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  1. #1
    The Fool on the Hill bowie's Avatar
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    Our Actual Cost Of Living in Thailand

    Well, came across this on the internet, our easily accessible wealth of verified valuable information – after all, the old adage “I read it on the Internet so it must be true” applies here.


    15 Countries Where You Can Live Comfortably on Social Security

    Thailand: One last recommendation from International Living: Chiang Mai, Thailand. Apparently a growing number of expats are settling on Thailand in general thanks to its outstanding healthcare, good food, rich culture, and affordable living. Chiang Mai in particular — Thailand’s second-largest city — has developed a reputation of being a good choice for both retirees and jet-setting digital nomads. “The chance to live an opulent, resort lifestyle is at your fingertips,” says Rachel Devlin, an International Living contributor. “You’ll find the top resorts offering gym memberships to local expats — they’re a bargain. For just over $500 a year, you can have a membership to the Rati Lanna Resort & Spa. Getting fit and healthy has never been so easy and so competitively priced.” And for the golf fanatics, Chiang Mai offers the ability to golf the days away without spending a fortune. The cost of living here is about $1,164 a month for two people.


    Quoted from above - “The cost of living here is about $1,164 a month for two people.”

    Math: $1,164 X 12 = USD $13,968/annum * THB32/USD = THB 450k Shirley you jest...

    The wheels started turning. After being reasonably ensconced in the Land of Smiles for a few years I have valid cost-of-living data for myself and wife. Real live valid verified data on my/our cost-of-living.

    What is your actual real cost of living here? How much do you and your family actually spend to live in Thailand and where do you live?

    I’ll start – tossing out my first year because of the additional moving and legal costs, and the few months of a partial calendar year, we, myself and wife, over the course of three full calendar years, have been spending USD $42k/annum ($41,808.50). Or, at THB 32/USD, about THB 1.3M.

    For Us:

    American Expat/Thai Wife Nonthaburi Province THB 1.3M/annum (USD $42k)

    How about you? Just how much are you spending?

    Not how cheaply you could live if hard pressed, or how lavishly if money were no object, but, how big is your immediate family, what province do you live in and just how much money do you actually spend here?

    Thanks in advance for your input.

  2. #2
    Head Skivvie Stacker Storekeeper's Avatar
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    ^ Would very much like to see a break down of what you’re spending 112,000 baht a month on.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat
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    Pretty sure you can buy the whole of Nonthaburi for that.

  4. #4
    Your local I.Q. Monitor
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowie View Post
    Well, came across this on the internet, our easily accessible wealth of verified valuable information – after all, the old adage “I read it on the Internet so it must be true” applies here.


    15 Countries Where You Can Live Comfortably on Social Security

    Thailand: One last recommendation from International Living: Chiang Mai, Thailand. Apparently a growing number of expats are settling on Thailand in general thanks to its outstanding healthcare, good food, rich culture, and affordable living. Chiang Mai in particular — Thailand’s second-largest city — has developed a reputation of being a good choice for both retirees and jet-setting digital nomads. “The chance to live an opulent, resort lifestyle is at your fingertips,” says Rachel Devlin, an International Living contributor. “You’ll find the top resorts offering gym memberships to local expats — they’re a bargain. For just over $500 a year, you can have a membership to the Rati Lanna Resort & Spa. Getting fit and healthy has never been so easy and so competitively priced.” And for the golf fanatics, Chiang Mai offers the ability to golf the days away without spending a fortune. The cost of living here is about $1,164 a month for two people.


    Quoted from above - “The cost of living here is about $1,164 a month for two people.”

    Math: $1,164 X 12 = USD $13,968/annum * THB32/USD = THB 450k Shirley you jest...

    The wheels started turning. After being reasonably ensconced in the Land of Smiles for a few years I have valid cost-of-living data for myself and wife. Real live valid verified data on my/our cost-of-living.

    What is your actual real cost of living here? How much do you and your family actually spend to live in Thailand and where do you live?

    I’ll start – tossing out my first year because of the additional moving and legal costs, and the few months of a partial calendar year, we, myself and wife, over the course of three full calendar years, have been spending USD $42k/annum ($41,808.50). Or, at THB 32/USD, about THB 1.3M.

    For Us:

    American Expat/Thai Wife Nonthaburi Province THB 1.3M/annum (USD $42k)

    How about you? Just how much are you spending?

    Not how cheaply you could live if hard pressed, or how lavishly if money were no object, but, how big is your immediate family, what province do you live in and just how much money do you actually spend here?

    Thanks in advance for your input.
    That is close to 64,000 AUD. or $1,230 AUD per week. You could live in Australia on that without the need to travel to a third world country and have "free" hospital and medical.

  5. #5
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Storekeeper View Post
    ^ Would very much like to see a break down of what you’re spending 112,000 baht a month on.

    Obviously not living "locally".

  6. #6
    Southern Expat Dillinger's Avatar
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    Are you guys reading this right.

    Reads to me that he's spending 40k thb a Month, not a week and that 112k baht figure is over 3 years.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuangLao View Post
    Obviously not living "locally".
    Jeff, threads like this are for people who actually live in Thailand. Don't post anything, just read and maybe thank posters for giving you an insight.

  8. #8
    Southern Expat Dillinger's Avatar
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    Just re-read it, the op fucked up in the last part. He does mention over a 3 year period prior to that.

    Quote Originally Posted by bowie View Post
    I’ll start – tossing out my first year because of the additional moving and legal costs, and the few months of a partial calendar year, we, myself and wife, over the course of three full calendar years, have been spending USD $42k/annum ($41,808.50). Or, at THB 32/USD, about THB 1.3M.

    Quote Originally Posted by bowie View Post
    For Us:

    American Expat/Thai Wife Nonthaburi Province THB 1.3M/annum (USD $42k)

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat TheRealKW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Storekeeper View Post
    ^ Would very much like to see a break down of what you’re spending 112,000 baht a month on.
    I'm gonna say not that much.

  10. #10
    Southern Expat Dillinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuangLao View Post
    Obviously not living "locally".
    Local to what Jeff? A load of rice farmers and peasants?

    The guy lives on the edge of the metropolis that is Bangkok.

  11. #11
    CCBW JPPR2's Avatar
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    I will add in as these are always fun,

    Our avg monthly spend over the last 2 years has averaged 77k bht. Now a couple of disclaimers;


    1. That number does not include house build, upgrades or vehicle purchases as I consider them one time buys.
    2. We buy things that we really do not need, but just want.


    Now if we stop with the majority of the things we do not need my wife and I agree that we can comfortably live on ~ 40k baht a month. We easily accomplished that for the year and half when I was retired. One day we were sitting laughing asking ourselves, if we had to go into total minimal living mode, how much would we need. That number could be around 25k bht a month and that is still living pretty well. Meaning good food, all utilities, internet, phones, gas for 1 car, some cheap travel and entertainment. Is it ideal?.....No. Is it doable and sustainable...Yes.

    Again my entire financial model is based on being a pensioner. This way the other money is all upside.

  12. #12
    Southern Expat Dillinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuangLao View Post
    Obviously not living "locally".
    Why not just answer his questions Jeff?

    Here you go...there's only one to answer


    Quote Originally Posted by bowie View Post
    How much do you and your family actually spend to live in Thailand and where do you live?

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat

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    Iam at 72k a month just for living costs, live in Chonburi with woman and 2 dogs.



  14. #14
    CCBW JPPR2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowie View Post
    Quoted from above - “The cost of living here is about $1,164 a month for two people.”

    Math: $1,164 X 12 = USD $13,968/annum * THB32/USD = THB 450k
    From the OP,

    For some that may work and in many cases does. Of course there is no real break down of the ages of the folks and their previously accepted living style. I think many come here and quickly formulate "a rose colored glasses" financial summary which is rather misleading.

    I know some that have 2 and 3 bedroom condo's who have rent from 70k to 100K bht a month. My rent in Sattahip is 50k+ baht a month but the company is covering it.

  15. #15
    CCBW JPPR2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fondles View Post
    Iam at 72k a month just for living costs, live in Chonburi with woman and 2 dogs.


    Question, The car servicing and rego and ins costs did you take the annual and divide it out to come up with the avg? I saw tyres at 800 bht a month...Just seemed Odd

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat

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    Quote Originally Posted by JPPR2 View Post
    Question, The car servicing and rego and ins costs did you take the annual and divide it out to come up with the avg? I saw tyres at 800 bht a month...Just seemed Odd
    Yes, annual cost averaged, tyres is a guesstimate as they may not last a year (I drive 1000km a week) or like last week ran over a knife laying on the road and it ruined a fairly new tyre requiring replacement.

    Last edited by Fondles; 08-03-2020 at 09:41 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly View Post
    let me explain simply 100MB != 1GB RAM

  17. #17
    CCBW JPPR2's Avatar
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    Rent 0
    phones 1340
    water 200
    electric 2450
    internet 695
    gas (petrol) 2500
    food 15000
    car ins (2 cars) 2750
    dog food 650
    entertainment 7000
    dining out 5000
    Total 37585

    Quick summary.

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat

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    For those living here full time but not employed, what is your annual visa/extension costs and health insurance ?

  19. #19
    CCBW JPPR2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fondles View Post
    Yes, annual cost averaged, tyres is a guesstimate as they may not last a year (I drive 1000km a week) or like last week ran over a knife laying on the road and it ruined a fairly new tyre requiring replacement.

    Ouch, Haven't had that happen to me...yet. 1000km a week is a lot of commuting. The drive to the factory for me is about 1 hr. Its like 60km each way I think.

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fondles View Post
    For those living here full time but not employed, what is your annual visa/extension costs and health insurance ?
    Visa cost (Retirement extension) is about 15k per year, but that's using an agency.
    Health insurance is about USD $2100 per year for mine and about 35k Baht for the other half.

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat

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    Quote Originally Posted by JPPR2 View Post
    Ouch, Haven't had that happen to me...yet. 1000km a week is a lot of commuting. The drive to the factory for me is about 1 hr. Its like 60km each way I think.
    My commute is 75km each way totalling 750km a week but do a bit of running around for work as well easily bringing the total to 1000km.... typically on the wekends the only driving I do is to either foodland or makro... could not be fucked driving much more than that. !!

  22. #22
    The Fool on the Hill bowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Storekeeper View Post
    Would very much like to see a break down of what you’re spending 112,000 baht a month on.

    A valid breakdown would be a detailed list of spendings (too much data and too large a file) Lot of miscellaneous spendings, dental, odds & ends, medical, pharmaceuticals, supplements, Gifts, etc. A fairly long and undocumented list of miscellaneous out-of-pocket spendings.

    Actual spending (in my case) is pretty simplistic really. Have detailed transfers of funds into Thailand. The total of funds into Thailand less the totals in our bank accounts and the actual cash in our pockets equal, well, monies spent or cost-of-living.

    Now, on a personal note I am fairly well cashed up having saved 10-15% of my salary over 45 plus years of working and earning considerable with freelance consultant. So, a vey big point of order on this is that I do not pay attention to where I spend my money. i.e. if I want it I buy it - period.

    Now, all that being said - below is our 2020 budget.

    Month Year
    Moo Baan Fee THB 1,350 THB 16,200
    Electricity THB 3,000 THB 36,000
    Water THB 250 THB 3,000
    TV & Internet THB 3,250 THB 39,000
    House Insurance THB 1,250 THB 15,000
    Car insurance THB 2,000 THB 24,000
    Medical Insurance THB 15,000 THB 180,000
    Life Insurance THB 3,900 THB 46,800
    Transport & Auto THB 2,000 THB 24,000
    Food THB 30,000 THB 360,000
    Miscellaneous THB 25,000 THB 300,000
    Legal THB 2,000 THB 24,000

    TOTAL THB 89,000 THB 1,068,000


    Big nuts are: Medical Insurance, Food, and Miscellaneous.

    Add-ins: visit USA runs about $5k/visit
    Frequent travels in SE Asia run $1k - $2k dependent.

    And, as stated above, we have quite a bit of undocumented miscellaneous out-of-pocket spendings.



    Yea, Living Large and Loving It.

  23. #23
    CCBW JPPR2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fondles View Post
    My commute is 75km each way totalling 750km a week but do a bit of running around for work as well easily bringing the total to 1000km.... typically on the wekends the only driving I do is to either foodland or makro... could not be fucked driving much more than that. !!
    I just checked what Google Maps says. 61km. Fortunately I do not drive it except maybe once a week or so and that's only because I need a break from the Van ride. I wouldn't want to drive it in my truck everyday. If I did commute I'd buy a Suzuki Swift and beat it to death.

    I have to say the drive around this area now ( especially on weekends) with all the tourists gone is really empty and easy. An upside to the Covid 19 outbreak..

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPPR2 View Post
    I just checked what Google Maps says. 61km. Fortunately I do not drive it except maybe once a week or so and that's only because I need a break from the Van ride. I wouldn't want to drive it in my truck everyday. If I did commute I'd buy a Suzuki Swift and beat it to death.

    I have to say the drive around this area now ( especially on weekends) with all the tourists gone is really empty and easy. An upside to the Covid 19 outbreak..
    Hahahahahaha, yep I should bought a small 4cyl shitter and beat on it, instead Iam driving my pickup but ive done suspension in it more orientated to motorway cruising than load carrying........... If I need to carry a load it only takes 30 mins to swap back in the heavier rear leaf springs and wind up the dampers to a firmer setting.

  25. #25
    CCBW JPPR2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowie View Post
    Lot of miscellaneous spendings, dental, odds & ends, medical, pharmaceuticals, supplements
    Quote Originally Posted by bowie View Post
    Big nuts are: Medical Insurance, Food,
    Quote Originally Posted by bowie View Post
    Yea, Living Large and Loving It.
    I dunno Bowie, Living large? Maybe its me but you seem to dole out big money for dental, medical, life ins, pharmaceuticals, supplements etc. Maybe we have a different idea of what "Living Large" means. I always thought "Living large" is chilling on a private beach, sippin good booze, having maids and gardeners, nice ride and platinum cards from major banks.

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