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Making Money in Bali


One of the most important things to your life in Bali, will be how you are going to make a living here. Finding a job in Bali is not easy, as the Indonesian government would rather give jobs to locals whenever possible. For the jobs that they will allow foreigners to do, it can be hard to find an open position as so many people want to be here. Don’t get discouraged though because it is possible, even more so if you are willing to think outside of the box.

Since the government really only likes to grant working visas (KITAS) for jobs that Indonesians are not capable of performing, you have a few options at your disposal. Do not ever work without a visa in Bali, it is dangerous and you leave yourself open to deportation every day. Here are some of your options.

Manager or higher at a 5 star hotel or similar – This is one area where they will hire foreigners to work in Bali, although you will definitely need some experience at managing such a large scale operation and many companies will hire from within. Unless this is your current field of work, it is not the best route to take.

Teaching English – If you are from a native English speaking country then it could be easy to find yourself a job in Bali. Pay scales vary from school to school, with international schools paying the most, national plus schools being the runner up and English institutes like English First coming in last. The pay comes along with your experience and credentials, meaning you will need a much higher degree to teach at an international school and less so with places like English First and English Town. The latter places should handle your visa although their pay is barely enough for a newcomer to Bali to survive on.

Special Skilled Work – If you have special skills, such as interior design or in real estate marketing, you might be able to find a place that will hire you in Bali. Try submitting an ad in the Bali Advertiser and seeing what you get back in return. Some restaurants and bars will hire foreigners for guest relations and such but these are often very long hours for not much money in return.

Make your own living online – This is easily the best way to be making money in Bali (or anywhere else in Asia, and possibly the world) which is why it is the most extensive section here. The benefits include being your own boss, setting your own hours and work schedule, freedom to work from anywhere in the world and a salary that is uncapped by an employer.

Most people have absolutely no idea how they can make money from the internet, which is understandable. It can be a daunting task to think about but in reality is really not that hard, and for a majority of the work you won’t need super computer skills or even a fast internet connection. For most things an average understanding of computers and the internet as well an average Bali internet connection should be more than sufficient.

I am going to include some resources below to get you started at creating your own new life of freedom by creating a successful online business. The people who have created these resources spent a lot of time on them to share their secrets with you and are naturally not giving the information away for free. I can guarantee the validity of all of them as I have either personally used them, or close friends and BaliManual readers have vouched for their success VERY highly.

Location RebelThis is the latest and greatest collection of tools to help you learn to run an online business from anywhere in the world, using only your laptop. The creator enjoys his totally location independent lifestyle, although all of it can be done strictly in Bali. In fact, two months ago when he launched the product he was in Bali. This is one of the highest rated products of its kind and includes detailed guides of several different ways at approaching an online business, whether you are a writer, SEO guru, website designer or completely clueless to online business altogether. There isn’t a single thing on the market right now offering these sorts of opportunities, definitely take a look.

Check out Location Rebel.

Unconventional Guides – This is a comprehensive collection of materials that focus on creating a great product or business and dominating your industry. They have different programs to match different needs, although the best is probably their Empire Building Kit. This is a step by step guide at how to create a successful business that is suitable to your lifestyle by doing one small thing every day. Other good resources include a working for yourself guide and a freelancers guide.

Check out Unconventional Guides.

Source Control – This one is really only for if you already have your own business, but would like to successfully outsource a portion or all of the work, so that you have more time to yourself. Outsourcing is becoming increasingly popular although if not implemented correctly it can end up costing you money and wasting your time, instead of making life easier for you. This guide will teach you everything that you need to know about outsourcing your business free up time and reduce stress from your life.

Check out Source Control.

If anyone else has any good resources for creating an income for yourself from anywhere in the world, then please, share them! The ones that are listed here all come with money back guarantees (terms are different for each program so please check for yourself), meaning that if the program is not a good fit, or is not working for you then you have no risk, just ask for your money back. While I hope that this will be a good resource at showing people what sort of work is available in Bali, I have even bigger hopes that it will help to lead people to a much more successful and free lifestyle.

Continue on to Vaccinations to Get Before Moving


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16 thoughts on “Making Money in Bali

    • October 25, 2011 at 1:04 am

      How is what possible Mohammad? There are many ways to make a living in Bali, like were mentioned above, just takes a little bit of hard work. On average though I have noticed most expats have to work less hard in Bali as they do in their home country though.

  • June 24, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    to all the people who dont have a clue. how many ”guides to make money online” are there out there. it’s all been tested already and definately not as easy as it sounds so save your time. you pay for that stuff and in the end they tell you how to do a website and place banners on them to get a few cents if someone actually clicks on the banners on your page and does an online purchase on the website you referred them to. for that you need to have an attractive website yourself in the first place, and before that you need to know how to even design one. somethin everyone can do, sure, if they have the nerves and like to count beans. id rather buy stuff in bali and sell it on ebay. something easy which isn’t mentioned here 😉 surely also hard to make enough profit that its worth the time if you start from 0, but more effective than paying for a guide and learning stuff which doesn’t really help you in the end cause you get bored of it.

    • June 25, 2012 at 1:47 am

      Thanks for the reply Peter. I definitely agree with you that there are way too many products out there offering the world and then providing little in the way of help to make an income online. That is why I posted none of those resources here. The two that I did post “Location Rebel” and Unconventional Guides” are both from people that I know personally and I have read their work fully. They don’t offer any cheap, general tactics but are very detailed in just how a person can make money via their laptop if they so wish. For further proof, you can check out Sean Ogle’s website http://www.seanogle.com where you will see that the majority of his readers are people who are actually DOING IT, with businesses they have created online. So while the majority of the stuff out there is garbage like you say, these products are not, and I only posted them because they are products of true value.

      You are also right about exporting products being a valid way to make a living in Bali. The parts that weren’t covered regard the correct visa to live in Bali as an exporter (of which there is a lot of discussion and confusion regarding that topic). Also having to have good connections to people to sell your products in western countries or at least countries where the goods can be sold for a profit. I also don’t know so many people that are actually doing it whereas I know many people who live in Bali and make money from all of the covered fields.

  • August 7, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    Hello I am a practicing chiropractor in New Zealand about to retire and am considering Bali for the obvious reasons. I am curious how it goes to practice as a professional in Bali. I have never had any problems making a living anywhere in the world and would like to know the proceedure for self employment in Bali. I would most probably be working with expats and international companies. so any comment as you only mentioned skills that Balinese don’t have as a category. cheers

    • August 8, 2012 at 3:11 am

      Hey Thom,

      The reason I only mentioned skills or tasks that Indonesians can’t perform is because those make up the vast majority of the fields that foreigners are allowed to work in. Western doctors are not allowed to practice in Indonesia. If you go to the international hospitals you can find western doctors on staff but they are technically not allowed to practice and are there for consulting purposed with the Indonesian doctors. Not great news for you, but it is Indonesia’s way of protecting their workforce. I think you might find it difficult to be a Chiropractor in Bali yourself, although you may be able to open a clinic and employ local Chiropractors if you are up for that task.

    • February 7, 2016 at 8:36 am

      God thing you didn’t come. They just arrested 3 chiropractors after a major witch hunt.

  • March 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Hello! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok. I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look
    forward to new posts.

  • April 28, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Hi, I am planning on staying on Bali for 1 – 2 years. I have some money saved up. I am hoping to suppliment my savings by doing “odd jobs” such as tarot readings at bars and coaching sessions with people who are trying to figure out their life. Since these will be paid in cash, do you forsee any problems? Thanks so much for all the work you’ve done on this website!

    • May 23, 2013 at 2:35 pm


      I don’t recommend that you do this. For one, you will be out at bars, in public, trying to make money, which will quickly arouse the suspicion of just about anyone who understands the visa and immigration laws in Indonesia. Secondly, I can only imagine that people will be open to you giving them a tarot reading and then becoming agitated when you ask them for money.

      Main point though, is that you will be way too public with your money-making ventures while not on the correct visa. Maybe time for a new strategy!

  • May 23, 2013 at 12:43 am

    Hi Raja,

    First of all, may I say that I find your site most informative? I have a question though: I am a freelance translator, translating from several European languages into Danish. This is a kind of work I can do from every where in the world and it is obviously not something an Indonesian person would do. I have customers from most parts of the world (non from Indonesia though), work through the internet and get paid to an American or Danish bankaccount. I would have to work during my stay in Bali to be able to provide for myself. Would I need a kind of working permit?
    Thank you for your answer!

    • May 23, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      Hi Cirsten,

      There is no real, good answer to this question. In Indonesia, there is no visa that exists which can accommodate for people who are freelancing like yourself. Like many countries in the world, Indonesia still doesn’t recognize the “location independent” career choices people like yourself have made. Most people in your position simply get a social visa that allows them to stay for a while, and just work from home. They don’t go around bragging or being too public about their work, which can be a little sketchy for some people. That being said, I don’t know of anyone (or even know of anyone who knows of anyone) who has ever gotten in trouble for working from the internet in Bali. I am not a lawyer though, so can only give you my experience from what I’ve seen – that’s my disclaimer 😉

  • July 29, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    Hello Raja.

    Interesting read. Keep up the great work!

    I’m supporting a family of seven in Bali and would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on the best type of business that would be best for a Balinese to earn a great income. I have researched and looked into setting up an online business where customers purchase Balinese goods online and they are shipped directly to them. The problem with this is indonesian postage is so expensive to even send small items through the post that it wouldnt be profitable.

    I have personally been into the balinese post office to check this out myself.

    Any there any alternative ways around this to make this work? I see ebay their are store owners selling jewelery on ebay from Indonesia that are making this work. How would they be sending things so cheaply?


  • December 10, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    Please allow me to clear the air and clarify that there is no such thing as a “working visa” in Indonesia. There is the residency visa, called a KITAS and the working permit, called the IMTA. Each is issued by separate government offices…the KITAS by immigration, and the IMTA by the manpower office. Both documents are required for a foreigner to legally work in Indonesia.

    Secondly, this year, 2014, will mark an all time record in deportations from Bali for visa violations (specifically illegal work activities). As of late November there had already been over 144 deportations for visa violations in the Province of Bali…specifically for illegal work activity. That number is more than all the deportations from Bali for the entire prior ten years according to my high level source (and uncle) in immigration.

    Indonesian labor laws provide for very serious consequences for illegally working in Indonesia. Those consequences include up to five years in prison, up to a US $50,000.00 fine and mandatory permanent deportation.

    Be further advised (forewarned) that immigration and police officials are radically stepping up their raids and investigations, one regency at a time.

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  • July 18, 2016 at 12:05 am

    HI Raja,

    Do you think that guest houses and villa rental is a good business for a foreigner in Bali ?


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