How much does it cost to live in Vietnam?Posted: September 26, 2012
So here’s a bash at answering the age old expat forum question.
How much does it cost to live in Vietnam? The answer may surprise you.
It costs as much to live in Vietnam as it does at home – if you want all the same things that home provides.
Vietnam allows you to cut corners. You can eat food with no guarantee of hygienic preparation nor quality of ingredients for a fraction of what you pay at home. If you want to play it safe it’ll cost you more.
You can buy DVDs where there’s a chance they’ll skip or episodes are missing or translation is courtesy of Google for a dollar. Or you can buy the real thing for the normal price or more.
You can get your computer fixed only to find that the upgraded Windows the technician chucked in for free is actually pirated which can’t be updated leaving you susceptible to viruses and crashing.
You can share a house with a dozen others very cheaply or you can get a place of your own with all comforts and conveniences for rather more. You can pay less tax, VAT, rates and National Insurance and then get hit by doctors fees or stump up thousands for insurance. Don’t even think about school fees.
You can spend $1 a week on petrol for the commute – then have to pay $1,000 to visit parents back home.
You can buy beer at a quarter of a price or pay four times more for wine.
You can hire staff for $100 a month to run around after you – then spend a similar amount at a gym to combat the sedentary lifestyle which means you’re putting on weight.
Yes you can live on $5 a day. But you can’t live a year on 365 x $5. And you certainly can’t live five years on 5 x 365 x $5.
All too often, when people tell you how much you can live on, what they are actually saying is what they’re willing to live without.