When you’re romantically involved with a Thai lady, the question of whether you should give her money often comes up. It’s a tough one and you should answer it based on a number of factors.
The question, “should I give money to my Thai girlfriend, wife, or family?” is one that many men ask when they’re in a relationship with a Thai lady.
If you live in Thailand with your Thai girl, and she has a job, then generally yes, why not? But if you haven’t met her, if you live outside Thailand, and especially if she’s a bar girl you met on a quick trip through Bangkok, Phuket, or Pattaya, it’s usually a no. And if she flat out asks you for money, that’s usually a big “no”. The money you send her, especially more than a small amount, may just be part of the money she gets from farang (foreigner) men.
We don’t want you to get played, so here are the main things to look out for. And don’t be that jerk who just says, “Don’t give money to your Thail girl, ever!” Life isn’t all black and white.
You may find an angle you’ve never considered, including how much and how to actually get the money to her. We’ll start by framing the relationship and then break down the factors.
How to view your relationship with your Thai girl
This idea of not passing your poor girlfriend a couple hundred dollars may sound harsh. If you’re from a place where people are pretty honest and scams are rare, this isn’t much money and you’re inclined to believe she’s an honest girl.
The reality is that there’s a big gray zone when dealing with Thai ladies and money. And there’s no “one size fits all” answer. Experienced guys develop a feel for it.
How you decide should first depend on where you are and where she is. Assuming she’s in Thailand, are you back home or together with her? If you’re apart, have you even met?
If you’ve never met, unless you’ve truly verified her financial need, limit your gifts to small amounts at most. In the vast majority of cases, though, do not send her anything until you’ve met her.
If you’ve met her once or twice and you’re now apart, you know a bit more about her. If she’s a bar girl, this is about the only time you can safely say, “Don’t sent your Thai girl money.” Period. It should be obvious why, and you’re not going to save your Thai girl. She’s not even “your” Thai girl. If she’s a “normal” girl, such as an office worker or a student, rely on your judgment.
If you’re in a relationship and together, there are a lot of factors at play, so it’s harder to say.
Many Thai girls are genuine, caring, and make very loving partners. But do be ready to look at life differently, be brutally honest, and try to get over any hero complex you may have.
Let’s go deeper.
Should I send or give money to a Thai girlfriend?
The distance between you really is the main factor. It’s a greatly different situation if you’ve never even met this girl and you’re in another country vs. being there and with her.
If you’re overseas
If you do live overseas and your Thai girl lives in Thailand, consider a few things.
Most importantly, you need to know if you can trust her. Second, have you already met her, or did you meet her on a dating site and not in real life yet?
Another important part is to find out if she is a “good girl.” How do you communicate with her, and how often? All these factors are decisive in your decision making.
Does she have a job? If so, does she make enough money to sustain herself? The average monthly household income in Thailand is about 25,000 baht (~$830), and average individual wage is about 15,000 (~$500). It’ll be higher if she’s in Bangkok vs. somewhere in the province (which is basically anywhere outside central Bangkok).
Look at factors such as:
- Her age
- Her family’s financial situation
- Is she working?
- Does she have kids?
- Are you absolutely sure she’s single?
- Do you know where she works and lives? (if not, do you really know how she lives?)
Weigh these out with brutal honesty. Many girls who are working regular office jobs or doing a part-time job to pay for university will never even ask you for money. These in fact may be the ones you can feel good about supporting.
If all of your talks turn to the topic of her financial situation or some problem she or her family’s having, take a step back.
You are under no obligation to send her money. And the ones with sob stories could very well be telling them to multiple guys. Do you really want to join 4 other dudes in being her funding body?
On the various Thai nightlife-related websites and on ThaiVisa, you can find stories from so-called “good girls” as well as “bad girls.” Many guys eventually lose most or all of their money.
Do take these with a block of salt, because a lot of guys on these groups are bitter. Many are older Western men who are especially bitter since they got fooled in their older age. In some cases, they lost thousands along with their personal security and home. Listen and learn. Don’t get jaded though. There are good girls out there.
If you decide to send money to your Thai girlfriend, here you can find some options on how to actually send it.
If you’re living in Thailand
Being in country gives you better insight into your girlfriend’s daily activities. If she works an “honest” job and can take care of her own needs, you can feel more assured in giving her money. Especially if she offers to pay you back. Even better if she actually does, even if only in part. That’s a good lady; a good person with integrity.
Thailand is coming along well, but in most regards it’s still a developing economy. So, if she’s supporting her family or going to college, a bit of financial assistance can definitely help her out. Her family, too.
Important is that you can find the fine line between compassion and being a personal ATM.
Don’t give her more than you can afford to lose. Always keep that in mind. And be aware that people living at the minimum income level in Thailand will most likely have problems paying you back.
So when do you actually start giving her money?
If it’s early in the relationship, would you do more than pay for meals and small gifts at this point? If you would, and apart from situations of obvious, you’re either trying to buy her love or you’re basically a sucker. You’re a sucker if you do with a Thai girl as well. You set a bad precedent.
Get to know her better for starters.
- Does she introduce you to her friends or even her family?
- Does she buy small things for you or offers to pay bills when you go out?
- Or does she expect you to pay for everything? And ask you to buy her gifts?
- And does she disappear for periods of time without a good explanation?
Give the relationship time to grow. If she’s genuinely interested in you, she’ll show you affection and look after you by helping out with things like housework, shopping, and language problems you may be having.
Money discussions, if ever, shouldn’t come up until you’re a few months in. That’s really no different than with a girl from anywhere. So why would you make an exception here?
Once you decide to help her financially, start with small amounts. And instead of just giving her cash, aim to pay for specific things you know she needs – such as clothing or school supplies.
As your relationship grows and you trust her more, you might increase it. Don’t even think of buying her a car or a house until you’re married. And even then…
Should you give money to your Thai wife?
So you get married and take it a step further. Congrats, there are benefits to marrying a Thai woman.
As mentioned, average monthly wage in Thailand is about 15,000 baht (~$500). It’s less if she’s not a university graduate and working in general labor.
If you pay all other expenses, like the rent, electricity, and food during the month, this amount should make her happy. If she’s not in a professional job, really, you should expect to pay this.
You may also give her an allowance so she can by personal necessities or send some money to her family. Combining your money is usually a bad idea. You’ll hear different thoughts on this, but we’d recommend keeping a completely separate account in your home country as well as another separate account in a Thai bank for easier access.
Regarding real estate, if you’re even thinking of buying or building a house, know that in Thailand you can’t own land. You may own the actual house or condo, but you can’t own the land.
A lot of property and other valuable items will be in your wife’s name, according to Thai law. This may sound fine when you’re in love and freshly married. But when things start to go bad, you’re basically screwed. She can change the locks and disown you and there’s very little you can do about it.
Consider preparing a prenuptial agreement before you marry. Especially if you think you might buy assets in Thailand.
Should you give money to your Thai lady’s family?
Family is particularly important in Thailand, especially the parents.
If a breadwinner gets sick, it can immediately put the whole household in danger.
So for a girl you truly care for, and who you’re in a relationship with, you can make a hugely good impression by helping with medical expenses at a time like this. And this is whether or not you’re married.
Keep in mind that all family members should be chipping in in this situation. If you put on your super-farang cape and offer to foot the whole bill, look out. You’re both diminishing their contributions and setting yourself up to do the same over and over (as, interestingly, more people get sick).
Make a generous contribution and help out however you can. But unless you’re already married into the family, or she’s a stunner and you hope to marry her, keep it reasonable.
For other family members, consider lending them money instead of giving. If they can come up with a good idea (let alone a good business plan) and are willing to pay you back according to agreed-upon payment terms, sure, lend them money and encourage them to make the best out of their plan. The loan’s in good faith, though, but again, don’t loan anything you expect to get back anytime soon, if ever.
When should you definitely NOT give or send money to a Thai girl?
This is aside from any service you’re paying for (which is not condoned here for obvious reasons). In general, don’t trust a bargirl as far as you can throw her (no, don’t throw her, really, that’s a bad move).
Especially when it comes down to money issues, do not trust her. Her entire profession is based on creating a dream for men. As much as you may want to “save” her, she’s in the trade for whatever reason, and she’s physically and psychologically hostage to it.
You likely should extend this to any girl who’s somehow tied in with providing physical services (like, “traditional massage” that end especially well).
As mentioned above, for “normal” girls, watch the conversation patterns that always turn to hardship and money. Those are usually girls for whom you shouldn’t pay for anything more than meals and small things when you’re with her. If you give, give small and know what you’re paying for.
How much to give to your Thai girlfriend or wife
This is left to the end, because hopefully you don’t need some random guide on the Internet to tell you these things. Hopefully, you’ll spend enough time with her, get to know her, and also talk with other men in relationships. Through these experiences, you’ll learn more than you learn here.
- Bar girl: Only what you’re purchasing
- Online girl you’ve never met: No more than a couple thousand baht every couple of months
- Online girl you’ve met: Case-by-case, but no more than what you know she needs
- In-person girl you’re dating: Also no more than what you know she needs, but you may want to help out her family a bit in times of verifiable trouble, and you may want to give her a small allowance or help her with tuition or other noble causes.
- Thai wife: Well, that largely depends on where you are and the situation under which you’re married. If she’s 30 years younger, working or studying diligently, and a good person, don’t be a cheap jerk. Pay for the rent, utilities, and things she need, as much as necessary.
When it comes to big-ticket items like cars and property, think really hard about how much you can stand to lose. If you’re on a pension, think really really hard. Get second and third opinions from other expats. Watch YouTube videos. Be sober when you decide whatever you decide.
Conclusion: There are times you pay, and times you don’t
There are plenty of trustworthy, loving, caring, and good Thai girls out there. They can stand a bit of support. But don’t end up being a walking ATM. On the other hand, you don’t have to be a completely cold and dispassionate jerk. Most importantly, give no more than you can afford; both now and in your later years.
In sum, don’t let your emotions get the best of you, gentlemen.