What Can You Buy with 1000 Indonesian Rupiah?

Indonesia is one of the hottest destinations in the world. It is blessed with nature, warm locals and is an inexpensive place to visit or live in. The cost of living in Indonesia is so low that this has led to a lot of expats finding a home in the pristine beaches and islands of Indonesia.

According to a 2018 survey, Indonesia ranked 56th out of 112 countries, when it came to expenses related to standard of living. The comparison in this case was with New York City in the USA. Indonesia was judged to be between 50-70% cheaper than New York, when it came to major living factors like renting a house, spending on groceries, and other necessities and power consumption. This makes Indonesia a lot more affordable than many other countries in the world. Indonesia also has a hyper-inflated currency, which means the smallest denomination of banknotes start with 1000 IDR.

Indonesia Rupiah

It is said that your money goes between 5 to 7 times as far when you are in Indonesia, just because of the exchange rate. So now that you know your money goes quite far in Indonesia, it definitely must invoke a bit of curiosity, isn’t it?

What can you buy with 1000 IDR?

A 1000 Indonesian Rupiah will at best fetch you some candy, a fried snack, a soap and maybe a glass of mineral water, among some other smaller things. While this may seem awfully little for one thousand Indonesian Rupiah, your perspective would quickly change if we told you that you could buy all this with just 7 cents. Yes, 7 cents is all that 1000 Indonesian Rupiah amounts to. Let us share some more perspective with you. If you compare this with some other popular currencies, 1000 Indonesian Rupiah is equal to 5 British Pence, 6 Cents (Euros) and 5 Indian Rupees.

1000 IDR is the lowest denomination of banknotes in Indonesia. It is so low that 1000 IDR is also legally tendered in coins. The amount of things that you can afford with such a low denomination is largely connected to where you are spending your money. Indonesia has everything, villages and rural towns, big cities like Jakarta and tourist destinations like Bali. So your 1000 IDR is likely to fetch you more things in a rural town than it would in Jakarta, for example.

In Jakarta, you can have a traditional meal for as low as IDR 15,000 from local food stalls. Which means that you will need about IDR 50,000 to cover your food costs in a day, but that’s just from local food stalls. A meal at a modest restaurant usually starts from 40,000 for a single dish. So your meal can cost between 40,000 and 70,000 including taxes. A proper Fine Dining restaurant will be a lot more expensive and a single dish can cost anywhere between 150,000 IDR and 300,000 IDR. So on an average, having a meal at a fancy fine dining restaurant can cost about 250,000 to 300,00 IDR for a single person. Having said that, IDR 50,000 is enough to get by if you can avoid fancy options.

This helps understand how little you can actually afford with just 1000 Indonesian Rupiah. But that doesn’t mean you can’t afford anything.

Even 1000 IDR can help you afford one of the many items listed below:

  • A sachet of instant coffee (without the hot water)
  • A few candies like Kopiko
  • A lollipop
  • A box of matches
  • A small packet of chips or wafers,
  • You can park your car for about an half an hour in a mall
  • One piece of Gorengan (a fried snack)
  • Dishwashing soap paste
  • Mentos / Happy dent and some other mints
  • A small pack of biscuits
  • A small piece of ‘Kue’ or any other homemade Indonesian cake

A 1000 IDR also works as a good tip for some of the smaller services you could avail. Like a porter carrying a gallon of water from the store to your car, or for printing and photocopying services. (Note: 1000 IDR is a good tip for less exhaustive services. But that won’t always work in places like Bali and Jakarta, as people often ask you themselves to tip more. If you are using a service that is more intensive in nature, don’t be a cheapskate and tip generously.)

When in Jakarta, you can at the most buy just one or two of these items, unless maybe you are in a less urban part of the city. A rural area may enable you to buy a couple more things with 1000 Indonesian Rupiah. In a few remote areas, 1000 Indonesian Rupiah may even fetch you some street food, or a small meal from a local joint. Similarly, in a few tourist destinations like Gili Islands or Bali for example, 1000 IDR may not even fetch most of the items mentioned above, since the cost of living in these tourist areas is higher than other parts of Indonesia.

At the end of the day, the Indonesian Rupiah is one of the weakest valued currencies in the world, which is why 1000 IDR is just very little in value, when it comes to being able to afford things with it. You may need from a few hundred thousand to a few million Indonesian Rupiahs to buy all the things you need. And don’t worry, even one million Indonesian Rupiah is just 70 USD. This actually makes it commendable that you can even afford a few things with just 1000 IDR.

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