Minimizing Costs, Living Cheaply
ThailandGuru receives a lot of inquiries by people who wish to live cheaply.
During the first few years of my stay here, I lived luxuriously, when good consulting work was abundant. All that changed around the 1997 crash, and when I hit rock bottom around the year 2000 (when savings had dwindled to the dangerous level) I learned to live almost as cheaply as any expat ever has here. I've rebounded since then, but my experiences for about a year certainly qualify me to preach what I've practiced.
How much do you need to live? Add it up yourself:
Rent: ________ Such a wide range here in peoples' preferences, from a one-room room in a Thai apartment block for 3500 baht to 250,000 baht for a large house with a big yard in a nice neighborhood, but most expats I know take a highrise condo in the 50,000 to 80,000 baht range
Electricity: (costs can be much less if you stay there only at night)
- 6,000 baht, maybe more, for a house with continuous air conditioning, someone home all the time, much more for a large house
- 3,500 baht for a large apartment or condo with continuous air conditioning, someone home all the time
- 200 baht for no air-con, no refrigerator, just fluorescent lights and fans
If you live in a house, make sure there is insulation in the ceiling.
- 100 to 800 baht, depending upon family size, usage, yard watering, etc.
- 1500 to 3000 baht = 50 to 100 baht/day for "street food" dining out every day, 3 meals per day
- 10,000 baht for cooking Western groceries every day, never eating out (need kitchen/ette)
- 30,000 baht or more for eating out at Western style restaurants every day in the expat areas. Add more for alcohol.
Additional, children pages of this current parent page:
Minimizing Costs :
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