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Brunei – Cost of Living

Brunei is a small country on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia known for its rich culture and stunning natural beauty. But how does the cost of living in Brunei compare to other countries? In this article, we will answer this question and provide a breakdown of costs for singles, couples, and families of four in Brunei.

Local Currency in Brunei

The official currency of Brunei is the Brunei dollar (BND). While US dollars are accepted in some tourist areas, it is recommended to have some local currency for smaller purchases. ATMs are widely available throughout the country, and major credit cards are also accepted in many businesses.

Cost of Living in Brunei vs UK and USA

The cost of living in Brunei is generally lower than that of the UK and the USA. According to Numbeo, a website that provides information on the cost of living in countries around the world, the cost of living in Brunei is 40.84% lower than in the UK and 43.29% lower than in the USA. This means that it is generally more affordable to live in Brunei than in either of these countries.

Breakdown of Costs in Brunei

To provide a more detailed understanding of the cost of living in Brunei, we will break down costs for singles, couples, and families of four in the following categories: housing, food, utilities, leisure, transport, clothing, and household goods. All costs are approximate and based on current prices as of 2023.

Housing

The cost of housing in Brunei can vary widely depending on the location and size of the property. According to Numbeo, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is BND 400-700, while a three-bedroom apartment in the same location can cost BND 1,500-2,500 per month. For those looking to buy property in Brunei, the average cost per square meter in the city center is BND 2,000-3,500.


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Food

The cost of food in Brunei can vary widely depending on the location and type of food. A loaf of bread costs approximately BND 1, a liter of milk is around BND 2, and a dozen eggs cost BND 2-3. A meal for two in a mid-range restaurant can cost between BND 25 and BND 40. Grocery prices can be higher in more touristy areas.

Utilities

Utilities such as electricity, water, and gas can be relatively affordable in Brunei. The average monthly cost for these services is around BND 150-250. Internet and mobile phone plans are also relatively affordable, with unlimited internet plans starting at around BND 35 per month.

Leisure

Brunei is known for its outdoor activities, such as exploring its rainforests, beaches, and other natural wonders. The cost of leisure pursuits in the country can vary depending on the activity. A visit to a museum or national park can cost between BND 2 and BND 5, while a day trip to a nearby beach can cost BND 30-50 per person.

Transport

The cost of transportation in Brunei can vary depending on the mode of transportation. A liter of gasoline costs around BND 0.53, and a monthly public transportation pass is around BND 20-25. Taxis are also available, with an initial charge of BND 3 and a cost of around BND 0.20 per kilometer.

Clothing

The cost of clothing in Brunei can vary widely depending on the type of clothing and the location. High-end fashion brands can be relatively expensive, while other clothing items such as t-shirts and shorts can be relatively affordable. It is also worth noting that there are many traditional markets and bazaars throughout the country where shoppers can find bargains on clothing and accessories.

Household Goods

The cost of household goods in Brunei can vary depending on the type of goods. Basic furniture such as a bed, table, and chairs can cost around BND 800-1,500, while a refrigerator can cost around BND 500-800. Electronics such as televisions and laptops can be relatively expensive in Brunei due to import taxes.

Forms of Payment in Brunei

The most common forms of payment in Brunei are cash and credit/debit cards. The Brunei dollar is widely accepted, and US dollars and Euros are also accepted in some tourist areas. However, it is recommended to carry some local currency as some smaller businesses may not accept foreign currency. ATMs are widely available throughout the country, and currency exchange services are also available.

The cost of living in Brunei is generally lower than that of the UK and the USA, making it an attractive option for those looking to live in Southeast Asia. The cost of housing, utilities, and transportation can be relatively affordable, while food and leisure activities are generally affordable. Cash and credit/debit cards are the most common forms of payment, and the Brunei dollar is widely accepted. However, it is important to keep in mind that the cost of living in Brunei can vary depending on individual circumstances and lifestyle choices.


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