If you didn’t know, I’m all about budget travel. Sharing my costs of living while traveling country to country is really exciting for me. First reason being that this is how I can show people that travel can be affordable! For me, it is more cheaper to live abroad rather than in my own home country. Second reason that I love sharing my expenses is because I personally love reading about others’ costs in other countries. It helps me plan and prepare for where I will end up next! I hope being transparent with how I live and how much I’ve spent in places helps you decide where in the world you want to visit. If anything, I want to inspire you to travel more! I’m sharing my Kuala Lumpur cost of living below, but I also previously wrote about Bali and Bangkok if you’re interested in reading those.
I spent 28 days in Kuala Lumpur and I’m at a loss for words for how under-appreciated this destination is. Being a simple person, I enjoy nice weather, tasty food, and good company. I think a lot of people overlook the city of KL for a lack of nightlife but maybe I’m just a homebody, so it doesn’t bother me. If you are planning to visit for an extended time, then this breakdown will give you a good idea of how much it costs to live in Kuala Lumpur!
Kuala Lumpur Cost of Living for 28 Days
- Activities: $1.53 (6 RM)
- Groceries: $9.77 (38.36 RM)
- Household Items: $27.71 (108.75 RM)
- Medicine: $2.80 (11 RM)
- Phone + Internet: $39.49 (155 RM)
- Restaurant: $99.06 (388.80 RM)
- Snacks: $12.72 (49.94 RM)
- Transportation: $21.25 (83.40 RM)
- Accommodation: $550.00 (2158.81 RM)
- Total: $764.33 (3000.08 RM)
I spent a bit more this month than my previous ones, however, still cheaper than living in America! Which continues to shock me, especially seeing my expenses this time around because I only cooked one meal at home. I used the kitchen seriously just once to cook a pasta dinner. Even before arriving, I was warned that I would never use the kitchen and they were so right.
I also spent a little more on internet here because I didn’t have wi-fi available. Instead, I used my phone as a hotspot and it worked surprisingly well for me. I think there’s a misconception about the internet in Malaysia, many claiming that it’s non-existent and terrible, but I had no issues considering I use internet pretty lightly. If you’re a digital nomad looking for more info about living in Malaysia (including details about the internet situation) you can check out this post I wrote about the topic here.
My Experience With Keeping Costs Low
Looking at my Kuala Lumpur cost of living and past ones, many people wonder how I’m able to keep my expenses on the lower end. I don’t live a backpacker style of traveling and I’m by no means living lavishly.
Finding Affordable Accommodation
Utilizing Airbnb to find an accommodation really helps! Staying in places longer often qualifies you for a monthly discount when booking a place. Sometimes the discount is as high as 60%! If you’ve never used Airbnb before, you can actually get $40 off your first stay in addition to any discounts. You just have to sign up with my referral link here.
Knowing Whether to Cook at Home or Dine Out
Eating like a local also keeps my spending quite low. Sometimes, this means cooking most of my meals at home. When you’re in a place like Kuala Lumpur, eating out isn’t an expensive option, as long as you know where to eat! Find a food court for a wide variety of dishes at the lowest prices. At the most, you’ll spend $2 on dinner, which is what I was doing every single day. Even for breakfast!
Appreciating the Culture Around You
As far as activities and entertainment, that category is always going to be low. I’ve said this before and I’ll continue saying it over and over: traveling in itself is my activity. I can’t imagine staying put for longer than 3 months right now because this is what is fun to me. That’s the sad part about viewing my expenses, people might get the impression that less spending = less fun, but that is not the case whatsoever. Sitting outside, enjoying the weather and a nice view makes for a great time. Same with walking around outside and taking in the every day culture. For me, fun is as simple as that.
Everything else in my Kuala Lumpur cost of living breakdown seems to be pretty average. Local transportation is affordable, whether it be buses, trains, or using Grab. Household items mainly consists of toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, and face masks. Water also goes into this category because the tap water is not drinkable here. The one new category I’ve had to utilize this month is medicine. I’m kind of surprised it took this entire time traveling until I’ve had to purchase something for my health.
As you may have been able to tell, I tried to elaborate a bit more on this Kuala Lumpur cost of living to explain my expenses. I’m so thankful for your feedback because it helps me improve information like this, which I find very helpful. I hope you do also! Let me know, are you surprised by how I much I spend, do you think it’s too little or too much for traveling?