Affordable Expat Costs in Thailand
There are a lot of factors that affect expat costs. But it still comes fairly cheap for most foreigners because the value of western money is higher compared to the local baht. Moving to a country like Thailand, means getting so much more for a westerner’s income. But of course, your expenses will entirely depend on your lifestyle and location.
Your lifestyle will dictate your living costs. If you are the type who wants to have the usual comfort you get from home then you will likely incur more money. But if you are the type who wants to experience what Thai living really is, then you are likely to find out that it costs really less.
The typical cost per month also depends on where you want to settle down. Staying in bigger cities like Bangkok will definitely cost more. Living costs in the countryside is much cheaper but a little uncomfortable for some who are used to city living. There is a wide gap between urban and rural living in Thailand.
There are four main things a person can’t live without namely food, shelter, clothes and services. All of these take the major share from expat costs.
Food and drinks in this tropical country is cheap. Spending an average of around $100-200 for food per month is enough. You can buy your own groceries and cook your own food. Thailand grows its fruits and vegetables, so locally produced goods are affordable.
If you want to dine out once in a while, there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. Foreign cuisine is much more expensive in most places compared to the local one. Expensive restaurants offering foreign cuisine will charge up to $100 dollars per meal compared to $2-5 per meal in decent local restaurants.
The amount of money you spend in getting a place of your own depends on the furnishings and location. A simple apartment with a private toilet and bath, a living room and one bedroom will cost around $200 per month. This is as basic as it gets. The more services and privileges added, the higher the price will be. In Bangkok, fully furnished condominiums will range around $500-1000.
Just like in any other country, clothing prices depend on the brand and quality. If you are not so keen on quality, you will find flea markets and night markets reasonably priced and convenient. You can find everything in these markets including bags, jeans and footwear. There are several shopping malls that offer good quality clothing within average prices too. But if you prefer designer labels, that could be very expensive just like other imported items.
Utility bills are reasonable in Thailand. It all depends on your consumption. Electric bills could go anywhere from $100 or more. Transportation expenses are inexpensive too. The main mode of transportation is buses, trains, cabs and the traditional tuktuk. Depending on the type of transportation you use, it could be from $1-10.
Overall, you will find that expat costs in Thailand are affordable to most foreigners. That is why more people are being lured into staying in this beautiful country.