FINANCIAL BREAKDOWN OF THAILAND & CONVERTING CURRENCY BY LYON BRAVE
A lot of people have a misunderstanding of currency. They assume just because European currency has a higher exchange rate than other currencies that they live a richer lifestyle and make more money than those from other countries. This is true and untrue. For instances, I had a job opportunity in South Korea that paid 37,000 won an hour. That’s about 32 USD an hour if I convert it. Therefore I would have been making much better money than in the US, as the minimum wage in the states still hovers between 8 and 10 dollars an hour.
Yes, USD has the highest amount on the conversion scales, but that is irrelevant until you understand the local culture and what locals actually get paid and live like.
The bottom line is all currencies work differently, and converting currency does not really speak of its true value in its own country, only when outside of its country of origin. 500 won is just a coin like an American nickel, so it’s not really a fair thing to convert though we do.
Just because the US has a higher conversion rate, doesn’t mean it’s the richest country on earth. In fact, America continues to lose economic freedoms and drop lower in the financial rankings, while countries like Hong Kong continues to soar, but that’s not really the point.
- The point is you can’t just change countries and expect to double or triple your money. Yes, by converting USD you will usually see the digits triple when you exchange it, but that doesn’t mean the value goes up.
- This is a superficial concept that is misunderstood. The value, usually stays the same. For instance, in America 1 USD usually gets you a soda or a snack and so does 35bht.
- America has tax and Thailand does not. This evens things our more than you could imagine. I spent 5,000 BHT on my Nike shoes. That’s 143 USD spent on shoes.
A beer cost 100BHT, that’s 2.88 USD. The sky train in Bangkok, cost between 35 THB and 57THB depending on where you are going for a one way ticket. A decent apartment cost at least 10,000 THB that’s about 287 USD and that’s where you win. Your rent usually is less in Thailand.
However, if you are a westerner and like your western comforts, you are going to be paying for the import tax. Things you did on a daily basis, can easily become a luxury in another country. Not to mention a round trip ticket home can easily cost 2, 000 to 3,000 USD.
Now as far as what the average Thai makes is between 7,000 to 15,000THB, which isn’t very much.
However, Thailand has the poor, middle class and rich like all countries, so some people make much more money than that. Thai natives also heavily compete with foreigners for jobs and foreigners usually win if they are native English speakers.
You can have a very nice life in Thailand and earn 40,000 THB a month if you have a college degree easily, which is 1,147 USD. This is not the cap, just the standard salary I’ve heard of. Now, that doesn’t seem like much money, but you have to think about it this way. If you were living on 1,147 in America 500-700 would go to rent. Then you still have to pay for transportation, food, Wi-Fi and entertainment. You would have no money at the end of the month. You would be struggling.
Now in Thailand, 40,000 THB a month can get you a pretty comfortable life because a decent apartment is 10,000. That leaves you 30,000 THB to pay for food, transportation and entertainment. It doesn’t give you much more wiggle room than in a European country. You shouldn’t be struggling. You are not going to be able to save a ton of money, but you will not be in the stressful situation of not even being able to make ends meet.40,000 THB is upper middle class. 80,000 THB is really good for their country.
Now the truth is though the locals usually make less money than foreigners, it’s very hard to live as a foreigner. The prices will get jacked up, when you are dealing with motorbike taxis and street vendors. Not to mention, Thais have the support of their families and friends, you don’t. Plus, a good chunk of your money will go to visa runs and making sure your visa stays current.
Depending on the visa you have, every couple months, you have to pay for a new visa, a plane or bus ticket and for hotels. A foreigner has added expenses that locals don’t and depending on the country you are from, you still might have to pay taxes or can be charged for tax evasion.
Before you go abroad to save 200 -300 USD a month, you need to ask yourself is saving a little bit of money really worth all the inconvenience and being far away from your loved ones.
If your native country is not in a state of war, it is highly recommended you stay put, as the world is becoming increasingly complicated. You might complicate your life more than you can perceive by going abroad. Your reasons for going abroad have to be bigger than money, or you will be disappointed with the outcome.
You usually have no rights to buy land or start businesses in a foreign land. The best way to make money is to find a way to become financially free by starting your own business. Your native country provides you the best opportunities to do this in most cases if you are not fluent in another language.
This article is not designed to discourage you from living abroad. This article is designed to give you a realistic perspective. You cannot run away from your financial problems. They will catch up with you. You have to solve them.
The bottom line is, you can’t just up and leave to another country because you think it’s going to triple your finances. This is a misconception. Not to mention, foreigners, usually don’t pay the same as the locals, because the locals jack up the prices for foreigners. Locals cheat foreigners.
You will face a lot of inconvenience being overseas. You won’t have easy access to your favorite foods. If you don’t speak the local language you will probably end up pretty isolated and frustrated, not to mention your friends and family are nowhere near you and the culture is going to be entirely different. Saving money is not a good reason to go abroad. Having a genuine curiosity about the world and a desire to learn about culture and maybe learn a language is.
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