Month in Bali for ~$500US Budget

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Surfing in Kuta Bali and great beaches

Greetings ladies and gentlemen,

***UPDATE: I went back in Fall of 2017 and that room I speak of was now $12 a night with wifi! These prices will give you an idea and Bali is still inexpensive but it’s not like it was in early 2010; obviously…***

Many people think traveling is expensive and it can be. That said, it does not have to be. It all depends on how you spend your day or most importantly, your night. I started chatting with a multitude of men and women about how much things *SHOULD COST*. I’ve spoke with a lot of people and come to a conclusion.

I’ve decided $15US a day is PLENTY to live here with $50 left for misc purchases you need separate from daily expenses for a grand total of a mere $500US for a month in Kuta, Bali. I will note that if you JUST START your trip and want to go out a lot boost it to $20-$25US.

1) Cheap Hotels in Bali: There are plenty cheap hotels in Kuta. I am in a decent one for $4.50 a night. That said, around the corner there are ones for $20+++. Get in first night and just suck it up, then next day “go on the hunt”. Don’t be surprised if they are totally full. There are more pricier options then cheap ones and when they get taken people tend to stay a while. If you are vigilant and a little big lucky, you’ll luck out, as I did. Also the people staying at my place are great, good times.

2) Food: You can easily get by on $5 a day or less. For breakfast I just had a fried egg on some veg fried rice with side of cucumber and tomato along with a mixed fruit shake for ~$1.80US. Tomorrow I’ll just get a water and the fruit platter which is huge and only $1.

3) Leisure and Random Crap: So, now we’re up to ~$10 a day, other $5 is to just do whatever from renting a surfboard for the day ~20-40,000R or ~$2-4US. Buying random drinks for 50 cents here and there or going out and having some vodka redbulls $1 or just one large Bintan Beer for ~$2-3.50 depending where you go. You can also go on the internet for ~$1 an hour or get a massage from $3-$5US.

Kuta Bali beaches

That is ~$450 a month. The other $50 is if you need new flip flops, a towel etc… This is to live here and have a good time. If you want to rock out until the early hours of the evening regularly IT WILL cost you more, obviously.

You will also want to use the additional $50 wisely, below are some tips on bartering above the initial update I made called “Haggling 101 – How to Barter“.

The more I travel the more I realize it’s important to get a good idea of what things cost and then spend the appropriate amount of money.

I can’t believe you can live somewhere like this which is basically beach paradise for this little. It’s nuts and goes to show how back home, so many people waste ridiculous sums because it’s normal, yet that same $$$ which is basically just stored energy (You traded energy to get it right?) can go way further for those who dare venture far far far away from their back yards.

Oh if you split a room with someone, even cheaper, yes?

I am going to try this budget out starting today. Also, those reading may want to do something like this and may want to come to Bali… Might as well “fill you in” on how much things really cost, yes?

Awesome Kuta Bali beaches

So, today I’ve spent 45,000 on a room and 17,000 on breakfast which tomorrow will be 10,000.

That’s, 62,000R spent already and my hotel is already included in that, crazy! This internet session will probably be 15,000R ~2 hours or so. which will leave me at ~half my day’s budget and all I really need to do is have something to eat later.

Update: The day is coming to a close with ~1.5 hours of being online now. Spent ~150,000R and lived very well. Just found a place that has a good dinner for 6,000R. I paid 20,000R for mixed vegetables and an assortment of sea food (calamari & shrimps) on rice and 6,000 for a fantana. Same place has fried chicken for 4,000Ru. This place is beyond affordable.


45,000 = Room
17,000 = Breakfast (Shake + Fried Egg on Veg Fried Rice)
10,000 = Another Shake
10,000 = Assorted Fruit platter
30,000 = 3 hours online
26,000 = Dinner described above.
3,500 = 1.5L bottle of water
4,000 = Piece of Fried Chicken
6,000 = 2 spring rolls.
0,000 = Hanging out on the beach and meeting cool people

Total ~151,500Ru

Yes, it is totally doable and didn’t feel any different today than any other day really. Not sure if I’ll keep to this strictly but wanted to give you an idea of how much things cost here.

Update 2: Next day, instead of lazing around eating and playing online, I actually did what you’re supposed to do in Bali and spent an astonishing $9.40US, hotel included if I were to go to bed right now. It’s 9PM so it’s possible but chances are I’ll be up for a bit…

If you like this, check out the $500US a month Budget in Bangkok.

Good day,

P.S The traffic here on these tiny lanes are nuts. Always be weary and look around. It’s easy to look behind you watching a few pass by, going to step out and having one directly in front of you going other way. Rip your knee apart or something of that nature. That said, make sure you have travel insurance as I see a lot of battered souls and if you do get injured, BIMC Hospital is the place you want to go.  Bali is a great place, just really far from North America.

Kuta Bali Streets Traffic

Author: iyashinoshigoto

35 thoughts on “Month in Bali for ~$500US Budget

  1. When you have no desire to go clubbing anymore, I think you are officially beyond the “wow, i’m going around the world” phase of the trip.

    Make sure to visit Ubud while you are there.

    1. Hey Rob,
      I’m thinking about coming to Bali for a month in July/August. Is this a good time to come? Also, how did you find your cheap hotels? I cannot seem to find cheap places online. Is that typical and will we have to find cheap places when we get there rather than online?


      1. I have no idea about July and August, I went in December of 2009. Cheap places never advertise as they have no budget and definitely aren’t on some booking engine. Piri Agung? is the place I stayed and it’s on a small lane between Poppies Gang I & II (gang = lane). Be warned though that the “cheap places” tend to get locked in aka once you get there you realize everyone is just lounging as it’s so cheap. I kept mine the whole time I was there. The game is roll in, grab a place then hit the streets next morning. If you need help ask some surf bum like characters.

        Good luck and have fun!

  2. Hey Rob

    Let me know how I can get you some $ for the info I’m stealing from you on this blog and as a Christmas present to have on on me.



  3. Chris – Check next update, if you don’t laze around eating and playing online and actually “beach bum it up” it’s even cheaper.

    Dina – Ask me and I’ll put together or a list, or remind me and I’ll make an update of some “should go to places if you ask me”.

    Bruce – It’s all good man, just keep reading and throwing in your $0.02, they add up and if you’re on any social bookmarking sites, don’t be shy to share us.

    Jamel – You Should.

    Julian – That goes double for you and Soren.

  4. As an Indonesian myself, I would say that most of the places in Indonesia is alot exotic. Not only because of the nice mountain scenery and the luxurious hotels in bali, people there are much more friendly. So delight in!!!

  5. People should be aware that Bali is on ‘High Risk’ for terrorism and it is not advised that anyone yet visit.

  6. Probably not anymore, there was one around Xmas / New Years 2009. That said, I have no clue, do your own research, yes?

  7. May i ask you which hotel you staid? My fiance I are going to bali in four months and would like to consider the possibility of staying in a hotel instead of renting a house for the whole year.

  8. I am very seriously considering leaving my life temporarily behind for about a month or so and travelling to Bali. I’ve never been out of the country before and I’m a mid 20’s female travelling alone. Any suggestions? I’d love to know the safest places where I can stay and also venture out to without getting taken advantage of. Are there families that will house a US foreigner? I’m not interested in living in a hotel. I’d prefer to rent a room/home for myself or possibly even stay with other people around my own age group. Do they have hostels? I need to know everything! Help!

    1. It’s not really a hotel, I stayed at Puri Agung, not sure you’d want to stay there months. It was more like a hostel. Not really hostels as many places are cheap. You could explore the island and give it ago.

      I suggest you ask Kate the questions, I’ve met here a few times and she’s been all over SEAsia solo.

      Good luck, let me know if you have any other questions.

  9. Hi there,
    Wanted to know the best airline to travel with to get to Bali from the US. And do you have info for the place you stayed while in Bali.

    I need to be in Bali for 30 days and I am on a very tight budget.


    1. No idea on tickets, flew from Singapore.

      It’s called Piri Agung and is in between Poppies Gang 1 & 2.

      Good luck,

  10. Hi Rob, just stumbled across your website. Definitely getting inspired to start doing some traveling of my own but I’m a bit hung up on issues around language barriers. Any advice on easily bouncing around from place to place while not knowing the local language? I’m envisioning scenarios of getting on the wrong bus somewhere and winding up on the other side of the country…

    1. Don’t sweat it, hundreds if thousands have gone before you. Be sure to triple check. Whenever I get on board ask a few by saying city name, they nod.

      Relax and enjoy the ride.

  11. Aloha and thank you, love my island of Oahu but going to Bali in a little over a week, can’t wait to play affordably 🙂

  12. Great post! Were trying to plan our Bali Budget out now. Planning to spend two months there, so this was definitely helpful!

  13. How is the quality of the hotel room for 45k? I haven’t ever found a place for that price that I am comfortable staying in. Usually issues to do with cleanliness and natural light :). Any other plans for Bali and the rest of Indonesia?

  14. Ayayay… thanks, now I’m going to have to go to Bali and Bangkok. What id find most useful now is airline info. Like how to find the best fares. Any “year long” passes still floating around?

    Ps what’s the “English Quotient” in Bali?

    1. I bought a cheap flight from Singapore to Bali. You could go to Bangkok, work your way to Singapore and hop over, it’s what I did.

      They do speak a fair amount of English, especially in tourist areas. I think it’s a 30 day on arrival, you’ll have to inquire about visas.

      Cool place, kinda over hyped and aloe Internet but worth it, for sure.

  15. enjoyed your posts Rob. I’m 1 year out from traveling the world indefinitely and Bali will be on the list. Where are you now?

  16. Hi Bro, Nearly been 6 years now. The world keeps changing and it’s a shame your not here to see it. Live long in our harets! xxxx

  17. I just returned from Bali, and (I suppose depending on where you are in Bali), it’s a pretty expensive place. We stayed in Kuta, Ubud, and spend some time in Sanur. The cheapest accommodation we could find was with AirBNB and it was around $17/night but I am sure if you booked last minute it would be cheaper.

    Food and drink is super expensive, though, unless you eat at a stall or one of those small hole-in-the-wall restaurants but I was a bit apprehensive of those (Bali belly and all).

    1. I lived at the hole in the wall restaurants and I was fine if I remember correctly and yeah, it’s ~4 years old now was back not long ago and prices skyrocketed; need to beat the crowds!

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