People are always asking me how much it costs to live in Thailand and various other places we travel to, so I’ve decided to post monthly cost of living updates. As we’re currently in Hua Hin, Thailand, the first report is based here. Our costs will be different to usual, as we’ve been in lockdown because of COVID-19. I’ll include some information at the end about how these costs differ from what we usually spend.
After the tenancy at our Bangkok condo came to an end, we had planned to travel around Asia for six months, but as the COVID-19 pandemic had just started we decided to head to Hua Hin instead.
Our plan was to stay for a month or two, but it’s now turned into a much longer stay. We’re already well into month 3 and plan to stay until at least July, and maybe longer.
We have a 30 sqm condo that costs just 10,000 baht a month. If we knew we’d be staying for so long we’d probably have chosen a bigger condo, but we’re here now and love it. It has a beautiful swimming pool, but that’s been closed for the last month or so. We expect it to open at the beginning of June, or maybe sooner.
Total accommodation cost: 10,000 baht
Utility Bills (Electricity, Water, Internet, Phone)
This month our electricity bill was 2,012 baht. That’s up from 1,600 last month, because we spent more time at home.
Water cost 206 baht.
Internet and multi-channel TV (AIS Play) is included in the rent.
Mobile phone cost was 750 baht.
Total utility bills cost: 2,968 baht
We spent a lot less on food this month as we mostly cooked our own food, which was much cheaper than eating out. We only had maybe 4 or 5 takeaway meals, mainly because our favorite restaurants were closed.
What surprised me the most was how little cooking at home costs compared to eating out. It’s very rare that we eat lunch at home, so I guess we’ve just got used to the prices we usually pay.
The food costs here include takeaway food and also the supermarket and local market shopping. It also includes some miscellaneous items like bathroom and kitchen supplies, as I didn’t see much point separating these out.
Even eating at home, our food budget is much more than I’ve seen others mention on their cost of living updates.
Total food costs: 19,220
We love our coffee and usually visit cafes every day. During the lockdown we still got takeaway coffee most days, partly just to get out of the condo for a bit. Where we drink coffee varies between high-cost places like Starbucks and more local coffees that have much lower prices.
As most places were closed we got our takeaways from Starbucks at the beginning of the month, but changed to 7-Eleven coffee later in the month, after a friend suggested it. The coffee there isn’t the best but it’s decent enough. At Starbucks an Americano costs 110 baht, while it’s only 25 baht at 7-Eleven. That makes for a big saving.
The coffee costs include any desserts we had with our coffee,
Total coffee cost: 2,184 baht
We have a trusty old car to get us around. This has been a very cheap month for the petrol costs, as we’ve basically just been to the local supermarket and back most days. The only expense has been filling the tank once. There is still around three quarters of a tank of petrol left, so it might even last us another month.
Total car costs: 770 baht
The main cost here was a new rice cooker that we bought for 2,690 baht. As we were cooking at home every day, this was an essential purchase. It’s pretty awesome, and can even make bread and cake.
Other miscellaneous expenses included household goods, postage, supplements, and my wife’s hair products.
Total miscellaneous costs: 6,457 baht
So we spent a grand total of 41,599 baht, which is around $1,280 or £1,025. Back in London, where I used to live, this wouldn’t even have covered rent, let alone anything else.
When we lived in Bangkok recently, our rent was 26,000 baht a month and our total expenses were around 80,000 baht a month. As you can see, we’ve only spent around half of that this month. It’s good to balance the more costly months with some cheaper months.
With some of the lockdown restrictions now lifted, it will be interested to see how much we spend in May,