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Cost of living Thailand vs. US

Introduction

Many people want to shift abroad; most of them, you know, have already been. But before moving to any place, we search for many things, including healthcare, education, GDP, employment ratio, quality of living, and you name it.

Nowadays, the latest sensation amongst the people is; Thailand. When you ask anyone where they want to live abroad, the answer will be – Thailand.

Who does not like to shift to a country with incredible weather all year? Thailand offers you amazing weather, better education, high-quality medical facilities, and, not to forget, an inexpensive lifestyle. Above all, locals have a welcoming spirit towards new ex-pats. The country is all about devotion, companionship, and positivity.

Why is it so cheap to live in Thailand? Indeed, the cost of living in Thailand is more affordable than in other countries globally, although people’s living standard is high. When you compare Thailand’s cost of living vs. the US, you will see that Thailand’s day-to-day expenses are way cheaper than the USA. As a result, Thailand is known as a cheap country.

Cost of living Thailand vs. US

How much money do you need to live comfortably in Thailand? Well, it entirely depends upon which part you are living in Thailand. Suppose you want to settle in Bangkok; you at least require $1000 (30,000 Baht) a month to live a comfortable life in Thailand; it includes monthly expenditures that you can not deny.

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Rent

For a luxurious stay, you might need to keep $600 to $1000 within you for a one-bedroom apartment, as the downtown area, and outside city center cost change. But when it comes three-bedroom apartment, you have to invest a considerable amount; $1,355 and up (40,000 baht) per month. This amount is worth it for amenity, convenience, and king-like life.

However, if you are on a tight budget and want everything in control, you must consider the outside city center area, as it will cost you between $200 to $300 for a one-bedroom apartment. Around $600 is enough to get an economical three-bedroom apartment outside the center area. But, you have to pay a higher price in the city center; it is above $1000.

How much is rent in Thailand? It entirely depends upon the house type, location, and facilities you desire. You might pay as high as over 50,000 baht ($1494), or you can find a good deal at 5,000 baht (149) a month.

Can foreigners rent apartments in Thailand? The answer is a big “yes”; you can rent the apartment without big issues. However, you can not buy land until you have become a citizen of that certain country.

Food

You’ll most likely get your favorite fast food in Thailand as KFC and McDonald’s have the biggest market in Thailand. You can get up to 50% discounts in nice restaurants on your lunch. Consider checking out eatigo, KLOOK, and Chope.

Additionally, you can have a mouth-watering dinner for only 100 baht, which is $3 in the USA. However, seafood costs more but less when compared to USA cost.

While you are in Thailand, you can not miss Thai drinks – O-Liang, Coco Yen, Cha Manao, Nam Anchan, Nam Bai Toey, naming a few.

How much does street food cost in Thailand? Thailand’s street food only comes between 30 to 60 Baht ($1 to 3). If you go for some expensive items, they will cost you 80 to 100 Baht ($1 to 3), which is still inexpensive.

How expensive is food in Bangkok? Western food prices vary between 200 Baht ($6) to 1000 Baht ($30) per person. However, if you set for Thai food, you will only need to spend 300 Baht ($9) per person.

Transport

Thailand offers several local transportation options, including Songthaew, Tuk-tuk, Skylab, Samlor, Rickshaw, Metro and Sky Train, Taxi, and many more at cheap cost.

To protect yourself from scalding heat, you can get an air-conditioned taxi for a comfortable driving experience. Above all, you will experience taxi riding at an affordable cost as petrol prices are comparatively low here.

You will find five petrol varieties at retail pumps in Thailand: gasohol 91 E10, gasohol 95 E10, gasohol 95 E20, gasohol 95 E85, and premium ULP 95 petrol. Further, petrol prices are lower than in other countries, including the USA.

How much is transported in Thailand? Taxis and buses are inexpensive and cost $1 (33.51 Baht) to $2 (67.02 Baht) daily, so you can affordably roam around the country without worrying about travel costs.

What is the cheapest transportation in Thailand? When it comes to the most inexpensive transit, you must go by Motorcycle taxi. They are affordable and readily available in a country; they are best for short distances.

How much does it cost to ride the bus in Thailand?

It depends on which bus you take; regular buses cost 8 Baht ($0.24), expressway buses 10 Baht ($0.30), air-conditioned buses (cream blue color) 12 Baht ($0.36), and night buses (cream red color) 9.50 Baht ($0.20).

Tax

Here, you will see mainly three tax types; are property tax, income tax, and sales tax.

Thailand’s government hasn’t imposed any property tax; however, if a person rents his property, he must pay 12.5% housing and rent tax yearly.

There are two types of income taxes in Thailand: Personal Income Tax and Corporate Income Tax.

To your surprise, the sales tax rate of Thailand is 7 percent. So, Thailand’s cost of living compared to the US is cheaper and makes it an affordable city.

Personal Income Tax (PIT) rates

Net income (THB*)   PIT rate (%)
0 to 150,000   Exempt
150,001 to 300,000    5
300,001 to 500,000    10
500,001 to 750,000    15
750,001 to 1,000,000 20
1,000,001 to 2,000,000          25
2,000,001 to 5,000,000          30
Over 5,000,000          35

Rates for companies with low paid-in capital and income

Net profit (THB)        Tax rate (%)
0 to 300,000   0
300,001 to 3 million  15
Over 3 million20

Do foreigners pay tax in Thailand? Yes, foreigners have to pay income tax in Thailand, but only on their earned income in Thailand. Unlike the USA, the USA takes income tax on globally earned income of the local and non-residents.

Is Thailand a tax haven? Yes, you can say that Thailand has a unique and affordable way of taking taxes. On the contrary, it does not take the income tax globally earned income of the non-residents.

Utility

Thailand does not have main gas lines, so residents have to buy the LPG costs 23.88 Baht ($0.71). However, the electricity bill depends upon individual usage, but as per 2020 data, it was 749 Baht ($22.35) per household.

When it comes to internet plans and bills, every internet provider in Thailand offers different plans. Accordingly, they charge you; there are mainly four internet providers – AIS Fibre, True Online, 3BB Internet, and TOT.

How do I pay my electricity bill in Thailand? You have three options – you can directly pay to the electricity company, expend it at your bank or post office, and lastly, you can pay at 7 – 11.

How much does water cost in Thailand? If you are a family of two people, it will cost you 200 Baht ($5.97); but it can be above 1000 Baht ($29.84) for a more than two-person family.

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House

Depending on your budget, you can build a house in two ways, either economically or luxuriously. For making a cheap house of 80 square meters, you at least have 500 000 Baht ($14920.92). On the opposite, a luxurious home can cost you up to or greater than 25,000-40,000 Baht per sqm ($746.05-1193.67).

How much is an average house in Thailand? For houses, you have to pay between $150,000 to $700,000. However, apartments cost are relatively low; $110,000 to $250,000. Still, the prices vary based on the city you live in; if you are in Hua Hin and Chonburi, you will see a significant drop in the prices.

Is housing cheap in Thailand? Thailand’s cost of living compared to the US is much more affordable; due to its housing cost. You will spend half or less than half amount in Thailand to build a house compared to the USA and other European countries.

How much does it cost to build a house in Thailand? For making a typical house in a city like Hua Hin and Chonburi, you will require $110,000 to $250,000.

Grocery

The grocery list mainly includes personal care items, such as makeup kits and all, and daily things like vegetables and fruits. You can make your grocery list and purchase it according to your likes and dislikes. However, if you like to have cabbage in your dine, it is remarkably inexpensive, 10 to 20 Baht per kg ($0.30-0.60).

How much do groceries cost in Thailand? If we talk about overall essentials in groceries, you can have good grocery shopping only at $200 (6702 Baht).

Are supermarkets expensive in Thailand? Supermarkets are affordable, and you can find almost everything in them, including fresh vegetables and fruits, cut untouched meats, makeup items, and get what you want.

Health system

Government hospitals in Thailand offer medical services free of cost to their residents having a Universal Coverage Health card. However, if one visits on Saturdays, they have to pay some fees. Plus, ex-pats having general medical problems have to spend 300 to 500 Baht ($8.95-14.92) in the government hospital and 1,500 to 2,000 Baht ($44.76-59.68) in private hospitals.

How expensive is healthcare in Thailand? If you choose a government hospital, you must pay between 300 to 500 Baht for common illnesses as an ex-pat. However, it can go up to 1000 Baht in private hospitals, but compared to the USA, it is highly reasonable.

Is healthcare cheap in Thailand? When we see other countries’ data, like the USA and UK, we can say that Thailand’s healthcare is inexpensive and offers high-quality service.

Educations

Do you want to experience an affordable yet high-quality education? If you are nodding “yes,” Thailand will be your favorite education terminus. Thailand is a hub of top universities, including government and private.

The most popular top universities are Chulalongkorn University and Mae Fah Luang University, and their fees are $1892.52 (63562.18 Baht) to $2666.47 (89556.06 Baht) and $773.95 (25993.88 Baht) to $3615.55 (121431.86 Baht) respectively.

Is education expensive in Thailand? If we compare Thailand’s quality and tuition fees with the USA, undoubtedly, Thailand is the vanquisher. However, tuition fees fluctuate depending upon the course and university you select. On average, undergraduate applicants must pay between $1,000 (33586 Baht) to $ 4,000 (134344 baht) per year, and Post-graduate $1,000 (33586 Baht) to $2,000 (67172 Baht) per year.

How much is an international school in Thailand? On average, you must pay $17,200 (577679.20 Baht) per year in Thailand. Plus, international schools in Thailand offer a variety of curriculum for the overall growth of a child.

Can foreigners study in Thailand? Yes, you can. But for this, you have to apply for a student visa for taking courses or studying in Thailand.

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Shopping

Thailand’s traditional clothing is impressive and looks adorable from the rest of the world, known as chut thai (meaning “Thai Outfit”). Anyone can wear it, including fellows, ladies, and juveniles. Moreover, you can wear any clothing, but it should cover the shoulders and knees.

The icing on the cake, you can shop at your budget. However, if you are on a tight budget, you should live the way locals live. Like you can shop at local spots, you can find everything in local shops, including clothes, ornaments, home appliances, and you say it.

Is stuff cheap in Thailand? You will find most of the stuff cheap in Thailand. However, some things are costly, like iPhones, cars, and a few other appliances, as they import them from other countries.

Are clothes cheap in Thailand? If you are talking about a non-branded one, the answer is yes. However, for branded clothes, you have to pay a hefty amount.

Child Care

How much does a nanny cost in Thailand? The average salary of the nanny is 41,800 Baht ($1245.53) per month. The lowest salary you can pay is 21,800 Baht ($649.58), and it can go up to 64,000 Baht ($1907.03) depending on the city you live in Thailand.

Comparison table for better understandings

Monthly pay forThailand currency (Baht)USA currency ($)
Rent4,000119
Utilities1,00030
Cell Phone50015
Internet50015
Groceries5,000149
Eating Out5,000149
Transportation1,50045
Miscellaneous (cleaning supplies, toiletries)1,50045
Entertainment8,000239
Visa Costs1,50045
Savings1,50045

(Note – Also considers the medical expenses which are not included in the table)

FAQs

How much does it cost to eat in Thailand per day?

The meal prices can change depending upon the food variety you order. However, the average amount you have to keep while dining out is 481 Baht ($14.33) per day. Moreover, lunch and dinner can cost you more as compared to breakfast. Still, it is low compared to US and UK.

What you can do in Thailand?

Thailand is a place with incredible spots, mouth-watering food, islands, great culture, and whatnot. If you want to explore Thailand entirely, you should plan a tour for at least two weeks. The things you must do are; visit Thai island, get a Sank Yant tattoo, have street food, take a ride on a tuk-tuk, see the white temple. However, there are countless things you can do in Thailand.

Which one is affordable US or Thailand?

When we compare the Cost of living in Thailand vs. the US, we can not deny the fact that Thailand is much more affordable as compared to the USA.

Conclusion

When we want to travel to another country or migrate, we need to be sure about the cost of living. If you desire to move to a country where you can live a comfortable and affordable life, Thailand will not dissatisfy you.

Many people from the USA are moving to Thailand and living a debt-free life, as Thailand is cheaper and offers you a satisfying life at $1000. After seeing Thailand’s cost of living vs. the US, you will be surprised how affordable Thailand is!

To decrypt your confusion to some extent, we have done a thorough analysis and included data in this article. Hope this article will help you to make your decision.

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