We made it!
One month in and we are still going strong. I shouldn’t sound so surprised, but if you read the first 72 hours, you will recall my anxiety.
A few people have asked us how much this experiment is costing. So today, I thought I would give you an overview of our first month’s budget. Hopefully, you will see that it’s a great way to live and book your flight to come out and visit us!
Live in Thailand for less than $30 per day. Here’s how:
One of the main expenses is accommodation. One’s gotta sleep right?
Before we returned in June we had already organised our accommodation with the lovely Tim at Plus Condominiums via Airbnb. We got a good rate as it is the ‘green’ or rainy season. We expect our budget for accommodation to increase as we move into the high season and budgeting for this now, so we don’t get caught short in a couple of months time*.
Situated in Kathu, Plus Condo is perfect for us. It is a self-catering 36sqm apartment with washing machine, working spaces and living room. It has high-speed internet, gym and pool and close to shops and local restaurants. Nestled in between the hills, Kathu is a 10-15 min bus ride to Patong beach and Phuket town. The apartment is also very close to the popular Central Festival shopping mall filled with western brand fashion labels and a cinema, Tesco Lotus and Big C supermarkets. There were options for a smaller and cheaper apartment without a pool and gym, but we need the working spaces for music and web development. Also we are trying to shape up and the onsite gym and pool facilities are a great motivation.
Separate to accommodation we are paying for high-speed, but very reliable internet which is vital for the work we are doing and staying in touch with friends and family via Skype and Messenger.
Your main expense will be electricity and it is dependent upon your use of air conditioning. We have two A/C units in our apartment, but only ever use one at a time. We survive with the windows open and the fan. You just have to watch when the rains hit (every day for 5 mins or so) as its an interesting way to clean your floors. Water is included in our rental price, but some places do charge this separately for long-term stays.
If you read my Phuket Night Markets post you will know that food and tasty food is extremely cheap in Thailand. We have enjoyed eating food at the local markets, down at Patong beach, local restaurants and familiar favourites like KFC. We are fortunate to have a farmer’s market near to us where all the locals go. I love my Saturday morning walk to the market where I can buy just-picked bundles of veggies for 50c. I have also put my culinary skills to the test and created my own twists on classics like Laab, Tom Yum Soup, Chicken Green Curry.
Missing the taste from home? You can satisfy those cravings at Big C or Central Food hall where they have a variety of imported treats. Peanut butter, Vegemite and dark chocolate Tim Tams are our splurges.
Staying hydrated is important in this humid climate. We are trying to minimise our water bottle plastic waste by buying a 20 litre water bottle and re-filling our smaller one litre bottles. I know that Rich does not enjoy going across the road to pick up this monster, but at 50c for that much water, it’s a winner!
In the first month we spent very little on transport as we have been busy with the website and blog and we try to walk everywhere to get a sense of our surroundings. It also rains frequently, so we have not hit the beach as much as we thought. We expect this aspect of the budget to increase as the months go on. In general we catch the local blue and yellow bus and hire a scooter for farther afield trips. I will write a separate post about getting around Phuket.
We are such losers – we have no friends:(
Okay, so that’s not true, we have yet to hang out with these people in a social setting. We have met lots of interesting people in our condo block like an English couple teaching in Phuket town to continue their travel; the Hungarian retiree who we met at a local restaurant and fed us his home-made sausage dish; then there’s the rowdy guys at the all-you-can-eat buffet who drink, play pool and watch the Muay Thai boxing. There’s also a young couple who we see at the gym a lot. I smile and say hi, but I haven’t offered my name yet, as I’m always the colour of a tomato and gross. Perhaps I could start with ‘my name is Luka and I live on the 2nd floor?’ It wouldn’t be the truth, and the song is depressing…hmm, i’ll just wait a bit longer, me thinks.
In our bid to stay focused on the work we are doing, save money and get healthy we have cut back significantly on the drinking. Our first two weeks were quite ‘special’ though. I wanted to celebrate all the firsts and you can imagine how many there were. First scooter ride and surviving, first blog post, first meal I cooked, first power cut, first time on the bus, first load of washing (well not really, but you get my drift).
Going out for us, consists of sampling the local restaurants, heading to the beach, getting a massage and drinking beer on the balcony solving the world’s economic and social problems – some things will never change!
So that’s us. Here’s the month breakdown:
- Rent – 13,000 THB
- Internet and Utilities – 2,500 THB
- Transport – 1,270 THB
- Food – 15,000 THB
- Socialising and going out – 8,530 THB
Total: 40,300 THB or $1612 for two people. That’s AUD $27 each per day!
Hope you enjoyed today’s post and if you want to know more, please leave a comment.
Today’s words brought to you by Daft Punk, ‘Get Lucky’.
* I was advised by Tim this morning, that if we were to stay on into the high season, our monthly rental would remain the same.