A Guide for First Time Solo Living in Metro Manila

This article aims to guide you through the transition to solo living from residing with your parents, offering practical tips for a seamless adjustment. Speaking from personal experience, I am originally from the province and moved to Metro Manila in pursuit of job opportunities after completing my studies.

Despite being a college graduate when I embarked on solo living, the prospect was daunting. It's natural to feel a sense of separation anxiety and discomfort when faced with the unfamiliar. Commuting and navigating around Metro Manila can be particularly challenging for newcomers, leading to uncertainty and a need for guidance when seeking directions.

Here at Shoppiverse PH, we collated some of the things you need to prepare before moving and living on your own.

Cost of Living in Metro Manila

Knowing the cost of living in Metro Manila is important because it will help you navigate properly in day-to-day life. According to statistics, the cost of living for a solo person should be at least a P30,000 a month budget and this does not include space rental. Actually living in Metro Manila is the third most expensive city to live in Southeast Asia.

Selecting a place to stay

Numerous advertisements on the Facebook Marketplace offer rental spaces for lease. It's advisable to conduct thorough research and due diligence when choosing the place where you'll reside.

for rent
This is the first thing on our list because this might be the biggest chunk in your budget. Considering the environment you'll stay in will determine how comfortable are you during nighttime and your rest day.  A comfortable space with an environment like our home is preferred.

In Metro Manila, various types of rental spaces are available to choose from. Here are some examples to consider. Understanding their basic definitions will help you make informed decisions based on your budget and requirements.

  • Bed Spacer - This type of space is the cheapest among the type of rental space. This has less privacy since you are occupying a room shared with another renter. You will be provided with your own cabinet for your personal things but it might be risky if you have a roommate with bad intent.

  • Room - This kind of space offers more privacy than the bed spacer. In this setup, you are renting a room inside a house. And typically the other rooms are rented by other people. The amenities like comfort room or bathroom, kitchen, and laundry area will be shared with other renters in the house. 

  • Studio Type - This rented space is typically all in one space the bathroom and kitchen are already incorporated into your area.  If you want to cook your own food and have your own personal privacy without breaking too much of your budget this type of rental space is the best for you.

  • House - When you see a house for rent the entire house including its amenities. If it has a car park and swimming pool that is included in the rental space. For example, if you have a car this is a perfect space for you and your family.

What are the things to consider in choosing a place in Metro Manila? 

Safety - For ladies and for the first-timer, it is important to consider the safety of the place you will rent. As much as possible if you can live inside a subdivision with a security guard the better. A place with CCTV is also nice to have and this is pretty common in apartment, dorm, and condo units.

Accessibility - Consider places that are easy to have good access to transportation. You should also consider the traffic situation in the area during rush hour.

People - Having nice and friendly people around the neighborhood will make your stay in a place better. They can help you figure things out while solo living.

Basic Amenities - The cooking area, comfort room, bathroom, and laundry area are some of the most basic amenities to look for.   

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It's highly advantageous to secure accommodation close to your workplace, particularly considering the challenging traffic conditions in Metro Manila. Lengthy commutes can drain both time and energy, potentially leaving you fatigued before even beginning your workday, not to mention the additional expenses incurred in transportation fares.

What thing to Bring in your New Space?

If you know the place you will stay or rent the next thing to consider is to prepare what things to bring.

moving out

Bringing appliances into your rented space will depend on what type of your rented place is.  If it`s a studio type,  a whole house, or a room. Each type of rental space has its own house rule so you must know it first before buying or bringing any appliance. 

If the place you are renting doesn't have basic things like an electric fan, rice cooker or washing machine ask your landlord first if they will allow you to bring those things. This is a courtesy to your landlord and this will definitely save you from trouble.

There are also rented space that is fully furnished. When you say fully furnished there are already have some appliances and furniture, you can typically see this in a condo unit that is for rent.

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What and Where to Eat?

When living independently, it's crucial to prioritize food choices. Relying solely on junk foods and convenient options like instant noodles and pancit canton can negatively impact your health, potentially leading to urinary tract infections and even kidney stones.

To manage your food budget more effectively, investing in a rice cooker is a smart move. With its versatility, you can prepare various meals, including rice, soups, and noodles, and some even claim you can fry on them—although I haven't personally tested this method, so I wouldn't recommend it.

rice cooker

Here are some additional suggestions: If you're sharing a room as a bed spacer, it's best to avoid cooking pungent foods inside your space to prevent any potential conflicts with your roommates.

If you lead a busy lifestyle or lack cooking facilities at home, don't fret. There are carinderias conveniently located all over Metro Manila. These eateries serve home-cooked meals, ensuring you feel a taste of home away from home. When scouting for a dining spot, opt for places bustling with customers—typically a sign of delicious fare. Carinderias near schools often offer budget-friendly meals tailored to students' needs, allowing you to save some cash.


If you prefer not to dine at a carinderia, another option is to explore various convenience store chains such as 7-Eleven and Uncle John. They offer a variety of rice meals readily available at numerous locations. However, relying solely on these options isn't advisable for long-term sustainability. Not only can it strain your budget due to their relatively high prices, but it's also not conducive to maintaining a balanced diet, especially for those new to independent living. Additionally, consuming their entire menu within a year is a distinct possibility.

How about your Laundry?

If you are on a budget you can wash your own clothes, provided that your place has a laundry area.  In the event that your place has no laundry area, there are plenty of laundry service that offers self-service laundry and full-service laundry that can save you time.

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Mode of Transportation in Metro Manila

There are plenty of transportation that you can choose to ride in Metro Manila. From padyak, motorcycle taxi, tricycle, jeep, electric jeep, bus, MRT, and LRT you will absolutely get to your destination. Well of course the fare will vary depending on the distance and type of vehicle.  

Handling Basic Utility Bills 

Electricity, water, and internet bills may vary depending on the rental property. In some cases, these expenses are shared among tenants, particularly in shared accommodations like rooms for rent and bed spaces. However, for rental spaces such as studio-type apartments, houses, and condo units, you are responsible for covering your utility bills based on your usage. Rest assured, you'll have your own water and electricity meter to monitor and manage your consumption.

meralco bill

In summary:

There are numerous advantages to living independently. It offers an opportunity for personal growth, fostering independence, self-care skills, and financial management abilities. While the initial transition may pose challenges, the rewards of solo living are substantial, as it provides invaluable learning experiences and a broader perspective on life.

For those embarking on their first solo living experience after leaving their parent's home, it's essential to trust your instincts and be open to seeking assistance when needed. Don't hesitate to ask questions or seek guidance, as it can greatly aid in navigating this new chapter. Wishing you the best of luck on your solo living journey from all of us at Shoppiverse PH!

With the rise of E-Commerce in the Philippines and the rampant cyber fraud victimizing people that have no prior knowledge of buying online safely, we decided to build this website Shoppiverse PH, and launched our presence on social media via our Facebook Page. In order to help Filipino people to buy from a legitimate seller. ere, we share information and updates about the latest and greatest affiliate products on the market. Stay tuned for product reviews, recommendations, and exclusive deals.

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