Malaysia is one of the most beautiful countries in Southeast Asia and a popular holiday location for tourists. While most people visit Malaysia for short vacations, there are some who love to stay here for months, to take a break hectic life back home and enjoy the climate and the gorgeous landscapes of Malaysia.
On the other hand, there are people who are relocating to Malaysia for work purposes. If you are planning to stay in Malaysia permanently or for a few months, you would be interested in knowing the cost of living in the country. The good news is that the cost of living in Malaysia is much cheaper than most of the Western countries and some of the neighboring Southeast Asian countries like Singapore. However, the expenses in Malaysia are higher than several other countries in the world, and the difference would depend on where you come from.
When you consider starting your life in Malaysia, you need to think about housing, food, health and education if you have children. Your monthly or yearly expenses would depend on the place or city you choose to live in. Cities like Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, and Penang are expensive than other places. The place you choose to live would depend on where you work and where there are good schools (in case you are shifting to Malaysia with your children). With this note, let us take a look at Malaysia cost of living.
When it comes to buying or renting a home, you would find Kuala Lumpur to be the most expensive. If you are looking for a house in the centre of the city, you would have to shell out anywhere around 5000-6500 RM for a two bedroom house. On the other hand, a two bedroom apartment or condominium would come at the cost of 2000-4500 RM for a month. However, if central location is not important for you, you would be able to get 2-3-bedroom apartments for a price range of 1500-2000 RM. If you are single, you can choose to share an apartment with someone else, thus saving some money. If you are in Malaysia with your family and have a huge house, you can earn some money by renting some of the rooms to other people, especially students.
Your food expenses would depend on how much you eat at home and how many times in a month you eat out. When it comes to groceries and other household items, your expenses can come anywhere between 100-200 RM. On the other hand, there are several expensive restaurants that can bring up your food budget. If you are dining at a mid-range restaurant, it would cost you around 230 RM for a meal for two people. However, if the frills really do not interest you, there are several cheap restaurants in Malaysia where you will get delicious food.
There are several hawker streets in Malaysia that sell mouth-watering local dishes. This is not only a great way of saving money but also one of the best ways to enjoy the local cuisine. A complete meal along with a drink would not cost you more than 15 RM in these local restaurants and food stalls. Moreover, they are safe and hygienic, and hence you do not have to worry about your health while eating out.
Apart from having a home to live and food to eat, there are some expenses that you cannot avoid when living in Malaysia. This includes utilities like electricity, water, cable, internet, etc. While you can save money by prioritizing and cost cutting, your monthly expenses for these utilities can be anywhere between 300-400 RM.
If you are relocating to Malaysia with your children, education expense is something you would need to know. You would be glad to know that there are several good international schools in all major cities of the country where students of expats study. However, the cost of these school is not cheap, and this can affect your budget quite a lot. People who have children studying in international schools in Malaysia should be ready to shell out around 50,000 RM every year extra, apart from housing and daily expenses.
Health facilities in Malaysia are of high quality. Apart from the latest and state-of-the-art medical equipment, most of the doctors and medical staff in the hospitals of Malaysia are educated in the USA, Europe, etc. Moreover, the cost of treatment is much cheaper than that in Western countries. Expats can apply for local health insurance in Malaysia; however, you must know that the coverage is not much. In case you are looking for a higher coverage, it would be better to apply for an international health insurance package.
Your cost of living in Malaysia can be controlled by your choice of lifestyle. If you think that living in Malaysia is favorable for you, you need to fill a Malaysia visa application form and apply for a visa. While living in Malaysia, take the chance and explore the beautiful places the country has to offer.