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The Living cost in Indonesia

The year is new but the problem stays old!  The City, Jakarta is flooded and it was deeply flooded.  Things are really bad there, lucky for me I stayed in the suburbs which is free from flood.  Some of my friends are, stuck, in their homes. 

Another old problem, which is as old as human society, and many people believe: money is the root of all problem.  I would gladly say: those people are wrong.  Money is not the source every problem.  Money is an answer looking for a problem.  No money is a real problem.

These days I was wondering how much does it really costs to live in Jakarta, for a family with 2 kids living a decent live.  Well, here you are the little realised real living cost in Indonesia.

Here is my description of a decent live:

  • Living in a house with appropiate size (about 200 sqm, give or take 10%).  The house should be free from flood and located in the suburb (not in North, South, East West or Centre Jakarta) but can reach Jakarta within 60 minutes of commuting.  Tangerang or Bekasi are okay.  Any longer than 60 minutes commuting time is not good for your live. 

  • And a car for each of the parent.  The car should not be a luxurious car, in the class of Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla or lower. 

  • The family should not buy luxurious items as branded watches such as Rolex or Chopard or branded fashion items such as LV bags or Prada wallet. 

  • The kids, well, will study in a school in the neighbourhood, not in an very high end school like the SPH (Sekolah Pelita Harapan that teaches horse riding.

  • No maid or servants and no driver.

  • No dinning out at restaruant every weekend.  The father works and eat lunch outside.  Breakfast and dinner are cooked by the wife.  While the mother and kids eat cooked meal everyday.

  • A single family outing once a year. 

  • Electronics and white goods such as mobile phone, computers, TV's, fridges, microwave, washing machine etc are changed occassionally.  The mom and kids inherited mobile phone from the father.

  • Insurance

As you people may see, the living that I've described is not a luxury living.  It is rather standard.  So now, lets calculate how much does that living costs.

  1. Meal: a single meal for lunch costs IDR 30.000 in Jakarta.  For the father only, 20 x 30.000 = 600.000 a month.  Breakfast and dinner are home cooking, it is IDR 8.000 - IDR 10.000 a meal for him.  30 x 10.000 x 2 + 10 x 10.000 = 700.000 for the father.  For the wife and kids, it is also 10.000 a meal.  So 3 x 10.000 x 30 x 3 = 2.700.000.  Total IDR 4.000.000 a month and IDR 48.000.000 a year.

  2. Clothing: an average Joko (Indonesian) buys 5 clothes a year.  1 for Christmas or Chinese New Year or Eid, 1 for New Year and the other are for replacing old clothing.  Plus 2 trousers or jeans.  While Siti (Joko's wife) tends to buy twice of that number.  I don't mean to be sexists, but, thats the fact.  Kids are about the same as father, but their clothing is cheaper.  The price of a decent man's shirt is IDR 350.000, while the price of trousers is IDR 650.000.  So Joko needs IDR 3.050.000, and Siti needs IDR 7.100.000. 

    • Their kids, well, assuming they got one boy and one girl, and kid's clothing costs half of their parents, we can safely assume 5.075.000 for the kid.  Total cost for clothing for a year IDR 15.225.000. 

    • And that did not include shoes, ladies bag and more.  Siti and the kids needs a brand new bag and a pair of shoes once a year shoes, and Joko needs a pair of shoes too.  Joko's shoes costs IDR 1.000.000 a pair, Siti's shoes are tad cheaper at 600.000 a pair but her bag is IDR 3.000.000 each.  Kids shoes are 400.000 a pair and their bag is 500.000 a pair.  Total 6.400.000 a year.

    • Fashion items costs IDR 21.625.000 a year.

    • Oh yes, you can always visit a factory outlet that is 2 hours away, but that's not the point of this article.  As visiting those factory outlets costs too.

  3. Electronics and white goods.  Mobile phone's life is 3 years at most, as a business man Joko needs two, one Blackberry and one iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S3 or Note.  He needs a high end mobile phone, as his partner won't respect him when he use cheap phones.  Joko also changes his phone once a year, as he could not accept dropping battery or crashed phones that leads to loss of business opportunity.  His wife and kids are inheriting Joko's phones.  So will need IDR 15.000.000 a year in mobile phone only.

    • Computers are used for 3 years.  1 for every family member.  A low end computer costs IDR 3.000.000, so you will need 9.000.000 for Siti and kids.  While Joko needs a decent laptop at IDR 9.000.000.  So the IT needs are IDR 18.000.000 for 3 years or IDR 6.000.000 a year.

    • White goods are used for 10 years.  This will count inflation so you can always get a new items every 10 years.  A new TV set costs IDR 20.000.000, 2.000.000 a year.  Washing Machine 3.000.000, 300.000 a year.  Dishwasher 6.000.000, 600.000 a year. Fridge 10.000.000, 1.000.000 a year.  Microwave 1.000.000, 100.000 a year.  Stove 3.000.000, 300.000 a year.

    • for electronics and white goods IDR 26.200.000 a year

  4. Now it comes to kid's tuition fees.  The tuition fees in a school nearest to my home is IDR 2.500.000 a month for a Junior High student.  So for two kids, it is IDR 5.000.000 a month or 60.000.000 a year.  Not including their text book. 

    • Joko and Siti wanted the kid to be skilled, so the kids attends various courses like Chinese, English, Swimming, Dancing, Maths, and more.  The course fees averages IDR 1.500.000 a month for a kid and for two kids is IDR 3.000.000 a month.  This totals to 36.000.000 a year.

    • The fees for kid's study is IDR 96.000.000 a year.

  5. After doing a year of stressful events, Joko needs a holiday with family.  Unfortunately due to his business, he can only go once a year and it would be in December where ticket and hotel prices skyrockets.  So he deciced to take tour with his family.  One person is USD 1000 plus their shopping can reach USD 1500 or IDR 15.000.000 for a tour to a nearby country.  So for the vacation and holiday is IDR 60.000.000 a year.  Joko might also chooses to have small fun with family and kids too, to Ancol or dining out on the weekend, but he chooses to save it for an overseas tour as the costs would be the same.

  6. Insurance for Joko, well, since I don't like insurance myself, I will put as IDR 1.500.000 a month for him or IDR 18.000.000 a year.  Siti and the kids are not insured as she is not working.

  7. Housing, here came the tricky part.  Everybody needs a house, and the price of a house in the suburb near Jakarta is around IDR 1.500.000.000 unfurnished.  For a 10 years terms of mortgage, you are due of IDR 15.000.000 a month or IDR 180.000.000 a year.  I own such a house and mind you, it is not a luxury home.  Stays in a 180m2 land, and got 3 + 1 bedroom, 3 + 1 bathroom, no marble floors, plus the ceiling leaks when rainning.  More every 10 years you will need to renovate your home, IDR 100.000.000 should be enough.  So a year of IDR 10.000.000 is fine for saving.

  8. Jakarta got no nice public transport, plus Joko is very mobile, so Joko needs to drive his own car.  Also for Siti, knowing that Jakarta is not safe, she wanted safety for the kids and she needs to drive and pick the kids to and from school.  So Joko chooses a Honda Civic for IDR 400.000.000 (USD 40.000, ridiculously expensive, I know you can get a BMW 3 series for that in the US) for him and a Toyota Kijang for IDR 260.000.000, a minivan perfect for a soccer mom, for Siti.  The installment is IDR 15.000.000 a month for three years.  Joko travels, on average, 50 km a day, 1500 km a month or 120 litre of RON 95 fuel (IDR 1. 200.000).  While Siti is 15 km a day, 300 km a month or 30 litre of RON 92 fuel (IDR 300.000).  The Kijang will be serviced once a year for IDR 1.000.000 while the Civic is serviced every 6 months for IDR 1.000.000.  So a year the car costs 15.000.000 x 12 + 1.500.000 x 12 + 1.000.000 + 2.000.000 = 201.000.000,00

  9. Savings.  You will need to save, but that is outside the scope of this article.

So the total expenses for Joko's family for a year is IDR 644.825.000.  And Joko needs to make about IDR 54.000.000 a month.  This is numbers are true and not made up!  Well, not true to the exact figure, but somewhat close.

For Indonesian, if you are shocked, so do I.  I've never calculated this way and that figure is just unbelieveable.  However after I reiterate the calculation...  I know, that the number is just right.

Here is the proof of housing price.

The mortgage is IDR 22 juta a month (around 2200 USD) and you will face flooding every now and then.  I would not recommend this area.

The mortgage is IDR 25 million a month (2500 USD) for 8 x 25 m, or 200 sqm.  If you wanted to get that home, you can contact 081932833320 a number that belongs to a friend of mine, a marketing at a marketing at Agung Sedayu.  Tell her that I send you.

Located in an island, the mortgage is IDR 52 million (5200 USD) a month for 12 x 20m (240 sqm).  If you wanted to get that home, you can contact 081932833320 a number that belongs to a friend of mine, a marketing at Agung Sedayu.  Tell her that I send you.

As you can see, the mortgage I use on my illustration is only IDR 15 million a month, as I was giving an illustration of a house in the suburbs of Jakarta and most importantly free from floods.  It was not a luxury home and once my friend regard it as a ugly house in a remote part of the world.

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