Cheapest Countries For Expats To Live

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When sifting through the potential list of cheapest countries for expats to live there are several things which you need to take into consideration.

While the potential to save money is paramount for some, there are other key factors which should be taken into consideration like the culture shock, safety, the language, political stability, cost of goods and housing, and most of all the quality of life.

Living in another country is a fun exhilarating experience, but you want to make the best decision as the wrong decision can impact your future immensely.

Read on as I’ll present the cheapest countries for expats to live to help you make the right decision when it comes to your next chapter.


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| Cheapest Countries For Expats To Live |



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In recent times the appeal of Ecuador has grown immensely.  For a Westerner moving to another country Ecuador and another entry on this list Czech Republic would be the easiest to move to based off similarities to culture from a Western standpoint.

While there is a different culture in Ecuador, the difference isn’t as great as say compared to China. The cost of living in Ecuador is quite cheap with food prices and imported goods generally being set at a reasonable price.

If looking at Ecuador as an option the town of Quito is quite cheap, with persons being able to live comfortably off of $800 USD.


Czech Republic

The cheapest country to live for expats in Europe is the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic offers you a great balance of being able to travel and save. Since the Czech Republic is smack bang in the middle of Europe, if you’re after the opportunity to travel on weekends then you should give the Czech Republic some serious consideration.

The Czech Republic is close to Germany, Austria and Slovakia which all have incredible landscapes and scenarios, and are only a quick train ride away.

Compared to other European cities the cost of living in the Czech Republic is quite cheap, which makes it the perfect country to live for an expat. Generally speaking living in the Czech Republic will set you back around $1100 USD a month.

For that price that will include rent of a 1 bedroom apartment in the town center, or a 3 bedroom apartment on the outer regions of town. The sum also includes groceries and other living expenses.

For the best opportunity to save, like in most countries it’s recommended to purchase all vegetables from the market as opposed to the supermarket which is slightly more expensive.

Another bonus for moving to the Czech Republic is that public transport is relatively cheap. For around $26 USD a month you are allowed to use unlimited trams, buses, and subways.

The transport system in the Czech Republic is both efficient and clean. It’s best to use public transportation since there are increasing numbers of unregulated taxis which do take tourists and expats for a ride by charging them exorbitant prices.



Depending on where you live in China, you have the potential to save quite a bit of money. In the bigger cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou the cost of living is a little more.

While it is possible to save and live on a budget in these cities, for best results it’s recommended to stay in a smaller city as the cost of living is quite a bit cheaper.

Eating out will cost around 15-25 RMB ($2.25 – $3 USD), while rent per month can range from 1500 – 2000 RMB  ($225 – $300 USD). The people in China are very nice, with crime being quite low, so safety isn’t an issue.

The main problem for China is the culture difference and the language barrier. While some people do speak English, you will need to learn some Chinese if you plan to live in China for an extended period of time.

Chinese locals can live off of a budget of 1500 – 3000 rmb per month ($277 – 455 USD). An average job for a foreigner pays 10,000 rmb per month ($1519 USD), which is more than enough to live quite comfortably, go out and save.

Due to the cost of living it makes living in China one of the cheapest countries for an expat to live.



Thailand is perhaps one the most popular and cheapest countries for an expats to live.  Word that Thailand is a fabulous country has been out for awhile in the expat community.

The beaches, the weather, and generally the lifestyle in Thailand is what attracts people to the region, on top of that there is the cheap cost of living. While crime isn’t rife, it can be an issue in regards to theft.

Culture wise since Thailand has survived off the back of tourism for some years, and the people are quite used to having Western tourists in the country. As a result this is reflected in the culture and the community as the public are quite used to seeing westerners as opposed to China where in some places a foreigner is quite rare.

The cost of living in Thailand is quite cheap for a month around $1100 – 1400 USD a month depending on how close to the city centre you live in a major city like Bangkok.

This includes rent, amenities, food, internet, and use of public transport. If you’re choosing to stay in Thailand for an extended period of time, like it is in most Asian countries it would be recommended to purchase a motorcycle/scooter as it’ll make getting around the city all that much easier.



The Philippines really does offer quite a lot. The Philippines isn’t as over saturated with expats and foreign Western tourist as Thailand is, which is always good. This factor may influence your decision on choosing a country.

The Philippines offers fantastic beaches, beautiful landscapes, and warm hospitality. The beaches in the Philippines, especially El Nido can easily be a contender for the most beautiful beach in the world.

While the natural landscapes and the Filipino people are both beautiful, there is a slight ugly side to the Philippines, with that being petty theft. Petty theft and pick-pocketing are on the rise, so be wary.

The cost of living in The Philippines is relatively cheap depending on what you’re after. Between $850 – $1200 USD per month is what you’ll need . For $850 USD you’ll be living comfortably, however you may need to keep an eye on the savings every now and then.

For $1200 USD you can live like a king in the Philippines. There is a great opportunity to save quite a bit of money as The Philippines is definitely one of the cheapest countries for an expat to live.

The biggest expense will natrually be rent and amenities like internet and electricity. Once again like in most countries if you choose to purchase fruit and vegetables from the local market there is a bit of money to be saved.


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Written by Lexi
Lexi Forrest is an experienced luxury traveler who has a passion for scenic destinations. She's traveled to 25+ countries over the past 10 years.