Day 110: Living expense in Manila

A lot is going on in my mind right now because we are considering to relocate to Shanghai for the next school year so the girls can get actual school time and I get to keep my sanity. Nothing confirmed yet but we are exploring. The last couple of days I discussed with colleagues and managers if we can in fact do this, and what would be financial implications for us. That part got sorted it out, the only constraint now is to enter China. China is not allowing foreigner nationals to enter as tourists anymore, so we need to get a special visa sponsored by my organisation, that could potentially work. So, that’s still a big question. Once that is sort it out, we need to make a family decision. The main reason for us to consider to move is I don’t see myself continuing the current state of mind for at least six months. We’re endured for almost 4 months but things will or already started to deteriorate, so the possibility of change of scenario, where kids can learn, I get to focus on work, and the advantage of having my mom and parents-in-law in the same city, makes this option very attractive.

Anyway… I did my finances for June so I thought i share the breakdown to illustrate what do we spend as a family of 4 living in Manila as expat

It was surprising to see that groceries takes up 26% of total expense, while helpers (driver and helper) takes another quarter. This month we did a bit more shopping which includes tons of books, new bicycle, rollerblade and things from China that got shipped to Manila. The rest of the quarter was split between education and kids activity (Sofia’s mandarin class), utilities, and misc.

You might notice that there’s no rent here because my employer covers it, which cost more than all these expenses combined, so a big relief. Sarah did a breakdown of groceries expense by categories, I’ll try to record it this month and see. I”d love to see what do we spend on.

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after some debating how to track habits, I decided to use a simple google excel sheet so I don’t need to remember where I keep the notebook. 🙂

Yesterday we got our 2019 family phonebook delivered, so we spent more than 10 min reading it or remember happy moments of 2019.


Do you track your expenses? I’ve been doing it for years as I like to feel in control of my finances, and know how to adjust.

One thought on “Day 110: Living expense in Manila

  1. Good luck with your moving decision! Wow, that’s a big choice to make. And you don’t really have that much time, either! I am sure you’ll make the right choice- just trust your instincts. I love the photo book too. That’s awesome! I never make those, except for a few I have made for my parents after a couple of vacations. What a sweet picture of the girls.


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