Cost of Living in Indonesia - anyone knows?

With most families being dual-income-with-kids, outsourcing home cleaning and home economics to domestic helpers is almost a way of life for Singaporeans. Come in and discuss issues pertaining to maids and home management.

Cost of Living in Indonesia - anyone knows?

Postby BeContented » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:33 am

Hi,
my maid of 8 months is getting on my nerves as she likes to tell me how poor they are, how BIG our money is, she cannot buy this buy that etc.

After parting some $ on a few occassions, I am starting to find myself wondering if I have been 'conned' to some extent.....so thot I better find out more on the cost of living b4 more :moneyflies:

Just to share all the maid's sob stories, she's quite 'creative' actually......
#1 - Money left with family was stolen....but only 3/4 of it. What puzzled me is got this kind of thief one meh??? How come never steal all? IGNORED her.

#2 - House was burglared middle of night. Kampong place also kena?? Where is all the kampong spirit and not scared meh?? Anyway, IGNORED her again. Then hor, each family member has a mobile phone....but kept telling me her 2 kids no $ to buy top-up card. IGNORED

#3 - I bought a new PC and she wanted to know the price in SG, told me her DD eyeing one for a long time, but no $ to buy. One week later, after a phone call with her son, claimed the son went ahead to buy a PC for the younger sis, asking for IDR 1million. Of course I IGNORED , and she never brought up the issue again.....think a scam to make me cough out $.

#4 - Maid mom died.....this I gave some money for funeral expenses. But at a recent conversation, maid said I gave her $ for Grandfather funeral. I thot was her mom?!?!

#5 - Maid uncle scolded her son, wanted his contribution for the funeral expenses back.... IGNORED .

#6 - Asked me how much my kids' tuition cost....I stupid and told her. A few days later, claimed has to stop her DD's external English tuition cos' no money. Already owed tuition teacher 3 months fees + books ie. IDR 1million. Took pity and told her I'll fund for as long as she works for us. Next day, remitted some $ over. THEN she claimed, still worried for next year's as need new shoes, uniforms, books etc. Since her loan is almost completed and she would have ~S$1.2K by Dec, told her dun worry......but I almost fainted when she claimed may not be enough to get the books, uniforms and shoes!!!! Gold plated??? By now, I felt quite cheated already and wonder if the English tuition is real or really so EX (~S$50/mth)
Next was, SON not happy that younger sis gets to buy new stuff, he wants a motorbike. I will IGNORE IGNORE IGNORE .

Sometimes, I feel the maid is using pressure tactics. When she first came, repeatedly repeated claim her ex-employer so GOOD & Generous buy her this, that etc etc....but yet she left them. Now, she kept telling me oh, how generous I am giving $ to her children buy this & that.....her children think I very generous, very good......etc etc....when some of the $ remitted is hers.

Anyway, just hoping to get some any inputs on the cost of things in Indonesia to have a gauge. Just estimated range will do....thanks.

a) Cost of school uniforms, books, bags, shoes at start of each year.
b) Mid-range PC
c) Mid-range motorbikes
d) Mid-range mobile phones
e) tuition per month per subject

IF what she says is true, I dun mind funding a little for her children's education, that's about it. She will get extra bonus when she completes her contract.

BeContented
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Re: Cost of Living in Indonesia - anyone knows?

Postby auntieM » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:26 am

Hi cwc,
You have been too kind and your maid is getting more 'daring' with time..
Sounds like her demands are 'never ending stories', you really shouldn't be spending too much time on her.
If her work is okay, then just cut short her stories. Remind her to tell her family (and herself) that she is here working as a maid, so spend within her means.
Tuition centre in indo kampong ?? Soon she will need to send her kids abroad for studies at the rate she is going.. .. :evil:

Sorry if I sound mean, her stories are really :faint: !
Just my $0.02
:nunchuk:

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Re: Cost of Living in Indonesia - anyone knows?

Postby Kissgurami » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:44 am

cwc wrote:Anyway, just hoping to get some any inputs on the cost of things in Indonesia to have a gauge. Just estimated range will do....thanks.

a) Cost of school uniforms, books, bags, shoes at start of each year.
b) Mid-range PC
c) Mid-range motorbikes
d) Mid-range mobile phones
e) tuition per month per subject



Not sure how much I can help but just my 2 cents in what I know from my frequent visits to Jakarta,

Their average salary is around USD150-250 (250 if you are lucky), so there is no shortage of people for being drivers ( my colleagues' driver earn USD200 a month for 6am - 9pm daily). Working in a hotel as waiter is considered very good. So housemaids is ard USD 100 - 150 , I was told so the wealthy can easily afford 3 -4 maids. which is why, they prefer coming to SG to work

Kampung spirit? Errr, I don't think they hail from the kampung spirit type, extermely prone to thefts and robbery due to poverty. It seems that people who comes to work in Singapore gets the impression, Singaporeans are willing spenders which I can see that your maid is trying to get the most out of you. Probably pressure from her family back home squeezing her out from anything.

Mobile phones (2nd hand), it is rather cheap. SGD 60- 70 should suffice unless they are going for data phones... Nokia is very popular with the lower income and affordable as well.

Tuition, I don't see that many centres in Jakarta but I am told it is does come cheap so ...

Living in Jakarta and other parts of Indonesia can be quite difference, would you know where she comes from?

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Re: Cost of Living in Indonesia - anyone knows?

Postby 3Boys » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:37 am

Pay a fair wage and forget the rest of the nonsense requests. Tell her she needs to focus on the job or even her pay will be cut.

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Re: Cost of Living in Indonesia - anyone knows?

Postby BeContented » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:27 am

Fair wage.....what is considered fair? :shrug: Think sometimes humans are just never satisfied...yeah :wink:

Is paying the salary stated by agency fair? At my time, ex was $380, new $340. She left after a year in her last contract, so agency quoted her as new maid. Actually I have increased her salary on 3rd month ..... and will up again when she hits 1 year. Have also told her there's a 1 month bonus upon completion.
She has ZERO expenses.....I provide her clothes - inner to outer garments, shoes, sanitary, facial cleanser & moisturizer, shampoo & condition, body lotion, even black hair dye....basically everything. Her day ends at ~5pm (with naps, phone chats, read newspaper etc).......after which she relax relax, wash dinner plates etc & retires into room by 9pm. She doesn't want handphone to save $.......but I can see that she talks ~45mins (while I'm out) daily based on house-phone bills.
On birthday, hari raya, CNY etc....she gets red packets too. All-in-all, I think I have treated her well.....but sadly, I feel she is still trying to squeeze more.

Maybe it's me....cos' sometimes I find it hard to say NO. But if I know the real cost, I can at least decide how much to part with.....like the tuition fees she quoted....I think kena conned liao cos' she stays in kampong, accordingly, 12 hours bus ride from Jakarta. But since I have already committed, no choice, just wanna be more alert next time.......
Last edited by BeContented on Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cost of Living in Indonesia - anyone knows?

Postby 3Boys » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:41 am

cwc wrote:But if I know the real cost, I can at least decide how much to part with.....like the tuition fees she quoted....I think kena conned liao cos' she stays in kampong, accordingly, a few hours away from Jakarta. But since I have already committed, no choice, just wanna be more alert next time.......


Exercise in futility. You wouldn't want your employer paying you on the basis of what your cost of living was, would you? Its subjective and differs from circumstance to circumstance.

My philosophy, pay a generous wage, give an occasional bonus, ignore all else. FWIW

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Re: Cost of Living in Indonesia - anyone knows?

Postby BeContented » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:43 am

Ha, actually she's my 4th maid after maidless for 3 years. But previous maids all younger, no working experience, quite appreciative & honest (or more stupid?)......so none tried asking for more $. In fact, I offerred advance salary & extras when I knew their family needed it. Also gave 1 mth bonus after completion. But this maid, different from previous, so find myself caught off-guard. My DH even better, he knew maid conning me, but since I happy helping maid's dd education, he kept quiet.

3boys, I'll consider about the generous pay method :)

.....
.....
.....
has been wondering what's 'eating' into me? what am I upset about? :scratchhead:
Finally realised, it's the integrity issue that I'm concerned about.....previous maids more honest, so I feel safer. Imagine my DD asking me for extra $50/month for her classes and then to discover the real cost is only $15/month. I can afford no issue, but I'm definitely upset with the dishonesty shown....... & once this happens, it is natural for me to doubt in future......
And this does not just apply to maids, but to friends, to family member etc.\

Guess, I'll let go this round so hope she does not get any greedier.

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Re: Cost of Living in Indonesia - anyone knows?

Postby Kissgurami » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:51 pm

12 hours from Jakarta..?? Jakarta is huge and split into zones..

Sorry but she is really taking you for a ride, you are giving her a wage and providing for her. I dont think it is right for her to get to pay for her child's studies. It is like anyone of us going to our boss asking for extras

Hope you aren't too dishearten by her actions :hugs: but I think you should set the grounds with her and tell her not to con her just before you are staying in Singapore and not Indonesia.

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Re: Cost of Living in Indonesia - anyone knows?

Postby BeContented » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:36 pm

Kissgurami wrote:12 hours from Jakarta..?? Jakarta is huge and split into zones..

Sorry but she is really taking you for a ride, you are giving her a wage and providing for her. I dont think it is right for her to get to pay for her child's studies. It is like anyone of us going to our boss asking for extras

Hope you aren't too dishearten by her actions :hugs: but I think you should set the grounds with her and tell her not to con her just before you are staying in Singapore and not Indonesia.


Thanks Kissgurami.
On the account that she is taking care of my frail FIL (a tough job that no one wants to take up, not even MIL), guess I'll treat it like an additional benefit as long as she dun go overboard. Probably like all the parents here, she hopes to provide the best for her children, just not using the correct means. Seems like her daughter can study and if the daughter can bring them out of poverty, will be happy for her too. But her son's motorbike, NO WAY lah.

Rather than alert her (that I know what she's up to), probably better to just act blur/ignore......at least they won't look for other means to cheat eg. steal. Hopefully, she will feel guilty about trying to CON nice employer like me and stop trying ....ha ha. :wink:

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Re: Cost of Living in Indonesia - anyone knows?

Postby anneffendi » Tue Jun 28, 2011 4:11 pm

she is a con smart-woman .
most of them are not poor ; just an average income earner like most of us here.I am becoming more and more wary of them.Basically,I do not trust them 100% and only employer-employee relationship;at times I do a casual chat with them though..Its only my mum who "dig" secrets from them hehe

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