Cost of Living in Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Johor Bahru is nowadays considered more of a significant dormitory suburb for Singapore, since it’s very, very close to it.

And given the fact that it’s so close to Singapore, it is well developed from a facilities viewpoint.

The prices are more or less typical of Malaysian prices, it is just more relaxed than many other major cities and definitely than Kuala Lumpur.

You can get by and have a reasonably comfortable life in Johor Bahru for 600$ a month.



If you’re one to dine out, there are plenty of cheap restaurants and food stalls that cost only about 8$ for three entire courses. If you really want to splurge, though, you can spend around 30$ per person for a meal with wine at a nice, fancy restaurant. There are also a lot of US originated restaurants like McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, etc.



Groceries are best bought at any big supermarket like Tesco, Giant, Aeon or Mydin. If you want some more luxury items you can find them at Cold Storage and Jaya supermarket. And if you’re into cooking, you can find fresh produce at the many fresh markets dotted around the city, like KIPMart, Perling Market, Larkin Market, etc.



Johor Bahru doesn’t really boast excellent public transport: it isn’t reliable at all so unless you plan to take the taxi or an Uber and send your money down the drain, then having your own car might be your best option price-wise. You can buy a monthly pass for public transport for only 25$.



Monthly utilities in Johor Bahru are very cheap. Depending on the size of the apartment you want to rent and the place you’ll be located, utilities can move anywhere from 20$ to 50$. For an apartment that has 85m2, all basic utilities will cost less than 50$. Internet, however, is pretty pricey compared to this.

Sports and leisure


Like everything else, prices in Johor Bahru of sports and pastime activities are low too. If you want a gym or a fitness club membership, the price you’ll pay is only about 30$. This is very cheap compared to the prices around the world. If you want to go cinema, the prices of tickets aren’t high either – they only cost about 4$.

Clothing and shoes


As for shopping for branded goods, there is a number of new malls sprouting up and since Singapore is just next door it often seems more appealing, but the Johor Premium Outlets is only about 30 minutes drive away from the city, and here you can get bargain deals on clothes, shoes, accessories, etc.

Rent per month


The most expensive thing about living in Johor Bahru is the rent. Of course the price of rent depends on what you want from a home. If you want a one-bedroom apartment in the center of the city, that will cost you around 300$. However, there’s an abundance of new, empty apartments in Johor Bahru, and you can probably even get a lower price for rent, since supply outweighs the demand in Johor Bahru at the moment.

Cost of Living Averages Table for Johor Bahru

Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant) $2.43
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter) $3.65
Water (0.33 Liter) $0.33
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter) $1.63
Loaf Bread (500g) $0.85
Eggs (12) $1.33
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket $0.53
Monthly Pass $9.72
Gasoline $0.54
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling) $46.65
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local $0.08
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $44.84
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult $29.65
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour) $3.04
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release $3.77
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable) $55.02
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...) $24.91
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range) $70.14
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center $299.72
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center $196.15
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center $473.88

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Johor Bahru?

A vast percentage of an average person’s salary gets spent on food in Johor Bahru – as much as 50% of one’s entire salary.

Another quite big expense for the people of Johor Bahru is the rent, since the prices are pretty high for the average salary in Malaysia.

Transportation is third on the list: even though it’s not too expensive it is an everyday necessity and it basically sends money down the drain each day.

Restaurants are also quite an expense, and the least of all expenses in Johor Bahru is clothing.

Utilities (Monthly)
Sports & Leisure
Clothing & Shoes
Rent Per Month

Johor Bahru: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

Considering their monthly salaries, people of Johor Bahru might find it hard to make ends meet sometimes, though the situation is not dire.

Their minimum monthly wage is, shockingly, only about 250$, which is definitely a small amount of money.

With their average monthly net salaries, however, people can cover most of their expenses, even if they’re renting, though rent is a huge financial burden.

If you want to travel to Johor Bahru, the optimal amount of money for you is around 1000$ – and that’s if you want to live like a king.

Average Salary$729.04
Minimum Wage$255.21
Mortgage Interest Rate5.20%

Cost of Living by City in Malaysia

*Click the name of the city for more information.

City Cost of Living Index
Johor Bahru 42.59
Kota Kinabalu 42.15
Kuala Lumpur 42.44
Kuching 42.15
Penang 43.98
Petaling Jaya 44.31
Selangor 44.53

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