Bren

Working in Bangkok

Monthly Earnings 66,000

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

My full-time salary is 56,000 per month and 10,000 from trading online, but that is getting more difficult. I work in the English program of a large Thai private school. Unfortunately there have not been many opportunities to pick up extra work due to the C-19 pandemic.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

This is my first year in Thailand, and I haven’t been saving much, but I am determined to change that as we go into the new academic year. It is very easy to spend your money here if you’re not careful.

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

Rent is 8,500 for a 42 square metre condo on the outskirts of Bangkok. The condo is located near the BTS and has a well furnished gym as well as a nice swimming pool and co-working space.

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

Transportation

I live within walking distance to my school which saves me a lot of money in this regard. Other than that, I spend maybe 500-100 baht each month on taxis and BTS fares. Here's a tip for newcomers, download Bolt or Grab on your phone, it will save you money and time.

Utility bills

My average electricity bill has been 670 baht over the 12 months. I have three air-con units but I only use one air-con unit when I am trying to sleep. Water is roughly 100 baht every 3 months.

For internet and phone I got a great deal with True, for which I pay 1150 baht for unlimited high speed home broadband, and 10gb of data for my phone. This is a real bargain in my opinion.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

The price of food shopping in Thailand is not cheap, especially if you buy from the main supermarkets, and even more expensive if you want to buy things like milk, cheese, and home comforts. I spend maybe 8,000 baht on food shopping and a further 5,000 baht on eating out. If you want to eat decent Western food, then you will need to pay for it.

Nightlife and drinking

This seems to be where I seem to be spending too much money. I have been going away on weekend trips once a month and this adds up to maybe 8,000 baht each trip. Throw in a night out around On Nut or lower Sukhumvit each week and that’s another 3,000. I’m starting to cut this right down and I will only be going away on weekend trips every few months. To summarise, a night out in Bangkok is not cheap, but it sure is fun.

Books, computers

Nothing in this column for me.

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

I have a very nice lifestyle here, a nicer lifestyle than what I really should be living on my wages. Therefore, I am going to cut out some unnecessary nights out and start to look for more things to do during the day which don’t cost as much money.

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

The basics for living here are still very cheap compared to many countries. Look at rental prices in much of Europe and North America. You couldn’t rent a car parking space for $300 dollars a month, let alone a condo.

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

I think you could survive on 35,000 baht a month but that would be a very boring life. If you want to enjoy some entertainment and indulge in the odd home comfort, then I think you need 50,000 baht as a minimum, but I can see that becoming 60,000 next year.

Phil's analysis and comment

Thanks a lot Bren. 66,000 is not a bad salary at all in Bangkok and I'm quite surprised you're not saving much. But as you say, it's your first year in Thailand and you're probably still in a sort of 'holiday mode'.  What you might find as time goes by - and we see it a lot in these surveys - is that the attraction of the nightlife wears off, so you'll certainly start saving more money in that department. Your spend on rent and utliity bills and food shopping, etc is certainly nothing out of the ordinary.   


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