Living the Good Life for $700/Month While Working on My Passion Project in Chiang Mai, Thailand


Living the Good Life for $700/Month While Working on My Passion Project in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Some of the people I know spend as little as $300/month, but here’s a breakdown of my less thrifty finances.

My First Apartment in Chiang Mai

About a year ago I left my job to dedicate more time to learning more about programming, work on my passion project (BuoyUp), and travel! If you want to know more about my decision, see my post on Leaving (my engineering job), Launching (my own startup), Departing (the country).

This post is for all those aspiring nomads, to give you a sense of what’s possible in Chiang Mai, a major hub for remote workers. It’s by no means a guide on how to be thrifty in Chiang Mai — I actually spent a lot more than most foreigners that aren’t tourists. There are plenty of ways to cut costs more than I did.

I lived in one of the most expensive and walkable areas in the city, ran my AC all night, never really cooked, rented one-bedroom apartments month-to-month, went out a lot, etc. The crazy part: I only spent $700/month without really making many sacrifices. Here’s an approximation of my monthly spending:

  • Rent for Month to Month Lease (the apartment is cleaned weekly) + Utilities : $300
  • Co-working Membership: $100
  • Phone plan with 5gb of data and hotspot access around town: $15
  • Massages (weekly): $25
  • Yoga Classes (twice a week): $35
  • Food: $150
  • Transport/Going Out/Activities: $75

For my upcoming three-month stay, I’m spending about $100 on visa fees (first thirty days is free) and was able to find flights for around $650 — $700 roundtrip from the US to Thailand. This still averages out to less than $1000/month, which is less than just my rent when I live in the US. This low cost of living has allowed me to take the time to work on projects and develop new skills I couldn’t while I was worried about a full time job and money.

For those who want to be extra thrifty, you can live for as little as $300/month. You can also get extra lavish if you feel like it. I spent $1100 in my first month in Chiang Mai, including $525 for an apartment with a rooftop infinity pool and gym.

This city is amazing, and not just because you can live cheaply. The people are kind and the food is beyond incredible.

Needless to say, I can’t wait to go back this August!

Source: Medium:Remote Working
Living the Good Life for 0/Month While Working on My Passion Project in Chiang Mai, Thailand

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