July 25, 2016 Comments (2) Blog, Featured

What it costs to live in Bali for one month

What it costs to live in Bali for one month

One month in Bali -
Total costs and expenses

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Everybody loves to go away on a holiday and the one thing that we always say at the end is I wish that I had more time. We all have obligations and it all comes down to either time or money. The less time we have the more money we will most likely spend and vice versa. There are many reasons people come to Bali and at the end they all have that same sentiment - I wish I had more time. Indonesia gives most nationalities a one month visa free of charge so in this post - assuming you do have the time, we run through the costs associated with relocating to Bali for one month. 
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The decision to spend a month in Bali is a good one. Most rentals are much cheaper by the month and it gives you a good amount of time to settle in, make friends and just live life the way you want to. You have the time to read, do yoga, surf, start that project or just go out and explore what this beautiful island has to offer. The goal here is to live a normal day to day life i.e. not over indulging or being super tight with money.
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Total for one month for 2 people - $2075           Total price break down below
#1. - Finding a place to stay - $500 a month
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This one is a big one and it can depend on so many factors. There are a number of areas and it will depend on your personal preferences as to where you would like to be based for a month. Alternatively you could spend 2 weeks in 2 places but I would recommend against this as it feels like you’re just travelling around still. You’ll feel much more at home if you find one place and just stick to it.
 
My wife and I decided to stay in Sanur. The monthly cost of the apartment was $500 for the month including all bills, water, wifi and had a kitchen and got cleaned once a week. There are many great places so you really just have to search and find a place that you think will work for you. We found our apartment on Air BnB and the owners were the most lovely people - always super friendly and offering us anything that we needed.
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Here are the 6 main areas and I’ll explain them in detail below
 
- Kuta/Legian/Seminyak
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These areas are the party areas of the island and are for the young at heart. If you like to party and chill by the beach during the day then this is for you.
- Uluwatu/Bukit Peninsula
The Bukit is famous for its surf breaks and relaxed atmosphere so if you love to surf then this is the place for you. Still a close ride to the major shopping and party areas its a good choice if you like the beach and peace and quiet.
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- Ubud 
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Ubud was made famous by the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and has turned into a bustling hub for Yoga and Digital Nomads in the centre of Bali. If you love yoga or work from your laptop then this is the place you’ll most likely end up.
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- Sanur/Denpasar
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Sanur sees an older crowd and for that reason it isn’t as lively as the other areas. It’s beach isn’t too nice either but you can find some great deals and you won’t see throngs of tourists like you do in other areas. It’s also just a short 5 minute ride to the centre of Denpasar.
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- Canggu 
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In recent years Canggu is the new place to be seen. Its a mixture of Uluwatu and Ubud combining surfing and yoga and is a great place to meet new people and just hang out. There isn’t the level of craziness that Kuta is known for so it attracts a lot more people in their late 20’s and early 30’s.
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- Northern Bali
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I’ve included northern Bali as the areas of Candi Dasa, Padang Bai, Lovina and Amed. These areas are more isolated and no where near as developed as the southern part of the island. They mainly cater towards scuba divers so if that is your thing then these are the places to stay.
 
#2. Transportation - $100 for one month
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Transportation is a big one. Usually people just hire a scooter and go for it but this has its advantages and disadvantages. The main reason foreigners end up in the hospital is because of riding scooters either drunk or having a crash, which is a lot easier than you think. I hired a scooter for $55 for a month and this is the usual price for monthly rental. For one day the going rate is around $4 to $5 so do the maths and you’ll see that monthly rental is the way to go here. Fuel is just .55c per litre and you’ll usually get around 40kms for one litre of fuel. I rode a LOT covering over 3000kms in a month doing research for this website so it cost me a little bit in fuel and time but I love getting out on the road and it was amazing to see a lot of the island that not too many people would get to see. 
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If hiring a scooter isn’t your thing then you have some other options. You can take an ojek (motorbike taxi) and the best app for this is called Gojek. You can type in where you want to go and you can see where the drivers are in real time. This is the go to app and is very competitive in price. Apart from motorbikes there are taxis and private drivers which have a higher premium but if safety is your concern then these 2 modes of transport are the way to go. 
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The $100 mentioned above includes transport to and from the airport (usually $10 each way), fuel and the cost of renting a scooter. 
 
Motorbike, Bali, Volcano
#3. Food - $30 a day for 2 people
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One thing is for sure in Bali - you will never go hungry. With so many amazing places to eat you are really spoilt for choice and a great guide on where to eat is trip advisor. They cover just about every tourist restaurant on the island and you’ll see the price range and also what types of food are available. Almost all major tourist centres can be expensive. It’s cheaper than the western world but it still adds up.
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To save on food my wife and I would go to Denpasar to eat out and also cook food in our kitchen. We rarely drank alcohol which costs around 1.5 times that of a meal. We found some amazing cafes in Denpasar city that serve great food for half what the tourist centres charge. If you are in Denpasar be sure to check out Alleyway Cafe - they have cheap burgers and the wifi is fast, the perfect place to chill out and work. 
 

Photo by - Foodie God Island

#4. Insurance - $120 a month
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There’s that famous saying that goes along the lines of, if you can’t afford insurance then you can’t afford to travel. When I was younger I didn’t adhere to that rule but as I get older I value my health a lot more so I cover myself from the unexpected. Depending on which country you come from you’ll have a different rate for insurance but I aways go with world nomads (as you can buy the insurance outside your home country), they aren’t the cheapest but they do have their benefits. When you are buying insurance be sure to read the fine print and make sure that you are covered so you don’t get a surprise when and if you make a claim. Most insurance companies won’t cover you if you leave your home country and then try to buy insurance - this is the main reason I go with world nomads because I’m often out of my home country 80% of the year and it just doesn’t work. So be sure to buy the insurance before you leave and you’ll get a better rate. 
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The other option is to forego insurance altogether and just wing it. The hospitals in Bali are very good and no matter the hospital there is always someone who can speak english. My wife fell off her scooter and injured her foot. We went to the hospital and had an X-ray taken and also a consultation with a doctor. The total cost was $50 and not really worth claiming on insurance but if you have some serious issues then the insurance pays for itself pretty quickly. 
 
Gunung Agung
#5. Miscellaneous 
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This section can be extremely broad and totally depends on what you like and your interests are. For example you make take surfing lessons, language lessons, learn yoga or just go shopping. This section is optional but its important to add in for costs sake. I”ll run through what my additional costs were apart from just “living” expenses.
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Gym - $10  - I chose a local gym but it had all the free weights you could ever want. This is quite cheap for Bali as some gyms cost that for just one session so choose what matters to you.
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Entry fees - $20 - On my tour of the island I discovered some amazing things and some of these amazing things cost money. My money mainly went to entry to waterfalls where the locals take a $1-$2 fee for entry and parking.
Indonesian Lessons - $200
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I love to learn languages and Indonesian was the first language that I started to learn. I took lessons with a private tutor 4 hours per week and my level really went up fast. I was already at a decent level but having one on one tuition was very valuable and I reached my goals super fast. You could easily do this with anything else including surfing, yoga, or taking courses. 
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Doctors fees and medication - $125
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For these fees it could have been claimed on insurance however it was only a small amount at just $125. Usually your insurance company would charge a premium when you claim so we felt it wasn’t necessary to claim this on insurance. 
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Shopping - $100
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When you’re in Bali it can be hard to resist some of the good deals that are on offer. We bought some t-shirts, shorts and also a small backpack for day trips. 
 

As you can see from the above break down of costs that it is totally up to the individual as to what they spent their money on. You can certainly live a lot cheaper than this and you can definitely spend more but I would say that the majority of foreigners living in Bali would spend between $1000-$2000 per month. The living conditions are amazing and you will be saving money compared to living in other western countries. If you want to make the jump and stay in Bali, even if it is just for one month, then it's certainly doable and maybe more financially possible than you first might think.

Ryan Mazure is an adventure seeker, photographer and creator of the Bali Adventure Guide.

2 Responses to What it costs to live in Bali for one month

  1. Albert says:

    Hi there. Great read! Quick question tho, what gym did you find for $10?

    • Ryan Mazure says:

      Hey Albert,

      I’m not sure of the name of the gym but it is in Sanur on Jl Tirta Nadi 2. It is across the road from the school you can’t miss it :) Here is a hotel that is very close you can copy and past this into google maps.
      Sanur Kauh, South Denpasar, Denpasar City, Bali 80228, Indonesia

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