Working in Bangkok

Monthly Earnings 300,000

Q1. How much do you earn from teaching per month?

I work through a legal consultancy school and earn 5,000 baht an hour. I usually work a 15-hour week so that adds up to about 300K a month. I coach students who are planning on attending law schools abroad, or CEOs who are planning on working in Europe or N America in multi-market companies such as medical or insurance based companies.

Q2. How much of that can you realistically save per month?

I save about 200K a month and still feel I live like a baller.

Q3. How much do you pay for your accommodation and what do you live in exactly (house, apartment, condo)?

I pay about 30,000 baht a month. I figure I work 6 hours a month to pay for my huge 2 bedroom city center accommodation. I use my second bedroom as an office and sometimes do some work online [legal consulting] so the plush office is essential. I spent a lot on it in order to keep up professional appearances.

Q4. What do you spend a month on the following things?


I still take the public transport to most places. I wear a suit but my clients have no idea if I took the skytrain or if I just drove an expensive car to get there. Why spend money on a car when you have cheap taxis and the BTS?

Utility bills

My utility bills are up to 10,000 a month but I'd rather have my home cool and with air-conditioners running than sitting there sweating.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

For food I tend to go to restaurants but I'll occasionally splash 50 baht on street food, and why not? Just because you make good money doesn't mean you need to eat 1,000 baht steaks every day. Often my classes finish at 7pm and that student will invite me to dinner. They enjoy talking more informally and it's a chance for me to learn some legal or business Thai jargon, or what's going on in the business world in Thailand.

Nightlife and drinking

I don't really go out. It's purely a lifestyle choice. I should also say that I spend around 35,000 baht a month on cancer drug injections into my eyes due to diabetic damage.

Books, computers

For books, I rarely buy them and electronics I spend a fortune. I probably update my gaming PC at least once a year. My parents and brother enjoy my hand-me-downs, so when I buy an iphone 6S I'll hand the iphone 6 down to my brother or his wife.

Q5. How would you summarize your standard of living in one sentence?

Unreal. I earn around 300K baht a month and in the UK 40% of that would be taken in tax, but obviously I pay much less here.

Q6. What do you consider to be a real 'bargain' here?

Apartments, and the fact people will pay you what you're worth IF you can prove you're worth it. Other things like transport, laundry and massages are cheap. Electronics can be expensive.

Q7. In your opinion, how much money does anyone need to earn here in order to survive?

To survive, you could survive on 30,000 baht a month but honestly what is the point? If you live paycheck to paycheck, then what if you need to head home in an emergency? That's no way to live.

Phil's analysis and comment

A glimpse into how the other half live I suppose. I haven't got much to add to that. In fact, I haven't got anything to add to that.

Come on guys, let's hear from more teachers who earning those teacher salaries.

If anyone fancies doing a cost of living survey, I've now put the questions on-line to make it easier and quicker for you. Please spare half an hour if you can. 


Submit your own Cost of Living survey

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