Is Thailand a cheap place to live?
You always hear people say how cheap it is to live in Thailand compared to western countries. And while it is cheaper for many things it's also more expensive than others. Now i'm not saying that Thailand is as expensive as living back in California or Sydney but it can cost you more than you think.
In truth it might be a few times a year you go skiing you might travel for work and only get a night or two away, you get out on the bike but it's only to get away from the misses you go to Vegas and it's great but you wish you were single to enjoy it more, and hiking gees you might do it once a year because you really work 60 hours a week you'd drive for another 20 and are too exhausted to go anywhere. No wonder so many people come to Thailand to live but if you think it's cheap and want to live the same or better you might want to read on further.
Thailand is so cheap you can hire laborers for $5-$10 a day!
Yeah but you'd have to hire 5 to equal one Mexican at $50!
The car I had in California cost me $40,000 second hand a year old. The exact same car here costs over 3million baht which makes it over twice as much. That's not exactly cheap living is it. Most guys who come to Thailand abandon the car because it's just not practical or affordable and it's next to impossible for a Farang to get credit for such a thing.Not to mention gas is so much more expensive as well.
Rent is super cheap in Thailand and Bangkok has some of the cheapest Businesses rentals in Asia. But cheap is cheap and they don't come with the same standards as we're used to living back in the west. So you could say it's cheap but when you are comparing it to the money you make back in the west it's not. Back in California I spent 15% of my wage on accommodation whereas here I'd spend more than 20% of my income on accommodation.
We all have to eat right so what about food? Food is so cheap in Thailand isn't it? While fruit is super cheap I live on meat and meat is more expensive expensive especially for beef and chicken both of which are more expensive here than in the States or Australia and compared to what you earn here it might be as much as 3 times as much. Sure I wouldn't spend much on food in Thailand but i'm not eating the same food am I, if I were I'd be spending more money on food in Thailand than I would if I were back in the west.
My point to all of this is Thailand is cheaper not by how much things costs but because it offers the opportunity of a different lifestyle. A lifestyle without all the fake BS that has become the west these days. I mean really think about it, it's cheaper to live here because we don't need as much stuff therefore our cost of living in Thailand is much less. We don't need the massive house the fancy car the brown-nosing monotonous job where we are starved for time. We can have a much simpler more fulfilling life here.
If you choose to live in Thailand and are still bought into all the material BS then your going to need more than a pension to survive here and just forget about teaching. But if you have chosen to adopt a less is more mentality then living in Thailand offers you that at a discounted price.