Infographic: The Spending Habits of Filipinos

Updated: October 18, 2013

After years of “blind spending”, a friend has decided to finally track his expenses and create a monthly budget starting next month.

I’m glad and excited for him because he did not wait for 2014 to work on his “New Year Resolution” to save more money.

So, we were talking yesterday and he asked for help on how to properly allocate his income so he will have a good working budget for November.

I told him that it’s a trial-and-error process, and it will take him several months before he can come up with the right proportion that will go with his lifestyle.

However, I advised that he can start by dividing his income according to how Filipinos spend today, as presented in the Philippine Financial Literacy Advocacy Report 2013 by Sun Life Philippines.

According to that report, Filipinos spend around 37% of their income on food, which is the largest portion of the pie. Below is an infographic that shows more details.


My friend’s take-home salary is around P20,000 so he can use the illustration above as his starting point in planning his monthly budget – and you can too!

One last thing, it’s interesting to see that Pinoys put 6% of their income in the bank as savings. While it’s an indication that an average Filipino knows how to save, the percentage is too low.

My recommended savings rate is 30%, which means you should save that much of your monthly income. If you find that too difficult, you can always start with 6% and then slowly increase it each month.

So how about you? Are your spending habits the same as above? What’s the difference between your spending and the Philippine average? Please share them below as a comment and let’s discuss.

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  1. For a one-income family of 3, my monthly budget looks like this.
    36% house rental and utility bills
    20% savings
    20% food at home
    10% transportation and food allowance
    8% others
    6% child’s education (Kinder, private)

    Very difficult to stick to, esp with the savings part. I’m just starting to build my EF which I planned since January. It started well, but with some weird reason I get many people around me borrowing for money. I could not say no because I felt guilty since I know I do have some money. But things went bad because most of them cannot repay me back, and my savings was 0 for several months. I found that after I lend this people, they could not help me when I was the one in need since they themselves are in a financial mess. I vow not to give in to the guilt and I put a cap on how much I could only lend others, money I could afford to lose. I just hope I could stand by it, and hit my target savings by the end of this year.:)

  2. As an ofw and single mom with no house,i spend most of my income for my kid’s education and accomodation and food. I cant seem to save monthly,tough so i need more info. Need to save for my rainy days.

  3. Set a percentage or a portion of your income as well in Giving–could be to your local church or donations. This is a financial advice coming from the Scriptures.

  4. Wait a second.

    Is the transportation and clothes thing really accurate?
    I spend a lot of money on just trying to get around.
    But I’d also like to say that 2,600 doesn’t seem like enough for bills, utilities and house improvements which is what I think that part meant.
    Where is the leisure component? Filipinos can’t afford luxuries it seems.

    To be honest, it remains unclear to me how I’m going to live on 20k a month once I graduate college (without my mom subsidizing my life!). :(

  5. well Christine as early as now you have to save money so that you will be able to support yourself once you graduated and lived away from your mom..☻

  6. as an OFW living with my family, mine goes like this:

    10% Tithes (first and foremost)
    20% Rent, Utilities, Telco
    10% Food and (clothing if there’s anything that needs replacement)
    10% Education
    50% Savings (Investment + Cash)

    Before buying anything, we are carefully assessing whether it is really necessary, if it is really for long term use (price/days expected to be in use) and if it is the cheapest yet with efficient (doesn’t consume to much resources) and acceptable quality. Never bought brand new electronics/appliances for my household.

  7. Amazing! Please tell me where I can rent an apartment or even a solo room in Makati for P2,600. Or is that amount just for utilities? Rent is free? I have a feeling someone came up with this infographic in 5 minutes while working on his blog.

  8. For those questioning the P2,600 allocation for the house, the infographic above is based on the Philippine Financial Literacy Advocacy Report 2013 by Sun Life Philippines, which states households spend 13% of their monthly budget on that item.

    You can see the actual report here:

    The survey was done on Class ABC families so it is possible that most of them already own the house they live in, or their income is high enough to pay for the usual rates of rental units.

    I must admit that using P20,000 as the base monthly budget is a poor choice to illustrate the results of the study as a typical Class C household would have around P60,000 monthly budget and thus around P8,000 for rent / mortgage payments.

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