The last time I was living in Thailand I gave myself a monthly budget of $1,000 per month to live on, I will show you how even today in 2014 you can be living in Thailand for $1,000 per month or less and have fun.
Want to get laid in Thailand for free, then read this article.
I have previous documented the cost of things in Bangkok and my monthly budget in Bangkok. This blog post gives a breakdown of my costs in Thailand to a even greater extent and showing you all how I managed to live in Thailand for under $1000 a month.
If you’re thinking about moving to Thailand and need help, check out my Thai friend’s website here, she may be able to help you out.
Cost of apartments in Thailand
The rental of apartments in Thailand can be anything from $100 to $3000+ per month depending on your needs. Since we are discussing about living in Thailand for $1,000 a month, I will only go into detail about apartments in the $300 per month or less range.
For $250-$350 a month in Bangkok, you can expect to get yourself a studio apartment with a bathroom, balcony, air con fridge and WiFi in a close to central part of town. Not right in the center, but not so far away either that it will take hours to get anywhere. Don’t expect this apartment to be kitted out with the latest furniture or having amazing features, just a basic clean room. Room sizes to be around 27-33sq meters. Here are some Bangkok apartments in that price range.
If you don’t mind living further away from central Bangkok (for argument sake, lets say Asoke is central), in areas such as Mo chit, Lad Prao, Udom Suk, for the same price you could get a much bigger room, with more amenities, perhaps even a gym and a pool for that price. The only downside being that you now live further away from the center.
When I was living in Thailand, I spent $350 per month for a studio apartment in Ekkamai.
Total so far $350
Cost of transportation in Thailand
One of the best thing about living in Thailand (Bangkok mostly ) is the cheap transportation. Taxi start at 35 baht, the BTS and MRT are pretty cheap, so are local buses and motosi taxis. Since I lived in Ekkamai, and everything I wanted to do was nearby I bought myself a bicycle from the Big C.
Most places I wanted to go were in cycling distance. I would spend around $20-40 per month on transportation costs while living in Thailand because of my bicycle. You could also look into buying a scooter in Thailand, but I didn’t want to risk my life 🙂 .
Phuket is the exception where taxi prices are almost 900% higher than anything you would expect to pay in Bangkok, Chiang Mai or Pattaya.
Total so far $380
The cost of food in Thailand
If you live in a studio apartment close to the center of Bangkok, chance are you wont have a cooker or oven, just a microwave, so 90% of what I ate in Thailand was bought from street stalls or restaurants. I would only make myself cereal and sandwiches, the rest I would eat out, the rest I would usually go to Soi 38.
The average cost of a meal in Bangkok if you want to eat on the street is 30-50 baht, inside a restaurant maybe 60baht upwards depending. If you want to go and eat western food then food prices rises higher to about 100baht+ per dish.
I would usually end up spending around 250 baht a day on food overall, which came to about 4 meals including sandwiches and cereal. When living in Thailand my average meal was priced around 40baht, but once or so a week I would visit a new restaurant and eat there, which would sent me back 200-700 baht. My overall monthly food budget was around $250 per month while living in Thailand.
Total so far $630
Cost of activities in Thailand
Almost daily I would either be playing football, tennis or hitting one of the many Bangkok gyms to get swole. Tennis courts were fairly cheap at 30 baht per hour each, I also paid 20 baht per session at my gym. My gym was pretty rough though, no aircon, machines that were not safe, damaged weights and benches. But whatever, I just go to lift. A pretty boy gym with all the newest weights and machines is going to set you back 1,500-2,000 baht per month.
Living in Thailand on a $1,000 budget means you have to be a little bit smart, a normal cinema ticket in Bangkok costs 250 baht, but if you visit the Major Cineplex website, if you wait 2-3 weeks for a new release to get moved down in the ranks, the same movie ticket can be purchased for 100 baht. I think overall activates cost me about 2,500 baht per month.
Total so far $715
Drinking and going to night clubs in Thailand
For some people living in Thailand, what they spend in a month on going out, is higher than all other costs combined, so be careful on how much you drink. I would tend to go out once a week in a group of 5-7 people, the more people in the group, the cheaper the night out will be. I never went to go go bars as the novelty wears off pretty quick and they are a great place to spend money, fast.
I would also opt for buying bottles in clubs as they are much better value then buying individual drinks. The nightclubs in Bangkok also offer free entry on certain dates, so it is wise to know what days they are. I think on average each month I spent about 3,000-5,000 baht on going out to bars and clubs when I was living in Thailand
Total so far: $855
The cost of Thai girls
This is one area of spending that could break anyone’s budget, the price of getting a Thai bar girl in Bangkok can vary from 500 baht to several thousand baht. If you plan to be living in Thailand for $1,000 a month and want to pay for Thai girls, I would suggest widening your budget, or moving to a much cheaper city in Thailand, such as Chiang Mai. If you get yourself one girl a week at the going rate of 1,000 baht, that’s $140 a month of your budget, add buying her food, taxi fare and other things maybe make it $180~.
A much sensible suggestion would be to find your self a Thai girl would be to use one of the many Thai dating sites or read my post on how to find a girlfriend in Bangkok night clubs, or how to get a Thai Girlfriend.
Total so far: $855
Misc items and massages
Other more boring things I would spend money on was just every day misc items such as toothbrushes, socks, toilet paper and what not. I would also get myself a than massage once a week for 150baht, sometimes I’d “splash” out and get myself two. These costs combined is another 1,000 baht or so.
Total so far: $885
Things I have not mentioned about living in Thailand
You also need to take into consideration travel insurance and healthcare costs as well as Visa runs. On the months I had to do my visa runs, sometimes I still managed to keep within my budget of $1,000 per month living in Thailand.
I am very frugal with my money and I always try to get the best value I can find, it will takes you a few months to get used to Thailand and found out what to get cheaper where and how to get it. But even today in 2014 it is quite possible to live in Thailand for under $1,000 per month.
The prices above were based on living in Bangkok, Thailand, if you want to move to Chiang Mai or Pattaya, I would suspect to reduce the costs about by about 5-15%, and if you want to live in Phuket, maybe increase them by 5-15%.
If you have any questions about my costs for living in Thailand, please leave a comment and I will answer any questions you may have.