Albert

Working in Chachoengsao

Monthly Earnings About 45,000 baht per month

Q1. How is that income broken down? (full-time salary, private students, on-line teaching, extra work, etc)

My full-time salary is 37,500 and then I make another 7-8,000 per month teaching evening classes.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

Normally 7,000-15,000 depending on the time of year.

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

4,000 baht per month. It is a two-bedroom house that I share with a mate/fellow teacher.

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

Transportation

I bought a scooter for 15,000 about a year ago and I'm now happy not to pay rental money every month for someone else's bike. It's only about 150-200 baht per month for petrol. However, add another 200 baht per return minivan trip to Bangkok should we plan a weekend over there every other month or so.

Utility bills

I do enjoy the air-conditioner too much sometimes and I most definitely need to cut back. Electricity can be anything from 1,000 to 2,000 baht per month (shared between two) depending how often I laze on the couch in the middle of a scorching day. Internet is shared and costs me 400 baht / month. I set aside a maximum of 1,500 baht per month for utilities but it rarely gets that much.

Also, not sure if it falls into this category but I also pay 1,600 baht per month for health insurance which covers me internationally.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

I love to cook. I spend loads on Thai and Western ingredients. It can easily be between 10,000 and 15,000 per month. That includes dining out in restaurants.

Nightlife and drinking

I try to keep the drinking aspect of socialising limited to a maximum of only every other weekend. A proper night out in Chachoengsao would cost me no more than 500 baht whereas in Bangkok it probably would get up to several thousand baht easy. Overall I budget 3,000-6,000 per month for these things but it's getting much less as I am trying to get into some other hobbies besides just boozing with the mates!

Books, computers

Not too much. I have my Xbox live account which is about 250 baht per month which is mostly only activated during the rainy season. I buy the odd game here and there, but the budget for this category never succeeds 500 baht on average

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

Its grand! I teach in a fairly relaxed school and love my kids. I teach on average around 3-4 hours per day during school hours. After teaching at this school for a while now (and proving that I am reliable and take the teaching part seriously) I am allowed to come and go as I please. I live super close to school which makes life even easier. Going to hit some golf balls on the driving range, hitting the gym or having a dip in the nearby hotel pool is easy done on a Tuesday between the morning and afternoon class, for example. Sorry, this has become way more than one sentence, but to summarize, life is good!

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

Transport, food and also rent if you find the right spot.

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

In my experience thus far, I would say I can easily survive and even thrive on 45,000 per month. The problem comes when I'm trying to put enough away for flights and visits back home to South Africa - or exploring the rest of the world.

Another chunk of money is needed to put something away for retirement, as it has unfortunately become clear that once you hit the age of 65 as a farang in Thailand, you are not particularly wanted anymore unless you have $$$. (Luckily I have some time yet before that age). However, I would say for where I live, 60K per month would be the bare minimum to cover all those bases.

Phil's analysis and comment

Thank you Albert. Life sounds good - but would be even better if you could hit that 60K target.  You hit on a good point in this survey inasmuch as you've been at the school for a while and you've become 'part of the furniture'. The school management trusts you and you can come and go as you please along as you're on time for your lessons. That's worth its weight in gold because you can slip away to do things like hit the gym or play golf, etc and it all makes for a much happier teacher and a more enjoyable lifestyle compared to someone who has to be on the premises the whole time. 

Please send us your cost of living surveys. We would love to hear from you! This is one of the most popular parts of the Ajarn website and these surveys help and inspire a lot of other teachers. Just click the link at the top of the page where it says 'Submit your own Cost of Living survey' or click here. 


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