Working in Ban Chang, Rayong
Monthly Earnings 71,500 baht
Q1. How is that income broken down? (full-time salary, private students, on-line teaching, extra work, etc)
I get a 61,500 baht baseline salary and then around 10k baht for extra classes. (45 minutes x 4 days a week)
Q2. How much money can you save each month?
I save about 30,000 baht each month. This is after I have deducted my vacation costs and spending money.
Q3. How much do you pay for your accommodation and what do you live in exactly (house, apartment, condo)?
I live in a studio apartment, overlooking the Gulf of Thailand, with a modern kitchenette (induction stove, small oven and washing machine). This costs 7,000 baht a month. We also have a 3-bedroom house that we rent out for 15K a month.
Q4. What do you spend a month on the following things?
I rent a bike for 2,500 a month and fuel costs about 250 depending on how much I ride around. I avoid paying for private taxis by getting lifts from friends with cars.
Utility bills are usually under 1,000 baht a month but it has been higher during the summer months due to increased use of the air-conditioning.
Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping
Groceries are around 1,000 baht per week and I enjoy ordering from restaurants. I would say I spend around 600 baht a week on restaurants take-aways. I have to confess that I enjoy chocolate so a big portion of my spending is on that. I also get a free lunch at school so I do not have to cook much. I also prefer Western food that you can buy at Tops or our local Expat shop.
Nightlife and drinking
My town doesn't have a nightlife scene and I don't drink so no money there.
I download pdf books so no expense there and I use my old laptop.
Q5. How would you summarize your standard of living in one sentence?
I think I live very comfortably. I take vacations when Covid allows it during holidays and I could easily afford a car and a bigger flat if I wanted to.
Q6. What do you consider to be a real 'bargain' here?
There are quite a few things that are more expensive than back home but I would say your day-to-day living costs are the real bargain if you don't spend money on luxury items like a car.
Q7. In your opinion, how much money does anyone need to earn here in order to survive?
I don't hold back on spending my money and I get by with around 25k to 30k a month. This covers my living expenses and my shopping, travelling and restaurant meals.
Phil's analysis and comment
In what sounds like a very peaceful town, 71,000 baht must feel like a small fortune so no surprise you are able to live as well as you do. You've got a nice passive income of 15,000 baht from the house rental too. By my reckoning, you're saving around half a milllion baht a year so I bet you've built up a good safety net.