Working in Pak Phanang Town in Nakhon Si Thammarat
Monthly Earnings 30,000
Q1. How is that income broken down? (full-time salary, private students, on-line teaching, extra work, etc)
30,000 is my monthly salary from a Thai government school. I work Monday-Friday, 8 am - 3 pm, with some flexibility in there. I also have extra income from my home in USA that I rent out while I am here. That gives me an extra $650 USD per month. I'm sure I could find money another way and not even teach, but the teaching gives me a work permit so I don't have to cruise to Malaysia doing visa runs every year. Plus I love these little kids, it's just fun messing around with them all day at school. English is also taught by their Thai teacher and they go hard in there, so in my class we just play games to reiterate the lesson they have already learned. So again, it's more fun than a money deal.
Q2. How much money can you save each month?
It changes every month. I like to travel a lot so when I'm not working I spend my money. I really don't spend my extra income, but do get through the 30,000.
Q3. How much do you pay for your accommodation and what do you live in exactly (house, apartment, condo)?
I rent a town-house for 3,500 baht per month. with water and electric included.
Q4. What do you spend a month on the following things?
I have two motorbikes, which I bought cash. One is a used 125cc scooter and then a bigger 250 cc bike that was deal from a small bike shop, it was maybe in several accidents or something but I keep it running clean nowadays. Gas costs around 800 baht a month.
They are included in the rent mentioned above.
Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping
I eat out a lot, but also go to Tesco often. I live with my wife and she can cook really well. I pay a food bill for two people and still only spend 8,000 a month. Seafood is very cheap here, plus fishing is free and we fish weekly.
Nightlife and drinking
Maybe 3,000 baht a month. Nightlife is Thai karaoke or food spots with booze. There is a sports bar I hit with my wife's brothers often as well - Go Liverpool!
I pay for data and wi-fi and it's about 1,500 a month for my wife and I.
Q5. How would you summarize your standard of living in one sentence?
I really like it or else I wouldn't do it. I am also living here for my wife. Her grandmother raised her as a child and is now very old. Being able to spend time together is nice and what's important in our lives. My wife has three brothers and an uncle who gets faded all day long and go fishing off the nearby pier, - so that's a lot of fun for me.
Q6. What do you consider to be a real 'bargain' here?
Rent, seafood and Thai food. Also traveling around is very cheap within Thailand and to other nearby countries.
Q7. In your opinion, how much money does anyone need to earn here in order to survive?
Living in Pak Phanang could range from 15,000 - 50,000 baht a month. I know people here spending both amounts monthly and both doing just fine in different ways. Even the guy doing 15,000 a month could reduce that by drinking fewer lemon teas each day!
Phil's analysis and comment
Andy, I think you could be the first teacher in our cost of living section who catches his own dinner. Also, I kind of admire the way you have integrated with your wife's family, be it cheering on Liverpool in a sports bar or fishing off the pier with the faded uncle (I assume 'faded' means stoned or drunk? I'm not familiar with the expression)