Penang Cost of Living

Penang Cost of Living for 6 Weeks

Can you believe I stayed in Penang for nearly 45 days? When I was taking care of my accommodation and travel plans before arriving, I actually thought it would be nice to settle for a little bit more than a month for once. I was wrong. 6 weeks felt way too long! I think my ‘travel bug’ sickness isn’t ready to go away yet. I spent my days fairly similar to each other, not much was out of the usual this time around. I’m sharing my Penang cost of living below, but I also previously wrote about a few other places I’ve lived if you’re interested in reading those!

As a disclaimer, I didn’t stay in George Town. I wish I did! My accommodation was located across the water in Butterworth and I have to admit, not much was going on there. I’ve read other blogs mentioning Butterworth is the place to stay if you want to save some money on accommodation, but I really don’t agree with it. Saving $100 isn’t enough to replace convenience and fun. In George Town, you really have it all within walking distance and it’s much easier to meet up with friends and have a social life. Anyways, that’s why I’m calling this a Penang cost of living – I think these prices will be accurate for most places within the ‘state’.

Penang Cost of Living for 6 Weeks

  • Restaurant: $78.67 (314.68 RM)
  • Groceries: $58.87 (235.48 RM)
  • Medicine & Health: $52.75 (211 RM)
  • Alcohol: $30.48 (121.92 RM)
  • Transportation: $28.40 (113.60 RM)
  • Household Items: $23.18 (92.72 RM)
  • Snacks: $12.67 (50.68 RM)
  • Activities: $4.31 (17.24 RM)
  • Shopping: $1.07 (4.28 RM)
  • Accommodation: $675.00 (2700 RM)
  • Total: $965.40 (3861.60 RM)

Butterworth George Town Penang

As a monthly average, everything would total up to be $658.22. That makes spending at around $22 USD a day, with accommodation included. Not bad!

If you’re curious what I possibly could have went shopping for that was one dollar… well, it was a pair of flip-flops! So cheap and they’re still going strong. I expected them to fall apart within a week. The only other thing out of the normal was spending money on my health. I ended up breaking my tooth during my time here and also had a small patch of ringworm on my leg. Fun times.

Aside from that, I lived as I usually have before. Basically choosing between whether eating out or buying groceries is the more affordable option; this time, they were equally cheap! I did host a dinner party one night, which was super fun! I made pasta with a sauce similar to alfredo and it was so delicious. Sometimes it’s hard making pasta here in Asia, depending how ‘local’ you live, cheese and milk isn’t always the most affordable. The grocery store next to the condo I stayed also was super sketch… I saw a rat running through it a few times and their produce always seemed to be rotten. Gross!

They say alcohol is always much more expensive in Muslim countries. But if you’re not looking for top shelf brands, then you can easily find bottles at an affordable price. I think I bought a bottle of tequila for about $12.

I’m slowly making my way around Asia and I’m pretty surprised at how affordable it’s been so far. My spendings is also completely inline with being able to travel the world for less than $10,000 a year! If you need some motivation to take that world trip, for sure check that post out. Not all countries will seem this affordable, but you can definitely make it happen.

I’m now off to explore Thailand! Hello, Chiang Mai!

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  • Beatrice

    That food looks delicious! I can’t believe eating out or cooking in was basically the same cost. Actually, I can’t believe your monthly average was $658! That is so impressive. Also, the part about the flip flops made me laugh, I was wondering what you could have bought for around a dollar, haha!

    Beatrice | The Bliss Bean

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