Expat Exchange
Free MembershipSign In
View from The Kuala Lumpur Tower

Cost of Living in Malaysia

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: What is the cost of living in Malaysia? Hear what expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Malaysia have to say about the cost of housing, health insurance and general living costs.

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

Is the cost of living in Malaysia high?

We asked people how much they someone comfortably live on in Malaysia, they wrote:

"I pay US$600/mo rent, food @US$10/day (eating out/with non-alc. drink), Grab Taxi anywhere in town (up to 5 miles) US $2-5. Beer $1-2 tin/bottle. Bottle of Australian wine US$15-25!!! Local lankau rice wine or toddy $1-2. I spend about US$1200/month...tack on regional air trips and health insurance and it might go up to US$1500. Air-fare to Singapore US$20-50, double that to Bali, Bangkok or Ho Chi Minh City (routing through Kuala Lumpur or Singapore). That's about what they expect a S-MM2H single applicant to show," remarked another in Kuching.

"In Penang you can easily live for under $800. Our budget was over that but 1/5 the cost of living in Newport Beach, Ca or Maui and a better lifestyle," explained one expat.

Answer this Question

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Will I save money living in Malaysia?

"Exceeded them, definitely. Cost of Living is very low here, except for wine and spirits, which are taxed heavily. But I can still get a tin of cheap beer for @US$1. My 3BR/2B penthouse condo costs US$600/month and has a gym, pool, mall, and loads of cafes and shops withing strolling distance. I tend to eat local and avoid Fast Food places which are considered "luxury" restaurants here," said another person in Kuching.

"Exceeded. We can do almost anything financially because our money goes so much further. A high end Japanese restaurant in Los Angeles with sushi will run around $150 in Los Angeles in Tojong Tokong, Straights Quay, Marina which is high end costs less then $30.00 for two people," remarked another expat in Tojong Tokong, Penang Island.

Answer Question & View More Answers

What is the average cost of housing in Malaysia?

If you are thinking about moving to Malaysia, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"It's higher. A good furnished apartment in Georgetown would cost around RM.1500-3500 ($450 - 1100)," explained one expat.

"Housing rental charges are a lot higher here than in my native New Zealand. Typical monthly rental for a house is between 8000 and 12000 ringgit - say 2500 to 4000 USD. Apartments are cheaper, maybe 1000 to 2500 USD per month," said another person in Kuala Lumpur.

Answer this Question

William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

View from The Kuala Lumpur Tower

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

Contribute to Malaysia Network Contribute
Help others in Malaysia by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Malaysia.

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

Guides to Cities in Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur Malacca Penang
Country Resources
Health Insurance Moving & Shipping More Resources

Copyright 1997-2022 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal