What is the true cost of living here in Thailand?
On the 25th May 2016 had you exchanged £1, you would have received 52.44฿. Since that day the £ has significantly dropped in value and if you were to go back to the same exchange booth today you would be receiving around 43.80฿, a loss of almost 10฿. So how has that affected those of you who are living here in Thailand, what is the true cost of living here in Thailand?
Years ago when I first moved here I was told that a smart man would live in Thailand, yet work overseas or via the internet. That way he would enjoy the very cheap cost of living here in Thailand, whilst benefit from a significantly higher income than what he could expect to earn, should he choose to work in Thailand. Now I ask the question, is this still so as it appears that same person is getting hit both sides now, higher living expenses and a lower exchange rate?
Over the last 5 years, prices appear to have significantly increased when it comes to living here in Thailand. Certainly going out and having a drinking session is nowhere near as cheap as it used to be. In fact if you hit the Agogo bars and clubs you are almost on par with a night out in London. For sure there are plenty of cheap beer bars scattered everywhere, offering you a “Happy Hour” Leo for ฿45. But hey, we are not talking about this side of living here, we are talking about going out and having fun!
Aside from the nightlife aspect, is living here in Thailand as cheap as people think, what is the true cost of living in here in Thailand? We scoured the internet and here are some of the average quoted prices on some items.
|Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course – 700.61 ฿|
|Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 77.50 ฿|
|Basic (Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment – 2,116.97 ฿|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre – 15,216.46 ฿|
Now if you take just those four items above, based on eating out 3 times a week and have a few beers with your meals, you are looking at 20,000฿. Now granted, that is still very reasonable when compare to living back home. However, now add in transport (hiring or buying a car, taxis etc), the 4 days a week you don’t eat out you need to buy food and cook at home. TV and Internet, you can’t read a book every night or can you? Sporting activities, you need to stay fit! Laundry, clothing, personal hygiene,insurance, not forgetting a “lads night out” once a week! As you can see it all starts to add up.
Now lets say you have a wife or GF, we all know the “additional” costs they will incur. Family troubles, buffaloes, accidents,loan repayments etc etc. A costly sum for many people, and one that often breaks the bank!
So when you add it all up, you consider all the above, the true cost of living here in Thailand is perhaps not as cheap as some may think. Even a move up North, although considerably cheaper than say Bangkok, Pattaya or Phuket, will still have a cost implication. What will the future bring, who knows, although the £ is expected to strengthen, indications show it will not be in the very near future!
Cost Of Living Source – Numbeo