Cost of living in Malaysia

Summary of cost of living in Malaysia

  • Family of four estimated monthly costs: RM9,426
  • Single person estimated monthly costs: RM4,299
  • Cost of living in Malaysia is cheaper than in 62% of countries in Asia (8 out of 13)
  • Cost of living in Malaysia is cheaper than in 64% of countries in the World (61 out of 95)
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Food
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district RM20
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (big mac meal or similar) RM15
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast RM8
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk RM7
12 eggs, large RM8
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes RM4.59
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese RM21
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples RM10
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes RM4.51
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket RM11
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality RM83
2 liters of coca-cola RM4.10
Bread for 2 people for 1 day RM3.46
Housing
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in expensive area RM3,383
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in normal area RM1,808
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat RM227
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in expensive area RM2,079
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in normal area RM1,294
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 sqft) studio RM166
Internet 8 mbps (1 month) RM111
40” flat screen tv RM1,436
Microwave 800/900 watt (bosch, panasonic, lg, sharp, or equivalent brands) RM440
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) RM20
Hourly rate for cleaning help RM29
Clothes
1 pair of jeans (levis 501 or similar) RM260
1 summer dress in a high street store (zara, h&m or similar retailers) RM153
1 pair of sport shoes (nike, adidas, or equivalent brands) RM304
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes RM383
Transportation
Volkswagen golf 1.4 tsi 150 cv (or equivalent), with no extras, new RM153,743
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas RM2.31
Monthly ticket public transport RM104
Personal Care
Cold medicine for 6 days (tylenol, frenadol, coldrex, or equivalent brands) RM18
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) RM23
Short visit to private doctor (15 minutes) RM65
1 box of 32 tampons (tampax, ob, ...) RM24
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) RM11
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) RM17
4 rolls of toilet paper RM7
Tube of toothpaste RM8
Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city RM38
Entertainment
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub RM89
2 tickets to the movies RM36
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) RM201
Dinner for two at an italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert RM185
1 cocktail drink in downtown club RM35
Cappuccino in expat area of the city RM16
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) RM24
Ipad wi-fi 128gb RM1,894
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) RM0.43
1 month of gym membership in business district RM180
1 package of marlboro cigarettes RM17

Map of Cost of Living in Malaysia

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This map shows only the top cities in Malaysia. We also have on this page a list of all the cities available in Expatistan:
List of all the cities available in Expatistan

The color of each marker corresponds with the cost of living in the city red markers show more expensive cities green ones show cheaper cities
Moving the mouse on top of a city will show its name and the Cost of Living Index of that city.

What is the Cost of Living Index? To calculate each city's Price Index value, we start by assigning a value of 100 to a central reference city (that happens to be Prague). Once the reference point has been established, the Price Index value of every other city in the database is calculated by comparing their cost of living to the cost of living in Prague.
Therefore, if a city has a Price Index of 134, that means that living there is 34% more expensive than living in Prague.

Cost of Living Ranking in Malaysia

(top cities by data quality)

Ranking City Price Index *
1st Kuala Lumpur 92
2nd Kota Kinabalu 90
3rd Johor Bahru 89
4th Petaling Jaya 88
5th Georgetown (Penang) 80

Price Index:

To calculate each city's Price Index value, we start by assigning a value of 100 to a central reference city (that happens to be Prague). Once the reference point has been established, the Price Index value of every other city in the database is calculated by comparing their cost of living to the cost of living in Prague.
Therefore, if a city has a Price Index of 134, that means that living there is 34% more expensive than living in Prague.

Are you moving to Malaysia? Do you know how much money you will need there to maintain your current standard of living?

Find out what is the real equivalent in Malaysia of your current salary and improve your chances of a happy relocation.

Get a salary calculation for:

Prices recently added

  • 2 liters of coca-cola in Kuala Lumpur costs RM4.73 (8 days ago)
  • 1 kg of potatoes in Kuala Lumpur costs RM2.00 (8 days ago)
  • 1 kg of tomatoes in Kuala Lumpur costs RM4.00 (8 days ago)
  • 1 liter of whole fat milk in Kuala Lumpur costs RM7 (8 days ago)
  • Combo meal in fast food restaurant (big mac meal or similar) in Kuala Lumpur costs RM15 (8 days ago)
  • Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district in Kuala Lumpur costs RM20 (8 days ago)
  • Utilities, monthly for 2 people in 85 m2 in Shah Alam costs RM1,400 (9 days ago)
  • Utilities (studio), monthly for 1 person in 45 m2 in Johor Bahru costs RM90 (9 days ago)
  • 1 pack of marlboro cigarettes in Johor Bahru costs RM15 (9 days ago)
  • Cappuccino in expat area of the city in Johor Bahru costs RM6.00 (9 days ago)