Can you live on $600 USD a month in Thailand?
Amazingly you'll still find sites telling you that you can live in Thailand on $600 USD a month and while that's possible there are many hidden costs that simply buying a plane ticket and without spending any of your own savings (if you even have any) and making the move to Thailand it's simply not possible.
The past few years everything just seems to have got more expensive, dishes have all gone up 5 baht at least but most things have gone up at least 20% even the humble Mister Donut 20 baht donuts are now 27 baht which makes you feel even more guilty when you've finished the box because it's now going to cost you an extra 40 baht.
I'm not painting a grim picture here or anything Thailand is still a really cheap place to live but it's definitely not the cheapest. Cheap in Thailand doesn't mean that you're just getting the same deal but cheaper. That's unrealistic since the quality and standards in Thailand are by all measure sub-standard. Cheap really does mean Cheap in Thailand.
Let's say you're living in a granny flat at your aunts house back in Omaha. You might be thinking Thailand is a better place to live, but if you can only spend $600 a month you're going to be better off living there than coming to Thailand. I know the lifestyle here is much more exciting but realistically speaking you're not going to enjoy it as much if you can't afford to do anything.
So who can live on $600 USD or let's say 18,000 baht a month? I guess anyone could if they have enough self discipline. Sharing a condo or living in a 30 sqm flat, hiring a bike (a bike to purchase would cost at least 1 month of your income) living a bit out of town eating cheap Thai style and not buying junk from 7/11 and you should be able to to afford to break out a bottle once a month at your favorite nightclub, don't forget to save for next years visa/visa-run. If you are working full time on that income then even though it's "Thailand different" it's going to be pretty mundane if you were going to do that for years and years.
The point I'm trying to get to here is the small sum of $600 USD or 18,000 baht for living in Thailand indefinitely is just a dream. Unless you've come here to die this is not a dream you should be buying into!
Like I was saying earlier the cost of living in Thailand coming into 2014 is more expensive than it was 5 years ago when I moved to live here. 30,000 baht or $1000 USD which is what I was spending when I first moved here just doesn't go as far as it did before but you can definitely do it. Less than a thousand bucks a month only the very disciplined can do this for many years.
Let's just say you're a guy who likes to live frugally and nothing wrong with that at all, if you were going to do this then you're going to want to make some large purchases first, a bike and a condo so you can blast the air-con and burn around on your bike for as little as 4000 baht a month, barring any large expenses like fixing the bike, being scammed, and any hospital bills you'll do fine in Thailand.