Our Cost of Living in Ubud for a Month - Bali Budget
If you’re thinking of a temporary move to Bali’s cultural heart but curious to know the cost of living in Ubud for a month, you’ve come to the right place. We lived in Ubud for 3 enjoyable months and because we weren’t earning a lot of money at the time, we kept a close eye on our expenses.
From the cost of renting a villa to the cost of eating out at various levels of warungs (restaurants) and the cost of renting a needed moped to the cost of luxuries such as massages and creamy lattes, we’ve got it all covered in this post.
So let’s get straight to it! Here’s our cost of living in Ubud for a month. Remember, these costs are for two people. We’ve also converted to GBP and USD to save you the job.
IDR – 5,200.000
GBP – £301.00
USD – $390.00
If you’re making a move to Ubud either temporary or permanent, you’ll need to rent a villa or a room in a villa, so you don’t go stir crazy within the walls of a small hotel room. Our villa rental definitely fell into the cheapest end of what’s available to rent in Ubud, but we absolutely loved it.
Prices for long term villa rentals vary depending on factors such as location, size, condition, style and whether there’s a swimming pool. For our above cost, we rented a 1 bedroom villa in the amazingly beautiful Penestanan Village, with kitchen, shower room, two terraces (front & back) and a shared swimming pool. Our villa in Penestanan which shared some land with 3 other properties also included:
- Security staff
- 2 x weekly cleaning
- Unlimited filtered water
- Toilet paper
- Rice paddy location
As a rough guide, here’s what we found to be the average prices for long-term villa rentals in Ubud:
1 bed – 4 million to 7 million
2 bed – 7 million to 10 million
3 bed/family home – 10 million to 15 million
For help on how to find and rent a villa long term in Ubud, check out THIS POST. And if you need
to ship items over from home that can’t be carried, there are sites like shiply that can do this, but remember to add this cost to your budget.
If you’re looking for something really special for your stay in Ubud, check out these Luxury Bali Destinations.
Eating Out (Every Lunch & Dinner)
IDR – 2,400.000
GBP – £139.00
USD – $180.00
When living in Ubud for a month or more, it’s cheaper to eat out than buy groceries from the supermarket and get cooking. We made ourselves breakfast every morning but we ate out at local warungs every lunch and dinner for 3 months!
We’d usually eat at the cheaper warungs where meals cost just 15,000 to 30,000 IDR (£1/$1.50 – £2/$3). For this price, you can enjoy a tasty local meal of fried noodles/rice with vegetables/chicken/seafood, Gado Gado (vegetables & egg in peanut sauce), Nasi Campur (rice with a selection of local dishes), fried chicken & rice or a local creamy curry.
We found the warungs in Ubud to fall into 4 levels of pricing:
- Very local warung (Good Indonesian food) – 10,000 to 20,000
- Cheap-level warung (Good Indonesian food and average western food) – 20,000 to 40,000
- Mid-level warung (Good Indonesian food and good western food) – 40,000 to 60,000
- High-level warung – (Fancy Indonesian food and fancy western food) 60,000 plus
All Beverages (Water, Coffee, Beer, Soft Drinks & Coconuts!)
IDR – 900,000
GBP – £52.00
USD – $67.00
The majority of our beverage expenses while living in Ubud was spent on coffees. We’ve developed a bit of an addiction since travelling and living around South East Asia. Ubud and the surrounding villages have a great selection of coffee shops serving really good coffee, so we would often find ourselves winding away an afternoon by sipping a cup of joe while enjoying an epic rice terrace view.
Of course, we’d buy a beer every now and then but we found the price for an average tasting local beer to be quite expensive. We’d usually drink a beer or two only at weekends with a nice meal.
Filtered water in Bali is often provided when renting a villa, which was the case for us, so our costs for drinking water was zero! This really saved us some cash because the constant purchasing of bottled water due to the heat in Bali can get expensive if living in Ubud for a month.
Here are the average costs for beverages at warungs:
Bali Coffee – 10,000
Latte/Cappuccino – 25,000
Small beer – 30,000
Big beer – 40,000
Water/soft drink – 15,000
Cocktail – 80,000
Coconut – 15,000
IDR – 990,000
GBP – £57.00
USD – $74.00
So we’ve already mentioned that it’s cheaper to eat out at inexpensive warungs than cook your own meals in your villa. This is true for lunch and dinner but unless you want rice and noodles for breakfast, eating out for the first meal of the day can be quite expensive if on a budget. You’ll find western style breakfasts only in western restaurants where the prices are higher.
Because if this, we prepared our breakfasts at our villa every morning and enjoyed eating cereals and eggs together on the terrace overlooking our green garden, swimming pool and rice fields beyond. Although more expensive than home, it was still cheaper to buy breakfast groceries at supermarkets than buy the same meal at a restaurant.
Prices for grocery items will vary depending on where you shop. There are three main supermarkets in Ubud – Bintang, Coco and every expat’s favourite – Pepito, but prices are roughly the same throughout all three. You’ll find some items cheaper if shopping at a local market or street store. If living in Ubud for a month or more, shopping at these smaller local businesses is something everyone should do to support the income of the community.
Here’s a selection of groceries we regularly bought with prices for each:
Milk (1 litre) – 20,000
Cornflakes (500g) – 50,000
Muesli (1kg) – 80,000
Porridge oats (1kg) – 80,000
Coffee Pack – 20,000
Tea Bags (20 bags) – 20,000
Bananas (5 piece) – 20,000
Papaya (1 piece) – 15,000
Pineapple (1 piece) – 10,000
Eggs (6 piece) – 10,000
Bread Loaf – 30,000
Pre-made Sandwich – 25,000
Beer (330ml) – 25,000
Big beer (600ml) – 35,000
Water (500ml) – 5,000
Water (1.5 litre) – 8,000
IDR – 700,000
GBP – £40.00
USD – $52.00
If you’re planning on living in Ubud for a month, it makes a lot of sense to hire a moped to get around cheaply. Most of the surrounding villages are at least 4km away from Ubud centre and even if you don’t plan to go there very often, places to eat, supermarkets and sights of interest are spread out all over the surrounding area. Walking is not always a viable option.
There are no buses or trains in Ubud so the only mode of public transport is a private taxi (car or bike). If using these everytime you want to go somewhere, your costs would mount up quite quickly. Bali does have the cheaper Uber and Grab service but they are hard to find because of the taxi mafia. That’s a story for another time!
Hiring a bike is the cheapest and easiest way to get about. You can hire daily, weekly or monthly and petrol is so cheap, they might as well give it away for free! There’s no better feeling than hopping on your bike with the freedom to ride through rice fields in search of a coffee shop or warung with even better views. However, if you’re planning on living in Ubud for a long time, we recommend buying your own women’s or mens helmet and bringing it with you. The helmets provided with your Ubud moped hire are not fit for purpose.
Here’s a breakdown of average costs for all transport options:
Motorbike 1-day hire – 50,000
Motorbike 1-week hire – 300,000
Motorbike 1-month hire – 600,000
Petrol (full tank) – 20,000
Car Taxi (15 minutes) – 50,000
Bike Taxi (15 minutes) – 30,000
Mobile Phone Local Sims
IDR – 200,000
GBP – £11.00
USD – $15.00
Something that makes modern travel so much easier than just a few years ago is the availability of local sim cards for tourists across the world. Providing your phone is unlocked and accepts any network sim card, buying a local sim is an easy way to stay in touch with friends and to always have access to the internet like you would at home.
Bali is no exception. Local sim cards are widely available with various networks and packages so you can choose how much free data and minutes you need and pay accordingly.
IDR – 0
GBP – £0
USD – $0
The truth is, there isn’t much to do in Ubud in terms of entertainment. We’d fill our spare time by taking walks through rice terraces and farmland, going out for delicious food and coffee, and visiting waterfalls and temples. Most of the time it wouldn’t cost us anything apart from petrol, food and a tiny entrance fee if visiting a place of interest. Because of this, we have not added any entertainment costs to our cost of living in Ubud for a month.
There are various classes available to fill your time – yoga and meditation for example – but we didn’t participate in any ourselves.
Other Potential Costs of Living in Ubud for a Month
IDR – 430,000
GBP – £24.00
USD – $32.00
These are not essential costs while living in Ubud but is useful to include for those potentially moving to the area. We would usually have a Balinese massage every week and need laundry done once a fortnight.
Massage – 100,000 per hour
Laundry – 6,000 per KG
Yoga – 100,000 per class
Our Total Cost of Living in Ubud for a Month
So here’s our total monthly costs at today’s exchange rate on 1st July 2017.
IDR – 10,820.000
GBP – £626.00
USD – $811.00
The cost of Living in Ubud for a month is almost the same cost as when we lived in another popular expat and digital nomad destination – Chiang Mai in Thailand (read our blog – Cost of Living in Chiang Mai for comparison), but living in Ubud for a month or more is a unique experience.
We had never lived anywhere like Penestanan, Ubud before. It’s a wonderful mix of comfortable western-expat life within the setting of a traditional South East Asian village community. Watching hard working rice farmers harvesting their crop, just meters away, while you sip coffee in your favourite cafe where traditional Hindu offerings decorate the interior is an unusual scenario. A scenario that’s worth paying far more than the above cost for and a scenario that we hope to experience again soon.