Saturday, December 24, 2016

Cost of living Malaysia for expat...

Below there is an overview of monthly costs and expenses, which you need to take into account with when moving to Malaysia (these estimated prices are relevant when you are living in either Kuala Lumpur, Penang or Johor Bahru):
Streamyx broadband internet provider Malaysia
Internet subscription: from around RM100 per month
Internet is available almost everywhere in Malaysia. There are numerous providers; most of them provide a WIFI service. People that want the benefits of a fixed (copper) line can subscribe to Streamyx or Unifi. Streamyx offers a 4mbps subscription for RM140 per month. Unifi offers a 25mbps subscription for RM249 per month (though the line is capped at 120GB per month). There also providers that offer a monthly based internet subscription; great for people that visit Malaysia only for a short time.

Astro television: from RM50 per month
If you would like to watch local television you can subscribe to Astro. Regular Astro package offers numerous local channels. If you want to watch blockbuster movies you need to upgrade your package. Astro also offers HD channels via their B.yond service.

Mobile phone costs: from RM20 onwards per month
Cheapest solution is to buy a prepaid SIM card (Hotlink, Digi, Celcom). A subscription gives you the option of buying a cheap phone. If you are using a smart phone (iPhone, BB or other brands) then you might want a 3G subscription added to your regular phone line. In that case your bill will be over RM100 a month. Popular telco’s are Maxis, Celcom and Digi. Compare packages up front to see which operator suits you best.

Health insurance: from €100,- onwards per month
Sometimes expats are offered a local health insurance package. Though monthly charges are much lower, coverage is usually less than when you are insured via an international package.

Transport costs (e.g. gasoline for the car, taxi, metro of bus)
Gasoline is very cheap in Malaysia. RON95 costs RM1.90 per liter, which equals to around RM60 for a full tank (30ltr). Costs of using the taxi are pretty high as most trips will easily cost you RM10/RM15 within the city center. If the driver uses the meter it is often cheaper. Public transport like the metro or bus is very cheap; but not all places in KL are easily reached by metro or bus. Often one stop by metro costs around RM1.20.

Electricity: from RM80 onwards
If applicable, with daily use of air-conditioning monthly costs may increase. With air-conditioning on daily at 26 degrees your bill will be over RM250 a month.

Water: from RM5
Water consumption is usually very low in Malaysia. Expect to pay around RM5/RM10 per month if you shower twice a day.

Gas: RM25 (+RM50)
It is common to eat outside in Malaysia, so gas consumption is usually low as gas is only used in kitchens. When you arrive at your new home in Malaysia the first thing you need to do to be able to cook at home is to contact the gas delivery service. A new tank will be delivered and costs RM25 plus a RM50 deposit.

Additional monthly costs:

  • Costs for sewer cleaning): from RM45
  • Car insurance: from RM400 per year
 

Daily costs of living

Western products at a Malaysian super market
Daily costs of living are relatively low in Malaysia compared to most western countries. Here it is still possible to spend RM20 to RM40 a day on three meals including drinks. People in Malaysia have become wealthier over the years so expect numerous fancy restaurants where you can dine easily for well over RM100 per person. If you like eating at local street restaurants (hawkers) then prices of a typical local dish varies between RM10 to RM20. Drinks usually cost up to RM4 (carbonated drinks). An Ice Lemon Tea (popular local drink) only costs RM1.20 to RM1.50 at most places. If you drink beer or wine, prices will easily double. If you visit places like Starbucks for your daily cup of coffee and western restaurants, then prepare to pay pretty high prices. A normal (tall) cup of coffee at Starbucks costs RM9. A sandwich at a bakery costs RM15. Dinner at a restaurant in a shopping mall usually costs RM60 per person including a drink; though eating in a food court is considerably cheaper.

Besides the costs for your daily meals there are also additional daily costs like parking costs, toll booth costs and the costs of your groceries. Western products in supermarkets are often very expensive. Some examples below:

  • A small piece of cheese: RM25
  • A carton of orange juice: RM10
  • A bag of chips: RM13
  • Bread: RM10 for a sliced wholemeal loaf
  • Butter: RM13
  • Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream: RM28
  • A bottle of wine: from RM30 onwards

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