Cost of living in Malaysia

Summary of cost of living in Malaysia

  • Family of four estimated monthly costs: RM9,414
  • Single person estimated monthly costs: RM4,226
  • Malaysia is the 2nd cheapest country in Asia (8 out of 9)
  • Malaysia is the 2nd cheapest country in the World (65 out of 66)
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Food
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district RM17
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (big mac meal or similar) RM19
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast RM9
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk RM8
12 eggs, large RM10
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes RM6
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese RM27
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples RM11
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes RM4.72
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket RM12
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality RM67
2 liters of coca-cola RM4.94
Bread for 2 people for 1 day RM3.80
Housing
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in expensive area RM3,195
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in normal area RM1,834
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat RM235
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in expensive area RM1,967
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in normal area RM1,354
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 sqft) studio RM152
Internet 8 mbps (1 month) RM105
40” flat screen tv RM948
Microwave 800/900 watt (bosch, panasonic, lg, sharp, or equivalent brands) RM692
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) RM19
Hourly rate for cleaning help RM27
Clothes
1 pair of jeans (levis 501 or similar) RM231
1 summer dress in a high street store (zara, h&m or similar retailers) RM154
1 pair of sport shoes (nike, adidas, or equivalent brands) RM329
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes RM308
Transportation
Volkswagen golf 1.4 tsi 150 cv (or equivalent), with no extras, new RM151,182
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas RM2.04
Monthly ticket public transport RM53
Personal Care
Cold medicine for 6 days (tylenol, frenadol, coldrex, or equivalent brands) RM11
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) RM25
Short visit to private doctor (15 minutes) RM125
1 box of 32 tampons (tampax, ob, ...) RM26
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) RM12
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) RM14
4 rolls of toilet paper RM9
Tube of toothpaste RM6
Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city RM24
Entertainment
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub RM90
2 tickets to the movies RM40
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) -
Dinner for two at an italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert RM122
1 cocktail drink in downtown club RM30
Cappuccino in expat area of the city RM14
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) RM18
Ipad wi-fi 128gb RM4,073
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) RM0.13
1 month of gym membership in business district RM194
1 package of marlboro cigarettes RM17

Moving to Malaysia with your children?

International Schools in Malaysia

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 Shah Alam 57
2nd Kuching 57
3rd Kuala Lumpur 57
4th Kota Kinabalu 56
5th Ipoh 51

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.

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Prices recently added

  • 1 pack of marlboro cigarettes in Kuala Lumpur costs RM10 (about 14 hours ago)
  • 1 bottle of red table wine, good quality in Kuala Lumpur costs RM20 (5 days ago)
  • Short visit to private doctor in Kuala Lumpur costs RM100 (8 days ago)
  • Utilities (studio), monthly for 1 person in 45 m2 in Kuala Lumpur costs RM150 (8 days ago)
  • Monthly rent - 45 m2 furnished studio in normal area in Kuala Lumpur costs RM1,500 (8 days ago)
  • 6 eggs, large in Kuala Lumpur costs RM12 (8 days ago)
  • 1 liter of whole fat milk in Kuala Lumpur costs RM15 (8 days ago)
  • Combo meal in fast food restaurant (big mac meal or similar) in Kuala Lumpur costs RM27 (8 days ago)
  • Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district in Kuala Lumpur costs RM25 (8 days ago)

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