Like each and every single one of us, you’ve definitely thought about quitting your job on the spot, selling your possessions, and moving to a country where life is so cheap that you might not even have to work another day in your life. Ever. You think this is too far fetched? Not at all, when you know the cheapest English speaking countries out there!
You don’t have to wait until you hit the lottery jackpot to move abroad, or to travel the world. There is a big misconception that one has to be rich to live abroad, when in reality there are countless cheap places to live in the world (that speak English, nonetheless!).
Cheap is also very objective and it means different things to different people and their lifestyle, but in many of these places you can live like a king for under $2000 per month. Of course, if you’re living like a tourist, it can become expensive, so try to live like a local, and get settled in at least for a few years and explore your host country to its fullest.
What are these cheapest English speaking countries we keep talking about, you wonder? Well check out our list and decide for yourself which country you might see yourself living in.
8 Cheapest English-speaking countries
Editor’s note: In light of recent COVID-19 developments, we strongly recommend that you heed all CDC warnings on any of the following locations to avoid localized outbreaks.
India is hands down the cheapest English speaking country to live in, to travel, or to retire, and it claims to be the world’s second largest English speaking country. Living in a city apartment in cities like Bangalore or Delhi can cost you anywhere from $150 to $600 per month, or you can rent a room in a smaller city for as little as $2 per night.
Internally-produced goods and local market goods are incredibly fresh and affordable, as is eating out. An entire meal won’t have you spend more than $5, with a cup of cappuccino for $1.50, a beer for $1.40, or just $0.07 to $0.20 for a samosa from a street vendor. The conversion rate is definitely an advantage when you don’t want to blow your budget too quick.
Who wouldn’t want to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, to lay on the beach enjoying a Halo-Halo, to go on inexpensive adventure travels, all without having to deal with a language barrier? Most Filipinos speak English as a second language fluently, except for some members of older generations here and there. That’s great news for English-speaking travelers who don’t have time to grasp Tagalog prior to flying over.
Depending on the type of accommodation you prefer, as well as the location, rent can cost you between $100 to $400 per month. You can live on $10 per day (or less) if you shop at the local markets or dine on street food. A meal in a restaurant can be $5, or $3 for a McDonald’s meal. You can definitely live your dream life in the Philippines on a budget and you won’t even notice.
Thailand is one of the world’s best known tropical paradises, where life feels like heaven, and the cost of living remains low. This has attracted a flourishing expat community, with people from all over the world who come here to work and travel. You’ll find affordable rent for as little as $200, and you can eat a complete, delicious local meal for $3.
Although the official percentage of English speaking people in Thailand is only 27%, that figure is increasing every year as Thailand is undergoing growth and development. Most of the English speaking people will be found in the most popular and touristy areas, and the further you go out from the urban area, the less you will be able to communicate.
But hey, you might pick up on the Thai language real quick yourself!
With its sun-bathed cities and beaches, sky-scraping mountains, Amazonian jungles, and sand dunes, Peru has so many activities and breathtaking sights that are waiting to be discovered, to keep you busy for a lifetime. You’ll never get bored! And to top it off, Peru happens to be one of the cheapest English speaking countries to live in, with a laidback lifestyle and 300 days of sunshine.
Worried about the cost of living? Don’t be! You can easily live on or less than $2000 per month, with rent at a high end of $400 within the city, or $250 in a rural area. You can have a meal for under $3 and quench your thirst on a beer for under $2 (or a cappuccino for $2.20).
Though about 80% of the country’s population speaks mainly Spanish, you will encounter a lot of English speaking people in areas with international visitors — but no doubt you will easily and quickly pick up on Spanish, if you don’t already speak some.
Keep Reading: 9 Cheapest Cities for Travel in the World
5. South Africa
Are you determined to make a complete life change, and start living a unique and memorable life? Maybe one where you can delight yourself with natural wonders, where you can go on safaris and observe the Big Five every day if you so wish? And while on other days you can go surfing, trekking, boating, and…oh, you didn’t know that South Africa offers all this?
Then you probably also don’t know that it’s one of the cheapest English speaking countries to visit and live in, with a cost of living of at least 50% cheaper than most of the major cities in the world.
Rent will set you back around $400 per month, while food can become expensive if not budgeted right. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant can be up to $10, while beverages such as beer, soda, and cappuccino are within a low price range of under $2 each. For a healthy and affordable lifestyle, shopping at the local markets is highly recommended.
Yet another exotic and vibrant destination, rich in natural beauty, with a fascinating culture, and high quality lifestyle for affordable prices. Vietnam ranks amongst the cheapest places to live in the world that speak English, and for good reason.
The country’s most expensive cities are Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, and even here the accommodation (apartments sometimes come fully furnished and with a pool!) can be found under $500 per month (say whaaaat?). A meal for two with meat, rice, fresh vegetables, and a couple of draft beers or any other beverages, will cost you less than $5.
If you budget right, you could lead a middle class lifestyle with as little as $1200 per month. Go check it out for yourself if you don’t believe us!
There is more to Romania than Dracula and fast internet. Romania is one of those countries that has a little bit of everything for everyone: relaxing beaches, picturesque landscapes, majestic mountains, historical sights, traditional cuisine — it’s a hidden gem full of history and culture.
Romanians are some of the best English speakers in the world, so the language barrier is not something to worry about. Accommodation can be found even in the big cities like Bucharest, Timișoara, or Cluj for around $500 per month, or even cheaper outside the city.
Eating out can be very expensive, however. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant is $6, a beer costs $1.39, and a cappuccino is $1.58. But why would you be going out to eat everyday when you can shop at the local markets and get fresh and healthy goods directly from the farmers, for half of the price that you’d spend in a restaurant? Romania is definitely one of the cheapest English speaking countries to live in, and you’ll love every affordable moment.
If you didn’t know much about Romania, we bet you’ve never even given Armenia a thought. With an incredibly low cost of living, 300 days of sunshine, and a low crime rate, Armenia is continuously prosperous — and has an English speaking population that’s ever increasing.
The country can make for an incredible spot to retire and live a nice, peaceful life. Within certain parts of the country, even within the urban area, you can comfortably live on $1000 a month. A nice, full meal, with a beer or different beverage (and a tip) will cost you under $3. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be purchased at the local markets for under $0.10.
With a small monthly income, you could easily save up and take trips around Europe to your heart’s content — all while enjoying such a relaxing lifestyle.
Use FundMyTravel to raise money for your trip!
Even though you don’t have to spend a fortune to travel or move to any of these countries, having that extra bit of income to cushion your trip never hurts. With FundMyTravel, you can start a campaign today to raise money through the help of friends, family, and kind strangers of the internet.
While there are a lot of other things you can do to increase your travel budget (such as a garage sale or selling your stuff on the internet), having an online fundraising campaign running in the background is a fun and passive way of earning money while you take care of other trip-related details. It’s a smart and useful way to fund your trip!
Take it easy with the cheapest English-speaking countries to live in
Now, we don’t expect you to drop everything and set off for one of these countries, but you are now one step closer to making it there. You have a few destinations that you can further research in detail, until you decide on the one that will suit you and meet your needs.
Then, you can start setting up a plan, including a timeline, a budget, starting a FundMyTravel campaign, researching visa-related details, and finding new job opportunities. If you’re working remotely, you can easily live in any of these countries on your monthly income, and even hop from one to the other if you need a change of scenery!
See? Life does not always have to be a 9-to-5, day in and day out. It just takes a little bit of courage, enough research, a steady budget plan, and a ticket to your first destination. After that, everything else will fall into place and you’ll wish you would’ve done this sooner.
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This article was written by Lucy Dinu. Lucy is an entrepreneur and world traveler—plus writer by day, and reader by night. Born and raised in Romania, Lucy has lived in three different countries and, together with her husband, has traveled to over 20. She strongly believes in personal development, speaks five languages (with a sixth in progress!), and is passionate about everything that puts a smile on people’s faces. Through her unique traveling stories, Lucy aims to inspire others to get out of their comfort zone and explore the world.