Cost of living

The cost of day-to-day living in Indonesia

Cost of living

Expatriates will be surprised at how much value for money they will be getting in Indonesia. 

The cost of living in Indonesia will most likely be a lot lower than what you are used to. Everything is reasonably priced, especially for those wanting to experience the culture from the inside, making the country an attractive choice. This gives you a greater purchasing power and because of this, expatriates make a good living by local standards. For example, with an average English teacher’s salary, you can afford to maintain a lifestyle which would probably not be possible in your home country - eating out, taxis, spa therapies, Bali weekends, etc. 

If looking for apartment properties, they generally come with memberships to affiliated recreational facilities such as sports clubs. It is thus very common for expats in Indonesia to share apartments with others to split the cost. Clearly, as is the case anywhere, further savings can be made if you like to cook your own food, eat in food stalls, local restaurants and shop at local markets.

There are some companies who provide accommodation for their employees as a part of the employment package and this is especially applicable for foreigners coming to the country for the first time. For those responsible for their own accommodation, a furnished two-bedroom apartment in a hotel complex will usually cost a minimum of US $1000 a month, besides that there are other cheaper options  too. Apartments in Jakarta are generally cheaper than in other cities while unfurnished houses are the most practical choice for long term expats.

For a family to live comfortably, a monthly salary of US $1,400 to $1,600 would be enough and if you want to lower the cost further then you can do so by living in a rural area. In reality, expats working in Indonesia will earn much more than the minimum amount needed for a comfortable life. This is the reason why Indonesia has become very enticing for foreign nationals.

Regarding taxation, rates are stable at 30% for company income tax and 35% for individual income tax nonetheless, additional taxes such as VAT may be charged on particular items or services. Although taxes may seem fairly high for certain goods and services, everything is relative as the low cost of living in the country evens out the costs.

Further reading

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