Clara

Working in Bangkok

Monthly Earnings 200,000 +

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

I work at a top international school in Bangkok and my base salary is 155K + 45K in monthly housing allowance. Although, I was making 37K a month before I left Bangkok to get qualified.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

None. After working in TEFL for 2 years, I realized that there's no opportunity growth for me, especially as a Laotian-Brazilian, unless i get myself a decent degree and experience. So I incurred about $40k in student loans for my degree in the US and my goal is to pay it back in two years, so I'm not worried about savings at the moment.

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

I live with my Thai partner and he refuses to let me help with the rent so this expense is zero.

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

Transportation

My Thai partner drives me around almost everywhere. so probably 200 baht/month

Utility bills

My partner pays for this.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

I tend to splurge on eating out and shopping so that comes to about 25,000/month

Nightlife and drinking

I only go out for a few drinks with my co-workers a couple or three times a month, so probably around 5,000.

Books, computers

My school provides a laptop to take home for teachers.

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

Amazing! It's day and night compared to my standard of living in the US. I worked in the US for two years at one the worst school districts in the country so my standard of living in Bangkok is awesome, although my salary in Bangkok isn't as high as the school I worked for in Singapore

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

Everything except for imported goods!

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

l would say anyone can survive with anything over 30,000/month but keep in mind that a decent condo in a good location will take up at least half of that, not to mention retirement which is a big issue because on 30-50K a month, you won't be able to save up for retirement.

Phil's analysis and comment

I bet when you've experienced life as a teacher on 37K, to hit the heights of 200K a month must feel incredible. Nothing else really to add other than if anyone would like to do a cost of living survey, we would love to hear from you.


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