Another month has passed for us in Chiang Mai and it is time to share the numbers with you!
What was the cost of one month in Thailand with kids?
October 2014 – Under Budget!
As you know, we are very open with our budget and share with you are actual costs. We try to stick to our $3000 (ish) per month budget. Sometimes we are over, most of the time spot on, but this time we were under! We even made an expensive purchase and did it!
Analysis of our Actual Costs for one month in Thailand with kids
- We actually rented a car for a couple of days for our trip to Pai. Again, we worked out the math and it was just better and almost the same price to rent a car vs. taking the mini bus. We do like our freedom and being able to stop and explore.
- We also took full advantage of the local red trucks (Songthaews). They stopped treating us like tourists and deviating from the standard 20 Baht per person fare, once we started saying our destinations in Thai.
Food & Household Supplies
- This one is a little tricky. As I have mentioned before, this is a cash culture. However, we do have a kitchen and we do cook! We have a few small grocery stores we frequent every few days. Each has something the other doesn’t, so we make our rounds. They all accept credit cards, so this makes us happy and it is super easy for me to keep track of things.
- We had fewer supplies this month as we are pretty settled in our apartment. In fact, we are leaving and trying to give the few things we purchased away.
- We did eat out a bit more often and many times at the western places. Mexican is our favorite and we just love it at Miguel’s.
- Another tricky one! I know exactly how much cash we start with each month, how much we withdraw, and how much we have left at the end. We do the math and all cash, excluding eating out, is considered miscellaneous.
- This was the month prior to my mom coming to visit. There were a few things from the USA, that we wanted her to bring along, so we made some extra purchases. One of those items was a replacement laptop for Anya. Our laptops are all 2 1/2 years old. Her laptop battery no longer held a charge and the power brick stopped working. Luckily, she and I both had the same brand, so she could use my power cord. That was less than optimal, so we decided it was worth it to just get her a new laptop. Thanks for bringing it Gma Bev!
- I know what you are thinking, “Why do they have travel when they always travel?” Next time, I am going to rethink this. Since we were in an apartment most of the time and using it as a home base, I chose to keep it this go round. I just didn’t want to muddy the water on the cost of an apartment and have people think it was higher than it actually is.
- In October we took a 3 day road trip to Pai and also had a “staycation” on the other side of Chiang Mai.
- This is a set fee at $146 a month. The only reason we have this cost is because there were certain items we felt we couldn’t live without. I sure hope when we ever return to the US, that we still feel the same about those items. They are costing us a fortune! If you are leaving your home country to travel for 1+years, just get rid of your stuff!
- This is my favorite, because it is so cheap!
- Internet – in our complex the fee is 350 baht ($11) for one computer or 500 baht ($15) for two. We are of course 4, so our monthly cost for internet is $30.
- Our pay as you go phone and data costs run us about $12-$15 each. So about $25-$30 in total for 2 phones. We have 2 smart phones and we purchased SIM cards for each. The SIM cards were about $3 each. The kids use my mobile data to keep up with their friends in Spain via social media.
- Skype – This is about $10 – $15 a month. We need to make those calls to the USA and this is the easiest way for us to do so.
- Rent is 23,000 Baht ($720 depending on exchange rate) a month. The utilities are what can fluctuate based on usage.
- Water runs about $4 a month.
- Electricity We have been doing pretty good with the electric, as the weather has cooled slightly.
- Satellite TV – 300 baht a month ($10)
Okay, there you have it! Our money has been spent and we are sharing it all with you. We do hope it helps you out, so please feel free to let us know if it does. It is TONS of work to do this, so feedback is much appreciated.
Next month we are on the move, so we will be tracking our expenses differently. Anya will be the expense tracker in the family (with a little help from me). This is great for her math skills, so it should be fun. We have created a shared Google doc worksheet for her to use. We will adjust the categories slightly and look forward to seeing how it all works out.