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The weak Rupiah and Living Costs in Indonesia
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markustm



Joined: 15 Mar 2010
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:39 am    Post subject: The weak Rupiah and Living Costs in Indonesia Reply with quote

As I am currently working outside Indonesia, with an interest to return at some point, has the weak rupiah affected living costs, like housing, transport, and other basic costs like eating out?
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LarssonCrew



Joined: 06 Jun 2009
Posts: 1308

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few years ago when the Rupiah was 1,000,000 to 100 GBP I got a few offers for 20,000,000 a month, equivalent to 2,000 GBP a month.

Now when applying the salaries seem to be the same, but with the messed up Rupiah it's almost halved the salaries it seems.
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disneyeric



Joined: 02 Jul 2014
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't recommend anyone consider positions in Jakarta that pay less than 15 million a month, especially in the centre of the city. I mean you are going to pay 5 to 6 million a month just for rent and utilites unless you know someone you can share with.

That only leaves you 9 million to live on for the month, which works out at less than 500 GBP a month. When you consider the traffic and flooding and all the rest of it, Jakarta isn't a great option. It might be better in small cities if you can find someone who pays a decent wage.
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p1randal



Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cost of living threads are often quite pointless as people are so varied in their needs.

You can quite easily last on 500k (roughly 50$) and if you spend 1 million during the weekend then you are only spending 6 million. Add in 5 million for rent (or many schools offer reduced housing or a housing allowance) and you are at about 11 million which means on a salary of 15 million you save 4 million a month so about 4500$ a year. This for 90% of the population be much higher as many schools offer housing allowance and such.

If you drink, Jakarta is expensive and you will go through a TON of cash. If you date a local, then you will also go through cash because they simply don't make any money (exceptions are there) and if you want to live a relatively normal western existence then your costs will double.

I do agree with many posters Jkt isn't the best option for many. I don't personally like Jakarta. I live in a satellite city that I also don't like. However, the kids are great and I love my school and the girl I am seeing is also special.

I can name a dozen cities I like more but it's not so bad here. Our contracts are just a year so try it and if you don't like it..Don't renew..
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bradleycooper



Joined: 12 Apr 2013
Posts: 310

PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I fail to see the need for another weak rupiah thread when the last one is all of two places below this one.
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markustm



Joined: 15 Mar 2010
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:20 am    Post subject: Re Living costs Reply with quote

I understand that living costs depend on the individual, and where you live in Indonesia, but I actually meant have living costs actually risen since the rupiah has lost a lot of its value?
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bradleycooper



Joined: 12 Apr 2013
Posts: 310

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:24 am    Post subject: Re: Re Living costs Reply with quote

markustm wrote:
I understand that living costs depend on the individual, and where you live in Indonesia, but I actually meant have living costs actually risen since the rupiah has lost a lot of its value?


The inflation rate has been in the 7 to 8% range in recent years, so (after factoring in compound interest) every 3 years you would expect basic costs to have increased by 25%. But for luxuries such as restaurants, hotels and expat bars, the costs have risen much faster. I have done some research on this issue for you, and I was surprised by how much costs have gone up for everything over the past 2 years. Actually, hotel prices in Bandung and Jakarta have gone through the roof!

I looked at Bayu Buana, a large local travel agent chain, which is known for discount hotel-vouchers. I was amazed to see prices for Bandung hotels: Rp 2 million ($156) a night for the Sheraton, Rp 1.8 million for the humble Holiday Inn and even Rp900.000 for the Hotel Savoy-Homann, an colonial-era place which went for half that price in 2012. Overall, I saw that prices for hotels have increased by 50-100% over the past 3 years.

In Jakarta, it's the same story. You are now being asked to pay Rp 900.000 for second-rate, old hotels like the Grand Sahid, which went for half that price in 2012. There are now many hotels such as the Marriot and the Ascott in central Jakarta asking upwards of Rp2.5 million a night ($200) in Jakarta.

The costs of hotels will affect travellers more than expats, however. The costs of restaurants and food have gone up a lot too, however. The cost of a McValue meal costs Rp 46.000 according to this website, which has almost doubled over the last three years. A bottle of red wine costs over $30 because of ridiculous excise rules and so on. Even a simple liter of milk now costs Rp 20.000. With the mini-mart ban on alcohol sales coming in April, beer costs will soon be increasing too no doubt. Basically, inflation is a serious issue, though costs are still much lower than Western countries. There is a full list of prices available here.

http://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/jakarta

Will the price increases become any less in the coming months? Not according to the Jakarta Globe, a leading newspaper. The Bank of Indonesia has actually said today that a "weakening rupiah is inevitable", and these are the guys who have been supporting it at the current level. So, I guess higher prices are in store for the future too.

http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/multimedia/bank-indonesia-says-weakening-rupiah-inevitable/
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Listerine



Joined: 15 Jun 2014
Posts: 340

PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:59 am    Post subject: Re: Re Living costs Reply with quote

bradleycooper wrote:
markustm wrote:
I understand that living costs depend on the individual, and where you live in Indonesia, but I actually meant have living costs actually risen since the rupiah has lost a lot of its value?


The inflation rate has been in the 7 to 8% range in recent years, so (after factoring in compound interest) every 3 years you would expect basic costs to have increased by 25%. But for luxuries such as restaurants, hotels and expat bars, the costs have risen much faster. I have done some research on this issue for you, and I was surprised by how much costs have gone up for everything over the past 2 years. Actually, hotel prices in Bandung and Jakarta have gone through the roof!

I looked at Bayu Buana, a large local travel agent chain, which is known for discount hotel-vouchers. I was amazed to see prices for Bandung hotels: Rp 2 million ($156) a night for the Sheraton, Rp 1.8 million for the humble Holiday Inn and even Rp900.000 for the Hotel Savoy-Homann, an colonial-era place which went for half that price in 2012. Overall, I saw that prices for hotels have increased by 50-100% over the past 3 years.

In Jakarta, it's the same story. You are now being asked to pay Rp 900.000 for second-rate, old hotels like the Grand Sahid, which went for half that price in 2012. There are now many hotels such as the Marriot and the Ascott in central Jakarta asking upwards of Rp2.5 million a night ($200) in Jakarta.

The costs of hotels will affect travellers more than expats, however. The costs of restaurants and food have gone up a lot too, however. The cost of a McValue meal costs Rp 46.000 according to this website, which has almost doubled over the last three years. A bottle of red wine costs over $30 because of ridiculous excise rules and so on. Even a simple liter of milk now costs Rp 20.000. With the mini-mart ban on alcohol sales coming in April, beer costs will soon be increasing too no doubt. Basically, inflation is a serious issue, though costs are still much lower than Western countries. There is a full list of prices available here.

http://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/jakarta

Will the price increases become any less in the coming months? Not according to the Jakarta Globe, a leading newspaper. The Bank of Indonesia has actually said today that a "weakening rupiah is inevitable", and these are the guys who have been supporting it at the current level. So, I guess higher prices are in store for the future too.

http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/multimedia/bank-indonesia-says-weakening-rupiah-inevitable/


Good response.

Side note, man those Sahid are some of the most vile dumps around. I had the misfortune of staying in them in Jakarta (during some Dirgahayu crap - all the decent places were booked bar some ghetto Hotel Melatis up near that Mangga Dua slum mall), Yogya, and Medan. Book through the Hotel Booking counters (Kabo, or Cabo or whatever) at the airports and you are presented with some flash photoshopped pics and description of the 4 or 5 star paradise palatial home away from home. In reality tell even the Tanah Abang, cardboard-box living, canal-bathing, Bajaj driver to take you to the Sahid Hotel and be prepared to wait for a couple of minutes while he finishes laughing at you.

The one in Medan is especially hideous. I guess they get the government Studi Banding contracts as they seem to be filled with fat mustache-twirling bapaks in khaki uniforms covered in medals.

"Permisi Pak....Are you in the army?"
"No, Misterrrrr!!! Catatan Sipil!!" [*picks nose furiously*]

Anyhow I remember me and the missus waking up after a night spent sleeping in shifts at the Medan Overlook Hotel-esque dump fearing some ax wielding mas2 to break through the doors to steal our kidneys and going down to the empty buffet breakfast room and asking for a Nasi Goreng. The look on the poor hospitality intern's face was priceless.

"You want to eat the breakfast here? Seriously???" More laughter. More nose picking.

Anyhow, point being avoid Sahid Hotels. One of the few places I've ever stayed which actually made me *wish* I was staying in some peephole-laden, plywood walled, windowless Jalan Jaksa death trap.
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bradleycooper



Joined: 12 Apr 2013
Posts: 310

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rupiah has gone below the psychological 13,000 rupiah to the dollar level twice in the last couple of days. It is at Rp 13,035 at the present moment.

Bank of Indonesia has said it is comfortable with an even weaker currency, as it may help exports, which have been sagging since 2011. Investment has also been drying up due to perceived xenophobia within the PDI-P, who are currently in power. The rupiah could test new lows in the coming months. It has rarely been this low since the dog days of 1998.

http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/business/bank-indonesia-comfortable-weakening-rupiah-says-helps-exports/
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 988
Location: Cape Town

PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Dog Days of 1998 were known as the Asian Flu Crisis....psychological lows might be tested again soon...and broken...13,000 Rupiah to the dollar might hold steady for a while though! I always thought it's better for one's psychological well being to focus on teaching...and not on currencies which one has no control over these days!!! Shocked
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jaybet3



Joined: 15 Dec 2010
Posts: 139
Location: Indonesia

PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a retired American, I'm making more money changing my USD into IDR than I ever did as an ESL teacher in Indonesia.

Soon I'll be able to buy my wife the house she's been asking for. For the past five years I've told her to wait till the dollar strengthened against the rupiah and now those days are here.

PS: Sorry for you existing teachers working in Indonesia and trying to pay off bills back home.
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plumpy nut



Joined: 12 Mar 2011
Posts: 1652

PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jaybet3 wrote:


PS: Sorry for you existing teachers working in Indonesia and trying to pay off bills back home.


I knew Indonesia was a mess from the start and flew back to Thailand to teach a little while there.
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plumpy nut



Joined: 12 Mar 2011
Posts: 1652

PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Rupiah keeps pushing up. At 1,360 now. The Thai Baht isn't doing so well either. It also looks like its pushing through.
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Listerine



Joined: 15 Jun 2014
Posts: 340

PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jaybet3 wrote:
Soon I'll be able to buy my wife the house she's been asking for.


Hope you had the foresight to arrange a pre-nup before you married or that Surat Hak Milik will be about as worthless as toilet paper.

Yet another retardedly nationalistic law that an Indonesian woman who has the audacity to marry a foreigner no longer has the right to own a house, land or business in her name in her own country.
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Listerine



Joined: 15 Jun 2014
Posts: 340

PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

plumpy nut wrote:
The Rupiah keeps pushing up. At 1,360 now. The Thai Baht isn't doing so well either. It also looks like its pushing through.


The whole lot are down....ASEAN and further afield - Oz$, Euro etc. I think it's mostly more about the US dollar booming than the local currencies crapping the bed. Having been said there's been a lot of scares in the past few months which would make investors keep Indon at arm's length....ineffective Joko, the castration of the KPK, police chief scandal, the whole Prabowo election affair etc. Indonesia still keeps hovering on the wrong side of that balance between modern G-20 democracy and third world banana republic.
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