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How much do you spend per month living on Samui?


Samui Cost of Living Index  

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While it is often asked "How much do you need to retire in Thailand?", I thought I would pose the question a bit differently for those of you who are living on Samui.

 

How much (on average) would you say your lifestyle commands per month living on Samui?

 

Realizing the costs of some items may be higher due to the fact it is an island, do you feel as if you are paying a significant amount more than you would in another place like Chiang Mai or Hua Hin?

 

While I would say a fairly common consensus for a comfortable lifestyle in mainland Thailand is $1,500-$2,500 a month, I'm curious if that number matches up with real life experiences from Samui.

 

Thanks for your participation.

 

P.S.  Alcohol consumption varies greatly from person to person and can heavily skew this number, please provide clarity if you are a drinker or not.  Thank you.

 

 

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1 hour ago, huberthammer said:

While you are correct in saying that alcohol consumption skews the survey I would argue that there is a much bigger issue when it comes to skewing budgets - food. 

 

Also very true.  Just taking a survey of the land and seeing how the Samui guys choose to live.  Personally I prefer a good mix of both Thai and Farang food though!

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2 hours ago, huberthammer said:

Farang food (eating in and supermarket) is very expensive and will add a huge discrepancy of monthly cost between people only consuming Thai products and people who indulge in the western food.  Even simple little things like bread or a croissant add up over the course of the month and easy cost as much as you pay for a meal at the local noodle stand for an entire meal.

You are correct again, but it need not be too expensive.

 

Yes, Thai food from 35 baht upwards from the noodle stall. 50 baht for pad krapow moo (with an egg) in a local restaurant.

 

For western restaurant food I pay 290 baht for lamb shank with all of the trimmings.  350 baht for a very large Sunday roast. 600 baht for a fillet steak in a lovely French restaurant. (390 baht on Tuesdays.)

Pork or chicken dishes in Thailand are usually much cheaper than lamb or beef.

 

Pre Covid, I would only eat out a couple of times a week for western food and similar for Thai food, although I get quite a few Thai takeaways to eat at home. (At home I have great views and cheap, cold beer.)

 

Western food at home - a large, marinated pork chop from Tops 120 - 150 baht. Throw it on the BBQ with an onion and tomato, air fry some chips. Large western dinner at home for less than 200 baht. baht. The rest of the time it is salads, sandwiches or snacks.

 

But these prices are reflected across most of Thailand. They are not unique to Samui.

Again, if you want fine dining, it is here in abundance and you will pay western prices for it.

 

I have absolutely no idea what I spend every month, but my biggest cost by far is alcohol. I entertain friends a lot and staff have free beer on Saturdays.

I do not pay rent.

Medical insurance is quite high (I am 70 years old). Currently 600 USD per month.

I run a small business and that pays for all taxes, social security, visa and work permit etc.

Looking at khunPer's numbers, I am probably similar overall. I pay more for electricity (9 baht per KWh but I have solar panels) and less on transport as I use a scooter (daily) more often that I use the car (twice a month).

 

  • 3,350 baht fixed expenses for house, including electric and Internet
  • 15,000 baht house keeping expenses, i.e. 500 baht a day in average
  •  4,000 baht transportation, i.e. gasoline + insurance + service for car

 

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5 hours ago, huberthammer said:

Even simple little things like bread or a croissant add up over the course of the month and easy cost as much as you pay for a meal at the local noodle stand for an entire meal.

 

Hopefully that bread last longer than a single meal..

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How longs a piece of string?....so many variables,impossible to average out.

70,000 pm.including rent..bare minimum.I came not to grow old gracefully and to go out with a bang.

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15 hours ago, Maha Sarakham said:

Fair enough.  Do you feel like you're getting a good bang for your buck living on Samui with the 70,000? 

It was tongue in cheek reply.But yes when i lived on Samui(going on 9 years) that's what i would spend,sometimes more.......800,000 per annum...immigration very rarely get things right but they have for single O-A visa types like me.

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It's always incredibly fascinating to me that such a wide variety of people are able to retire to Thailand (even on the same island) and yet have radically different budgets and pension levels.  As we can see from the poll data, the island lifestyle is capable of supporting both those working with a lesser budget and those with a surplus budget.  I would suggest as KhunPer stated that it really depends on what sort of housing you end up in as one of the biggest determining factors so far.  Simple units can be found for 15,000 baht/mo and villas all the up to 70,000 and beyond, it really does make a huge difference in this regard.

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On 5/11/2021 at 8:13 PM, Maha Sarakham said:

Simple units can be found for 15,000 baht/mo and villas all the up to 70,000 and beyond, it really does make a huge difference in this regard.

I've seen brand new apartments in Chaweng for as low as 2,500/mo (with kitchen and balcony) pre-lockdown. For 15 grand you can score a decent place for 1-2 persons, especially right now. Takeaway food from street vendors (in big aluminum pots) is 30-40 baht. Samui is not more expensive than other tourist/expat destinations in Thailand, but yes - luxury segment is also big here, so anyone can find something for themselves.

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Posted (edited)

I know that Ko Samui is an island, what I didn't realize is that they use a different currency from the mainland, the Samui Dollar.

 

Edited by Caldera
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It is claimed that both Koh Samui and Koh Phangan are the most expensive places throughout the Kingdom and having lived on both islands in total for 16 years I would agree whenever I go to the mainland I find it much cheaper so much so all my furniture was purchased in Bangkok and shipped down, a lot of my building materials roof , air con units and all the glass sliding doors also came from Bangkok supplies on the islands are way to expensive just for my aircon units I saved over 50,000 baht yes living on an island maybe paradise but there is a cost to consider and as I don’t pay rent or have kids at school my maximum spend is around $1,500 per month 

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50 minutes ago, crazykopite said:

It is claimed that both Koh Samui and Koh Phangan are the most expensive places throughout the Kingdom and having lived on both islands in total for 16 years I would agree whenever I go to the mainland I find it much cheaper so much so all my furniture was purchased in Bangkok and shipped down, a lot of my building materials roof , air con units and all the glass sliding doors also came from Bangkok supplies on the islands are way to expensive just for my aircon units I saved over 50,000 baht yes living on an island maybe paradise but there is a cost to consider and as I don’t pay rent or have kids at school my maximum spend is around $1,500 per month 

Price for aircons on Samui normally includes "free" installation, same for my brand name glass sliding doors bought in HomePro, and my roof was installed by the major roof-tile supplier for a lower cost than my building constructor could offer, and furthermore it came with a five year warranty; unfortunately the warranty was not worth a lot, the roof has (so far) never leaked...🙂

 

But yes, in general it costs little more to live on a paradise island, and the life-style is worth the extra surcharge, which after all is relative modest...🙂

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massage  lady 1000 to 1500 per day 

 

kids 25,000 per month

 

school 200,000 per year 

 

food 1000 per day

 

fuel 500 per day

 

finances 24,000 per month 

 

2 ladies up to 5000. sometimes  1 time per month

 

electric  10,000 per month

 

dog food is cats

 

legal fees 9000 per month

 

house maid / 12500 per month  ( hopefully trying  to merge her into being massage lady to birds  with 1 stone)

 

exercise 3000 baht per month 

 

 

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On 6/10/2021 at 10:03 AM, BigC said:

 

 

massage  lady 1000 to 1500 per day 

 

kids 25,000 per month

 

school 200,000 per year 

 

food 1000 per day

 

fuel 500 per day

 

finances 24,000 per month 

 

2 ladies up to 5000. sometimes  1 time per month

 

electric  10,000 per month

 

dog food is cats

 

legal fees 9000 per month

 

house maid / 12500 per month  ( hopefully trying  to merge her into being massage lady to birds  with 1 stone)

 

exercise 3000 baht per month 

 

 

 

 

Are you mixing  business expenses with  personal expenses? Who pays 9000 baht legal fees per month as a recurring expense?

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On 6/10/2021 at 5:03 AM, BigC said:

fuel 500 per day

Wow, your must be driving a lot, even with my gasoline sucking Chrysler Jeep driven rough I could hardly get it down lower mileage than 4 kilometers per liter, 500 baht equals about 15 liters which means more than one time around the island on the Ring Road in average every day, which of course is possible, but you also need time to spend time to use the 3,000 baht exercise, which presumabloy is some kind of gym fee, and 1,000-1,500 baht on massage every day, which could be up to 5-6 hours massage if not in an up-priced hi-so place, or extra service is included in the fee...😯

 

I dumped my old Jeep, and can of course say that I'm more green now driving a kind of Eco-car, i.e. use E20 fuel, which gives me at least three times as many kilometers per liter fuel, and that made two hours weekly oil-massage within reach from the fuel budget...🙂

 

How do you manage to use for 500 baht fuel a day?

 

1 hour ago, gearbox said:

kids 25,000 per month

 

school 200,000 per year 

 

food 1000 per day

School fee of 200k baht a year is not surprising, 450k to 500k baht is possible on Samui for just one kid, but on top 25k baht a month for "kids" plus 30k baht a month for food!

 

Of course I know that kids easily equals the mathematical formula: iPod + iPad + iBook = iPay...🤨

 

How many kids are included in the budget?

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
On 6/11/2021 at 2:29 PM, khunPer said:

Wow, your must be driving a lot, even with my gasoline sucking Chrysler Jeep driven rough I could hardly get it down lower mileage than 4 kilometers per liter, 500 baht equals about 15 liters which means more than one time around the island on the Ring Road in average every day, which of course is possible, but you also need time to spend time to use the 3,000 baht exercise, which presumabloy is some kind of gym fee, and 1,000-1,500 baht on massage every day, which could be up to 5-6 hours massage if not in an up-priced hi-so place, or extra service is included in the fee...😯

 

I dumped my old Jeep, and can of course say that I'm more green now driving a kind of Eco-car, i.e. use E20 fuel, which gives me at least three times as many kilometers per liter fuel, and that made two hours weekly oil-massage within reach from the fuel budget...🙂

 

How do you manage to use for 500 baht fuel a day?

 

School fee of 200k baht a year is not surprising, 450k to 500k baht is possible on Samui for just one kid, but on top 25k baht a month for "kids" plus 30k baht a month for food!

 

Of course I know that kids easily equals the mathematical formula: iPod + iPad + iBook = iPay...🤨

 

How many kids are included in the budget?

i have  needs that must be attended 

 

most important  is my once a month 3 sum

 

nothing  can mess with that

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On 6/3/2021 at 4:43 PM, wwest5829 said:

Thanks for posting. Always interesting for me to see comparisons. I am retired in Chiang Mai and also spend about one million Thai baht a year (kind of blew the budget on our 3 week trip down and stay in Samui. Wife and teen Stepdaughter like an annual visit to the sea. Stepdaughter introduced to SCUBA ... loved it. 

SCUBA, the best gift you could give.  Both my teens are Advanced Open Water certified.  Teaches a few things, self-confidence, panic only creates additional "problems", what constitutes real risk.  Rewards is being an astronaut but, instead of nothing, the environment is full of life!  Also in CM.  Just got back from Samui with a week on Koh Tao for the diving.  PM me if interested more on diving and such.

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20 minutes ago, DrPhibes said:

SCUBA, the best gift you could give.  Both my teens are Advanced Open Water certified.  Teaches a few things, self-confidence, panic only creates additional "problems", what constitutes real risk.  Rewards is being an astronaut but, instead of nothing, the environment is full of life!  Also in CM.  Just got back from Samui with a week on Koh Tao for the diving.  PM me if interested more on diving and such.

Ha! As a retired educator, I am all about giving the Stepdaughter a taste of different experiences. Took them to Sout Korea so they could experience the cold, snow, food, touch of skiing. Ha! I am creating desire for more. She immediately said she wanted to go back for diving. Being older than dirt … I began SCUBA in the 1960s in the Southern New Jersey sand quarries. Before the certification requirements. For me, it would be like going back to the beginning. Last time I had the equipment on was in 1979 getting certified in Florida. Astronauts? Born too early, but appreciating the majority of our world being under the water that is a given … magic!

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On 7/18/2021 at 3:33 AM, XtraFly said:

on Samui Can I pay 18K-25K for rent and find a good clean place close to the beach or walking distance, or that's too low for a 2+2 Unit not a villa or a house.

You could rent something easily at the moment for that budget. Complete with a small pool.

In developments, always ask the landlord for the unit price of the electricity.

Where I am, it varies from 5 baht to 9 baht per unit.

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24 minutes ago, wwest5829 said:

Ha! As a retired educator, I am all about giving the Stepdaughter a taste of different experiences. Took them to Sout Korea so they could experience the cold, snow, food, touch of skiing. Ha! I am creating desire for more. She immediately said she wanted to go back for diving. Being older than dirt … I began SCUBA in the 1960s in the Southern New Jersey sand quarries. Before the certification requirements. For me, it would be like going back to the beginning. Last time I had the equipment on was in 1979 getting certified in Florida. Astronauts? Born too early, but appreciating the majority of our world being under the water that is a given … magic!

We were living in Fort Collins CO before coming to Thailand for their High School years.  Brother and sister ice skating duo team and black diamond skiers.  Wife sits in the lodge fruit carving while locals oooh and awww, carves in the resort while we dive.  She can't understand why we would do such "dangerous" things 😉  We were planning a ski trip to Japan and then COVID.

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