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The Money Thing (Again) Poll.

Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:28 pm
by Kung-fu Hillbilly
I know this question gets recycled ad infinitum, but for good reason I believe. The fact of the matter is for many of us the relative affordability of the region is a major contributing factor in our decision to spend time here/there, and what with costs invariably increasing, the question not having been asked for at least a month, the information important for prospective departees considering the move for the first time, as well as an excuse just to be nosy, I'm asking it again.

Yes, depending on whether you're a family or single person, eating high on the hog or happy live on noodles, love the girls or prefer a book at night, numbers will vary greatly, but it would still be interesting to see how much y'all are spending.

How much is it costing you a month to live in Cambodia these days?

Re: The Money Thing (Again) Poll.

Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:31 pm
by Kung-fu Hillbilly
An interesting question might also be how much your expenses have increased in your time living in Cambodia? 10%, 30%, hardly at all...

Re: The Money Thing (Again) Poll.

Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:43 pm
by taabarang
Living rurally you don't have to have a lot of Jing, but on the other hand your brain cells do not get much of a workout. We do without quite a few things. Some because we can't afford them and others (e. g. TV) because we don't want them.

Re: The Money Thing (Again) Poll.

Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:58 pm
by Kung-fu Hillbilly
taabarang wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:43 pm
Living rurally you don't have to have a lot of Jing, but on the other hand your brain cells do not get much of a workout. We do without quite a few things. Some because we can't afford them and others (e. g. TV) because we don't want them.
I had a mate ask me recently after a series of unfortunate life events if he could live somewhere in SEA on $100 000. At 55 he's unskilled, never run a business before and never lived in the region. I thought he could possibly eek out an existence in a far flung rural spot living simply, but refrained from advising him of that. I told I thought he'd need $ 250 000 to see him out for the the next twenty years. I also told him I'm the last person person he should be listening to for financial advice.

Re: The Money Thing (Again) Poll.

Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:20 pm
by Barang chgout
Kung-fu Hillbilly wrote:
taabarang wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:43 pm
Living rurally you don't have to have a lot of Jing, but on the other hand your brain cells do not get much of a workout. We do without quite a few things. Some because we can't afford them and others (e. g. TV) because we don't want them.
I had a mate ask me recently after a series of unfortunate life events if he could live somewhere in SEA on $100 000. At 55 he's unskilled, never run a business before and never lived in the region. I thought he could possibly eek out an existence in a far flung rural spot living simply, but refrained from advising him of that. I told I thought he'd need $ 250 000 to see him out for the the next twenty years. I also told him I'm the last person person he should be listening to for financial advice.
100k, in the sticks, for how long and what kind of life do you want?
I spent around 30k, not counting living costs, to build a reasonable place. That's land and all buildimgs/ improvements.
Living costs over three years, around $500/month for 2.
Yes I drink as much beer as I want and I smoke.
Start talking about a trip to town to have a break, or get supplies....2 or three days for 2, perhaps 4/500.
DO NOT GET SICK AND NEED MEDICAL ATTENTION, you cant afford it!
I dunno, should I go on?
You do the math!

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Re: The Money Thing (Again) Poll.

Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:27 pm
by Bitte_Kein_Lexus
Around $1500. Let's say $1200-1800 on average, sometimes more. Used to cost me $800-1000 ten years ago, so inflation has definitely hit, though my taste has also gotten more "expensive", especially in terms of restaurants.

Re: The Money Thing (Again) Poll.

Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:15 am
by TWY
When it was just the two of us living in the sticks, we spent maybe $600-800 a month (we owned the home we lived in). Frankly, it was tough to spend money because there was literally nothing to do. So your friend can "live" on $10K a year - but he likely won't consider it living. Not to mention he'll have a tough time communicating and he'll have to be up every morning to buy food from the market.... because if he doesn't get there by about 10am the pickings are slim and the local restaurants aren't exactly appealing.

That ignores the reality that if he has a medical problem there will be no qualified doctor anywhere near him.

Personally, I'd say that you need to be able to afford $2-3K a month to live comfortably and receive what passes for "decent" medical care around PP or Siem Reap.

There is a gentleman that lives not far from us... in a small two room Cambodian style flat. He pays $200 a month plus utilities. Bought a used moto and goes to town every couple days to buy food. Every time I see him he looks miserable, the few conversations I've had with him reinforces that he's miserable. I think he watches tv, uses the internet and sweats. He doesn't speak Khmer so has limited interaction with the neighbors and isn't the sort to go out and get involved in anything that would lead to meeting new people.

So, in addition to money - I think folks need to be able to capably judge what the quality of life is likely to be. If your outgoing and have moved around much of your adult life, then your likely to build a life. If your not outgoing or have lived in one place your whole life, then you may well be challenged to build a new life for yourself and end up miserable.

Re: The Money Thing (Again) Poll.

Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:01 am
by Kammekor
Living in the sticks seems very cheap if you own your own place. We created one for ourselves for about 30k USD but that was 7 years ago. Add 5-10k inflation for land and construction costs these days. We bought a piece of land (36x40 m) for 3.300 USD and built a two storey house for about 24k. Add money for well, fence and garden and we hit 30k. Land is worth about 8-10k now, so inflation definitely is a factor. Construction not as cheap as before too. Not sure about building materials.

Living itself seems cheap.

Food: 200 USD for 4 (nothing fancy though, and my morning yogurt with muesli is not included!).
Electricity: 15-20 USD (no aircon, new modern fridge)
Drinking water: 30-50 USD for 4
Water: use drilled well, but not for drinking
Afternoon coffee in town: 75 USD
Transport around town, three bikes (two in constant use, one spare), incl maintenance: 100 USD (we own our own motorbikes, initial investment pretty high though)
Phone / internet: 20 USD
Education @ private schools for 2: 150 USD

Looks cheap or not? About 400-500 for the pure basics per month if you don't count education.

But.... There's always extra stuff...

My paperwork (visa extension, driving license, work permit, incl. necessary trips to PP to arrange it): 50 USD
Medical insurance: 350 USD

So that comes to about 900-1000 for a family of 4, nothing fancy, living in their their own house in the boonies 550 km from PP. If you drop the insurance and the education for the kids it's still not the bargain you'd expect. And you'll be looking at an initial investment of 35-40k (land, house, transport) to reach that level. Rents have done crazy around here over the last few years. You'll have a very hard time finding even a 150 USD / month decent wooden house in town.

But... Living in the sticks is slow, boring, so you probably need to get out once in a while. Sometimes for R&R, sometimes to stock up (although less and less as the sticks get more developed), sometimes for medical reasons, sometimes to catch a flight. Those trips will add seriously to your cost of living. Personally I love living here, but after 6 weeks I need to get out for a few days.

Re: The Money Thing (Again) Poll.

Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:56 am
by atst
Great survey but maybe seperate it between those renting and those living in thier own home if you're not paying rent living costs are way lower

Re: The Money Thing (Again) Poll.

Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:15 am
by joelightcloud
Kung-fu Hillbilly wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:31 pm
An interesting question might also be how much your expenses have increased in your time living in Cambodia? 10%, 30%, hardly at all...
Now there is a question... I think I lived on about $600 a month when I first got here. 16 years later I need a minimum of $5000