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Kuala Lumpur Cost of Living for 1 Month

March 1st, 2018 Kuala Lumpur Cost of Living

Kuala Lumpur Cost of Living, How Much Kuala Lumpur Costs, How Much Does Kuala Lumpur Cost to Live, Living in Kuala Lumpur, Less than $800 Travel / Outglobing.com #kualalumpur #costofliving #malaysia

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.

Kuala Lumpur Cost of LivingKuala Lumpur Cost of Living

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?

Share this with your friends and family!

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23 comments
  1. You know how I love your detailed posts about actual life in a country!
    And those eating-out prices remind me of the first couple years I spent here on Jeju in Korea. It was just before all the trendy new cafes and restaurants came into our area, and eating out was so cheap it often topped cooking the same dishes at home.
    Also, it’s great that you keep track of your expenses in so much detail – I always lose track of expenses a couple days into traveling and really need to get on top of that!

    Reply
    1. Hey Evelyne! It makes me so happy hearing that you love these types of posts! =D

      I seriously have the strongest desire to visit Korea since I’ve found your blog. Would you recommend Jeju? It sounds interesting! <3

      Reply
  2. WOW! I’m so surprised by this. I know Asia is cheap (china, bali, thailand, etc.) but I guess I just kid of assumed Kuala Lumpur would be expensive since it’s so close to Singapore. I was definitely wrong lol I have started working online and once my lease is up in September, I’m looking into traveling full time. Looks like Kuala Lumpur is definitely on the list of places to stay. Thanks for writing it all out!

    Reply
      1. WHAT! The world is tiny… I’m from Fairview Heights =D

        And yes girl, I’m so excited for you to travel full time! I highly suggest KL because it’s a good spot for a “home” base considering you’re able to be in the country for 90 days without a visa. Maybe we’ll cross paths some day, either traveling or at home in the states! 😉 <3

        Reply
  3. That is significantly cheaper than living in The US! I love this post. I’ve never tried air bnb but the more I read about it the more I may actually invest into using it when I decide to start actually traveling. Great post! Love the tips too!

    Reply
    1. Airbnb has seriously saved my butt! Places that would be $1,000-$1,300 a month often have a large enough discount to bring them down to $600 for an entire month.

      Thanks for reading, love! <3

      Reply
  4. I love this post!! I’ve been looking for a post like this for my 5 days in Kuala Lumpur so I can have a rough idea of prices! I have 360RM on hand so I think that will be enough since I won’t be doing much shopping in KL, just experiences, transport and food! I’ll definitely record my spending, budget travelling is the best?

    Reply
    1. Hi Stephanie!

      My biggest piece of advice is to look for local food courts! You can often spot them by seeing “Carlsberg” beer banners hanging up. And if you’re eating a local meal – do not spend more than 10 RM! The highest I’ve spent is 8 =) and it was for the dinner that’s actually pictured in this post. Complete with a small dumpling soup on the side. Delicious!

      Can’t wait to hear about your time in Asia! <3

      Reply
  5. This is amazing! You’re so lucky and this is impressive. I completely agree with less spending = less fun not being true! There’s so much for free or low!

    Reply
    1. Hi Izamar!

      First of all, thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate it! And thank you for reading! I think people nowadays get caught up in spending money, but it’s nice to take a step back and just enjoy the moments around you. <3

      Reply
  6. It’s amazing the differences in spending while traveling in different parts of the world, especially around food costs.
    I love the last point you made – about traveling and experiencing the culture being the fun part and not constantly looking for an “attraction”. I feel exactly the same.

    Reply
    1. Hi Madi!

      Yes, exactly! Don’t get me wrong, I’m all up for checking out historic museums and learning about the culture through attractions, but often times those can be so stressful because they are so busy!

      Reply
    1. Hi Erin! This lifestyle isn’t out of reach for anyone 😉 With some proper planning, it’s definitely attainable! Even if it’s temporary. <3

      Reply
  7. Hi Dianna! ? Ever since I discovered your travel blog, I am surprised by how you put everything together: your food, expenses etc. Reading your blog makes it all clear that traveling doesn’t have to be expensive if you’re budget-wise and you know how to keep up like a local! This post is amazing!! ❤️ whenever I visit your blog so I can have a read, it doesn’t bore me at all! I want to travel around Asia before I turned 50. Maybe Malaysia will be the first one I’ll visit! So I can browse through your tips!!

    Mary x

    Reply
    1. Hi Mary!

      I’m so happy that I’m able to show how affordable travel can be. I agree, as long as you are able to stick to a budget (and being prepared with knowing how much to budget) then you will be just fine! I can’t wait to read about your travels around Asia someday! <3

      Reply
  8. I’m so impressed with how you kept track of you spending to closely, and I’m even more impressed with how you managed to keep your spending down so much! I’m definitely adding Kuala Lumpur to my bucket list.

    Suffering Wanderlust

    Reply
    1. Hi Dani!

      Thank you so much! I think Kuala Lumpur is very underrated when it comes to places people travel in Asia. And the city is only getting better, my first impression here was “wow, it’s so developed!” <3

      Reply
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