As soon as I arrived in the US, the first thing that popped in my head was the living expenses. I was aware that the convenience of my new life in the United States would not come cheap. I knew that the prices would be way higher than the Philippines. Here are a few comparisons between Philippines and the US.
1. Food. Surprisingly, whenever we eat fast food it is pretty cheap. For example a burger is about the same price in PH. Back in Ph, a $3 burger is actually more expensive than eating a healthier meal. In the US, eating healthier is more expensive. In the Philippines, we choose to eat the healthy meals rather than junk food filled with lots of carbohydrates. The grocery store prices are MUCH better than the Philippines when you consider the amount Americans make. In the US, you can get cheap food in Walmart or pay a dollar more to shop at Safeway and King Soopers for better quality of produce.
- Spices – $3.00 – $5.00.I seen few for $0.88 (Walmart) for very average quality
- Pork (lean) – $ 3.00 – $ 4.00 per pound
- Chicken drumstick – $ 2.00 per pound
- Sausage – $ 5.00
- A dozen eggs (large)- $ 1.50 – $ 2.00 (Same price as PH)
- Beef – $ 4.00 per pound
2. Kitchen Utensils. Utensils in the US are way more expensive however there is great variety. Bed Bath and Beyond has good quality stuff for much higher costs. If you want to get high quality pretty utensils you should go there. However, if you are not particular or just want something decent, Walmart has cheap goods. There are also cheap laddles in Dollar store but cant recommend buying from there. They do not last long.
- Ladle (good quality) for $3.00 – $5.00 walmart
- Non stick pots or pans – $14.00 -$25.00 walmart
In the Philippines, you don’t have this kind of variety but you can get that same quality for half that price. The higher quality products you would find in ”Bed Bath and Beyond” does not have a match of price in PH. The Philippines prices for pots ($10- $30) which I thought were expensive are nothing compared to what we have to pay in the US.
3. Apartment. Cost of living in States for an apartment depend on the population, market value and economy of the area. Here in Colorado, you can get a decent apartment for $800.00. I seen very simple not nice apartment online for $600. An Apartment for these prices in the Philippines is a luxury estate. You can live in a decent hotel for 800/month in the Philippines.
4. Clothes. Wow, the clothing prices in the US shocked me. I thought the branded clothing in PH were expensive but they are not. In the Philippines you can get a good quality women’s shirt for $15.00, but in the US that might get you a t-shirt. In the Philippines a top brand such as “Jag jeans” you can get for $25, but here you might be able to get average jeans for that amount:
- Burlington Coats- $50.00- $200.00
- T-shirt for men – $ 10.00- $ 30.00 (Walmart)
- Polo shirts – $60.00 and above (Kohls)
- Shirts for women – $ 7.00 – 40.00 (ROSS)
5. Furniture. As mentioned above, the quality of furniture you can get for a good price is amazing in America. I would recommend American Furniture Warehouse if you have one in your area. Walmart has terrible to low quality furniture so I cannot recommend buying it from there if you intend to keep it for a while. Places like American Furniture Warehouse also have flat rate delivery of $69.00 for no limitation of furniture you will buy.
- Leather sofa recliner – $549.00 – American Furniture Warehouse
- Dining Table – $ 600.00 but its so worth it. Durable and pretty.
- Tv Rack – $150.00 – American Furniture Warehouse
While you can find this level of quality in the Philippines, it is so expensive that only the rich can afford it.
6. Appliances. Appliances in the Philippines are average quality and there is only 1 year warranty on most of them. In the US, you have places like Walmart and Target that offer huge selections on top appliances. Target has good appliances for sale. However, Walmart has better variety. Both offer 3 year plan warranty to get your appliance and electronics covered and will actually replace the appliance on the spot if you have the receipt and bring it back within 30 days.
7. Gas . Average price cost of gas now in the US is $ 2.00 per gallon. Ph average price would be $1 per liter.
1 gallon = 3.78 liters.
Therefore gas in PH is way more expensive which makes the prices of other products costly.
8. Utilities. Basic utilities are higher in the Philippines. It is unbelievable that a developing country where the average income is 8USD/day (2015) that basic living standards are higher than the richest country.
The cost of living in the US has come as a shock. The level of variety and convenience is amazing. Coming from a developing country the differences are like night and day. If you are on a budget traveling from Europe, your best bet is to stick with South East Asia. But if you can make it to the US, it is definitely worth the trip especially if you are staying for a few months.