Working in Samut Prakan

Monthly Earnings 37,000 baht

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

I teach English full-time at a bilingual kindergarten., My salary is 37,000 plus I receive accident insurance and free lunch and snacks at school.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

About 15,000 baht

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

I pay 4,200 baht a month for a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment with hot water, an air conditioner and a nice space with a sink and power outlet for cooking out on my balcony in a simple but clean and modern building.

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


0 to 500 baht. I walk to work and to nearby markets, parks and temples. I occasionally take the songtaew to go to immigration or shopping centers on weekends, so most months add up to no more than about 70 baht. During school breaks, I’ll take taxis to travel around though, which can add up.

Utility bills

About 500 baht for water and electricity, plus about 500 for internet and phone.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

1,500 baht. I mostly eat free food at work, but also have a cold tea/ice cream addiction and like to buy food at the market on weekends.

Nightlife and drinking

This is zero. I don’t really drink and I would probably be fired if I got caught out partying due to COVID. My school is very strict about us not catching and spreading COVID to students.

Books, computers

I study Thai online for about 600 baht an hour, two hours or so a week. I also buy digital copies of video games sometimes, no more than about 1,000 baht a month or so.

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

Bougie by local standards, cheap by farang standards.

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

Food, water, rent, basic cost of living, etc. Especially outside of Bangkok. Imported stuff and things oriented towards foreigners can be quite expensive, but if you live like a Thai, even a bit of a more middle / upperclass kind of Thai, you can really cut costs.

Inflation has definitely been starting to hit though and I’ll never get a raise at my current job. I intend to quit at the end of this school year and then switch to an education visa. Studying Thai is another thing that is extremely cheap here. Like $1000USD for a visa and a year of classes at some schools. I plan on living on an education visa in Chiang Mai while I do a one year Masters of Education online before finding a new job.

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

It depends on where in Thailand you live. I could probably get by on 10,000 baht a month if I cut out entertainment expenses and really took advantage of free food, water, internet, electricity and whatnot at my job like some of the Thai staff do. Plus, if I moved to one of the smaller, more run down apartments in the area that cost like half my current rent.

Phil's analysis and comment

Interesting survey Rick. You've certainly embraced that 'living like a Thai' lifestyle. It's not for everyone but you certainly seem to be managing OK. Samut Prakan must be one of the cheapest provinces in Thailand for accommodation but you're still doing well to get a one-bedroom apartment for less than 5,000 a month. I wouldn't advise downgrading though. I also think that 1,500 baht a month on food is one of the lowest totals I've seen, but if you have no problem eating the school lunches, then why not take advantage of it? So that's about 50 baht a day on food, even allowing for weekend treats, wow!. Good luck with your future plans.  

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