If one were in the west, living off $500 a month is generally considered living at the poverty level. However, the cost of living in Thailand being what it is, Thais throughout the country are able to live within this amount (approximately 15,000 baht) or less. But make no mistake, even in Thailand, living off of $500 is no easy feat. So can you live in the country comfortably with just $500 a month? More importantly, do you really want to live in the country with this much?
In order to answer this question, ask yourself the following questions:
Are you single or married?
Do you have children?
Are you currently in debt?
Are you the backpacker type who can live in a bare-bones place or high maintenance?
Are you claustrophobic? Can you live day-in and day-out in one small room?
Are you a spender or a saver?
Are you planning on living in Thailand short-term or long-term?
Are you willing to sacrifice, adhere to a strict budget and watch your dollars and cents (baht and satong)?
All of these questions are important and can provide insight as to whether or not you can get by with $500 a month.
Is it possible? YES. Would I feel okay living off this much per month? NO WAY.
You can get by with $500 a month but getting by and progressing financially are two different lifestyles. People in America get by with welfare and food stamps but
If you are retired, living off a pension, and have a nice chunk stashed away, it is going to be much easier to live frugally than if you're a 25-year-old who eventually wants to buy a house, have a family, and build a life. Before moving here though, definitely assess your situation and see what type of lifestyle your income will provide. Normally this necessitates several visits to Thailand before deciding, "Thailand is for me." It always surprises me how many people want to move to Thailand — yet they have never been here!
Another surprise I get every so often is when someone contacts me and informs me, "I'm coming to Thailand to find a wife." Yet, they have never been to Thailand and only know what they have they have read in books or seen on TV or in the movies.
Whatever your budget, one of the main things to consider is whether your quality of life in Thailand will be better than in your home country. If the answer is yes, then by all means live in Thailand. If the answer is no, then take a vacation here and be thankful for what you have.
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