Are Thai girlfriends expensive?

September 25, 2021 - Reading time: 8 minutes

Many of us have read and heard stories about ‘Thai mail order brides’, and Thai women generally taking advantage of their foreign partners for money, but how much truth is there in these stereotypes? Are all Thai girlfriends expensive?

Supporting a Thai girlfriend can be relatively cheap or relatively expensive. Much depends on the lady’s lifestyle and how much money she spends every month. If the lady is used to a luxurious lifestyle, or if she is not able to provide for herself, then she will obviously need more help from you financially.

There are many different variables which will determine whether or not supporting your Thai girlfriend is likely to be expensive, we will explore some of the more common circumstances in this article.

Your Thai girlfriend needs to support her family

In Thai culture the daughter of the family is often looked on to provide for her parents in their old age. If your Thai girlfriend sends money to her parents on a regular basis, this will be an ongoing expense for her which you might be asked to help with, particularly if your girlfriend has no sisters to help support her parents.

A farmer planting rice in Thailand

If your Thai girlfriend also has children that are living with her parents, then she will also need to provide for them and ensure that they have a decent standard of living.

If you are planning to give your girlfriend a monthly allowance, then be sure to factor in some money for supporting the lady’s parents if her situation calls for it.

Your Thai girlfriend works in a bar

If you met your Thai girlfriend while she was working in a beer bar, a go-go bar, massage parlour, or any other establishment which caters to ‘adult entertainment’, then supporting her may turn out to be expensive.

The reason for many ladies to work in nightlife venues is so that they can enough money to support themselves. Often this type of work is seen as a means to an end for women who do not have steady careers or the education needed to secure well-paid jobs.

Bars on Walking Street in Pattaya, Thailand

Unless you are happy for your girlfriend to sleep with other men in order to earn a living, you will need to give her money on a regular basis and subsidise her income until she is able to start a business or find a well-paid job.

Of course, it is very common for bar girls to continue to work in bars despite telling their boyfriends that they have stopped. Other bar girls will have several different boyfriends supporting them at the same time. You may think that it could never happen to you, but these are typical scams which we see played out in Pattaya very often.

Your Thai girlfriend expects an expensive lifestyle

Many foreign men enjoy spoiling their girlfriends with champagne lifestyles. If your Thai girlfriend previously had a foreign boyfriend that was giving her lots of money every month, then she will be more likely to expect a similar treatment from you.

A lady holding bags of shopping

Other ladies might hear stories about foreign guys buying properties/vehicles for their Thai girlfriends and spending a lot of money on them in general. Saving face is important in Thai culture, and so these stories are often exaggerated, which can create unrealistic expectations for ladies that are looking to date foreign men.

Similarly, if your girlfriend was previously working in somewhere such as a go-go bar and was earning anything from 80,000-100,000+ THB per month, then she might be used to having a high disposable income and spending lots of money.

Your Thai girlfriend is 20 years younger than you

Let’s face it, if there a decades wide age gap between you and your Thai girlfriend, then she is likely to expect that you will spend money on her and spoil her with expensive gifts. Whether your girlfriend is 10, 15, or 20+ years younger than you, many ladies expect to be taken care of financially when they involve themselves with older foreign men.

Your Thai girlfriend is in debt

You might read over this point and think that it definitely does not apply to your girlfriend... According to the Bangkok Post, household debt reached an 18 year high in 2021. With many businesses affected by the pandemic, it is likely that Thailand will be dealing with the fallout of its borrowing for many years into the future.

Household debt has always been common in Thailand, and it is very possible that your girlfriend has debts which you don’t know about.

Opening an empty wallet

Due to the concept of ‘saving face’ in Thai culture, many ladies will be dishonest with their foreign boyfriends about their finances. If your Thai girlfriend (or her family) has a large amount of debt, then she might be worried about scaring you away by coming clean with the truth.

In order to fully understand your girlfriend’s situation, you will need her to be honest with you and explain any debt that she is responsible for.

Being realistic about your Thai girlfriend

If you are concerned that your Thai girlfriend will be expensive, then it’s important to first assess her financial situation and be realistic about how much help she will need from you in both the short and long term.

Some men will say that they will “never give any money to their Thai girlfriend”. However, if they have started a relationship with a lady from poor farming community in rural Thailand, then it’s important to be realistic about her situation.

Take a look at your girlfriend’s home. Do her parents live in a tin hut that looks like it could fall over with a strong breeze? Does your Thai girlfriend have a university education which could lead her into a stable career? Does she have children to support?

A young Thai lady

If you are not willing to give your girlfriend money, then it would be advisable to find a lady that has a stable and well-paid career.

In order to truly figure out whether or not your Thai girlfriend is going to be expensive, you should run through a full breakdown of her monthly expenditure. Does she need to support her family? How much is her rent? Does she have any debts?

Establishing a full breakdown of her expenses will help you to properly understand her finances and her priorities in life. Does your girlfriend need to have the latest iPhone and the most expensive handbags, or is she content with a modest lifestyle? 

All ladies are different and the answer to this question will depend entirely on her lifestyle and what she is looking to gain from your relationship with her.

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