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How much money do you need to live in Thailand?


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#1 Bluecat

Posted 17 April 2006 - 02:21 PM

Quite a few people want to come live in Thailand.
Whatever the reason, they won't live here without money.
But expectations are very different from people to people.
What are yours, how much do you need to live in Thailand?

#2 กำนัน

Posted 17 April 2006 - 02:49 PM

I'm considering other countries this time though and I'm wondering if we should make this a comparative thread, or have a separate one for each country?

#3 Bluecat

Posted 17 April 2006 - 03:03 PM

As far as 'cheap' countries are concerned, I do not think there is much difference in between Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam or Philippines.
I mean as far as cost of basic necessities in life is concerned.
So a comparative thread will not help much.
But we're talking money here only... :w00t:

#4 britmaveric

Posted 17 April 2006 - 03:07 PM

40K BHT/mo would be bare min for a single person - live on a budget and not able to to do what you want to do on a regular basis. (obvious if attached - figure needs adjustment)

#5 กำนัน

Posted 17 April 2006 - 03:24 PM

Blue, I'm just considering elsewhere for a change of scenery/eye candy  :w00t: , rather than cost factors.
In the sticks, or a provincial town, 20,000 should be enough for a frugal existance. I wouldn't fancy your chances in bangkok on much less than 30,000 baht.
Depends also if you're earning or living off savings. An unforseen emergency flight home could wipe you out. Throw in a decent expat insurance package and up goes your budget. To me, a sizeable travel budget for emergencies and a medical package are absolute bare necessities rather than luxuries.

#6 mbk

Posted 17 April 2006 - 05:12 PM

View Postbritmaveric, on Apr 17 2006, 10:07 PM, said:

40K BHT/mo would be bare min for a single person - live on a budget and not able to to do what you want to do on a regular basis. (obvious if attached - figure needs adjustment)

This sounds about right, but I think a person would be able to have a decent comfortable life as long as accomadation is not the biggest expense. When I lived in Thailand my wife and I lived in a small apartment away from Sukhumvit, about 5,000 baht a month. These expats who insist on paying 20,000-80,000 baht a month for a living space are wasting their money. These are Bangkok numbers and like Mandrake said, living in the sticks you could get by on half that. Earning that little money can put you in a vulnerable living condition. In 1991 I was earning 25,000 a month doing the teacher thing. By 1999, when I left the country it was about 50,000. When I hear about teachers today earning 25,000-30,000 a month, I just shake my head in disbelief. I wasn't even working in a good school; just doing many small privates that all added up to a bigger sum.

Edited by mbkudu, 17 April 2006 - 05:22 PM.


#7 britmaveric

Posted 17 April 2006 - 05:36 PM

Yes you certainly can live off much less, but I'm considering the boredom factor. Realistically I'd prob triple it to do everything and anything I wanted. Perhaps I'm in the minority?  :w00t:

#8 กำนัน

Posted 17 April 2006 - 05:43 PM

Last year, I had a look at a 3 bedroom detatched house in Surin. It was going for 2,500 baht per month. Nice place and good sized, established grounds... amazing really.

#9 mbk

Posted 17 April 2006 - 05:46 PM

View Postbritmaveric, on Apr 18 2006, 12:36 AM, said:

Yes you certainly can live off much less, but I'm considering the boredom factor. Realistically I'd prob triple it to do everything and anything I wanted. Perhaps I'm in the minority?  :w00t:

Well sh#t then! I'd quadruple it and hit the Eden Club every night for a little stress relief then over to the Grand Hyat for a night cap and then hit the sack in my penthouse suite. Life could be great. :w00t:

#10 TRIPxCORE

Posted 17 April 2006 - 06:18 PM

[color="#990000"]Ahhhhh, that sounds like the good life right there! [/color]   :w00t:

#11 britmaveric

Posted 17 April 2006 - 09:45 PM

View PostMandrake, on Apr 18 2006, 12:43 AM, said:

Last year, I had a look at a 3 bedroom detatched house in Surin. It was going for 2,500 baht per month. Nice place and good sized, established grounds... amazing really.
2500bht? Wow thats a deal.  :w00t:

#12 กำนัน

Posted 17 April 2006 - 10:04 PM

Yes. I had to ask several times to be sure. The fact is, not only is accomodation a lot cheaper out there, getting a quote that has not had the 'Farang mark up' added will also make a big difference :w00t:
It may not have air con but such luxuries can be added with ease and worthwhile for a long rent period.
There really are some good properties to be had in the reaches of the NE, if you shop around and are quoted the 'correct' local price.

#13 Bluecat

Posted 18 April 2006 - 02:10 AM

View PostMandrake, on Apr 18 2006, 12:43 AM, said:

Last year, I had a look at a 3 bedroom detatched house in Surin. It was going for 2,500 baht per month. Nice place and good sized, established grounds... amazing really.

Seems to be correct.
I saw a few detached houses in Mukdahan going for 3 to 5,000 Baht/month.
Big garden, 3 bedrooms, big kitchen,...
Not the most modern ones but quite spacious and you sure could live quite comfortably there.

#14 Stocky

Posted 18 April 2006 - 02:20 AM

It's not that expensive down south either.  I rent a two storey shop house on the outskirts of Hat Yai, 140sq m, unfurnished for Bht 4,500 per month.

#15 yohan

Posted 18 April 2006 - 02:43 AM

View PostBluecat, on Apr 17 2006, 11:21 PM, said:

What are yours, how much do you need to live in Thailand?
If you ask me about the miminum level in Thailand:

I own my small apartment and motorcycle in Pattaya and maintenance fee is only 200 baht a month.
Additional some electricity and water.
Maybe for food and small expenses baht 300 per day...
I think, I can do it with baht 10.000,- per person/month.

Calculation is different when adding my other condominium,
Maintenance, water, electricity - might be baht 3000,- per month.
Maybe 15.000,- baht per person is easily enough.

For my wife and me, totally baht 30000,- to 40000,- should be fine to cover all expenses.

#16 dutch

Posted 19 April 2006 - 01:55 PM

I choose Thailand for my retirement.
I prepared the whole operation ,including the financial part,very seriously for many many years.
After 42 years of hard work (with great pleasure),I wanted to do the things on a regular base ,that I only did before during holidays.
I made sure my house , car and everything to fill up a house was of good quality, so not to worry.

Now I enjoy my golf,my spa , my free time and good food.
Hopefully I can continue with this in good health for many years to come. :w00t:

I arranged my pension to be on a monthly base for as long as I live.

I would consider 100K the minimum to have this life ( not in BKK tho)
( did does not mean that one actually has to spend that much but.... as I said,I don't want to consider every moment what I can or what I can't afford.)

#17 Bluecat

Posted 30 May 2006 - 12:47 PM

View Postyohan, on Apr 18 2006, 09:43 AM, said:

For my wife and me, totally baht 30000,- to 40000,- should be fine to cover all expenses.

You cover all the normal expenses but not much 'extra' available... :huh:

#18 chingy_

Posted 30 May 2006 - 01:17 PM

i have no choice, will be here for awhile, as for me and not bragging i need altleast 80-100k a month to be stable. i live in BKK

Edited by chingy_, 30 May 2006 - 01:18 PM.


#19 Bluecat

Posted 30 May 2006 - 01:19 PM

Right and as we all know, Bangkok is expensive...  :huh:

#20 Stocky

Posted 30 May 2006 - 01:25 PM

It is relative to many other parts of Thailand.

#21 Bluecat

Posted 30 May 2006 - 01:32 PM

View Postchingy_, on May 30 2006, 08:17 PM, said:

i have no choice, will be here for awhile, as for me and not bragging i need altleast 80-100k a month to be stable. i live in BKK

I actually need less than that but I spend more, go figure... :huh:

#22 Bluecat

Posted 05 November 2006 - 07:11 AM

In any case, if you want to have a visa, you need at least Baht 40,000 per month if you're married to a Thai and Baht 65,000 per month if your not and retired.

#23 Axel

Posted 05 November 2006 - 11:42 AM

I would say, everything is relative.
If you are sent by a company from overseas you are in a position to negotiate and would want accomodation and living style similar to what you are used at home.
Let's say apartment, living room, 3 BR etc., car and a VERY big factor, education for your children.

Especially schooling can cost a fortune, don't ask me, our son studied for 10 years at the Swiss school in Minburi and since I am NOT sent by an company from back home, had to pay by myself,  :D we are talking about hundred thousands of Baht every year, for school fees, tansportation and not to forget trips. In one year, the shool did 'invite' all students in the French language section to visit Southern France. I said 'invited', of course the parents pay for it.

Considering such points, Baht 65K is a bit on the low end.
Bangkok is still cheap compared to other places in Asia, however, even large companies think twice before sending an expatriate out, with children, who would have the knowhow but is just too expensive. So they chose a young bachelor, still with a clause in the contract, not to get married during time of employment agreement. The company might lose something due to lack of experience of the employee.

Myself, I am in a different position, self employed and must make sure the moeny I need is earned. This surely leeds to compromises but I would not move out too far, will insists for myself and the wife on a minimum of living style and should still have enough funds to buy the one or other bottle of wine or whiskey.

Add up these few things and it is easy to find a minimum figure.

#24 Nordlys

Posted 05 November 2006 - 12:11 PM

View PostAxel, on Nov 5 2006, 06:42 PM, said:

Especially schooling can cost a fortune, don't ask me, our son studied for 10 years at the Swiss school in Minburi and since I am NOT sent by an company from back home, had to pay by myself,  :D we are talking about hundred thousands of Baht every year, for school fees, transportation and not to forget trips. In one year, the shool did 'invite' all students in the French language section to visit Southern France. I said 'invited', of course the parents pay for it.

Couldn't agree more with this.  All three of my brothers and sisters (myself included) went to Japanese school in Bangkok but the Japanese ministry of education provides education for the children of Japanese expat only up to grade 9 (junior high school), which is the minimum compulsory education in Japan.  From that point onwards my parents had the choice of sending us to high school in Japan or to have us enrolled in local international school, and in my time (early 80's) there were only ISB and RIS, two of what is now the most prestigious international schools in Thailand (read expensive).  I believe high school tuition of the ISB costs close to (if not over) 700,000 Baht a year.  Unlike axel my parents bore with that for only 2 - 3 years for me and my sister (both at ISB), but they no longer could afford to send my younger brother to international school when he graduated Japanese school  so they sent him to go to high school in Japan, which means having to rent an apartment for him to live away from the family in Thailand (no boarding school then).  Big financial burden to my parents but still cheaper than sending them to international school.  

I had no idea back then the weight and value of the kind of money my parents spent for our education (bear in mind my dad was a locally-hired staff of a Japanese company in Bangkok, not on expat package).  To this date I'm grateful to my parents for making sure we receive the best education one could receive as expat kids, even though I wasn't really a worthy kid deserving that kind of high-cost education (and feel sorry for them that I did not live up to their expectation academically).   :D

View PostAxel, on Nov 5 2006, 06:42 PM, said:

So they chose a young bachelor, still with a clause in the contract, not to get married during time of employment agreement.

Can this kind of contract really be law binding?  I mean can an employer really deprive of someone's right to get married and put that into writing in law binding contract?

Edited by Nordlys, 05 November 2006 - 12:18 PM.


#25 Bluecat

Posted 05 November 2006 - 01:31 PM

View PostNordlys, on Nov 5 2006, 07:11 PM, said:

I wasn't really a worthy kid deserving that kind of high-cost education (and feel sorry for them that I did not live up to their expectation academically).

:D  :D

#26 Stocky

Posted 05 November 2006 - 01:36 PM

View PostNordlys, on Nov 5 2006, 07:11 PM, said:

Can this kind of contract really be law binding?  I mean can an employer really deprive of someone's right to get married and put that into writing in law binding contract?
Many exploration geology contracts are 'single status only' i.e. there's no provision for a wife or partner in the country of operations. These contracts are usually taken by single guys or those whose spouse is willing to stay at home.

#27 Bluecat

Posted 05 November 2006 - 01:40 PM

They won't deprive you of your rights to get married, they will just not care.
You're married or not, you'll do the same job at the same conditions...

#28 Axel

Posted 05 November 2006 - 05:02 PM

Well, Nordlys, at least I tried to offer the son an education that will help him in the future. The Swiss school, btw, is within the RIS but the graduation is under the rules and laws of Lucerne/Switzerland. That gives automatic acceptance to all universities within the EU.
While in school, the kids do not appreciate, but later is ok, you mentioned yourself 'I was grateful', which, I believe is enough, tell your parents.

More children? I would not have been able to send them all.

#29 Axel

Posted 05 November 2006 - 05:10 PM

View PostNordlys, on Nov 5 2006, 07:11 PM, said:

...
Can this kind of contract really be law binding?  I mean can an employer really deprive of someone's right to get married and put that into writing in law binding contract?

No, it will not really be legal except in cases Stocky mentioned, were it would place it for countries that limit expats to 'without spouse', believe in the M. East.

Otherwise the wording is just very careful and, yes, renumeration is limited for one person, salary-wise as well as things like home leave, return airfare etc. ..Not long ago, a good friend of mine who had worked before in Asia for a very large company applied for a job in Singapore with the same company. He would have been the perfect choice based on his experience. Verbally, under 4 eyes was told, that two children are too expensive to the schooling fees in Singapore. Officially, his application was refused with deep regret and comments that he was in the choice for the last 5, but unfortuantely and bla bal bla, the decision was for another applicant.

#30 Nordlys

Posted 06 November 2006 - 05:58 AM

View PostAxel, on Nov 6 2006, 12:02 AM, said:

Well, Nordlys, at least I tried to offer the son an education that will help him in the future. The Swiss school, btw, is within the RIS but the graduation is under the rules and laws of Lucerne/Switzerland. That gives automatic acceptance to all universities within the EU.

I understand.  It was all so that we can go on to receive higher education in our homeland.  
BTW isn't there a German school in Bangkok (I thought you're German)?  

View PostAxel, on Nov 6 2006, 12:02 AM, said:

While in school, the kids do not appreciate, but later is ok, you mentioned yourself 'I was grateful', which, I believe is enough, tell your parents.

If they haven't told you so I'm sure your kids feel the same way I do to my parents.  

I don't have a kid yet.  And I'm sure I can't offer what my parents and axel offered to their/his kids if I have one.   :D

Edited by Nordlys, 06 November 2006 - 06:13 AM.



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