Cost of Living in Penang

Cost of Living Index (Excl.Rent): 44.22
Rent Index: 10.06
Groceries Index: 49.07
Restaurants Index: 23.53
Cost of Living Plus Rent Index: 27.83
Local Purchasing Power: 69.69
Restaurants [ Edit ] Avg. Range
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 12.00 RM 7.00-15.00
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 65.00 RM 60.00-90.00
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 12.75 RM 11.00-15.00
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) 13.00 RM 8.00-18.00
Imported Beer (11.2 oz small bottle) 15.00 RM 10.50-20.00
Cappuccino (regular) 10.07 RM 6.50-12.00
Coke/Pepsi (11.2 oz small bottle) 2.30 RM 1.80-2.50
Water (11.2 oz small bottle) 1.24 RM 1.00-2.00
Markets [ Edit ] Avg.
Milk (regular), (1 gallon) 26.77 RM 22.71-30.28
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) 2.99 RM 2.72-3.18
Rice (white), (1 lb) 1.96 RM 1.13-3.18
Eggs (12) 5.23 RM 4.20-6.00
Local Cheese (1 lb) 32.21 RM 12.00-54.43
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1 lb) 6.23 RM 5.44-6.80
Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 20.41 RM 17.77-31.75
Apples (1 lb) 5.32 RM 4.50-6.80
Banana (1 lb) 2.78 RM 2.04-3.18
Oranges (1 lb) 4.23 RM 3.63-5.44
Tomato (1 lb) 2.23 RM 1.59-2.72
Potato (1 lb) 2.04 RM 1.36-2.27
Onion (1 lb) 3.49 RM 3.18-3.63
Lettuce (1 head) 3.92 RM 3.00-5.00
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 2.29 RM 1.50-3.00
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 60.00 RM 40.00-65.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 8.24 RM 6.00-10.20
Imported Beer (11.2 oz small bottle) 13.60 RM 10.00-15.00
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) 17.00 RM 13.50-17.50
Transportation [ Edit ] Avg.
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 2.70 RM 2.00-4.00
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 95.00 RM 75.00-110.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 12.00 RM 6.00-15.00
Taxi 1 mile (Normal Tariff) 4.83 RM 4.02-4.83
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 30.00 RM 30.00-30.00
Gasoline (1 gallon) 7.09 RM 6.62-8.71
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 150,000.00 RM 80,000.00-155,000.00
Toyota Corolla 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 122,500.00 RM 90,000.00-130,000.00
Utilities (Monthly) [ Edit ] Avg.
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment 173.57 RM 80.00-250.00
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.26 RM 0.15-0.50
Internet (10 Mbps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 157.60 RM 149.00-175.00
Sports And Leisure [ Edit ] Avg.
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 137.27 RM 100.00-199.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 18.67 RM 10.00-30.00
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 15.00 RM 12.00-16.00
Childcare [ Edit ] Avg.
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Private, Monthly for 1 Child 416.67 RM 300.00-500.00
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child 54,000.00 RM 31,800.00-80,000.00
Clothing And Shoes [ Edit ] Avg.
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 232.00 RM 140.00-350.00
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 158.12 RM 100.00-200.00
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 271.25 RM 250.00-310.00
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 293.75 RM 200.00-350.00
Rent Per Month [ Edit ] Avg.
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 1,131.82 RM 600.00-1,895.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 872.50 RM 350.00-1,300.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 2,416.67 RM 1,500.00-3,750.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 1,850.00 RM 1,300.00-2,500.00
Buy Apartment Price [ Edit ] Avg.
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment in City Centre 692.89 RM 600.00-799.99
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 391.22 RM 317.09-500.00
Salaries And Financing [ Edit ] Avg.
Average Monthly Disposable Salary (Net After Tax) 3,479.00 RM
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly 4.79 4.50-5.20

Prices in Penang, Malaysia

These data are based on 674 entries in the past 18 months from 90 different contributors.
Last update: February, 2017
Sources and References: Info
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Cost of living in Penang is 55.78% lower than in New York (Info)Our estimator (with default settings) estimate monthly expenses for a single person at 460.37$ (2,047.96RM) and for four person family at 1,672.33$ (7,439.34RM) (without rent).
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8 Comments so far

#MoDonald on Jan 06, 2017 :
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#Karl on Dec 13, 2016 :
Public transport has been improving over the years, average bus waiting time may take 15 mins outside of city, and 5 mins in city area.

Bicycle are not recommended as a travel method from outskirt to city as there is no designated bicycle lane, but renting bicycle in some well known traveller hotspots are still available.

If you have a car, travelling time from outskirt (Batu Ferringhi, a famous tourist seaside attraction) to town takes about 40mins. If you work at the industrial area or nearby airport, travelling time may be 1 hour + (depending on traffic). This is the extreme example of travelling from Northwest to Southeast on Penang Island.

If your salary is above RM5000 per month or more, you should be able to rent a decent house in city area, and still can enjoy a decent lifestyle. I would say RM3500 is the minimum if you are staying alone.
#Mandrake on Aug 12, 2016 :
Public transport is the most pathetic in Penang. One of the least pedestrian and bicycle friendly place after India.
#david Thomson on Jun 08, 2015 :
Is it possible to live a reasonable lifestyle in Penang on $2000 aussie dollars a month ?
#teh on Dec 15, 2014 :
The hawkers food in PENANG increased price tremendously. A plate of noodle is RM5 ..the noodle use to be rm3.50...others example: fresh egg @ 43cents per nos...government should look into this matter urgently. Effected the people here as no control in pricing from the government n no random check on the seller. Tq.
#anonymous on May 12, 2014 :
#Santiago, KL is not safe at all, look at the crime index, it is one of the highest in the world.
#pradeep on Oct 24, 2013 :
The average salary of the workers in Electronics company in Penang is RM 1200 with overtime. There are a large No of workers in these companies. So average salary, RM 3000. is wrong. please give a true data.
#Santiago on Aug 01, 2013 :
It sounds reasonable for living in Penang. Especially outside the city center for renting. But what is considered outside of the city center? 2KM, 5KM, or 10Km, __km??

So we stayed in Kula Lumpor for 3 days but then had to return to Singapore for our flight back to Manila and onwards to San Francisco. We like Kuala Lumpor. It was safe, relatively clean, inexpensive dining out (we ate where the general population dined--loved it), and loved the great discounts on our city centere hotel---in 2006. People are courteous and happy, and did not see any beggars and hopeless poverty as we did in Manila and Cebu City. We would love to live in the Philippines but we are so worried about crime and maintaining our health, although US dollars would make like easier in the Philippines staying safe is just as important