For some of you, determining your budget to train muay thai in Thailand will establish where you’ll train and for how long. For others, fleshing out a budget is the next step of your process – you’ve already realized what it is you want, what you can handle and the length of time you’ll dedicate to training in Thailand. For many of you, your financial situation will be the deciding factor of training in Thailand at all. This segment, Determining Your Budget is Part 1 of a series dedicated to your finances. Pay attention.
Identify Where Your Money Is Going
Write down every bit of money you spend, lend, lose and/or have stolen for at least one month. Include where it goes. Record it all on a piece of paper, a spreadsheet, purchase an app, download some software, whatever works. Just record it. All of it. No matter how nominal. This includes the change that rolled out of your pocket and into traffic and the ATM charges you rack up at 3 am every Saturday.
If you plan to document your expenses for only one month, please take into account any costs that may be spread over the year. This includes bi-monthly payments, tuition costs, licensing fees, etc.. Divide the amounts to determine their monthly totals (i.e. one year’s tuition divided by twelve).
The purpose of this exercise is to create a landscape to later play with.
Determine Your Essential Living Costs
Realize the absolute minimum you can survive on in your current location per month. Record monthly totals for all essentials, including, but not limited to:
- support payments (i.e. child and/or spousal support)
- training/gym fees (if this applies)
- medical expenses
- toiletries and cleaning supplies
Also allocate a sum to inessentials that will help keep you happy, healthy and sane. Use whatever works for you, but please be realistic. Someone who nets $5,000 a month may be able to have a larger inessential fund than someone bringing in significantly less. This may be a good time to really consider your current goals. For example, someone who brings in $5,000 per month and plans to train in Thailand for three months at a resort style gym in Bangkok within the next six months, will have different considerations than someone making the same amount of money who wants to live and fight in Chiang Mai, indefinitely.
View the exercise of finding the money to train muay thai in Thailand as a game.
I’ll provide the tools, but it’s up to you to apply them, to your specific situation. There are so many variations on the dream, we all have our own. Keep your mind open and make adjustments when necessary.
Determine Your Monthly Savings
Subtract the total of your Essential Living Costs from your net monthly earnings. This is your (ideal) savings.
Estimate Your Monthly Expenses In Thailand
Thailand offers a number of different muay thai training options. Conduct research based on the criteria you previously decided (i.e. what type of muay thai gym, where, etc.). This exercise will be less time consuming for those of you who’ve already decided the specific gym(s) you want to train at. If you haven’t, don’t stress at this point in time. I’ll focus on the specifics of choosing a muay thai camp in a future post.
The goal is to approximate your maximum spending allowance.
Realizing an estimate of expenses in Thailand, specific to the path you want to lead, will better equip you to reach your goals (and dreams). It’s a game of assessing your current financial situation, comparing it to where you want to be and finding a way, or many, to get there. The process throws power in your direction by making what many consider to be abstract, intimidating and out of reach, linear and manageable.
I suggest researching muay thai training camp websites and muay thai blogs. A number of people blog about their training and living costs in Thailand. (If you’re one of them, please feel free to link to your blog in the comment section below). It’s also a good idea to research and network on forums such as MUAYTHAILAND.
Determine the absolute maximum you can (or are willing to) spend living and training muay thai in Thailand. Record monthly totals for all that apply:
- training costs
- toiletries and cleaning supplies
- other essentials
- inessentials to keep you happy
For those of you interested in all inclusive muay thai camp packages, a number of the above won’t apply. For example, some gyms offer training, accommodation, two meals a day and free WiFi packages. Some offer use of motorbikes as well. Do your research and play with the numbers. Again, you’re looking for the maximum sum you may need to budget for. Nothing beats budgeting for 50,000 baht a month to realize, after time spent in Thailand, you can live the life you want to lead on 30,000 baht. Or less.
If appropriate, estimate the cost of your Thai Visa(s) and associated expenses (i.e. leaving Thailand and returning), in addition to your initial mode of transportation to get you there (i.e. plane ticket).
Estimate Total Monthly Expenses While In Thailand
Add subtotals from the Essential Living Costs list (in your current location) to your Monthly Expenses In Thailand estimate. Only add those essentials that are non-negotiable and you will have to pay while in Thailand (for example, child support).
Total Expense Estimate
(Estimate Total Monthly Expenses While In Thailand x Number of Months You Plan To Spend In Thailand) + Additional Costs = Total Expense Estimate
In the next piece in this series, I’ll discuss the various ways you can save money in your current location to train in Thailand.