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Cost of living in Bali

The most common question I get on this site is “How can I get a job in Bali?”. The second most common question is “How much does it cost to live in Bali?” It is a very difficult question to answer, as everyone has different needs and expenses.

I hope this information can at least serve as a general guide for people wanting to live in Bali.

Some factors which influence the cost of living in Bali:

Location

The closer you are to tourist areas, the more you can expect to pay. The south of Bali is also generally more expensive than the north.

Language ability

The greater your language ability, the better ability you will have to negotiate prices. Bahasa Indonesia is good but Balinese is even better. Another option is to have a Balinese friend purchase things on your behalf to get local prices.

Local markets

If you have some language skills, you can pick up some great bargains by shopping at the local markets (pasar).

Imported goods

Imported goods, particularly alcohol carries high import duties.

Housing

Houses are usually rented in Indonesia on a 12 month basis, with the full 12 months paid in advance. The longer you rent the property for, the bigger reduction in rent you can get.

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36 Responses to Cost of living in Bali

  1. Working Nomad August 7, 2009 at 2:10 am #

    $875 for one term at an independent school is the stand out value for money on that list. That’s incredible!

    • Nyoman Sumerta February 15, 2010 at 12:47 am #

      $875. 90% to pay EXPAT GURU salary :)

  2. Mike August 7, 2009 at 3:24 am #

    Yeah, incredible isn’t it. I suppose they have to pay for the expat teacher salaries.

  3. Paul September 10, 2009 at 11:18 pm #

    Very interesting. Bali always seems relatively expensive to me, if you look at ‘western’ requirements, e.g. while doing grocery shopping, western products, alcohol etc.

    Any more concrete indications of rental in the main expat areas, for instance in Seminyak?

  4. Mike September 16, 2009 at 2:28 am #

    I have seen villas advertised in Seminyak for 150 million a year in the Bali Advertiser. You might find something cheaper if you are prepared to look.

  5. Elizabeth May 6, 2010 at 1:24 am #

    I have visit Bali 8 times,I’m absolutly in love with this unique place.
    This time i would like to open a busines /few ideas/something small to start from.I feel a bit insecure in such a corupted place,so if anyone looking for a partner busines ,please send me email i will appreciate…

    • Len Streeter June 3, 2010 at 4:34 am #

      Hi!Elizabeth,I read your response in “Cost of living in Bali”.My friend and I are going to Bali to open a Restaurant,maybe,depends on whats involved and costs.Mike Henery has just released a book on opening a buisness in Bali.It should be good reading.Maybe we can share ideas.Hope to hear from you.Len

      • Tom March 8, 2011 at 12:55 am #

        love to come work there if you have any suggestions,im in florida and on the coast, have managed retsaurants nad was a deli manager for a large grocery chain, your input would be appreciated , i have a friend in jakarta

      • Manos November 13, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

        Dear Len, have you opened the restaurant in Bali? I am a restaurant owner in Greece and will be in Bali in 2 weeks, would love to visit your restaurant and have a chat. hope to hear from you. Manos

    • peter June 8, 2010 at 8:04 pm #

      Hi Elizabeth, my wife Sandy and me are moving to Bali next January from (cold) Austria. We start this year a new business – but not directly in Bali – if it’s interesting to you, please just send a short message to my mail: p.ganster(et)buerozwo.com

    • steve khan October 25, 2010 at 2:13 am #

      I visited Bali about 13 years ago. It seemed like a paradise. Just like you I think often of living in a place like Bali. It would be nice to create jobs for local people that will improve their lives and make us some money too.

      let’s talk some more

      Steve

    • rey January 10, 2011 at 12:20 am #

      hey i have a cigar company from the dominican republic, i am intrested in selling cigars there, i also have cuban cigars email me if u like

    • Jenny Perham January 27, 2011 at 11:24 pm #

      Hello Elizabeth,

      I have been to bali 11 times over the last 20 years and have also fallen in love with bali. My goal is to live there and have some sort of business that allows me to work there and live there, I have many friends over the years in bali and they have contacts regarding wholesale goods. Anyway if you are interested please email me . I would love to hear from you. I am genuine and honest person and value honesty in return.

      Jenny Perham

      • samantha May 22, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

        Hi I just came across this forum as I’m interested in moving /owning buismess in Bali and was wondering if you’ve taken any steps to do so yet
        Thanks samantha

        You can email me at samantha.burnes@hotmail.com

      • Ketut Pica November 4, 2011 at 12:27 am #

        Hi I would be very happ to keep intouch with the ideas of making a business in Bali ,for your further information kindly contac us me or check my web thanks

    • nik May 2, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

      hello. i read that you are intersting for a parthener to make busniess in bali. ok iam interting about that. inever been there ,so you been like you said several time. sent me email to tell me details.. and you never know maybe you will find something…

  6. Elizabeth June 3, 2010 at 8:22 am #

    Hello Len.
    Thank you for your responde.
    You can’t go wrong with restaurant
    but locations! locations!!!!
    I do have somehow simillar idea and I WILL BE HAPPY to exchange
    more directly with you.
    How can I do it?
    Best wishes
    Elizabeth..

    • Len Streeter June 8, 2010 at 6:08 am #

      Hello Elizabeth.Thanks for your reply.Email me at lenkaths@bigpond.com anytime.Len

    • jenny perham February 3, 2011 at 6:19 am #

      you may also ring me on +610457747027

  7. Jairus September 26, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    It should be very good to live near in a market area or a school area since it is very accessible to our needs.

  8. diane derby October 13, 2010 at 12:27 am #

    I am thinking of moving to bali and helping out in some way as a volunteer.
    I would need to rent a cheap villa as I have no income source also would like to know the best places in Bali that I

  9. Eko - Channel1 October 22, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    Hi Diane,

    If you mentioned villa in Bali this will give impression of a nice house at least 2 – 3 bedrooms with en-suite bathroom, nice garden, swimming pool and many other ‘luxury’ amenities and facilities, but in regards to your plan to get volunteer job, then I guess you may search for a nice and comfortable 1 bed room cabin or in Bali know and ‘rumah kos’ this are vary from IDR 500,000 up to IDR 3,000,000 per month.

    Hope this help,

    Cheers,

    • Tom November 7, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

      Could I live off 2000 U.S. dollars there a month? surfing th web and saw you guys blogging. really interesting. I am retired military, divorced, and really getting a little bit tired of starbucks and gym as my only pastime being retired. thanks…Tom

  10. balifreeads January 13, 2011 at 8:07 am #

    Hi, you can share information and promote your products around Bali for free in http://balifreeads.com

    Cheers

  11. Sai January 18, 2011 at 9:08 am #

    How about Software jobs there, especially PHP(Web Development). I see lot of offers coming from a Bali Jobs site. I’m single. I think it would be cool to work in such a place. Morning Job and evening beach.

  12. risma January 28, 2011 at 7:04 am #

    i would like to come to bali end of february to see my girlfriend my name is darren im from england and also i would like to have a job in bali could you please find me a job for me… thanks a lot

  13. Stefi February 9, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    Hi, I am thinking of moving out from my country, Hungary and I thought about Bali as well. I’ve been working in real estate for 8 yrs now, including sales, renting, property management, renovations, furnishing etc. So I have versatile experience. Does anybody have any information or any opinion about finding a job in real estate or property management as an expat? Thanks a lot for any info

  14. nik May 2, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

    iam intersting to creat a busniess in bali. anything that can bring me profit. i wanna to win 100000euro per year. can someone help me out about wat budget i need for something like that and wat kind of busniess i can make there?my email: nick_isback2000@yahoo.com
    thks

  15. Aaron June 11, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

    Very non-informational blog
    You didn’t even provide one $ amount for cost.

    Anyways, this guy http://www.tropicalmba.com/live-and-work-in-bali/
    lives in bali for less than $1000 per month, so enjoy

    • admin June 12, 2011 at 12:54 am #

      The plugin that I originally used to create the table for this post stopped working. I will see if I can get the data back.

  16. Erik J August 21, 2011 at 5:48 am #

    don’t exploit Bali and its people for your own greedy desires. Go there to enjoy a different life and not bring your fat greedy western mindsets with you

  17. thingstodi in bali October 18, 2011 at 1:35 am #

    would you say that bali is a cheaper place to spend 3 months than say phuket/samui in thailand?

  18. things to do in Bali May 4, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    I see that your article is from 2009. What about prices in 2012? Is it much more expensive now in Bali?

  19. Alan January 27, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

    I’M COMING TO Bali ON A retirement visa how much Stirling can i bring into Bali,

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