Moving to Malaysia: the cost of living per month

Malaysia is more than just a picture on a postcard. It is surrounded by stunning beaches and has a surprising amount of cultural diversity. One of the Asian Tigers, the country is a developed, thriving, and affluent nation.

Malaysia has a lot to offer expats searching for new career opportunities, as well as students and retirees, as a partner of giants like Japan and the United States.

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What is the quality of life in Malaysia today ?

kuala lumpur

Because of Malaysia's higher level of life than France, many decide to move to Malaysia. The nation does in fact provide a very high degree of comfort at a very modest price of living. Therefore, it is possible to live better and spend less money in Malaysia than in France. This is true for every expense, except for food, which is much better (and much more costly) in France. Nevertheless, expats moan about it too.

Your quality of life will increase if you live in Malaysia. As an example, in France, the middle class includes individuals. Especially considering that they are freelancers, because of their low wages, it would be challenging for them to survive at the end of the month if they continued to reside in France.

There, our income allows us to live very comfortably. Since our other expenditures are so low relative to the French market, many expats rent their apartments for prices that defy any competition. To be honest, per month, they spend between €1200 and €1500 for two in all. Enough to imply that maintaining their current way of life in France would be challenging.

What is the price of an apartment in Malaysia ?

price of an apartment in malaysia

Let's start with examining the most significant outlay for migrating to Malaysia (and more particularly, Kuala Lumpur): housing.

You may get really high-quality flats in KL. You won't have too much trouble obtaining housing because the supply is likewise considerably more than the demand. Because of the low cost of rent, you may live in well-regarded apartments for less than a two-room flat in Paris.

In Malaysia, condominiums are the favored housing choice for foreigners. These buildings are very new and highly contemporary, with lots of facilities. For example, for a lot of expats in their residence, they can enjoy two swimming pools (one on the rooftop and a large outdoor one), a gym, and a free shuttle to go to KLCC. With also rooms at their disposal such as a billiard room and rooms that they can rent when they receive people. The residence is almost new, in 2017, the foundation of their structure was broken. This kind of housing is highly expensive in Malaysia, but because of the value of our currency, the price in euros is actually rather reasonable.

So, let's use the case of a couple that pays €650 per month, charges included, to rent an 80 m2 apartment with two bedrooms and two baths for 8 months. Of course, it also needs to include the cost of things like internet, gas, electricity, and water. These expenses cost between 60 and 70 euros every month. Since they operate out of their flat, energy is what they spend the most money on.

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How much does food cost in Malaysia ?

Often the second item of expenditure is food. Well, yes, you have to eat well every day. So, the benefit of such is that the meal in the street or in the small local restaurants is really not expensive. In addition, for those living just outside Kampung Baru, the typical Malay district of Kuala Lumpur. So there are literally dozens of excellent tiny eateries there that are very affordable. In these places, it is possible to eat for 2-3 € per person, sometimes less during lunch. It goes without saying that shopping costs more than eating out.

Eat outside

eat outside in malaysia


Some communities, however, are not fortunate enough to gain from these little eateries. Even if it is possible to discover some, there are a lot of foreign restaurants or retail centers in KLCC, for instance. Despite being less expensive than in France, these eateries are nevertheless more expensive than the average way of life. It will thus cost at least 6 euros per person, depending on the restaurant's reputation. However, there are also several "mamak" eateries in the area managed by Indian Malaysians that provide delicious food (a blend of Indian and Malaysian cuisine) for a few euros.

Go to the supermarket shopping

shopping in malaysia


We can comfort you, though: foreigners need to go shopping. Because many of them enjoyed cooking modest things that made them nostalgic for their own kitchens at home. Supermarkets are not prohibitively costly, but imported goods are. Thus, it is best to learn to cook with local ingredients, or almost, if they do not want to have a monthly grocery cost that is more than their rent. It goes without saying that foods like cheese, cream, butter, whiskey, and other delicacies are frequently costly and hence remain specialties.

Budget for each race: about €170 each month

Other costs of living in Malaysia: Standard of living

Transportation, leisure activities, and other costs are included.


transport in malaysia


Regarding transportation. Many do not have a car, but be aware that the cost of fuel is absurd (about 20c/l). Many of them make all their trips by grab/taxi. It can cost between 5 and 20 RM per trip, so generally less than €5. For example, for those who take a taxi at least 4 times a week, it is possible to estimate their taxi expenses at around €30 per month. If you travel around a lot, sometimes even more.

Hobbies and activities

leisures in malaysia


Given how much they work, some expatriate in Malaysia don't have a lot of free time. Let's suppose they occasionally go out to dine or drink with friends, that they occasionally play golf or attend a yoga class, etc. They occasionally go to the movies. Since nothing is actually pricey with French wealth, they often do not consider the expense. Rarely more than €5, €10 here, and €5.


Due to the luxury of being able to order house cleaning services, expats, let's add a section to the services level. In reality, the majority of expats do it; those who have kids may even hire "maids." It may cost RM60 every 15 days, or €25 each month, for the cleaning service. In other words, since they can afford it, they do not deny themselves.

A summary of living standards and the budget for living in Malaysia

In case you missed it, this is what they can spend each month to live in Malaysia:

Total costs for lodging are €720.
€250 for food (race + restaurant).
Travel, services, and recreation cost between €100 and €200.

They don't deprive themselves and make a total monthly income of around €1200.

I'm hoping that this post may assist you in estimating your costs if you decide to move to Malaysia. This budget should not be taken literally, but it may be more significant if you frequent international restaurants, go out to dinner frequently, or travel frequently.

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