov 8th, 2015
“But I’m too broke to travel,” “Travel is expensive…” “I could never do that”… Have you heard these before, or worse, stated them yourself?
Let me tell you something, friend. If you argue for your limitations, you GET to hold on to them. That’s one of the basic rules of this universe.
I remember saying these EXACT phrases to a friend I met in Arizona whilst working at the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center. She had traveled the world, lived in a van for a year while roaming India, fasted in the caves of Costa Rica… and more!
I felt the size of a penny near her, not because she made me feel bad, but because I DECIDED (although I didn’t realize I had a choice in how I feel) that that kind of life was out of grasp.
You know what she said to me?
She looked at me squarely and said:
“Amanda. Don’t say that. You – anyone – can live a life you love and travel the world. I used to be in your shoes until I decided, ‘Fudge it. This is my life. I’m going to make it grand.’ Don’t EVER tell yourself you can’t do something. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Okay, so I can’t remember the exact conversation, but it pretty much went like that. She’s a very successful raw chef and holistic nutritionist (Laura Dawn at Sacred Source Nutrition) and has inspired me for a few years now.
But anyways, I used to think the travel life wasn’t for me, even though I’d daydream about venturing to different lands, meeting new people, and sharing the journey(s) with others.
And now I’m doing that! Truly, there’s more to work in this Universe than just our will and intention. It’s taken some mighty growth periods (lessons like you wouldn’t believe) to decide I’m going to “be the change” I want to see in the world and let go of my previously cemented limitations, but every drop of effort has been worth it.
Anyways, I wanted to share that little tidbit because I am – at the present – ‘living the life’, as you might say, in Bali.
That introduction was needed so you know that ANYONE is capable of following in my footsteps or, better yet, forging your own path as well! It’s a grand life we live, and there’s plenty of room for creativity.
So, this morning I was sitting at The Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali waiting for the Ecstatic Dance part (mid-day, pretty much a sweat fest), drinking a coconut and working on some homework, when I decided to calculate my average spending in a day.
Granted, I’ve only been here 4-5 days now, so am not truly settled into the life, but I have an abode secure for the next 2-3 months (or likely longer, this place is an oasis, after all), a bike to rent, and work (online) that allows me to set up anywhere and make an income, so that’s enough foundation for me to add up an average daily cost – or month – of life in Bali.
Of course, you and I probably live – and invest – in food, comfort, and experiences differently, so you may spend more or less depending on your lifestyle.
As a detox specialist and writer with a special interest in cleansing, raw food, yoga, and meditation, I don’t need much. But, being in Ubud, that also means I’ll splurge on green juices and a raw food meal now and again.
On the other side, I’m keen to mono-meal and bike places, whereas folks like you might prefer to eat out for every meal and hire a motorbike taxi to transit.
Little costs add up, so keep that in mind. Here’s what I scribbled earlier this morning and have tallied up to give you an idea of “how much it costs to live as an expat in Ubud, Bali.”
- Housing (check out the video below to take a tour of my place)
- (4,000,000) = $292.24/ month or (9.74/day)
Bicycle – (250,000) = $18.25 / month (60 cents/day for one month)
Average Food on the Daily:
- 1 Green Juice (35,000) = $2.56
- 1 Coconut Water (20,000) = $1.46
- 1 Papaya (11,000) = 80 cents
- 3 Mango (20,000 – 30,000) = $2.20
- (Optional) Green Salad = $2 – $3
- Greens, Mango, Zucchini noodles, kim chi, sliced vegetables, and avocado + mango/tomato dressing
(Foods/Snacks are included in ‘Shopping’ below)
Daily Total = $6.00 – 7.20
Weekly (x 7 days) = $36.33
Monthly = $155.70
Eat out once a week:
Raw Vegan Meal (for example, Italian pasta + fermented cashew cheese, zucchini noodles, etc…) (50,000) = $3.65
Coconut Kefir (40,000) = $2.92
These will vary on the individual, but I take into account these costs, too. *(They will not be added into the final tally because they only pertain to me)
- Website Costs:
- $12/month – hosting Car Payment (back home)
- Car Payment
Total = $172.00
Visa Run or Visa Extension:
- Round Trip Flight to Singapore (one day) $150.00 – $300.00
- This depends on how long out you book it + Visa costs, etc…
- Visa Extension = TBD
- This depends on how long out you book it + Visa costs, etc…
- Transit from Airport (Denpasar) to Ubud, Bali (300,000) = $21.91
- Set aside 300,000 (Temples, Monkey Forest, etc…) = $21.91
– One per week (90,0000) = $7
Total (x 4 weeks) = $28
- Soap, Clothes, Health Food Store Items, Spirulina, etc… (1,000,000 rupiah) = $73.00
- Morning Market (I’m a fiend for Jackfruit)
Estimated Monthly Expense = $631.73
Including $150 for flight or Visa extension = $781.73
Including Car Payment + Website Hosting = $953.73
Now, as a reminder: I am not holding back in any way. I’m living like a princess in Ubud, where there’s ample amount of time for self-work, detoxification, prayer, school and work.
$150 is likely way higher than what is for a visa extension, but I like to be safe rather than sorry. I will update this in the future once I find out for myself.
Also, an average Balinese meal costs anywhere from 75 cents – $2.25, so if you’re not into green juice and yoga classes, etc… you can probably save money in this area as well.
In addition, I splurge on things like fresh spirulina, coconut yogurt, etc… and these are more of my ‘shopping costs’. You could eat and live very simply (you won’t find a better abode or for less in the area) – or make food in your own kitchen – and save money in these areas as well.
Finally, I believe anyone can travel the world and live a life they love. I appreciate Bali – especially Ubud – and am happy with this monthly cost of living.
I broke it down so individuals such as yourself might have an idea of how cheap it can be to live abroad and do what you love.
Never take “No” for an answer. Persevere until what you envision is created. Be kind to all those you meet, and above all, have faith in yourself.
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You deserve to – and can – live a life you love.
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