Cost of Living for Expatriates in Jakarta

Cost of Living for Expatriates in Jakarta

Jakarta is one of the world’s busiest, largest and most populous cities. The Indonesian capital is ranked as the 9th largest city and 13th most populous city in the world. As the center of governance and business, the city attracts more and more people (Indonesians as well as expats). Indonesians come to Jakarta in search of better education, work and above all luck. Expats mostly for the latter two. Adding to the estimated 10-15 million people, this is not without consequence. The traffic is pure mayhem and living costs soar.

Is it expensive or cheap? It depends on which part of Jakarta and your lifestyle. It is also relative to how do you allocate your expenses.Jakarta is interesting, because no matter how deep is your pocket, Jakarta has something for you. However, the cost of living in Jakarta is 50% lower than in New York.

Before moving to Indonesia, it’s important to know the average cost of living in Indonesia. That way, you’ll be able to plan where you’ll live and what kind of lifestyle you want to have. If you’re planning to live in Jakarta, living in center business district such as Sudirman or Kuningan area might cost you higher than living outside the center.

The matrix below will provide you assumptions of living cost in Jakarta. This is the list of average price for basic necessities in each category (food, house, transportation, and leisure):

Restaurants Average (in IDR) USD
Meal in inexpensive restaurant 35,000 2.6
Meal for 2 people in mid-range restaurant 215,000 16
Combo meal at McDonalds 50,000 3.8
Cappuccino (at Starbucks or equivalent coffee shop) 40,000 2.6
Markets Average (in IDR) USD
Milk (1 liter) 19,000 1.4
Loaf of bread (around 500g) 17,000 1.1
Rice (white, 1kg) 14,000 1
A dozen of eggs 21,000 1.5
Chicken breasts (1kg) 53,000 3.9
Apples (1kg) 43,000 3.2
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 5,000 0.4
Toiletries (shower gels, shampoo, toothpaste, and body lotion, for a month use) 300,000 22
Transportation Average (in IDR) USD
One-way ticket (TransJakarta) 3,500 0.3
Taxi start (normal tariff) 7,500 0.56
Motorbike taxi (ojek, for 1-12km using mobile apps) 12,000 0.89
Gasoline (1 liter, high quality) 9,000 0.67
Utilities Average (in IDR) USD
Basic (electricity, heating, water, garbage) for 85m2 apartment, monthly 1,300,000 96.3
1 minute of prepaid mobile tariff local 2,000 0.15
Internet plan (unlimited) 500,000 37.04
Laundry (monthly) 400,000 29.6
Sport and leisure Average (in IDR) USD
Fitness club (monthly for 1 adult) 500,000 37.04
Movies 50,000 3.7
Clothing and shoes Average (in IDR) USD
A pair of jeans (Levis or similar) 750,000 55.56
Dress in chain store (Zara, H&M) 400,000 29.36
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas, or equivalent) 1,200,000 89
Business shoes (on average) 300,000 23
Rent per month Average (in IDR) USD
Homestay (dorm or indekos) in city center with good facilities 3,500,000 259.26
Apartment (1 bedroom) in city center 7,500,000 555.56
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in city center 24,550,000 1818.5
Buy apartment price Average (in IDR) USD
Price per square meter in city center 37,000,000 2740.74

*living cost outside Jakarta may vary

Keep in mind that those prices may increase and subject to economic situation in Indonesia. But, you still can measure your monthly living cost according to the matrix above. People have different lifestyle and may have lower or higher expenditures than others. But, in average, living cost in Jakarta is not too high compared to other countries such as US or Japan. You can still save your income and live a nice life here.

Living in Jakarta can at times be frustrating, with the congested traffic, the lack of green and huge distances one needs to cover. But there are advantages too: there are many things to explore, see, hear and to eat! Enjoy and explore Jakarta, a little patience and a whole lot of positivity can be very useful along the way. Enjoy Jakarta!