Chiang Mai monthly bills Mail Delivery

One thing you can be sure to look forward to in Thailand is less monthly bills. Not only are utilities cheap in Thailand, but if you are like us, you may find yourself paying for fewer recurring expenses each month because of a change in lifestyle. Here’s a snapshot of our Chiang Mai monthly bills and how they compare to our bills back in the USA.

Chiang Mai Monthly Bills

Of course, some expenses are unavoidable, such as electricity and transportation. We choose to have things like a cell phone plan and an internet connection, but the bottom line is that these are fixed expenses that have been slashed since moving to Thailand!

Electricity Payment Receipt Chiang Mai Monthly Bills

Our December 2013 electric bill ringing in at $22 USD plus $0.30 to pay it at our local 7-Eleven

Lifestyle Change

Thailand’s cost of living can certainly be cheap, but we also live a more minimalistic lifestyle in Thailand than we did in the US. This definitely contributes to our Chiang Mai monthly bills being so low. Check out how life has changed…


  • two bedroom, two bathroom corner unit apartment
  • Northern Virginia, (suburbs of D.C.) USA
  • two bedroom, three bathroom two-story townhouse
  • Old City of Chiang Mai, Thailand


  • cable TV and internet package
  • private internet service; landlord pays for the TV


  • two cellular plans; unlimited data
  • one cellular plan; 2GB data


  • water use for washing machine, dishwasher, showers, cooking, and cleaning
  • drank from the tap
  • water use for showers and cleaning
  • buy drinking and cooking water from filtered machine at the end of our street


  • one car and one SUV; paid tolls
  • one-way commute: 25 minutes
  • one motorbike
  • one-way commute: 5 minutes


  • had a private washer and dryer
  • dropped off dry cleaning (business attire) about once a month
  • use washing machines down the street
  • drop off clothes at a local cleaner two to three times per month


  • electric air conditioning in the summer months and gas* heating in the winter, used mostly in evenings
  • lights and appliances on mostly in evenings
  • air conditioning or the fan on at night for roughly 7 hours
  • lights, a fan, and appliances are used during the day and the evenings

*Gas and electricity are combined into one expense for a better comparison. Averages were used while living in the US (2012) and in Thailand (2013). 

Expenses We No Longer Pay

  • Car Payment ($900 per month) – We paid our motorbike in full using some of the money we earned from selling Angela’s car.
  • Car Insurance ($175 per month) – We purchased motorbike insurance, which covers repairs and up to the replacement of our motorbike, as well as emergency care for us.  We paid $130 upfront for one year of coverage.
  • Health Insurance ($180 per month) – Medical care in Thailand is about 20% of the cost of similar care back in the US, so we self-insure. A few small trips to a nearby clinic has always cost us less than $30.

Drumroll, please.

Our Chiang Mai monthly bills are $608 USD compared to whopping $4,122 USD back in the States. That’s an 85% reduction in our cost of living!

By the nature of things, monthly bills and utilities in Thailand are much cheaper than in the US.  Not only on a cost by cost basis, but also because of eliminated expenses and reduced fixed monthly bills. It is always great to find ways to live cheaper, and it is because of our new lifestyle that we now easily live within our means and remain 100% debt free.

Check out our full budget breakdown we did in June 2013.


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