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Move to Chiang Mai for saving a UK Deposit; Here’s WHY

If you are a young professional that has considered working and living in another country then this guest post is worth a read. A big thank-you to Ryan Gibson in advance.

An Englishman’s home is his castle

If I had a pound for every time I heard both the above quote and my current quote in the same conversation then I’d be a rich man. It does however have a distinct air of truth about it though. Us English love our homes. There’s nothing better than owning your own property, It’s truly an amazing feeling and one which fills me with pride. Unfortunately at the moment for many Gen Y’s owning your own home is proving slightly tricky.

Banks demand 25% deposits for a realistic mortgage rate. Anything less and you find yourself paying a hugely inflated rate which questions the whole buying process. I have many friends right now we literally cannot get on the property ladder. They are stuck in rental accommodation, paying inflated commuting to work fee’s and living a typical lifestyle which limits any chances of saving. Let’s be real even if they managed to save £200-400 a month they are still years away from having a deposit for a respectable house purchase.

On the flip side I have friends who are travelling at the moment enjoying some fantastic sights, creating memorable moments yet there’s no real end goal. They are merely living off savings or taking on manual labour jobs to make ends meet and fuel their travelling. Sure it’s fine for a while but there’s no upscale, no plan B and no real strategy.


Combining Both:
But what if there was a way of combining both? A lifestyle of travelling and the money saving which renting while staying in the UK cannot offer? I actually believe this is a genuine route for those looking to secure a deposit for a home.

Before I go on I would suggest this advice only suits those who work online or work in a digital business but again I believe this is my target audience. Furthermore this advice is tailored towards those in the UK but could essentially apply for anyone anywhere. Lastly I haven’t taken into account tax breaks; this advice is based purely on paying UK taxes but setting up home in countries elsewhere. There may be tax breaks which can be also be explored but I believe there can be genuine savings while still paying the full tax on all earnings.

Profit vs Salary
Before getting into the where we need to look into the reasons behind this strategy and why it can work for you. By either taking a remote working opportunity through your current job or another freelancing option you can guarantee the freedom with your work. With this freedom you may take a drop in salary but is this always a negative ?  No it’s not. There’s a huge misconception in the world where a higher salary is automatically better than a lower salary.

Before you brand me crazy let me explain. The whole set up around the role and salary needs to be taken into account. A job on 45k a year in the centre of London including hiked rental prices, public transport and cost of living against living on 20k a year in a country where you can get the above for the fraction of the price. Essentially salary should be judged by ‘net’ profit and not by the salary before any living is taken into account.

When looking to earn the finances required for a deposit, individuals need to take into consideration the factors around the salary and whether the lifestyle and job they currently lead helps gain this. You need to step outside the career bubble for one moment and consider what’s required to earn the money you need to save for a deposit. Remote working in some capacity may indeed be the answer to your individual prayers.

Once you have found a role, whether this is through your current gig or via an online role which promotes ‘remote working’ you need to find a place to live. Been in the UK might get you to where you want to be but why not move overseas and gain fantastic travel experience as well as saving the money required to purchase your ‘castle?’.

There are so many places where you can live for next to nothing. When I say next to nothing I mean you could quite easily live for less than £500 a month including accommodation, food, entertainment and health. If you earn 20k a year then you can comfortably pay taxes, live, explore and still make a saving of £1000 a month. It’s an attractive proposition and one I believe more people should explore. We constantly challenge for the biggest salaries irrelevant of where we are. Let’s step back and look at this as a financial decision. To gain a deposit while still leading an amazing life you may need to step away from the mother land and explore another destination.

My Choice!
The million dollar question. Where is this place you speak of? There’s plenty of digital dwelling holes around the world with super fast wifi and enough to see and do to keep you happy for a year or two. Ironically a number of the locations are where the western guys and girls spend their summer vacations. Sure you won’t be living in ultimate luxury but you will be living a respectable lifestyle with paradise on your door.

The key thing to remember here is that it’s a cost saving exercise with a hint of heaven. For many of you may decide to continue to live the expat lifestyle however if you are a family man like me then you may want to make the exercise an ends to a means. The means is earning the money to fund a deposit for funding your return to the UK. For many the monthly payments is not a problem, it’s the initial starter fund. This is a way for someone to earn that money and enjoy a traveller’s lifestyle at the same time.

Chiang Mai Thailand:
Chiang Mai is the number 1 choice for mortgage saving for a number of reasons. Firstly it’s cheap, secondly it’s beautiful and thirdly you can get pretty nifty Wifi. What else would you need?. I have allowed £500 a month but in reality you could live comfortably in Thailand for $500 a month which is shown below by some of the following travellers:

For a full rundown of why Chiang Mai makes sense then you can read the following post:

Overview Cost of Chiang Mai:
Cost of comfortable living: £311 a month.
Cost of good living: £500 a month

Positives: Good food, good coffee, great scenery and strong wifi.

Thailand on a whole is a genuinely good option and the best available. Not only does it give you a base to explore all the fantastic islands but it also appeals to those working in a digital career.  You’ve got a ridiculous amount of Expats already living there so it’s essentially home from home. Besides, who needs anything other than Coffee and a connection?

Typical Savings:
Taking into account an average UK salary of 20k we can work out easily the type of savings you’d expect from taking the plunge and living in a remote location. We are not taking into account here tax situations. Let’s assume FULL UK taxes are paid and you are wandering on a traveller’s visa.

Initial spend: £1200 flight and initial weeks accommodation= £1,500

Typical monthly salary after tax: £1,344.34
Expenditure when living in Chiang Mai: £500
Money left after tax and living: £844
Yearly savings: £10,128

Stepping away to save:
The chances of some realistically been able to save a deposit in less than five years in slim and the human urge to travel and see the world will always reign inside you. Why not combine both? Have a life of travelling and working remotely while saving the money required to land the house you have wanted in the UK. The above example was for the average UK salary and consisted of a nice standard of living in Thailand.

There’s obviously via restrictions to look into but the posts I have linked to should help with this. Think about things rationally and curb your inner cravings for travel and net worth through a mini relocation.

It doesn’t have to be for years. You could do this for 6 months to save the last required deposit. Hell you could even explore the option of a sabbatical year from work and freelance while living in Thailand. There are genuine options for you to make a difference to your life. Given you’re reading this website you most probably already have a vested interest in leading your life a little differently. Why not seize the moment and do it?

I was fortunate to be able to save for my deposit and gain some help from family. Not everyone is this fortunate and sometimes you need to step outside the box, outside the status quo and build personal wealth in another way. Begin freelancing, jump on elance or explore the option with your manager. Seek approval and make changes. Happiness is the end goal for us all right? Find yours.

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About the Author:
Ryan Gibson is a full time home worker who blogs about Generation Y Working habits. You can also find him offering great lifestyle design, working from home and work/life balance advice your time can afford.


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