Budgeting Lifestyle in Jakarta

Jakarta – a city that never sleeps, home to the worldwide-scale business district and Indonesia’s government officials, and a home to millions of Indonesians. Living in a vast and prominent metropolitan city, like Jakarta, has its own advantages. Namely, wider opportunities-either for work or business-number one country’s business center, popular amongst other cities, and more. All of this glitter and gold seem fairly easy to obtain once you become a Jakartan. Acquiring the most sophisticated public transport, plentiful entertainment places, or others.

For a moment, everyone who chooses to recite in Jakarta forgets one tiny thing: lifestyle. The fancier the place you live, the higher the living levy. Your daily expenses escalate in accordance with your domicile. Society tends to act the same with their surroundings or environment, such as living in a lavish apartment, Starbucks-ing, high-end clothing, cutting-edge techs, and more. Therefore, buying food and clothing merely enough. In the middle of the glamourous city, there are also people who are still striving to survive in it. Worry not, we are now going to guide you through what are the things you can do in order to live a budgeted lifestyle in Jakarta.

read more about save money through flatsharing here

transjakarta bus budgeting plan

1. Using Public Transportation

Thankfully, Jakarta offers wide options for transportations. Even better, most of the public transportations is accessible throughout the Greater Area of Jakarta. Mobilizing using public transportation will not only boost up your savings, but you can avoid longer commuting time-avoiding traffic congestion. Here are the public transportations that you can consider:

KRL Commuter Line: A Greater Area of Jakarta public train. KRL Commuterline is a commuter rail system that connects Jakarta, Depok, Bogor, Bekasi, and Tangerang. KRL Commuter Line has more than 20 stations, located in each area of Greater Jakarta. The transportation fee is around Rp3,000.00 – Rp5,000.00. Moreover, the train has flexible hours, operating every single day, from dawn until midnight. Definitely, KRL Commuter Line is an all-time Jakartans favorite public transportation. In order to get on the train, you can buy yourself the train ticket for 3-day use or you can top up your Flash or E-Money card in minimarkets like AlfaMidi and Indomaret. 

TransJakarta: A bus rapid transit system in the Greater Area of Jakarta, but mainly operating in Jakarta. Established in 2004, it is one of the first BRT system in Southeast Asia, providing a fast public transport system to help reduce rush hour traffic. TransJakarta is the second option of public transportation for Jakartans. The fair is starting at Rp3,500.00 and it comes with great comfort. Air-conditioning and massive bus stop options.

Jakarta MRT: The Jakarta Mass Rapid Transit or simply called MRT is a rapid transit system in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. The system is operated by PT. MRT Jakarta, a municipally-owned limited company in Jakarta. The MRT is very convenient to use because it’s highly organized and clean. Available every 2-5 minutes. However, the stations are not available in every corner of the Greater Area of Jakarta. The MRT is currently operating around Central and South Jakarta. But, the second phase of the MRT is now under construction. The next route latter will be covered in many areas of Greater Jakarta.

find out more about public transportation options in Jakarta here

(budgeting) miniature house on top of a calculator

Housing on Budget

Another good news for you is that Jakarta offers a wide range of housing options. From kosts, apartments, and houses. Commonly, workers in Jakarta opt to stay in a kost or apartment rather than staying in their actual house. Because they want to save commuting time to their work. Hence, they move to another closer place from their workplace. Keep in mind that moving into a rental place should ease you to travel. Instead of picking random spots in the middle of nowhere at jitney price but you end up stuck in traffic congestion every single day. Afraid not, there are ways to stay on budget living yet located in the business locations.

Kosts: This is local lingo for living in a rental room or unit inside a building. Kost is kind of similar to a dormitory, yet kost is more flexible and varies. Kost can be your first option to live instead of an apartment because of the relatively cheaper rental fee. A month’s kost rental fee in a prominent location like South Jakarta can cost you 1 million at the lowest. The facility is dependable. Yet, overall kost will cost you less than an apartment because inside the kost, you won’t encounter a private kitchen and living room-unless you arrange so by yourself in your room. 

Apartments: Living in an apartment is actually more desirable than living in a kost. Because the apartment gives more facilities, spaces, and freedom. Having an apartment feels like having a house. You can arrange your curfew, furniture position, private living room, kitchen, and bathroom. Some kosts in Jakarta, arguably still have custom restrictions like no opposite sex allows inside your room, need to lower the sound at certain times, or night curfew. These kinds of regulations bring discomfort toward society. That’s why most Jakartans tend to not live in a kost. However, living in an apartment will cost you more than living in a kost. Therefore, to combat this problem, you can try to do trade-offs for finding the right apartment. Maybe you should be more thinking about the proximity between your apartment and your workplace, rather than finding a spacious one and end up working late and living early every time. Another thing you can do is living in a flat-share. Find yourself some roommates to split your rental fee and bills. Having them around you won’t only help you to cut expenses, but letting you have someone who will look out and care for you too. 

man and women cooking

Cook or Not To Cook?

For anyone who’s currently on a budget, this question often becomes a big dilemma, whether cooking costs more money or not and vice versa. They are arguing over petty and unlogical supporting reasons. What you should know is that both can cost you the same amount of money. The choice is yours to choose and you can pick it based on your preference. 

Cooking: In order to cook, you can either buy the raw ingredients and cook everything from scratch or buy a ready-to-cook meal. However, the tipping point for cooking is that if you buy some raw ingredients, you can presumably spare it and save it for later. The idea of having a spare material is your idea of saving. In fact, oftentimes people buy ingredients for certain dishes but won’t end up eating the same dish for the latter. What does it turn out? You will buy other additional materials to cook another dish or end up ordering food from the restaurant. This is not the ideal budgeting we want.

Not cooking: Society seems to avoid buying ready-to-eat meals because they think the meals cost more than homemade meals. Luckily, Indonesia is famous for its Warteg or Warung Tegal. Warteg is a term to describe homemade meals served in a small food shop by the street. It is very easy to spot Warteg in Jakarta. Even in a salient location like Central Jakarta or SCBD. One meal, complete with rice and 2 other side dishes only cost you Rp10,000.00 to Rp17,000.00. You can adjust the price based on the dishes you choose.

Another way to enjoy finished food is through promotions. Oftentimes, food stalls around Jakarta team up with electronic money apps like Ovo, Go-pay, LinkAja, or others. Almost every day they will give you lunatic discounts on certain stores with terms and conditions. You can utilize the discounts and order the food you want. Or, some of the money apps have the point features. It allows you to collect points from cashback every time you pay with their apps. Those points can be traded later to reduce the amount you have to pay for food or others.

promotion sign. (budgeting plan)

Look Out for Discounts

Indonesia has high consumptive citizens. Therefore, don’t leave yourself wondering why do stores in Indonesia, especially Jakarta, easily offer discounts or sales? Because Jakartans are high in fashion and taste. They are most likely to buy everything that’s currently happening in town to gain social affirmation. If you are willing to keep up with this kind of lifestyle, you should pay attention to buy things on sale. There are plentiful things that can be discounted. Ranging from daily groceries to Zara’s clothing. Follow several discount account information on social media and read your emails or notifications from money apps or stores. Even if it’s only promoting a 10% discount, buying the items frequently will help you save your money-whether you realize it or not.

Search for Another Substitute

Jakarta is the exact place in finding every item you need. Clothing, technologies, daily needs-from the rarest item to the most common items. If you’re looking for something and find it a little off from your budget, don’t hesitate to wait up. Jakarta has thousands of sellers to go. Calmly lookout for the stuff you want in offline and online shops. Don’t buy things abruptly without knowing the real value and considering your capabilities. Or else, you will find yourself in the ocean of regrets of purchasing expensive items yet, later on, you find it at a cheaper price.

In all, all we can say is that it might be a challenge to always constraint your budget in every possible way. You will lose the essence of fun in life if you do so. Instead of keeping on a budget constraint, try to save up your money and spoil yourself after your hard work sometimes. Life is too valuable to measure everything by price tag, anyway.

read also: Grabfood Promo Tips in Jakarta

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