Monthly Cost of Living in Thailand June 2017 7


Monthly Cost of Living in Thailand June 2017

Welcome to the June 2017 report on my monthly spend in Thailand.

Total Earned:  71,500 THB

Total Spend:   58,000 THB

Saved:    13,500 THB

Breakdown

Accommodation – 20,000 THB

The 2 bedroom condo I live in with my girlfriend costs 20,000 Baht a month to rent. Among my friends I pay the highest rent by a considerable amount but there is a good reason for this. For 20K I get 75sq meters of space and a second bedroom which we use as an office / music room. We also have a room in a brand new, modern condo and I would say it is a similar standard to a 4 star hotel.

Looking at the places I lived in in the past and others available in central Bangkok at the same price I consider my condo a bargain for the quality. For those who argue it is a high proportion of my salary I would argue that I have a great place with kitchen, living room and sports club which means I don’t need to go out so often.

 

Utility Bills –   3,500 THB

I spent 1,500 on the electric bill this month as I spent quite a lot of time at home. We normally leave the AC on a few hours each night and I put it on during the day sometimes too. I could probably save a few hundred baht by using it less but it isn’t worth it.

My phone and internet package comes through AIS and is around 1,200 a month in total. I top this up with the full Netflix package (440THB) to give me lots of movies and series to watch at home whilst working.

Finally my water bill is 240 Baht which is actually quite expensive here. I’ll put that down to my girlfriend spending an eternity in the shower everyday….

Transport –   2,500  THB

monthly cost of living in thailand june 2017I spend quite a bit on transport as I take taxis to work and use the MRT quite frequently. I am hoping that they will bring out a transport pass for Bangkok which includes all the MRT and BTS lines along with buses as I think it will save me a lot of money and encourage me to use public transport more often than taxis.

I do take the odd bus, especially when just popping to the supermarket and at 13 baht a time it is pretty good value. As I only moved to this area a couple of months ago I am still trying to figure out all the routes and see where I can get to.

 

Food –   15,000  THB

Every month I seem to spend a lot on food. From going out, eating street food and supermarket shopping I never dip below 10k a month.

This month’s bill of 15k includes going out and drinking too. I tend to eat out 3 or 4 times a week and spend on average 400 Baht a time.

When I read comments online of people who spend 4 or 5,000 a month on food I struggle to think how they could really survive. The thought of eating 40 baht street dishes every day scares me and wouldn’t be how I chose to live my life. A lot of people say they aren’t prepared to pay 400 Baht for a meal in a western restaurant here but I think it isn’t good to compare it to street food prices.

I have been trying to make use of my new kitchen and as such make a visit to Tesco Lotus every week to buy a few basic ingredients. Cooking pasta, salads and the occasional fry-up in my place it fantastic.

 

General Shopping –  4,500 THB

I bought some new clothes this month from Uni-Qlo which set me back 1,500 Baht. I find it quite hard to buy clothes here as most things are either crap quality or crazy expensive. In the end I often go to AIIZ or Uni-Qlo as they seem to be somewhere in the middle although I must admit Uni-Qlo are overpriced for a few items.

I did a run to Watson Pharmacy to pick up toiletries and they always have a sale on which means I buy in bulk. I usually only have to go in there every 3 months or so.

After this I picked up a few bits and pieces for the home such as air fresheners which we get from Bath and Body Works

 

Entertainment –  2,500 THB

A couple of trips to the cinema this month meant an outlay of 1,000 baht when you add on popcorn and drinks. I also had a couple of nights out including a colleagues leaving do at a craft beer place.

The other form of entertainment I had was going to the driving range to hit some golf balls. I hadn’t played in a long time so it was nice to get out there. For 300 Baht I got round trip taxi, 100 balls and a couple of bottles of water- it’s so cheap here!

 

Travel –  0 THB

I didn’t travel this month or pay for any future trips so there is nothing to add here.

Others –   10,000 THB

I had to pay out for a few extras in June. The first which is a constant is my month Fitness First dues which work out at just over 2,000 Baht.

Next up in the UK it was Father’s Day so I sent my Dad a voucher to use. It is also my Mum’s birthday in June so I paid towards a few things for her.

Finally I have to repay my UK student loan , which at the moment is around 2,000 Baht a month.

 

Saved –    13,500 THB

A good amount of money saved this month which will go towards my holiday in September. In order to save I use two bank accounts in Thailand. The first I get paid into and then I transfer spending money into a second account. I also use a KTC credit card for day to day purchases to get reward points to use at cinemas, shops, hotels and restaurants.

 

Overview – Monthly Cost of Living in Thailand June 2017

A quiet month as I worked an awful lot so next month I should have a good number to post here ( I get paid a month in arrears). I didn’t go out too often other than for a leaving do and a couple of beers after work.

My girlfriend started and quit a new job this month which involved her working early mornings so I was often at home watching TV or playing video games. As she will be back on normal working hours in July I expect that we will do more together and go out to a few places.

This month I started cutting back on the number of hours I worked online as I found I was getting headaches and my eyes were hurting. I also feel that having more office based hours gave me more social interaction and is something which I prefer. I still feel there is good money to be made online but in the future I will pick and choose more carefully then online teaching work I accept.

 


About Richard

28 year old living and working in Bangkok, Thailand since 2013. Running LifeInANewCountry.com and teaching.


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7 thoughts on “Monthly Cost of Living in Thailand June 2017

  • Matt

    Don’t forget to put 15% of your income aside in long-term investments for your retirement. You wont be getting a pension in Thailand and will need to self fund one, unless you have another plan.

    • Richard Post author

      Hi Matt, good points there. It is something I am starting to think about and hopefully I will be doing this from next month. I also have a few things tucked away in the UK which I plan to use too.

  • Jessie

    Hey Richard and Matt;

    Do the math. If you only save 15% of your income and are earning an average of 75K baht per month; after 35 years of working at this rate you have saved just 138,600 USD. If you retired on that at the rate you spend… you’d only have enough a little over 5 years. Yeah, of course there is compound interest on investments and you are not likely to stay at this (relatively low if you think of outside nations) rate of pay for such a long time but it is a little worrisome that going through your cost of living statements on this website for the past three years you’ve listed your total overall savings (if you add all the numbers together) at around 17500 baht which is about 500 USD. And I get that Thailand is not really a country where most people save loads of cash but some do. I think you should honestly aim to put aside 30-40% of your current salary. Not just because of the numbers but because it is the best habit to start early (saving). In Thailand I haven’t even touched 2/3rds of my salary overall because I wanted to save as much as possible but it was only a test to see how much I could save in Saudi Arabia.

    • Richard Post author

      Hey Jessie,

      Some good points there.

      For the benefit of keeping this site about Thailand I don’t include details of savings and income I have from the UK. I think I will write a little article in the next couple of weeks to have a look at what people can do because , as you say, a lot of people don’t really consider saving / retirement here or don’t make enough to do this.

      There are obviously different reasons that people have for living overseas, in any country. Some people like to save and can go back home with enough to buy a house or pay off student loans. I get that it would be attractive for some to do that. On the other hand a lot of people come to enjoy their new area and spend a lot on travel etc so they don’t really save a lot.

      Looking at my cost of living I know the sections where I spend the most and how I could bring costs down but I don’t really want to. My goal for being here is not for saving for retirement and although I could live in a much cheaper condo / eat out less often I don’t really want to. The idea of putting 30-40% of my salary away isn’t appealing and would drastically affect my quality of life now. In somewhere like Saudi Arabia I can understand this is possible but, for me, Thailand will be a place where I can save a little but not have to cut back on things that I like.

      As I said I will put out an article in the next couple of weeks to show how people can save for retirement and I’ll be happy to put forward your ideas there as they obviously work for some.

      • Matt

        Yes, 15% is really just a lowest starting figure that hopefully wont scare people off. 30-40% is more sensible. Putting it off for the future is never a good idea. Most of us don’t think about it when we are young because it seems so far away. But if you use your savings one month to cover the overspending the next month, then you are really just living month-to-month.

        Beware of lifestyle inflation, it can easily eat away at whatever “savings” you have and after 10 years in Thailand you can have nothing to show for it except some happy memories. That may be fine, if you have a backup plan, but can also be dangerous if you don’t.

        • Richard Post author

          Good thoughts there Matt.

          Lifestyle inflation is something I hadn’t really thought of before but is true for how I have lived here, upgrading condos and changing habits based on my salary.

          • Jessie

            Hi Richard and Matt:

            I do think Matt is on the money here!

            Coming to Thailand to work for a couple of years when you are in your twenties and just want to have fun on that money is fine. You have the kind of time to do that; although I still say saving is the best habit to get into early. However if you are talking about living in Thailand for longer than that, not saving is going to cost you more in the long run. You really do need to think about a whole host of savings issues, not least of which is the fact that you are not getting any retirement support from your employers (no matching contributions or pensions- as Matt already mentioned).

            I have a friend back in Canada who is a nurse and on paper I think nurses make good money. She earns about C$80K (60K USD** sorry for always translating into USD it is just such a common currency to which people can relate) per year but of course she works hard for it. Yet her cost of living in Canada is extremely high, she lives in one of the most expensive cities in the country and drives a car plus taxes take a huge chunk. If (and I’m not saying she always does but if) she saves 20% of her salary that is US$1000/month. That’s the kind of salary where you can maybe save 15-20% and still have a viable retirement and that’s with pension benefits after 20 years in this career. Living in Thailand my salary is less than a third of hers but with much lower taxes and cost of living, I can save the same amount US$1000/month. However, I am quite certain that even this is not enough and so I am heading to Saudi to triple that savings and beyond.

            In your case, you may not need to take it to such extremes yet. I don’t know how much your income is from the UK but if it is enough to live on, then ignore all of this. Now if you want to retire at 55-60 which is the age when most schools in Thailand stop accepting applicants; then you need to save (from the age of 30) $1000US per month to have a base of 300,000 dollars after 25 years. That’s almost enough to live in Thailand for the remainder of your days, if you reduce your needs a bit and invest wisely. However that’s not accounting for anything or anyone else that might come along in your life long before that. If you are thinking about having children, that’ll cost too. And if you want to move away from Thailand in your twilight years or even just travel the world and have those experiences, then you will need to save considerably more than that unless you stick to inexpensive lands. Hopefully, you can now see that it really isn’t about making more money but rather it is about saving more money that will really increase your wealth. Well…actually it’s both.

            I would encourage you to build your savings up. Start with 10% of your salary. Just put it aside as soon as you get paid. Better still open another account that you don’t touch and just drop it there. Try that for three months. Then slowly try increasing the amount to 15% and then 20% and so on. Don’t make things uncomfortable for yourself but just gradually raise the bar of savings. If you like, you can look at it this way; saving is like paying yourself first (at least your future self) and don’t you deserve to be paid? Hope that helps and good luck to you.