Cost of living in Malaysia

Summary of cost of living in Malaysia

  • Family of four estimated monthly costs: RM9,227
  • Single person estimated monthly costs: RM4,214
  • Malaysia is the 3rd cheapest country in Asia (9 out of 11)
  • Cost of living in Malaysia is cheaper than in 73% of countries in the World (55 out of 75)
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Food
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district RM22
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (big mac meal or similar) RM16
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast RM8
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk RM6
12 eggs, large RM8
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes RM4.75
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese RM29
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples RM8
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes RM3.49
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket RM11
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality RM85
2 liters of coca-cola RM3.74
Bread for 2 people for 1 day RM3.76
Housing
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in expensive area RM3,257
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in normal area RM1,816
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat RM266
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in expensive area RM2,233
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in normal area RM1,273
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 sqft) studio RM194
Internet 8 mbps (1 month) RM91
40” flat screen tv RM1,465
Microwave 800/900 watt (bosch, panasonic, lg, sharp, or equivalent brands) RM486
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) RM20
Hourly rate for cleaning help RM30
Clothes
1 pair of jeans (levis 501 or similar) RM241
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) RM266
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes RM308
Transportation
Volkswagen golf 1.4 tsi 150 cv (or equivalent), with no extras, new RM156,239
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas RM2.04
Monthly ticket public transport RM91
Personal Care
Cold medicine for 6 days (tylenol, frenadol, coldrex, or equivalent brands) RM15
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) RM16
Short visit to private doctor (15 minutes) RM67
1 box of 32 tampons (tampax, ob, ...) RM21
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) RM13
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) RM16
4 rolls of toilet paper RM5.12
Tube of toothpaste RM9
Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city RM40
Entertainment
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub RM82
2 tickets to the movies RM36
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) RM258
Dinner for two at an italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert RM196
1 cocktail drink in downtown club RM29
Cappuccino in expat area of the city RM15
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) RM20
Ipad wi-fi 128gb RM1,920
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) RM0.42
1 month of gym membership in business district RM156
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 85
2nd Kota Kinabalu 84
3rd Johor Bahru 84

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

  • 1 pack of marlboro cigarettes in Kuala Lumpur costs RM15 (4 days ago)
  • 500 ml beer in neighbourhood pub in Kuala Lumpur costs RM10 (4 days ago)
  • Cappuccino in expat area of the city in Kuala Lumpur costs RM12 (4 days ago)
  • Cocktail drink in downtown club in Kuala Lumpur costs RM20 (4 days ago)
  • Nice dinner at an italian restaurant, dinner for two in Kuala Lumpur costs RM120 (4 days ago)
  • 2 tickets to the movies in Kuala Lumpur costs RM20 (4 days ago)
  • Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city in Kuala Lumpur costs RM50 (4 days ago)
  • 75 ml tube of toothpaste in Kuala Lumpur costs RM4.00 (4 days ago)
  • 12 rolls of toilet paper in Kuala Lumpur costs RM4.95 (4 days ago)
  • 400 ml hair shampoo 2-in-1 in Kuala Lumpur costs RM6.00 (4 days ago)