14 Countries That Prove You Don’t Need Deep Pockets to Live Well

Countries with a low cost of living are usually appealing to expats, retired people, and people looking to reduce their rent, grocery, taxes, utility bills, and healthcare expenses. However, the cheapest countries are not always the best solution, as they may have high poverty levels, military conflicts, and poor healthcare facilities. Hence, it is important to take into consideration quality of life and safety along with an affordable cost of living while choosing a destination.

Read on to learn about the 14 cheapest countries to live in.


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India is the 3rd cheapest country in the world. Cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, and Pune offer all the amenities for a good quality of life and are safe. High pollution levels and traffic can be a nuisance as India is the most populous nation in the world, but life in India in general is comfortable. As English is the third language of most educated Indians, expats usually don’t have problems conversing with the locals.


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With an average cost of living being $689 per month, Turkey is one of the best countries to live in. It also offers a melting pot of culture, beautiful natural landscapes, delightful food, and proximity to Europe and the Middle East.


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With a Gross National Income per capita of $9000, Argentina is one of the cheapest and safest countries in South America. With stunning natural landscapes in Patagonia, passion for soccer, lively Tango culture, and delicious food, Argentina appeals to people who want to live well on a low budget.

The Philippines

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A tropical nation in the South China Sea, the Philippines boasts beautiful beaches and abundant biodiversity and ranks 37 in the Quality of Life score.


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Bulgaria is the cheapest country in Eastern Europe and is also a part of the European Union. The cost of living for a person is $766. Apart from many beautiful tourist destinations, Romania has great education opportunities, authentic culture, and friendly locals. Sofia, Bansko, Varna, Popovo, Burgas, Haskovo, and Dobrich are some of the best places to live in Bulgaria.

South Africa

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The Republic of South Africa is the cheapest country to live in Southern Africa (the cost of living is $815 per person). It is home to people from different racial backgrounds, including whites, blacks, and Indians. South Africa is also one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa.

Housing is affordable, and agriculture, education, and healthcare are some of the thriving sectors expats can work in. English being one of the official languages here adds more brownie points.


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Vietnam is not only any traveler’s dream but is also a great place to live in. A modern and competitive nation, Vietnam offers affordable housing and food, quality education, healthcare, and employment along with job security, political stability, individual freedom, and environmental quality. Big cities like Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi are more expensive than rural destinations, but they offer more amenities like faster transportation and more Western-style restaurants.


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Another EU country that is affordable to live in is Romania. The cost of living for a single person including rent is $812. Romania like Bulgaria does not use Euro as its currency. Being a non-Euro country, it has devalued its currency to make exports cheaper, tourism attractive, and to encourage more foreign investments. Picturesque landscapes, modest food prices, utilities, and apartment rentals have made Romania one of the most attractive places to live.


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Bali has since long enchanted expats through its magical landscapes, warm climes throughout the year, clean ocean waters, water sports, and inclusive culture. However, there is more to Indonesia than just Bali. Banda Aceh, Surabaya, Medan, North Sumatra, and Jakarta are equally affordable and safe. The cost of living in Indonesia is $566, which is 1.84 times less expensive than the world average.


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Mexico offers a rich culture, an exciting food scene, and one of the largest American expat populations in the world. A single person can live comfortably for under $1250 a month, which includes the cost of eating out, groceries, transportation, clothing, utilities, and rent.


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A list of the cheapest countries to live in the world can’t be complete without a mention of Thailand. Living costs ($803) are low here, while it offers clean beaches, tasty food, and one of the safest places to live.


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Portugal is the cheapest country to live in Western Europe. Portugal is relatively more affordable than other European cities and is gaining popularity with retirees as long as one does not plan to settle in Lisbon. Opt for cities like Leiria, Aveiro, and Portimão that offer warm climates, friendly people, buzzing cafes and restaurants, and a high level of safety.

Costa Rica

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Costa Rica is called the happiest place on earth and is known for its high life expectancy. An expat haven for a long time, Costa Rica offers a stable, easy, and affordable life at $1100 approx, along with a stable democracy and educated population.


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Malaysia offers beautiful beaches, warm seas, tropical forests, delicious food, and a laid-back lifestyle. Its cost of living is $580. Though Kuala Lumpur, the capital city, is cheap, living in other cities like Kota Bharu can be equally affordable and rewarding.

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