20 Best Countries Where Living Well Costs Less Than $1,000 a Month

Sharing is caring!

With only $1000 a month, you can surprisingly afford to live comfortably in several stunning countries.



Bali, Indonesia, is a magnet for travelers on a budget, known for its breathtaking beaches and vibrant cultural scene. There, adapting to the local lifestyle means you can enjoy a rich life for less than $1000 a month. 

For those seeking a more urban environment, Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city, also offers a cosmopolitan lifestyle at this budget threshold. Indonesia’s natural beauty is unparalleled, with attractions ranging from tropical forests and mountainous terrains to the serene beaches of Bali, Lombok, and the tranquil Gili Islands.



Macedonia stands out with its affordability and serene lifestyle, particularly in its capital, Skopje. A modest income suffices to cover all necessities in the country, with rental properties available at $300 and a total monthly expenditure for transport, food, and utilities rounding up to $410. 

Skopje is renowned for its relaxed ambiance, making it ideal for those seeking a slower pace of life. Macedonia’s natural allure is undeniable, featuring rugged mountains, crystal-clear lakes, and lush forests. The country is also a haven for nature enthusiasts with its three national parks, including the Mavrovo National Park, which showcases the nation’s largest lake and stunning mountain ranges.



Fiji epitomizes the tropical paradise archetype with its stunning waters, palm-lined beaches, and lush jungles. To truly experience Fiji on a budget, one might consider embracing the local way of life, which can include simpler living conditions. 

With one-bedroom apartments available from $210 to $780 per month, depending on the location and amenities, Fiji stands as an excellent destination at a reasonable cost.



Living in Portugal can be as economical as $1000 a month, although embracing a frugal lifestyle might be necessary, especially in rural areas where your dollar stretches further with furnished rentals from $450 monthly.For those inclined towards urban life, Lisbon offers shared living spaces starting just under $400. 

Why go there? Portugal is a fusion of traditional charm and modern convenience, celebrated for its cultural and religious heritage, mild climate, and beautiful landscapes. From stunning beaches to historical sites, the country offers a plethora of leisure activities and scenic beauty, making it a perfect blend of relaxation and exploration on a budget.



Thailand, a hub for retirees and an increasing favorite among digital nomads, combines affordability with rich cultural experiences. In Chiang Mai, a budget of $700 monthly comfortably covers rent, utilities, food, and transportation. 

While Bangkok offers a more vibrant urban experience, a $1000 budget there doesn’t stretch as far (though it’s still feasible for a modest lifestyle). Thailand’s appeal is bolstered by its stunning islands, white-sand beaches, and the dynamic atmosphere of its capital, making it an unforgettable destination enriched by its friendly people and delicious cuisine.


Image by starush/Depositphotos

Moldova, with living expenses less than half those in the USA, offers an exceptionally low cost of living. A one-bedroom apartment in the capital, Chisinau, typically costs around $550. 

The city is a treasure trove of unique wildlife habitats, Soviet-era architecture, and serene nature parks. For those willing to venture into rural areas or smaller towns, the cost of living drops even further, making Moldova a compelling choice for budget-savvy individuals.



Mexico offers a wonderful combination of affordability and proximity to the United States, making it a top choice for those looking to maintain a comfortable lifestyle on a budget of $1000 a month. 

Renting an apartment close to many cities can cost as little as $500 monthly. With the low cost of utilities and groceries factored in, staying well within a $1000 budget is easily achievable. Additionally, the affordability of flights between Mexico and the USA allows for cost-effective visits to family and friends (provided these trips are planned in advance).



Armenia offers an impressive combination of safety, affordability, and rich historical and cultural attractions. Yerevan, the capital, is particularly notable for its safety, ranking above any city in the USA. 

Living costs are reasonable; for example, a small apartment outside the city center costs about $600 per month, and groceries can be obtained for as little as $211 monthly. Armenia’s landscape is dotted with an astonishing number of churches, museums, and natural sights, making it a safe, affordable, and welcoming destination for tourists.



Cambodia, already home to over 100,000 expatriates, stands out as a prime location for retirees and those looking to stretch their dollars. 

In the heart of Phnom Penh, you can find studio apartments priced as low as $450, though living slightly outside the city can reduce costs even further. Both utilities and consumer goods are priced very reasonably.



Chile presents a paradox with its relatively high living costs for South America, yet it remains remarkably affordable by American or Western European standards. 

For instance, a modest apartment in the coastal city of Valparaiso can be rented for just over $400, ensuring that the remainder of a $1000 monthly budget can cover utilities and food comfortably. This economic feasibility makes Chile an appealing option for those seeking quality living at a reasonable cost.


Image by DonyaNedomam/Depositphotos

Paraguay offers a blend of safety and low cost of living. In the capital, Asuncion, a budget of around $730 monthly covers rent, utilities, food, and transport, while the smaller city of Encarnacion can be even more economical at approximately $554 monthly. 

Paraguay is also a biodiverse haven, boasting a rich array of wildlife from mammals to birds and invertebrates, alongside its wetlands and diverse weather conditions, making it an attractive spot for nature lovers and adventurers alike.



In Malaysia, despite a cost slightly higher than some of its neighbors, the affordability for expatriates is substantial. A one-bedroom apartment in Penang, for example, averages around $233 a month. 

Malaysia combines the allure of urban modernity with the accessibility of natural escapes. From trendy city hotspots and fashionable districts to tranquil retreats just a short journey away, Malaysia offers a compelling blend of lifestyle options that cater to both the tourist and nature-loving residents.



Argentina shines as one of the safest havens in South America, where the cost of living drastically undercuts that of the USA by about 85%. There, a single person can comfortably manage on a budget of $1000 a month. 

Housing is surprisingly affordable—for instance, you can secure an apartment in the bustling city of Buenos Aires for less than $400. The monthly budget for essentials like utilities and groceries usually falls between $250 and $380, making it an economically sensible choice.


Image by Curioso_Travel_Photography/Depositphotos

Laos presents an inviting opportunity for those looking to take a break from the hectic pace of modern life. Renowned for its serene landscapes and the warm hospitality of its people, Laos offers a peaceful retreat in the heart of Southeast Asia. 

Living there is both affordable and enriching, with a cost of living that makes it accessible even on a modest budget. Renting a one-bedroom apartment, for example, ranges from $170 to $300 per month. Visitors often find themselves embraced by the local culture, including learning the culinary art of preparing vegetables in new, amusing ways!


Image by fulcrumsf/Depositphotos

Viet Khuong stands as a beacon for Western expats, offering an incredible cost of living that allows a modest budget to go a long way. 

With just $500, one can enjoy the cultural riches of Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, including renowned street food that caters to food enthusiasts. Vietnam’s blend of charming cities, beautiful landscapes, and rich culture makes it an increasingly popular choice for those seeking a high-quality, low-cost lifestyle.



Botswana stands out as a safe, stable, and economically prosperous nation where English is widely spoken. Living expenses, including rent, utilities, and groceries, typically run about $750 monthly, leaving ample room for savings or leisure activities. 

Renowned for its vibrant wildlife safaris and stunning landscapes, Botswana offers unique experiences like the lush Okavango Delta and the stark beauty of the Makgadikgadi salt pans. It’s an ideal destination for those in search of adventure in pristine, natural settings.



In the Philippines, extending your budget to its fullest potential is feasible, especially outside of Manila. In cities like Dumaguete and Baguio, rent for one-bedroom apartments can be as low as $250. Dumaguete has even been recognized by Forbes as one of the world’s best places to retire!

The Philippines boasts a rich composition of thousands of islands, offering endless adventures from stunning beaches to impressive mountains, and a vibrant cultural heritage that continues to attract millions of tourists each year.



Bolivia stands out as a haven for the frugal traveler, surpassing even famed budget-friendly destinations. At an altitude of 12,000 feet, its capital city is a crossroads for long-term travelers exploring South America. 

There, the richness of history, colorful customs, diverse wildlife, and stunning landscapes offers endless possibilities for exploration and discovery. Budget accommodations are incredibly affordable, with basic hostel beds available for as little as $5 per night. The cost of living is equally low with monthly rents for a one-bedroom apartment ranging from $210 to $290.



Ghana presents itself as a safe and affordable destination in West Africa, with its capital, Accra, ranking as the fourth-safest city on the continent. Housing is economical, with apartments in Accra priced under $300, and dining out is incredibly affordable, with meals costing as little as $3 per person. 

Known historically as the Gold Coast, Ghana invites visitors to experience its rich heritage, diverse landscapes, and vibrant markets, making it a compelling choice for travelers seeking a unique cultural experience on a budget.



Bulgaria ranks among the most budget-friendly European countries, with living costs in Sofia, the capital, being about 66% cheaper than in New York. 

With $1000 a month, one can live comfortably in Sofia, exploring its rich history and enjoying amenities like the numerous natural thermal springs—a touch of luxury for the budget-conscious.

Top 3 U.S. States That Almost No One Leaves (And for Good Reason)


Top 3 U.S. States That Almost No One Leaves (And for Good Reason)

Kate Smith, a self-proclaimed word nerd who relishes the power of language to inform, entertain, and inspire. Kate's passion for sharing knowledge and sparking meaningful conversations fuels her every word.