This question is often the first question coming from many travelers before planning their trip to the Island of Gods but even if in Bali many things are cheaper than in western countries, now it’s time to debunk some myths.
In fact, if you just glance at basics products, many items of everyday life are cheap : A liter of gas is around 0.5 USD, a dish in traditional restaurants more commonly referred as Warung is around 1.5 USD and 4 USD and a cigarette pack fluctuate between 1 USD and 2.5 USD. So yes it’s cheap for many daily items. For your journey trip, a motorbike rental will cost you around 5 USD/Day or 50 USD for a month. Using a car will cost around 20 USD/Day or 250-300 USD for a month. The real estate price is not as cheap as the previous example due to the high and increasing demand for short term rental that fill the villa with a high occupancy rate. For long term rental, if you want to pay cheaper and avoid the price fluctuation following the touristic trend, you must pay annually. A three bedroom villa suits for a family is around 15.000 USD per year, 3min from the beach and Surf spot. Some examples on the link below :
It’s remind not very expensive in comparison with tourists area in many western countries
If you want to live in Bali, prepare yourself to do without some foods or items, unless you are ready to pay the asking price. In fact, if you are a meat lover or a cheese lover prepare to pay the high price : a French traditional cheese can reach 70 USD in some supermarkets. Likewise, if you love to party, some alcohol prices can be prohibitive, an Absolut Vodka can easily reach 90 USD, however, you can always console yourself with some cheap Bintang (the local beer) for only 1.5 USD rupiahs. Finally, if you have children, international school fees are fairly expensive, you should pay the asking price which is around 6300 USD a year..
So, even Bali remains a cheap place for tourists, it can be really different for those who decide to live here permanently. All the same, do not forget the fact that in Bali, there is less taxes therefore in spite of some high price, Bali remains very beneficial for expats and still look like an eldorado.