‘How to live in the Philippines with no money' might seem like a ridiculous title for an article, but it's something that people are searching for on Google almost every day.
From time to time, I take a look at the statistics for this site and like to see how people are finding us. Most of the search terms are pretty obvious and are not too surprising, but when I see something as crazy as this one, I have to sit up and take notice.
The idea that somebody thinks that they can live ANYWHERE in the world for no money is just insane.
Yes, the Philippines is relatively cheap when compared to most western countries, but it is certainly not free. In fact, there are a few things that are more expensive over here.
The one that comes to mind right away is the cost of a car.
When I was living in Hawaii and just wanted an old beater, to cruise around the island, I could pick one up for less than $500.
It didn't' look like much, but it was reliable and served a purpose. I could strap my board to the roof and get to the beach, which was all I wanted to do.
I can't recall ever seeing a secondhand car in the Philippines for less than $1000, though I have noticed car prices going down lately. I don't tend to follow the automobile market on a regular basis, so if you're reading this and know different, please post a comment below.
Cost of Living in the Philippines
It's difficult to say exactly how much it will cost you to live in the Philippines because each situation will be different.
As a rough guide though I'd say a single guy could live over here quite comfortably for between $1000-$1500. If you wanted to live a more extravagant lifestyle, then you'll obviously need a lot more.
If you're trying to provide for you and your family then again, you'll require more money. I don't have a family so can't give an exact cost.
If you don't have a pension or some other means of getting money, then you'll need significant savings.
There's no social system for down on their luck foreigners over here, and if you ever had the gall to inquire, you'd get laughed off the island.
Stranded in the Philippines
Being stranded in the Philippines with no money is not something I would wish on my worst enemy. There are no agencies that will take pity on you, and you'll most likely get zero help from your embassy.
If you're lucky, they might let you use their phone for free to call a family member or friend and beg for money.
I've seen foreigners being so down on their luck that they had to open up a Go Fund Me page and plead for donations. It's a sad state of affairs and not a position you would ever want to find yourself.
The idea that a person can live anywhere in the world for free is crazy, and no sane person would suggest otherwise.
You'll need funds to live in the Philippines and a way to replenish them when they get low. Whether that's a pension, investment, business or some other money making venture, you'll need a constant stream of cash.
Also, remember that making money over here is possible, but the kind of returns you'll get are much lower than what you're probably used to. There's plenty of competition from locals, and you'll find it hard to compete unless you have some skill or service that can not be easily served by a natural-born Filipino.
Do you have experience of prices in the Philippines? Is it cheaper or are there some things that are more expensive than back in the west? Leave a comment below and let us know.