Here are our 8 tips that allowed us to live in Bali for $35 per day

8 Ways To Save Money In Bali

So many people travel to Bali for it’s affordable luxury and beauty, and though it can be affordable (we spent a 3 months there for less than $35 per day), the sky is the limit when it comes to how lux you want to live. Luckily, there are some very easy ways to save money in Bali.

Having spent over 3 months on the island, we have learned the ins and outs of making our money last so that we can enjoy paradise for as long as we want to. These tips will ensure that you make the most of your Bali travel budget too.

How To Save Money In Bali

Eat Street Food Or At Local Warungs

This will allow you to experience the true culinary delights of Indonesian and Balinese cuisine and save you a ton of money compared to eating at one of the many western restaurants.

A plate of mie goreng in Bali, indonesia

Don’t Just Book The First Decent Place You Find

If you are going to book accommodation in advance, then shop around across multiple sites before you pay. In Bali we liked to use the Agoda app which gives you discounted rates off the listings on their website and also pays you rewards on certain properties that you can redeem on future stays.

Always Negotiate

The only exceptions are restaurants and shops where the price is listed.

Negotiation Tips:

  • If you’re not willing to walk away then you are going to pay more. If you decide it is something that you must you will almost always get a better price if the person selling to you knows that you are willing to walk away. You can always come back later after you have had a chance to shop around.
  • Keep it fun and friendly. If you watch locals haggling then you will notice that it is a back and forth, usually playful exchange that ends with both parties feeling satisfied. Don’t scoff or get angry about the price they quote you, just have a witty or jestful response ready and haggle a bit.
  • You can usually drop the price by 30%-50%. This isn’t always true, but we always walk up to a negotiation with this goal in mind.
  • Don’t make a big deal haggling over a dollar. We know that every dollar adds up, but don’t be the person haggling over a few cents or a dollar for a taxi or souvenir. The person you are talking to probably can use that dollar more than you can. Think of it as helping someone out and don’t be greedy.

Be Your Own Guide

Some of our greatest adventures around Bali came when we just drove around in search of new places to explore. However, don’t skimp out if there is something that you would like the local perspective on. The local guides are knowledgable and hiring them for the day makes a huge difference in supporting their families.

Learning about local agriculture with a local Balinese man Made

Use Uber or Grab To Get Around (Even For Longer Journeys)

It is hands down the cheapest way to get around and should always be your first choice. Sometimes drivers will try to haggle the price with you over chat before they come pick you up which can get annoying. Just haggle as you see fit or cancel the booking and find another driver if the fare they want seems too high.

Rent Motorbikes

Typically 50,000-70,000 IDR per day. This is the cheapest and easiest way to get around and allows you to see and experience so much more of the island. If you are comfortable driving one, we recommend negotiating a weekly or monthly rate for the duration of your stay. During our last trip to Bali we rented a scooter for the whole month for less than $2/day.

Riding motorbikes can be a great way to save money

Get Yourself A Debit Card With No ATM Fees

ATMs are abundant, so get a debit card with no ATM fees (we use Charles Schwab) and avoid throwing away your hard-earned cash every time you have to pull out or exchange money.

Drink Before You Go Out

All alcohol can be purchased for much cheaper at the local warungs and convenience stores like Circle K and 7-11. If you are going to be doing some partying or even just plan on drinking some beers on the beach you will save a lot by buying your own. A typical price for a Bintang beer from the store for example is around 15,000 IDR vs 30,000-90,000 IDR from a bar or restaurant!

Enjoying a local Bintang on the beach in Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia with friends after a day of surfing

Pro Tip: Bring Duty Free Liquor With You From The Airport

These are the ways we were able to save money in Bali, but if you discover something we missed let us know in the comments. We would love to use them the next time we visit!

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Life Is Meant For Exploring

At Life Is Meant For Exploring we help promote and inspire a life of exploration with a focus on travel, outdoor adventure, experiencing local culture, and breaking away from the pack to forge a path of your very own. Our promise is to share crazy and honest stories, epic photography, thoughtful reflections & culturally respectful realities. Whether you’re traveling the world, sitting in your backyard, or looking for a fresh start, our goal is to show you how to enjoy life one adventure at a time.

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