My friends back home, and some readers, have asked me about my monthly expenses.
It’s a legitimate question. Everyone knows that life here is cheap, but just how cheap is it?
Really fucking cheap.
Anyway, I gave myself a 25 million VND ($1071) budget for the month and spent exactly 17.14 million ($734) without even trying to save money.
Honestly, it’s hard to spend a lot of money with my lifestyle. Most guys tend to overspend on entertainment (prostitutes, beer, nightlife) or eating at western restaurants.
Each category will have a short description of my spending.
Here’s quick pie chart before we begin. Rent and food is 86% of my monthly spending, which is probably pretty normal.
Note: These prices are rough estimations.
10.5 million VND ($450 USD)
Studio apartment in a nice district with a balcony and an amazing view. This price includes water, electric, motorbike parking, and maid service.
You can find an acceptable apartment for half this price. I just like to live nice.
4.3 million VND ($184 USD)
I eat street food for 95% of meals and always skip breakfast. Normally this means a lunch of rice and pork 20k ($0.82 USD) or bun thit nuong 28k ($1.18 USD). Sometimes I splurge and spend 30k ($1.25) on pho.
The 4% of meals I make myself usually involve me buying food and having a girl cook for me, which is usually cheaper than the street food.
1% of meals are western food. I went to KFC this month and it was great.
Vietnam Cupid subscription (prorated)
419k VND ($18 USD)
My pipeline was getting dry, so I reupped my Vietnam Cupid subscription for another three months.
605k ($25 USD)
I went on 8 “first dates” this month at my local coffee shop. Inviting Vietnamese girls straight to your apartment rarely works.
Most dates only cost 50k ($2.10) and take 30 minutes to an hour. Some cost more money. No biggie.
300k VND ($13 USD)
I’m not a nightlife person… at all. However, I did go out to Bui Vien twice with two different girls (including my former teaching assistant). We just drank at the places with the kid stools on the street because it’s cheap and fun.
Beer costs like 25k ($1.05) for a big bottle. Both times the girl drank one beer while I drank 4 or 5.
500k VND ($21)
This is just a local Vietnamese gym. No air conditioning…
If you need air conditioning at the gym, then you’re a pussy. Do you want them to bleach your asshole too?
150k VND ($6.43)
You shouldn’t drink the tap water here.
Most expats just buy water bottles at Circle K, but this gets annoying. Instead, you can buy these 5 gallon water cooler things with a spigot and put it on your counter. A 5 gallon water bottle costs 25k ($1.05) and the company delivers them to your apartment.
I used 6 this month.
Just have a Vietnamese girl from Vietnam Cupid order it for you.
I don’t ride my bike much.
Normally an oil change costs like 50k, but a girl gave me free oil (?) so I only paid for labor and oil disposal.
This just includes random stuff like parking and my cellphone bill. Actually, this is probably mostly my cellphone bill since that was 100k ($4.29).