How Much Does It Cost to Live in Bali
Moving to Bali is a dream for many people. And with stunning scenery, a rich culture, beautiful weather and friendly people, the island has a lot to offer. Bali is also noted for its laidback lifestyle and relatively cheap cost of living. But exactly how much does it cost to live in Bali?
Cost of living in Bali: average monthly expenses
The cost of living in Bali will depend on where on the island you live and what sort of lifestyle you want to have.
According to Numbeo, the average cost of living in Bali for a single person is around $522 without rent, and a family of four can expect to spend around $1,892 without rent.
We’ve researched the average expenses you could expect when living in Bali:
|Rent||$300 – $1,145|
|Transport (car or scooter rental)||$50 – $250|
|Eating out||$5 – $25|
|Total||$655 – $2,275|
This is just a rough guide of what you could expect to spend when living in Bali. Below, we look into the likely expenses in more detail.
The biggest expense when living in Bali will be rent. Even so, rent in Bali is around 74% lower than in London, so you can still find a comfortable home relatively cheaply. Where you live will have an effect on how much you pay. So, if you decide to live in the more touristy, urban areas, your rent will be more expensive. On the other hand, if you live in a more rural area outside of the tourist hotspots, you’ll find rent will be much cheaper. Many of these suburban locations are still within a short bike ride to the city centre, so they can still offer a convenient place to live.
As well as location, you’ll also need to decide what sort of property you’ll want to live in. Renting a room in a shared house will be much cheaper – on average, $300 – but you won’t have the same privacy as renting an entire property. A luxury villa with a pool can provide some relief from the heat and humidity but will cost much more – sometimes over $1,000.
It’s usually easier to find long-term rentals when you’re in Bali, by speaking to locals and finding what’s available. It’s recommended that you start with a short-term holiday rental as a base to find a more permanent home.
Expats who have lived in Bali for at least six months are entitled to access the universal healthcare system. The system is funded through tax payments, either through a small percentage of your salary or through a monthly-fixed fee, which works out to around $5 – $10, depending on the tier you choose.
The healthcare facilities in Bali can be substandard when compared to the rest of the world, and many medical procedures will take place off the island, with patients being flown to nearby Singapore.
Many expats cover themselves with international health insurance to ensure they have access to the highest quality care and facilities. Those that do not have a work visa, for example, expats who retire in Bali, will not be covered by the public healthcare system and will have to pay for their healthcare. In this instance too, it is advised to get private health insurance.
Public transport in Bali is virtually non-existent, so it’s advised that those living in Bali rent a vehicle to help them get around. Many people choose to hire a scooter or motorbike as a simple and convenient method of transport, and this will cost around $45 per month. Petrol in Bali is quite cheap and will cost around $3 for a full tank. Hiring a car will be more expensive but are also a popular way of travelling around the island. Car rental in Bali will cost around $200 for a basic model.
There are also plenty of taxi services and app-based transport, including car and motorbike taxis. Taxi journeys can cost anywhere between $1 and $7, depending on the length of the journey.
Food and drink
The cost of food and drink in Bali will vary considerably, depending on what you’re eating. Imported food will be much more expensive, whereas local ingredients will be quite cheap. When eating out, you can find cheap local eateries selling good quality food for just $1- $2. Eating in this way can sometimes be cheaper than buying the ingredients yourself, and there are some expats who will eat out or order in food for most of their meals. If you choose to eat in a restaurant selling Western food, you should be prepared to spend more, for example, $10 – $20.
Alcohol is highly taxed and expensive in Bali. Local beer will cost around $1.50 in a supermarket or $2 – $3 in a bar. Imported alcohol can cost twice as much, with Australian wine starting at around $20 for a bottle.
The tap water in Bali is not safe to drink but purchasing drinking water is relatively cheap. 1 litre bottle of water can cost around $0.50 or a 20 litre bottle will cost around $1.80.
Bali has a number of good quality international schools on the island, including the Bali Island School, which will teach international curriculums in English. They’ll provide children with an internationally recognised qualification, such as the IB. International school fees vary depending on the age of the pupil and the institution but can start from $8,000 per year and go up to $20,000.
Local schools may not have as broad a curriculum as your child is used to, plus they will be taught in Indonesian. If an international school is not an option, some expats choose to homeschool or take part in private school groups to educate their children.
Activities and entertainment
There is plenty to do in Bali, and how much you spend will depend on what sort of activities you want to partake in. Hiking and enjoying the gorgeous beaches are all free or cheap activities, depending on whether you need a hiking guide (which can cost between $10 and $30). Surfing is popular in Bali – a surfing lesson will cost anywhere between $10 and $20 and renting a surfboard will cost around $7 per day.
There are a few well-equipped gyms across the island, with monthly memberships costing between $35 and $50. Yoga is also a popular activity on the island. You can bring your mat to the beach to freestyle your own session, or a yoga class will cost around $11.
If you’re moving to Bali, make sure you’re covered with international health insurance. Expatriate Group has been supporting expats living and working across the world for over 25 years, offering comprehensive flexible medical cover for them and their families. Get a quote for your international healthcare today.