Working in Nakhon Pathom

Monthly Earnings 164,000

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

I receive a salary of 54,000 a month and this includes a housing allowance of 8,000. I tutor for groups as well and a group of students can pay in excess of 1,200 baht per hour. Tutoring income averages 30,000 per month. I also receive 80,000 in passive income from investment properties in my home country.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

This is kind of skewed, since I receive passive income from my home country. As an aggregate amount, I can save between 110,000 and 130,000 per month.

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

I have a newer three-bedroom / two-bathroom townhouse near the school. I pay 10,000 per month.

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


After nearly two years here, I decided to buy a car. The payment is 6,000 a month. I also have a motorbike that I bought with cash. Usually I spend 2,000 a month on gas. I don't live far from the school.

Utility bills

I do pay a lot for utilities, as I use my air conditioning without remorse. It runs around 2,500 to 3,000 a month. My phone is prepaid, so that's 550 baht per month. Water is cheap, around 200 baht a month. Internet and cable is a bit high, 1,400 baht per month.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

There is a local lady who shops, cooks, washes/presses clothes, and cleans my townhouse for a flat fee every week. So the grocery bill every week is 1,000 baht. This gets my son and I home cooked Thai food every night and a clean house. We rarely eat out as I don't like processed food.

Nightlife and drinking

As far as nightlife goes, I am in bed at 10. I did not come here for that sort of lifestyle. If I do drink, it is a glass of wine (or two).

Books, computers

I brought over a new laptop from the States. I will be buying a new one this year. I like the idea of having a laptop at work and home. That way I don't look like a "falang" teacher with a backpack! As far as reading, I download many books from pdfdrive. I also have a subscription on Amazon. I bought a new tablet last year. A friend brought it to me when they visited the US.

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

Simply amazing. We eat better, live comparably, and travel more here than we could ever do in the US. Here, I have a total of three months off per year. That doesn't even include the personal and sick days I have in my contract. In the US, I got two weeks (I never got to use) of vacation per year.

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

Bargain? Everything except Western goods. This would include laptops (made in China), tablets, cars, some furniture, name brand clothing and shoes.

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

I have read nearly every posting in this section for the last two and a half years. I started following it before I came to Thailand. There are many factors to consider when answering this question. My costs are little bit higher, as my son is here with me. If I were alone, I would have a place that costs less and food costs would be lower. Air conditioning would be lower as well.

I am not in Bangkok, therefore the cost of living is lower. I have bought food here and in Bangkok and I can honestly say I have paid twice as much in Bangkok for the exact same food. My townhouse would cost 2-3 times my current rate as well. If I had to pick a number, for my area, I know several teachers doing "OK" on 30,000 baht a month.

A note to readers out there. I am not a "school" trained teacher. My degree is in business administration. I am also a 20 year veteran of the military, a training officer. Come here with the right attitude, and you can make good money.

Phil's analysis and comment

Interesting survey, Baron. When I read that you were earning 164,000 a month in Nakhon Pathom, my first thoughts were 'well, that's almost enough money to BUY Nakhon Pathom'. Joking apart. it sounds like you have more money than you'll ever need. I'm just wondering 'why Nakhon Pathom?' unless of course you came for a no-frills, peaceful Thai lifestyle because no disrespect to the town - it's a pretty quiet backwater. 

Putting the 80,000 baht 'passive income' aside, your 84,000 teaching income is still enough to live like a king. So not surprised you have a local lady who takes care of all the cleaning, washing, cooking, etc. In your position, I'd do exactly the same.   

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