When you are coming into Thailand as an expatriate from an English-speaking country like the United States, it is common to initially believe that you do not need to worry about saving money while staying there. However, as time progresses and you actually startliving in Thailand instead of leaving in a week, you will realize that while Thailand is still cheap, it doesn’t hurt to try and save up a bit whenever you can.
Avoid Overpaying at Tourist Attractions
There is no gentler way to put it, if you are not a Thai local, you will be overcharged for everything at all tourist attractions. The country’s entire economy depends on the tourists, so that is to be expected, but even when you are not a tourist but an actual expat, you will be treated as one.
Although you cannot really overcome this problem completely, that doesn’t mean you should miss out on any of the countless attractions that Thailand has to offer. Take advantage of the low season and visit the same attractions by paying a fraction of the price. As you are not a tourist and you are going to be in Thailand throughout the year, this shouldn’t be a problem in most cases.
Order Your Groceries Online
Just as before, if they see a foreign face, grocery store owners will charge more for everything, which includes your regular groceries as well. Avoid all that discrimination and shop online at Villa Market instead. Villa Market is an online supermarket Thailand that will deliver all your groceries right to your doorstep, without charging you extra for your expat status. The prices are the same for everyone and you will hit a bargain due to ongoing discounts, as compared to what any offline supermarket can offer.
Learn the Thai Language
To learn the local language is a general tip for anyone moving to another country that has a different national language than his/her own, so Thailand is not an exception to that rule either. However, we are not talking about learning a few Thai words to facilitate easier communication during your stay in the country. If you are actually going to move there, spend some serious time in learning to understand and speak the Thai language properly because it will help you build networks, business connections, and personal connections. Most importantly, in the context of this guide, knowing the language will actually help you to save money too.
When you start speaking and understanding Thai perfectly, the locals will know that you are not a tourist, which will bring down the sky-high prices by quite a bit. Be aware though that you will still need to pay more than a local, but just not as badly as a tourist will have to. Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, Bangkok, Krabi, Pattaya, and the other main cities are usually where the expats settle, but if you are looking to save a lot in rent and live close to some of the most serene scenery in all of Thailand, we recommend giving Chiang Rai, Pai, and Kanchanaburi (outskirts of Bangkok) a thought as well.