What kind of lifestyle in Bangkok am I looking at with THB 50K per month?

Hi everyone,

How did it work out in the end? It's been 3 months since this post. Did you move? If yes, did it work out for you?
Yep, it's been just over a month since I moved. It's been good so far, no complaints. :)
Registered just to post this as no one seems to have mentioned it yet and it hit me hard.
You need 2 months deposit PLUS a months rent upfront! So for a 15k place you'd be looking at 45k just to move in. A lot of people at my workplace had to ask for an advance on their salary because of this. The alternative was transferring from a home bank (fees) or taking out cash (most limit you to 10k thb per day with a foreign card and then charge 250thb on top of that as a fee) which was really inconvenient.
You can also get about 20% off the listing fee if you haggle. No one told me that either...
In terms of living costs etc. it depends on what you're used to. I don't go out drinking much, or have a gym membership (extortionate when compared to places like London) but I prefer to eat western food (indian food is a similar price) and go on a weekend away once a month. In my first year here I was on more than you will be after tax and saved literally nothing. I actually dipped into my savings for some flights.
Thank you for doing this.
I'm not sure how do I haggle. Do I just ask upfront to reduce the price and they will? I can look into transferring from my home account for the first advance and rent payments.
Also, I'm looking at 50k after taxes. Would that still be a difficult number to live with according to your life style (i.e, no drinking but the one odd trip)?
Try Patoy motorbikes rental. Best prices I can find online. You can’t rely on public transport in Bangkok and you don’t wanna drive unless you are ok with spending 3 hours per day on the roads.
Thank you! Noted patoy motorbikes :)
Couple things, some of this will rehash the better advice that has already been given.
Personally I would look at the area from BTS National Stadium / BTS Ratchathewi all the way up through Victory Monument / BTS Ari. An older but well maintained 1br unit in these areas can run from 6K-16K. I would shoot for a cheap place in my first year here since it's easy to overpay if you don't know the market, you can always move when your lease is up. There is also a large area around the Ratchadamri/Petchaburi intersection in this same price range where you are potentially a <10min walk from Central World, and a few minutes by motorbike to BTS Chitlom or the Pratunam khlong station, this area is cheap, central, and has a very local vibe.
Not many of the good condo options in these neighborhoods, especially on the cheaper end of that budget, are going to be posted in English online. They show up in Thai postings on Pantip and forums like that, but you really just have to do the footwork.
Aside from these things I don't think there'll be any other big essentials in your budget. If you're working at Agoda you'll have a work permit, you'll be covered by the Thai health system, decent private insurance can be had for THB 1500/mo if you want it. You can get a motorbike if you want but probably don't need it especially if you live near Centralworld.
Noting all of this down! I have pretty understood that footwork is needed to find a good place to live. Hoping the couple weeks accomodation I have will be enough for me to find a suitable place.
I think socialising with coworkers will primarily be my social life outside work too. That is if they have that sort of a culture at the workplace.
Getting across the city can be slow, tedious and pricey by cab. Try to stay within walking distance of BTS/MRT. River transport is also inexpensive. If you can live in a small condo and stick to eating street food (which is delicious & so inexpensive, with plenty variety), you’ll be fine. Alcohol is pricey so you’re good there. If you’re not wining and dining the opposite sex, you’ll have money for exploratory day trips to some of the amazing places not far from Bangkok. You’re in for the adventure of a lifetime!
I love all the positivity on here! Thank you for the tips. Getting a place close to work or close to BTS is a priority right now. :)
You should be able to find a nice flat in On Nut or Udom Suk. Maybe take a look at the Bangkok Expats group on Facebook, sometimes flats are posted there. Or you can just go to an estate agent, they don’t charge you an agency fee (that is charged to the owner of the condo). That’s how I found my flat anyways.
If you don’t go out and party, or have to do visa runs and your health insurance is paid for, I think 50,000 is a decent wage (same wage that I’ll be on). Just try your best to live near a BTS if you want to avoid paying for taxis and motorbikes, but sometimes that’s unavoidable (I have to motorbike to work cause there’s no BTS).
I’m also vegetarian. You can learn some Thai phrases to help order vegetarian street food, most dishes can be made veggie (some have fish sauce in though). You’re not going to be getting a lot of micronutrients eating rice and noodles though.
Vegetarian: mang-sà-wí-rát Don’t put meat: mai sài néua (although néua also means beef so this can get confusing as they just think you’re asking for no beef) Don’t put egg: mai sài kài
Sometimes vegetarian food can be hard, however food courts in shopping malls tend to have a vegetarian Thai food stall which is just heaven.
Awesome! Very helpful!
You motorbike to work? You purchased one for yourself or are these motorbike taxis?
I spend around 2kUSD a month. My rent is 24kbath. I don't really go out but I eat only western food and lots of meat.
Not bad. That comes up to around 60k baht. And you're living a comfortable life in a nice condo? Not having to cut it to close to make ends meet either?
15K a month not too far out is doable, food and small extras could be as low as another 15K a month, few grand more a month for internet/phone, you'll get by with about 15K left over, not too bad, you can live alright on that, assuming you'll be working most of the time and not spending spending spending like the retiree some here assume you'll be.
Haha. Nope. I'm no retiree. Will be spending a considerable amount of time working causing I'm making the move to help with my career. :)
Thanks for the positivity and the tips! :)
What? An unlimited data plan (True or AIS) was 300-600 baht/month depending on speed a few months back.
You can have fun, but you have to realize it's one unfortunate incident and you're done.
There's no wiggle room in that budget.
If you need Visa runs every 3 months, those are a minimum of 10.000 THB to Laos. I think I mapped it to 9200 THB at the lowest. In addition about 2000 THB every 3 months for an extension. So that's 4000 THB gone every month there.
Then you need health insurance, yes you do need this, which will run you about 5000THB /month depending on your age.
That's about 10K gone there.
Now you have 40K left.
You can get an apartment for 10K, maybe Ekamai or a condo at the end of the BTS.
That's 30K left.
Now you need food. That's about 200 THB if you're being very frugal. In reality probably closer to 10K a month if you're eating out once in a while.
That's 30K left.
Then for clothes and various other items related to personal appearance and huygiene. Let's just assume around 3000 THB a month. This based on buying cheap t-shirts in Uniqlo and the like.
Internet and TV. Lets say 2K for this, since it's fairly expensive.
Lets put transport (motocy 2xday, BTS, occasional taxi) at 2K a month.
That's 25K left. We arrived at this being very frugal.
You could go for trips to the rest of Thailand once a month maybe, for a few days.
Get like a cheap bungalow (500THB night), then a cheap ticket with Nok Air (maybe 2K return), then spend 500THB day on food, drinks. Let's just say 7500K month on this on average for a long weekend, which is really, really difficult to pull off, but doable. Provided you buy well in advance.
So let's say you have 15K left now after monthly travel for a 3-4 days.
Then what can we do with that money?
A night out at RCA or Kao San, sharing bottle with friends: 1K or so at minimum.
A night out at lower Sukhumvit, strip clubs, then on to something like Levels: 3K minimum.
If you're into pay for play, that's about 2-3K a pop.
Cheap date, ice cream and a walk/talk/taxi, maybe 200 THB.
Drinks on Above Eleven and sushi date, I dunno maybe 1K /person.
You go out twice a week, go to Lower Suk twice a month. That's about maybe 10K. This is all assuming you don't pay for play. In that case, you can afford going out once a week.
You can get return trips to Penang for 3.5K THB..
But as they are coming here to work then the OP is likely getting a work permit and won't need to do Visa runs or pay for extensions. Also get health insurance included.
I'm hoping my visa expenses and health insurance will be taken care of by my employer. That should help me with 15k
I won't be travelling out of Bangkok for an initial few months until I know how my expenses pan out. So I'll keep the 5-10k per month from travel.
I'll probably spend the above ~20k on living expenses alone.
And just so I'm clear, does pay to play refer to sex workers or is this paying for my playstation games?
He's going there to work, so you get a work visa and many workplaces include health insurance. But other than that seems legit
Mind if I ask what industry/job is paying you 50k?
E-commerce :)
I bet it's some low level IT support or coding.
I paid 7k for a nice small condo in udom suk. earned 40k and had a good lifestyle. didn't save money but way better quality of life than London.
commute would be about an hour each way from there though and really busy, I'd spend the extra 10k youre earning on living closer.
I actually bought and cooked few days of the week not sure how much that helped. Buy a rice cooker and learn to cook. much healthier anyway.
7k sounds like a steal? From everyone's advice 15k is still on the lower end. I will probably looks for places in the 15k range and then go up if I dot find anything nice.
Rice cooker and cooking once in a while sounds good. Will try that. Thanks :)
I’ve lived here three years, similar pay and this is the most relatable answer for me. I live in the north of the city (mo chit/saphan khwai), 15k for a 40sqm nice condo, pool gym etc. I eat a mix of street, restaurant and home cooked food - depending on what I fancy.
I’m a big fan of my PlayStation, and don’t go out drinking too much, so my air con bill is about twice that, but I don’t spend much on going out.
I live a very comfortable life, with money left over for savings and trips out of the city.
I guess a lot comes down to where your office is and how close to work you want to be. My commute takes 5 minutes, I decided to live close to my office because I didn’t want to commute, and I’m lucky the area is decent, lots of nice bars, quite chill, good travel links.
Don’t panic by those saying you must be earning 100k plus, whilst it’s the end goal, Bangkok is plenty survivable and enjoyable on much less than that.
Agree apart from food. Street food can be made mild if you ask.
Mai phed krub
I always like Gap Mak Prik Krub
Thank you so much for taking the time out for such a detailed response.
Regarding travel - 40 to 60 baht for one way trips? That alone adds up to ~3k baht if I was looking at just going to work and coming back home. Are there passes that go for cheaper? The kinds I can use to ride for a month and then renew and so on?
Three stops on the MRT will take you to two bedrooms condo with pool land for 15,000. It’s not great money but you’ll survive. The magic number is 100,000. Then the world’s your lobster.
100k after taxes? O_o
I'll have to spend a couple years in the org to get there. I do have a feeling I have been lowballed by the org but then again I'm coming for the experience hoping it will open new doors for me.
You say you prefer to watch Netflix and play games. 50k will go a long way without the expenses of drinking/partying.
Yup, I have a PS4 I spend considerable amount of time on. So I'll probably spend more on internet than normal but I'm hoping it won't be as much as I would if I was partying.
50k per month is doable, but you won't be able to go out much to drink or afford a lot of imported products.
15K rent is ok, Electricity and water, internet, mobile package, laundry, transportation can be manageable.
It's gonna be tight though.
Are there reliable websites I can search for accommodation on?
What localities do I need to search in?
Not great tbh. But really depends where you live. An an FYI University college grads that work at MNCs whom speak English start at like 50-60, and they tend to still live at home
Damn. Thanks for the info.
I think I am primarily concerned about my accomodation. How much do I budget for a furnished 1bhk and which area do I need to look at for them?
What area is it in? That answers most of the questions.
Central World, pathum wan