Budget for a Digital Nomad in Chaing Mai

By Frederik Haentjens

Kate is a digit nomad, and she writes blog posts, websites, promotional material, and Adsword accounts. At times she puts together Infographics and at times builds full websites for clients. She is not rich, and her income is somewhat unstable, but Kate earns enough to keep traveling, and that’s a good life for her.

Kate knows how to budget. When she worked at her job in Australia, she saved quite a bit of money. She had a nice bank account but says that it’s all gone now. She looks at what she has in the bank and analyzes her future work projects before she makes travel plans. Kate sticks to cheap destinations that include South East Asia and Eastern Europe. Once she gets enough money ahead, she travels to more exotic locations, works in exchange for accommodations, and writes blogs for HR companies that pay her to promote being a digital nomad.

Kate knows that her budget will go far if she lives and works as much as she can in South East Asia and particularly Chiang Mai, Thailand. The living in Chiang Mai is very affordable at $1,104 per month, and many digital nomads live and work in Chiang Mai. The internet is fast, and the city is very friendly to foreigners.

Chiang Mai is in mountainous northern Thailand and retains hundreds of elaborate Buddhist temples. This charming city is a well-established digital nomad community, and it’s easy to find short-term living spaces.  Kate writes in her living space in Chaing Mai, but she loves the countryside for its a plethora of things to do like weekend getaways and day trips.

Write your heart out, recruit for your HR company, and then take you to check an go to Lampang White Temples.  Lampang is a place that is off the beaten path, and not many tourists know about Lampang White Temples.

Explore the stunning flora and fauna of a small town at the end of a winding 3-hour drive from Chaing Mai – Pai. Pai is well worth the trip and the drive.

Take a break at Do Inthanon National park, which is a great place for hiking, waterfalls, and exploring iconic pagodas. The park is cooler than Chiang Mai and if you want, sit in the meditation retreat and clear your head.

I asked specifically about Kate’s budget, and she listed that living in Chaing Mai means working and living within walking distance of markets. Hire a bike, which is a very cheap way to get around, and Kate’s living apartment costs only USD$425. Kate spends $40 on the internet, $20 on water and electricity, and $25 on the phone. She budgets $200.00 for food, $70 for coffee and $20 for water. She does enjoy Chaing Mai’s nightlife but keeps her alcohol consumption to about $5.00 a month. Kate gives this advice, “Avoid the craft beer here in Chaing Mai! It’s expensive.”

You can cut costs a bit more by researching living places and getting cheaper rent. Look for inexpensive transportation or start walking everywhere.

If you love to travel to outlying areas, bike rental is relatively cheap or hire a scooter bike that could cost you around $60 per month. The cost of a scooter bike is worth it if you want to travel around the area.

About the Author:

This article was written by Frederik Haentjens, founder of theHRnomad.com, and the author of “The HR Nomad: A remote working guidebook for HR professionals”.

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