In the context of a project to settle in Cambodia, the question of the cost of living inevitably arises, is this a financially feasible option?
It is said that the cost of living in Cambodia is 38% lower than in France. Those who know life in Cambodia know that life there is not expensive, at least by living simply and without excess. From experience, expatriates who have already lived there there estimate that $500 a month is the minimum cost of living . With $1,000 a month you would be entirely covered with money to spare, and the minimum subsistence would be $400. The Khmer country is therefore very inexpensive.
First, a large part of your budget will go into the rent. However, housing in Cambodia does not cost an exorbitant amount as in other countries, it costs $300 to $500 for a couple. With this amount you will be able to easily find a small villa or fully furnished apartment. Most of these apartments already all the necessary comfort, including an equipped bathroom and hot water, all the kitchen equipment, all the household appliances including a television set, a refrigerator, a washing machine and importantly with the climate in Cambodia, an air conditioner on site.
How Much Money Do You Need to Live and Breathe in Cambodia?
Simply living on $10 a day can be more than enough. Other charges to consider are electricity and water ($50 to $100 (a month?) depending on the size of the home). For households that do not use public transit but have a car, taxes, insurance and fuel expenses must be included.
If you use public transit, plan $7 to $15 monthly for the bus depending on the cities and companies. A group taxi (carpooling in another form) seat will cost you $15 . You can also travel by boat, but it is more expensive and more popular with tourists than the people who live there. Typical of the region, there are motorcyclists who sell rides for cheap (about $0.50 to $1).
To get an idea of the prices applied to the market, a kilo of vegetables is about $1, the meat about $15, a cup of coffee costs $0.75 and a dish in a rather chic restaurant will be charged around $15.A dish in a simple restaurant can cost around $5. Food is very cheap and you could save a lot more if you live like the local population, a good meal at the market for $1; Simple, cheap and very good.
Meeting friends at the restaurant won’t ruin you either. Beer is not expensive, in most places where prices are considered high a beer does not cost more than $5.
The prices applied in tourist areas such as Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville or Siem Reap may be higher compared to prices outside major cities, much like anywhere in the world where tourism is raging.
Q&A: Costs and Budget to live in Cambodia – Questions you may have in mind ?
💰 How much does a Cambodian earn on average?
A Cambodian worker earns an average of $73 dollars per month. Don’t imagine being able to live in Cambodia with only this amount of expenses per month. Including the rental of your accommodation, food, health insurance, visa fees, you will need a much larger budget if you plan to stay in Cambodia for several months. However, some expatriates with experience knowing the low-cost spots can manage to spend between $600 and $700 per month while having a quite dynamic social life and hanging out often. It’s up to you to experience for yourself how much you need: each person is different with different tastes and needs, so some of them spend $1000 traveling a lot, going to western restaurants and not counting the hanging-out with friends.
🤔 Moving to Cambodia : the expenses of renting an apartment or house ?
For an average-western salary, the cost of living wouldn’t be an issue, but even if you are not at that level there are plenty of affordable options to rent a low-budget place to live in Cambodia. Is there accommodation that would suit my standard budget? Certainly, whatever your budget! Naturally, the cost of living in tourist attractive areas, such as Phnom Penh, would generally be higher than that of a quieter place, such as Siem Reap. A villa with a swimming pool in Siem Reap could cost you $600. If you decide to live in an apartment shared with roommates or in a small outlying apartment, you can pay between $250 and $300. This allows you to live in an apartment that is not too badly located, close to all amenities for a very affordable budget.
🍔 Cost and budget of food for expats living in Cambodia ?
Food is generally the utmost concern. Should I be worried of the cost of food in Cambodia? Not at all. In fact, the cost of a takeout meal compared to a home-cooked meal is generally the same. You could pay as low as $1 – $2 dollars on the vibrant streets, and from $6 dollars in a sit-down restaurant. With this low-cost budget, you can eat whatever you want in Cambodia: street food, beer on the terrace, formal restaurant. Bus trips around the country and renting small hotels in remote places won’t cost you much, so you can really go and explore by yourself dishes of the all country even in the countryside. Enough to access an excellent quality of life for a very low budget. In terms of variety of dishes, spices and flavours, note however that Cambodia is often less well known than its neighbouring countries: Thailand and Vietnam. However, it is possible to find restaurants that cook foreign dishes so as not to get homesick.
🚌 What are the costs regarding the varying types of transport?
Just as food is really affordable, so is travelling. Using a bus would cost you between $7 and $15 per trip to connect two major cities in the country. However, the infrastructure is worthy of an emerging country, so plan to spend several hours on the bus to connect two cities. Fortunately, most long-distance buses are equipped with sleeper seats so that you can relax and the trip is not too tiring. To reach the islands in the south of the country, the use of ferries and boats are available and a little more expensive (as it is a tourist area). You will be able to travel around the country and reach the capitals of neighbouring countries for a budget between 50 and 100$ round trip. Enough to be able to visit the neighbouring countries for very competitive prices.
Finding Cheap Accommodation
In Cambodia or elsewhere, you should never rush when looking for a future home. Prices are within everyone’s reach, but there are places that are more expensive than others. Thisis the case in Phnom Penh, especially for the properties along the river.. If your place of work is in the city it may be to your advantage to buy or rent a little more expensive apartment or condo.,If you live in the city you can travel on foot and avoid additional costs in your transportation expenses.
Nevertheless, if you are looking for peace and quiet, you can go further away from the city, choosing a less touristy place, and in this case the cost of living will really be more affordable, but you will have to allocate an additional budget for transport, possibly an investment for the purchase of a vehicle or scooter, the price of fuel, insurance to be able to drive, and the cost of maintaining your vehicle.
In Siem Reap for example, the price of real estate is lower than in Phnom Penh, with $600 a month you would already have the possibility to rent a villa with a swimming pool, because it is a smaller city and still not very crowded by tourists.
Cambodia is one of the Asian countries referred to as “cheap”. The cost of living is relatively low, but so is the purchasing power of the population. Efforts to rebuild are gradually bearing fruit in this country recovering from a very busy history. Settling there is also part of its reconstruction, taking part in its economic emergence.
Inflation, Prices and Development of the Country to Forecast the Budget
The Cambodian economy, however, seems to have found the right formula for sustainable growth through export development. Over the past seven years, Cambodia’s GDP has grown by an average of 7% per year.
Expat incomes are generally high and cover the costs of living, inflation and increase of prices
The estimates above are flexible according to individual lifestyles. To better understand life in Cambodia, and how its population lives, it is important to remember that a Cambodian earns on average $73 per month, if we consider a monthly budget of $1,000 this is already what they earn in several months of work. Foreigners often shock each other because of a very common attitude of the local population to try to bargain, to extract the slightest little Riel. It is true that in principle this can be somewhat less irritating, they are on the lookout for the slightest small deal to win in surplus. This could be understood in the context of the country, these people tend to think that you have more money, without totally realizing that you are certainly earning more, but your needs and your cost of living are just as high. The cost of living is much lower than in Europe or elsewhere in Cambodia, which attracts many people to settle there
Needs and Prices: Food, Western Habits
The needs Expats are used to back home tend to cost more in Cambodia because of the cost of importing. Based on the same principle, some institutions may apply a foreign rate versus a local rate.
Fair tourism still has a way to go in Cambodia, but most of the time foreigners also understand the country’s context, and do not necessarily feel scammed. You can make a good living from your Western pension, or from your salary as an expatriate worker in Cambodia. You can lead a peaceful and comfortable life with your income. The important thing to know is that a change of country is accompanied by a whole host of other changes. The word adapt may not be any more appropriate than the word discover and adopt. Most people who are reckless enough to leave everything in their country of origin and settle in a South-East Asian country where everything is different would have prepared themselves in advance, knowing that they will have to make concessions on certain purchasing and lifestyle habits. They will also have to adopt to local habits., Above all, that the transition will not always be easy both physically and mentally, but it will be worth it for the new experience.