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Study: Many Thais Lack Saving, Financial Stability

November 17, 2011
A Bangkok Post article earlier this year revealed an Abac Center study regarding the financial planning (or lack thereof) of many Thai people. Please note: The conversions below are our own and are rough estimates meant for general comparison only.
Below is a summary of their findings:
“Most Thai adults are at high risk of bankruptcy because they spend more than they earn, and even those who spend within their means are courting financial disaster.”

The poll…”involved 2,764 people aged 18 years or older in 12 provinces. It found the average income of people polled was 11,300 baht ($366) per month, while their personal expenses each month averaged 9,197.99 baht ($300).”

Their “regular expenditure was more than 80 percent of their monthly income.”

The top three expenses for these people are food at an average of 5,222 baht ($170) a month.

Those who earn less than 3,000 baht ($100) a month were found to spend more than twice their earnings.

People who earn more than 75,000  baht ($2,500) tend to live a more comfortable life as their monthly expenses stand at [roughly half that]. However, this group of people constitutes only 10 percent of the general population and 5% of those polled.

76 percent of those polled earned less than 15,000 baht ($500) per month. Of the people in this income bracket, 75.6 percent had no savings.

Sometimes when we explain the need in northern Thailand, it is hard for us to really imagine it. School isn’t free, and its cost of $1/day doesn’t sound like much until you understand it is as much as 1/3rd of a family’s income–for only one of their children. Looking at some of the numbers above, you get a glimpse into the financial turmoil Thais find themselves, so often living day-to-day. How many of us really do that? The SOLD Project seeks to encourage financial stability to families by supporting their children’s education in a sustaining way that also encourages the community as a whole to protect its children, no matter the (literal) cost.
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