Manila is The Philippines’ most expensive city. That means saving money is critical if we want to get the maximum benefit from living in this tropical paradise. These expat living in Manila hacks will save you both time and money.
Save on Loads
When you buy cellphone loads at SM you get a discount if you buy 500 pesos or more. Many of you already knew that but did you know you can save 5% on all loads no matter the amount if you use Lazada’s Top Up service! I always buy my loads through them and have saved hundreds, if not thousands, of pesos this way. You can even send loads to someone in the Philippines from overseas!
Save on Money Transfer Fees
Whenever I withdraw money from the bank I had to pay 250php (5usd) to the local bank plus an international transfer fee to my own bank. All in all, it was costing me about $8 each time I used a local ATM to withdraw my own money! That’s when I discovered Transferwise. It’s the cheapest money transfer service around. You simply set up a local bank account, BDO will do it if you’re on a tourist visa, and then transfer your money from your native country into it. Not to mention you can save a ton when transferring money to your lover! They offer low fees plus they give you the real exchange rate instead of the crappy retail rate. Check exchange rates.
NEW!! Transfer money to The Philippines using Ria Money Transfer and get a $10 amazon.com gift card.
Related: Here’s Why Expats Love Transferwise
Save on Cell Phones
Want a nice cellphone but don’t want to go to the poorhouse to get one? Then try Xiaomi (pronounced ʃaʊˌmi) or Oppo. These Chinese brands are up in coming and can hold their own against any Samsung or even the iPhone. Oh, and did I mention they cost about one half to one-quarter of the price?! I love Oppos for their cameras but if you want a great phone that’s the whole package but half the price then try Xiaomi.
Save Time on Meeting People
Are you looking for a woman to love you forever? Tired of all the scammers or girls that don’t really know what they want? Then try Christian Filipina. They offer personalized matching services that are second to none. A real human will match you with who is best for you and they have a great way to weed out people who aren’t serious. Create a free profile today. Tired of getting ripped off by bar girls?
Travel Free…well almost
Sometimes companies will offer free trips as a promotional tool. Tourradar is one of those companies. Every month they have a contest to win a free trip for 2 to select locations! That includes room, board, and a tour guide! Some of the destinations have included Madrid Spain, Buenos Aires Argentina, and Palawan Island! See about this month’s contest.
Save Money on Flights
Want to visit the Philippines but don’t like to pay high prices for the flight? There are several flight search engines you can use to save money. Kayak is one of my go-to’s but Kiwi.com is my favorite. They offer the most flexibility with dates and have a contract with Cebu Pacific to offer exclusive rates.
Save on Taxis
No more getting ripped off by unscrupulous taxi drivers thanks to the Grab App. It’s Asia’s version of Uber. You simply download the app and use it to hail a driver. No more haggling over the price or going through every loop in town to increase the fare on the meter. Oh, and did I mention you can use the app for food delivery and now to make payments?
The Expat Training Manual has over 300 pages of hacks from dating to shipping in The Philippines! Find out more.