Best Fit Series – Cost of living: Indonesia, Thailand, Ecuador, Czech Republic, Panama…

Best Fit Series – Cost of living: Indonesia, Thailand, Ecuador, Czech Republic, Panama…

In today’s economic climate, many of us will try to come up with ways that will help us spend less and save more money. But sometimes, the best way to make the most of your money is by moving to another country, with a less expensive cost of living. If you possess the sense of adventure and welcome the new and different, consider some of these nations which possess the best of the exotic and economical.


Island living can be affordable as Indonesia gives evidence to. Living arrangements in Jakarta may run just as high as in other Asian mega cities such as Mumbai or Islamabad; however, there is a variety of affordable properties for every budget, especially outside the capital. Food and clothing prices however more than make up for any housing prices, with a vast selection of local food, clothing and personal care products.

One issue that should be noted is the relative expensive nature of alcohol. If this is considered an essential component of your lifestyle, be prepared to pay a premium for these goods. For most other items however, your money can go a long way.


Thailand is an excellent expat location which regularly ranks among the top nations for cost of living by researchers. This is thanks to a combination of relatively high earning expats residing in the country, along with lower spending necessary for everyday essentials. Expats regularly detail having to spend less than average on a number of important day-to-day expenses including housing, transportation and utilities.

Bangkok may be the epicenter of the country, but the best bargains for expats are seen in other parts of the country. Thousands of expatriates have discovered the largest city in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai, where the cost of living is about half that of Bangkok. Remember that foreigners cannot own land in Thailand; however, they can own apartments and condos.


Thailand is an exciting expatriate destination that has much to offer, including a rapidly growing economy! Read ‘Career Hotspots: 2014 – Thailand‘ to find out more.



Ecuador provides the best value for individuals hoping for some Latin flair to their expatriate experience. The city of Cuenca in particular is regularly regarded as “the most affordable place you’d want to live in Latin America.”

Ecuador possesses many locales which possess the colonial charm of cobblestone streets and towering cathedrals. There is also a mild climate and plenty of cultural happenings. Ecuador uses the U.S. dollar as its currency; so many Westerners don’t have to worry about disadvantageous exchange rates. Expats can live comfortably for an average of $700 a month; this includes housing, utilities, groceries and entertainment. Hiring full-time household is also very affordable, at an estimated $200 per month

Czech Republic

For a cost-efficient spot in Europe, there are few options that offer better value than the Czech Republic. Moldova offers a similar climate and history seen in states such as Poland, Romania, and Germany. Unlike these states though, there is a more favorable currency exchange since the Czechs have not converted to the Euro to date. While the cost of living is increasing due to energy costs, even Prague is still fairly inexpensive compared to most European cities.


Panama has significant advantages for expats. One of the most notable is its status as a tax haven, where even Americans can live there tax-free. Panama also encourages foreigners to settle there by making it easy to acquire residency, and its infrastructure is well-developed. Those advantages have led to an influx of foreigners that has helped drive up the cost of living in the nation’s biggest city, Panama City. However, large parts of the nation are is still relatively undiscovered, such as Balboa and Las Tablas.

A budget outside of Panama City could be as little as $1,000 per month.  Incredible lifestyle opportunities are abundant. For instance, you can rent a little two-bedroom house within five minutes’ walk of the ocean for as little as $350 a month. Utilities average $200 a month; food is approximately $300. As little as $80 can provide for a healthy entertainment budget.


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