Everyone hates that time of the month--paying the bills. Monthly bills will give anyone a headache, but of course, if you live independently, you might have a bit more to handle, with rent and utilities right up there with everyday living. With so many millennials in the working class, we decided to take a look at what the spending habits of those who live independently are like and how they're different from those who live with their families.


Living independently:

May*, 33, Sustainability Manager

Salary: About P40,000 a month

Spends the most on: Rent

Monthly bills: rent, electricity, water, internet, groceries, house cleaning, health insurance

Spends extra on: travel, hobbies, personal items

Tips on saving: Bring baon to work, brew coffee at home instead of going for Starbucks

Isa*, 30, Freelancer

Salary: Between P35,000 - 40,000 a month

Spends the most on: Rent

Monthly bills: rent, electricity, water, mobile, internet, groceries, transportation, food

Spends extra on: travel, hobbies, leisure, personal items

Tips on saving: Commutes instead of taking Grab or walks home when possible, plans meetings and trips ahead for more efficient spending

Nico, 33, Lawyer

Salary: About P50,000

Spends the most on: Leisure

Monthly bills: rent (shared apartment), mobile, electricity, water, internet, cable, Netflix, laundry

Spends extra on: leisure and entertainment, travel

Tips on saving: Eats at home, carinderia over fast food, commutes/walks when applicable

Sam, 34, Performing Artist

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Salary: P30,000+

Spends the most on: rent, insurance, health (cares for mother)

Monthly bills: rent, healthcare, electricity, water, government bills (SSS, PhilHealth), transportation

Spends extra on: travel

Tips on saving: “Nothing. Just be smart with your spending.”

Rent is commonly at the top of the list for independent millennials, with about six to eight more monthly bills to take care of.

Living with families

Jon, 34, Businessman

Salary: P40,000

Spends the most on: Food (due to specific dietary restrictions)

Monthly bills: mobile, credit card, groceries

Spends extra on: hobbies

Do you think you’d be able to live alone?

“I think I could but it would definitely be much more difficult. I probably wouldn’t be able to continue my hobbies, or at the very least, spend a mere faction of what I do on them now.”

Anthony*, 27, BPO Proposal Manager

Salary: P75,000

Spends the most on: food

Monthly bills: water, internet


Spends extra on: expensive toys and collectibles 

Do you think you’d be able to live alone?

“I think so, I make enough with both my main and side job.”

Maria*, 30, Architect

Salary: P32,000

Spends the most on: insurance, seminars relating to job

Monthly bills: mobile, veterinary expenses, investments and insurance

Spends extra on: taekwondo classes, travel, personal items

Do you think you’d be able to live alone?

“I don’t think I could manage to live alone yet. 90% of my gross salary would be consumed!”

Bea*, 27, Associate Professor

Salary: P30,000

Spends the most on: food

Monthly bills: NA

Spends extra on: Going out, travel, leisure and luxury, personal items

Do you think you’d be able to live alone?

“I’d probably be able to live alone but I definitely wouldn’t be able to save money.”

Food takes the top spot for common expense for those who live with their families, and they only have about five or less significant monthly bills.


It’s easy to think that those living with parents might be living more luxurious lives, but it is worth noting that most are uncomfortable with the thought of living alone and acknowledge the financial and personal sacrifices it entails. And while those living with their families have more room to spend and save, we did find common ground when spending for leisure, such as travel.

Do you have different spending habits? What do you spend your hard-earned money on?

*Names have been changed

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