Working in Samut Prakarn
Monthly Earnings 45,000+
Q1. How much do you earn from teaching per month?
I work in a government school and earn 45k per month. I do you have a couple of private students who I teach at my home, which edges it up towards 50k some months.
Q2. How much of that can you realistically save per month?
I give myself a target of 20K every month. To be honest that is a very realistic target with my outgoings, but I find there is always something that crops up and it involves spending money. The term just gone I managed to bank 10k per month, but next term by hook or by crook I will bank 20k each pay day for a rainy day.
Q3. How much do you pay for your accommodation and what do you live in exactly (house, apartment, condo)?
I pay 5k for a modern two floored town house in a quiet area. It has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a front and back garden. I used to rent a 10k serviced apartment, but with utilities it was too much. Only downside to a house here is the unwanted creatures that tend to stroll in uninvited of an evening. Everything else about renting a house is positive for me.
Q4. What do you spend a month on the following things?
Very little. I have a scooter and commute back and for to work on that. I am literally around 7 minutes away on the bike from the school and I spend around 500baht on fuel per month.
My electric is around 900-1,0000 and the water is around 100baht. I do shower believe me but the water bills are great here. I spend around 400 per month on the internet. All told, around 1,500 on utilities.
Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping
I love my food and eat both Thai and Western food. Obviously if I eat more Thai food I am able to save the pennies. Sometimes though I crave the Western cuisine. Roughly around 5,000-10,000 per month. It varies from month to month.
Nightlife and drinking
Not a heavy drinker. Will have the odd bottle of beer or glass or red wine at home now and again. Maybe 1,000 A month.
I do enjoy a good book. Although it's rare these days that I'll go out and buy one. It's more like a yearly purchase than a monthly. So the answer is 0.
Q5. How would you summarize your standard of living in one sentence?
Well, my standard of living is of a very decent standard indeed and if it wasn't I wouldn't be here.
Q6. What do you consider to be a real 'bargain' here?
Pretty much anything you need can be bought in the right place for a bargain. With cars being the exception. Off the top of my head clothes, Thai food and dvds.
Q7. In your opinion, how much money does anyone need to earn here in order to survive?
In a nutshell I wouldn't be here for less than 35k, but everyone is different and peoples needs are different. Some Thais manage surviving on 8k per month and some even lower. The key word is surviving, they are simply just surviving. For a Westerner to sustain a fairly decent standard of living anything under 35k in my eyes would be a struggle. 35k minimum.
Phil's analysis and comment
Anthony seems a level-headed kind of guy and I like his figures. He's a man who lives within his means. I think that he should easily be saving 10-20K from a salary of 50K in Samut Prakarn, but Anthony knows that already. His outgoings are not that high. I did laugh about all the unwelcome visitors you get when you rent a house. I've been there! I once rented a house for 8,000 baht a month in Bangkok that was being literally eaten alive. It's a tough job keeping those termites at bay and once they've developed an appetite for your plaster-board walls, there's very little you can do.