I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I came to live in Thailand, and the steps that I’ve taken in order to do it. And when i look at other blogs and forums they like to tell you how to prepare for your journey here, how to put your stuff in long term storage, how to rent out your house or sell your bellongings where to get the best airfare here and where in Thailand you should live. But they all seem to be missing the most important information of all. Money! If you ain’t got a thousand dollars to your name no point in knowing where the cheapest flight to Thailand is now is there?
So why do all the other bloggers miss this crucial piece of advice? Do they believe that only people with endless wads of cash and retirees on good pension plans come to Thailand? There’s a big trend now for the late 20′s early 30′s to come and live in Thailand and one thing almost all these people have in common is their lack of funds. I’d say 90% of the people i meet around town at that age are teachers, and personally I couldn’t imagine anything more boring or frustrating, do they still use the cane? OK if they had a cane I’d be ok. Seriously though you need an income.
I’ve seen sites where they give you a good idea about how much you need to live in Thailand, they break it down into little pieces so you can know how many cans of coke you can buy per month. A popular forum even suggests you can live in Thailand on 10,000 thousand baht a month. I even wrote an article about how to live in Thailand on $10 a day. Sure it can be done, I know teachers working here on 15,000 thousand a month, and sure they get by. But man your moving and living in paradise, it’s like going to Vegas with a dollar in your pocket, what’s the point man?
If your reading this and you live on less than 20,000 a month you might be saying “oh hogwash” I have plenty of good times Chris. Sure, but if you had 5 times as much money would you have a better time, and if your in your mid twenties you need to have more to build a savings and fund your 401k or pension plan right. You can only scrape by for so long, eventually you’ll either need help or be like so many others (who even came here with loads of cash) asking the embassy for a free ticket back to your own country. That would have to be the worst and I don’t want to see that happen to anyone.
So how much do you really need if you want to live in Thailand. I say you can live in Thailand comfortably and have a good time on 30,000 thousand baht a month, that’s about $1000 USD dollars a month. That allows you a half decent place good meals and a few nights out a week plus visa and medical expenses. However, you won’t get any change left out of that and you can’t live in Bangkok for that either. The reason so many expats live in Chiang Mai is because that’s where 30,000 thousand baht a month will stretch the furthest.
Again if you had $10,000 dollars stashed away, don’t expect to last more than a year in Thailand. Especially if you don’t speak Thai and have never been here before. If you do have an income of $1000 dollars a month don’t expect to survive here more than 5 years. Seems contradictory seeing i just said you can live here comfortably on $1000 dollars a month doesn’t it, why? You need savings! Things go up in price, inflation etc what you can do now is not what you can do in 10 years time (ten years ago it was 500 baht for a girl in Pattaya, now they ask 1000). Things go up in price.
So how much do you really need to live in Thailand? The answer would have to be about 80,000 – 100,000 thousand baht per month. If you want to live in a decent standard actually have a decent pair of sneakers, entertain a lady or two, go out frequently, have full medical coverage, enough to travel back home now and then, and still be saving a good amount of money for your future then this is what you need no if’s and buts about it. If you’re a retiree you need the same because of medical costs that will blow you out of the water even if you have coverage.
For many people from the US where minimum wages are ridiculous you’d be reading this right now and say that is more money than you get in the US! Yes I know! You need need about double that in the US too and I realise people don’t make that kind of money not everyone anyway. But you’d like to wouldn’t you? I wrote an article about how to make money in Thailand though there are no specifics about how to go about being successful at it.
So if your thinking about coming to Thailand forget about everything else, if you have the money you’ll figure everything else out. If you don’t have the money well stop thinking about moving to Thailand and start figuring out how you can cash up to move here. I can give you a little tip though about how I make enough money to live here, I do affiliate marketing mostly using clickbank products from a number of websites I own and run. It’s a lot of work but I can make a modest living in Thailand.