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The real cost of living in Bali

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

Everyone always has the question; “How much will it cost to live in Bali?”

Many retirees considering settling in Bali for their retirement often worry about how long their money will last and how the move will affect their lifestyle habits. When you take up your post-work lifestyle you want to be sure that the living conditions and lifestyle you have previously enjoyed will be improved.

Bali as a destination has an abundance of dining, pampering, sporting, and entertainment options to keep everyone happy! The lower cost of living enables you to enjoy more “me time” whether it be pampered in a spa, learning how to play golf, or just socialising with friends.

For comparison sake, Bali Insight Living has looked at the cost of living in Bali when compared to Melbourne in Australia. According to Numbeo, you would need around AU$3,026 (Rp29,735,571.) in Denpasar to maintain the same standard of life that you can have with AU$8,900 in Melbourne (assuming you rent in both cities). That makes Melbourne 194% more expensive than Bali. Just imagine what you can do with that extra money!

So what is it that makes it cheaper? There are certain things, like a good glass of wine (or bottle) that are considered luxuries here in Bali! We’ve taken a look at what the difference is when going out to an average restaurant in the table below.

cost of living bali restaurants
Cost of living Bali

You will see that overall the costs are much cheaper than in Australia, except for the wine and spirits; if you chose a premium beer then this too would be much more expensive. Food on the other hand to eat out is cheaper and it should be noted that you can eat out for a lot less depending on the restaurant you choose

In Bali, it is very much a dining our culture, no matter who you are. The people who live and work in tourism and related businesses often live in rooms that provide very little cooking amenities and therefore they eat out for all their meals. When you compare the cost of items in the supermarket, you can also see the benefits of eating out since when you purchase a ready-made meal in a restaurant it will often be much cheaper than buying the ingredients and cooking it yourself. According to Numbeo, restaurant prices in Denpasar are 74% lower than in Melbourne which further accentuates the improved cost of living and lifestyle benefits of moving to Bali. This very much depends on which restaurant you choose since there are also many exclusive restaurants that could be considered on par.

You can see from our supermarket survey of daily needs, there are quite a number of items that are more expensive than in Australia.

Cost of living daily needs
Cost of living Bali

One of the major cost of living expenses is rent and utilities. On average the rent prices (although increasing fast) are still lower for middle-of-the-range properties and you can get a 2- 3 bedroom house with a pool for anything ranging from AU$1,500 to AU$3,000 or more depending on the location. There are at the same time some cheaper alternatives in less touristy areas. Obviously, when tourism is booming property owners prefer to let their properties on sites like Airbnb where they can get a lot more rent from their property.

Below we have taken a look at the basic utilities, Although in Bali we have an all-year-round tropical climate, air-conditioning and fans are often needed as well as a strong Wi-Fi connection to keep in touch with friends and family back home!

Cost of living utilities
Cost of living in Bali

The cost of utilities can be seen as drastically less than when comparing the costs in Australia. The overall savings in the cost of living can enable you to live a more active lifestyle, either rekindling old hobbies, taking up new hobbies, or learning new skills. Bali has it all, a tropical climate, beautiful culture, and happy, talented, and smiling people who are here to welcome you into their paradise and let you experience their lifestyle.

Bali Insight Living assists retirees wanting to try the Bali Lifestyle for their retirement. As long-time seasoned residents of Bali, we are able to give an expat perspective on life in Bali. We realise that “holidaying” in Bali is a totally different experience to that of “living” in Bali and we give our clients the flexibility to come and trial the lifestyle, whilst at the same time being close at hand to recommend trustworthy and reliable third parties, provide checklist and recommendations as to planning and how to settle in as well as introductions to clubs, societies, and activities to enable you to develop your own social network and hopefully experience the best of what Bali has to offer. Interested in trialing Bali for retirement? Sign up and qualify for a free non-obligatory 20-minute consultation on how we may be able to assist you at

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Note: All comparative pricing is updated as of August 2023

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