Monthly Cost of Living in Thailand August 2017
Welcome to the August 2017 report on my monthly spend in Thailand.
Total Earned: 134,500 THB
Total Spend: 77,500 THB
Saved / Invested: 57,000 THB
Accommodation – 20,000 THB
My 2 bedroom condo is in Bangsue district, the final stop at the end of the Blue MRT line. I am the first person to have lived in the room and share it with my girlfriend. We looked for a 2 bedroom place to give us more space and have converted the second bedroom into a home office/music room.
The local area is great, we have a variety of reasonably priced restaurants locally and it is less than a minute away from the MRT. I can be in Siam in around 40 minutes via public transport or at Mo Chit in 5 minutes if I want to take a bus or van away from the city.
Utility Bills – 4,000 THB
This month I spent over 2,000 Baht on electricity for the first time. I started leaving the AC on all night which I guess is the reason for this. In the end 2,000 baht isn’t a huge amount for comfort and I’m glad I don’t have to worry about saving money in this area.
My usual bills, AIS phone and internet, Netflix and water came to an additional 2,000 baht so the final bill was 4,000 baht this month for utilities.
Transport – 4,500 THB
At the moment I live around a 90 minute commute away from my office but that is likely to change in October. As such I spend a fair amount on motorbike taxis to cut down unnecessary waiting time. From my office to the BTS can take up to 40 minutes in a car or bus but on bike it is just over 5.
I also have started using more taxis on my weekend as I don’t want to mess around taking public transport for the sake of saving 50 or 100 baht on a trip. Usually I’m with my girlfriend so it doesn’t work out a lot more between us to split a taxi.
Food – 15,000 THB
I love going out to eat and I didn’t cook at home once this month. It’s actually a bit sad really that I don’t take time to make my own food but there are so many dining options in Bangkok.
On days off I will go out to eat with my girlfriend probably twice a day. This is likely a mid range place in the day for lunch where we will spend around 150 THB each and then go out for dinner at night where the total bill is around 1,000 baht. My girlfriend usually contributes around 30% of the bill.
As I work in a shopping mall I have a lot of choice for lunch and normally go to a few different places each week. I normally spend around 80 baht on lunch and sometimes get food with colleagues at a restaurant.
Finally I normally spend a few baht everyday in 7/11 picking up odd bits and pieces.
General Shopping – 10,700 THB
I decided it was time to update my wardrobe and spent a fair amount of cash in AIS to buy some new shorts and 5 T-shirts. Although I get a few laughs from the more fashion conscious people I know I really like the clothes AIS makes. They can be a little plain but that’s how I like things. They have a good range of products and a T-shirt will be around 300-500 baht. I also picked up a pair of shorts for 500 which were on sale. Finally for my upcoming trip I bought a new pair of Ripcurl swimming shorts which cost 1,750 baht. I have never spent so much on such an item but I do swim a few times a week so I’m sure I’ll get good use out of them!
Entertainment – 300 THB
A quick trip to the cinema cost 300 baht when combined with a few reward points from my credit card.
Travel – 3,000 THB
September sees me traveling to Dubai for a week to meet up with family. I had to get a visa for my Thai girlfriend which cost 3,000 Baht. The process was easier than the UK visa process we went through last year but they still make things a lot more difficult than it needs to be in my opinion.
Others – 20,000 THB
My phone is just about to die so I decided it was time to get a new one. 13,000 Baht got me the new Xiaomi Mi 6 from Lazada which is like the Thai version of Amazon.
I purchased a year long subscription to a VPN service to allow us to access programs and sites from the UK and USA. At $100 it wasn’t cheap but we are already seeing the benefits to it.
I still pay UK student loans fees which work out at around 2,000 baht a month. It could be worse though, I hear horror stories from Americans here in Thailand and how much they need to pay!
Finally I have my now redundant membership at Fitness First which is 2,000 baht a month. I have a gym at my condo which I now use and will cancel Fitness First in November at the end of my year long contract.
Invested – 40,000 THB
This month I decided to try out crypto-currencies as a form of investment. I used Coinbase.com which allowed me to buy Bitcoin, Lite Coin and Ethereum and they had a special offer of $10 free bitcoin when signing up which was a nice little bonus. Over the past month my 10,000 baht investment is now worth 12,500THB which is a decent rise. I think this is an area I will continue to invest a little in every month just to give more variety and potential returns. I plan to withdraw some of the gains every month to use in a savings account or to re-invest back into other currencies.
After this initial success I also opened a coin trading account at BX.in.th which is a Thai coin trading platform. I was able to register and deposit using my Thai bank account and did so based on a recommendation of a couple of other people who do the same. The benefit of BX is that it gives the option to purchase many different types of coins not available on Coinbase. I purchased 0.1 bitcoin, 8 OMG and 800 Ripple coins which came to around 25,000 baht. The idea for these is not to become a millionaire overnight but just to leave them and look every few months and see what the progress has been. If they all fail then it isn’t the end of the world but I feel it could be an interesting way to invest.
I also have a small monthly policy through Alliance-Thailand which comes to 2,500 baht a month.
From January 2018 I have a pension scheme starting via my company which will allow me to put money into a policy of which up to 7,500 baht will be matched by my employers.
Saved – 17,000 THB
Savings will go towards my holiday in September. I feel I did well this month and could have had a higher number in this section if I hadn’t invested as much. I imagine I will spend roughly 50,000 Baht on my week in Dubai (flights and hotels already paid for). My savings over the previous 2 months will more than cover this.
Overview – Monthly Cost of Living in Thailand August 2017
Another really busy month with a lot of work and some long nights. Overall I have been trying to change my attitude regarding saving and investing and I feel now I have found a way to maximize my earning potential to be able to put enough money aside.
This month I probably worked 6 days a week and I feel pretty shattered. September will be a chance to relax a little and although I do have a few things going on at the end of the month I feel confident that I am going to have a good month without feeling as drained as I do now.
These last few months have seen my attitude change a little regarding spending on certain things. In the past I used to try and save cash by taking public transport every journey or putting my AC on a timer overnight but I realized that it is kind of pointless if I will only save a few thousand baht a month. My income has grown and I can support paying a little extra for things like utilities and transport.