How much money does a digital nomad need each month in South East Asia? is the question we’ll try to address here, which is a little bit different.
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Table of Contents
$510 per month is the very least for a digital nomad in South East Asia, or a more reasonable $1,485 per month provides a respectable quality of life.
With a monthly budget of $10,000, no digital nomad should be in financial difficulty.
We will examine the cost of essential items to get a view of how much a digital nomad needs each month in South East Asia. Note that this article does not include the non-essentials such as costs of toiletries, clothes, shoes, computer equipment, visas, passports, and insurance.
Surely, you can’t live without the things that are essential. For instance, if you’re a little broke, you can avoid drinking beer for a month (or if you don’t like beer, you can skip it forever), but you can’t stop drinking water because you’ll perish.
We’re going to presume that none of these items is given to you for free or in exchange for something else, so you’ll need them to survive as a digital nomad.
How Much Money a Digital Nomad Needs Each Month in South East Asia for Essential Expenses
In South East Asia, lodging is typically inexpensive. You can live in nicer accommodations than at home for a lot less money, but we’d say that it’s not in Singapore (unless you want to live in the middle of nowhere, in which case it’s really fairly inexpensive).
$150 per month would be the bare minimum for housing costs. Even while you may find cheaper options there, most of us wouldn’t put a dog to sleep there.
$300 a month would be a reasonable budget for a nice lifestyle. You should be able to find a space that is both reasonable in size and pleasant for working from home for this pricing.
Of course, you are free to spend extra. Normally, Megan and I spend between $600-$800 a month on lodging. We discover that a quality hotel room or serviced apartment is easier to handle than a smaller one that requires our own cleaning.
Electricity, water, and WiFi are frequently provided during hotel and Airbnb stays. Because of this, they frequently provide a considerably better deal than purchasing the three separately. This is especially true if you enjoy constantly using the air conditioning.
This is another another inquiry on the length of a piece of thread. In the majority of South East Asian nations, electricity is pricey. However, the majority of the region is quite hot, therefore they will require fans and/or air conditioning.
$25 per month would be the minimum electricity cost. This entails using the fan sparingly and going without air conditioning; if you enjoy being hot, this may be ideal for you.
$100 per month would be a reasonable spending limit for power. This entails using a fan during the day, an air conditioner at night, and operating the majority of your electronics during the day.
Use power sparingly or you can be in for a nasty surprise when you receive your first bill. Two air conditioners running nonstop at 18 degrees for a month could result in a $400 bill for a one-bedroom flat.
Your expenses will probably be greater than they would be if you were a digital nomad working from home or a café.
Remain as long as possible in areas where power is provided at a discounted rate by the government or business. When you pay the landlord more for power, your bills are substantially higher.
The Internet is necessary for all digital nomads. How frequently must you be online? Do you have to be online at specific hours of the day? This is important material.
Most of the time, Wi-Fi should be included in the rent. Wi-Fi will typically be unreliable, which is the problem. Because of this, you could also have to pay extra for a mobile connection or a second line with a different operator.
$0 per month would be the Wi-Fi costs. That’s all you need if you’re not committed to specific hours online—just have it included in the rent.
$25 per month is about what a backup line will cost, thus that would be a reasonable amount for Wi-Fi. You could discover it costs a little more or a little less in different locations. Study the topic.
If your job doesn’t require you to be online during certain hours or if you don’t need to pay for backup internet, you can pay the minimum.
Although it is arguably the least expensive item on the list, keep in mind that drinking tap water is generally not a good idea in South East Asia.
Also, don’t rely on low-cost filtration systems to make it drinkable. Truth be told, drinking tainted tap water will cause heavy metal poisoning over time.
Amoebic dysentery is also not enjoyable.
The cost for “drinks” includes drinking water.
$5 per month would be the very minimal budget for water. Perhaps even less than this. $5 looks acceptable. The water bill in Cambodia can be as cheap as $2 per month.
$5 per month would be a reasonable budget for water. More than this is possible, but you must genuinely be making an effort. With this sum, you can take twice-daily showers, do your laundry, dishwashing, and, as we’ve already mentioned, none of the drinking.
The most affordable choice is to wash by hand, but no thanks. Laundry services or coin-operated laundromats are what most people choose, and both are quite affordable in South East Asia.
$5 per month would be the bare minimum. This includes drying and soap powder for a single person using a coin-operated laundry.
$20 per month would be a reasonable spending cap. Laundry services are merely far more convenient and time-saving for two individuals in this case.
Arguments over food budget are likely to arise. Packet noodles are the only thing some digital nomads eat, and they firmly believe that this is all they need in life. Others subsist only on the goods sold at marketplaces at low prices.
If you are strapped for funds and trying to get by till payday, this is OK for a week or two. It’s a long-term plan that will lead to malnutrition and vitamin and mineral deficiencies. It’s just dumb.
This justifies a “minimum budget” that is a little more reasonable than the absolute minimum.
$100 per month would be the very minimal budget. As a result, you may dine out for three meals a day across the majority of South East Asia, except in Singapore and in the Philippines. They won’t be filling or very healthy, but they won’t be bad either.
On this budget, it is advised that you branch out and do part of your own cooking. How much you can purchase at your local market for $100 will astound you (not supermarket).
$200 per month would be a reasonable spending cap. This entails that you may purchase a little bit more of the things you enjoy, occasionally eat out at a great restaurant, and adopt a significantly healthier diet.
This section does not mention alcohol. Alcohol is not required.
The only thing that people actually need to drink is water. So, it is how we determine our minimum.
The majority of people don’t want to drink only water every day, and a realistic budget recognizes this.
$10 per month per person is the monthly minimum. Assume you are purchasing big volumes of drinking water from public vending machines or huge (gallon or larger) bottles from a drinking water provider. If you prefer to drink regular bottled water. This will be a lot more costly.
$50 per month per person is a reasonable budget. That means you may buy milk, sodas, coffee, and other beverages in addition to the cheap drinking water. You may also drink bottled water instead of the other stuff.
The Budget that a Digital Nomad Needs Each Month in South East Asia
Let’s look at the total now since it includes all of the monthly necessities.
- Accommodation: $150 – $300
- Electricity: $25 – $100
- Wi-Fi/Internet: $0 – $25
- Water: $5 – $5
- Laundry: $5 – $20
- Food: $100 – $200 (per person)
- Drink: $10 – $50 (per person)
So, how much money does a digital nomad need each month in South East Asia?
For a single digital nomad
- Your monthly spending limit for necessities should be $295 at the very least.
- Your realistic monthly necessities spending cap would be $700.
For a digital nomad couple
- Your monthly spending limit for necessities should be $405 at the very least.
- Your realistic monthly necessities spending cap would be $950.
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