Working in Narathiwat
Monthly Earnings 30,000 baht
Q1. How is that income broken down? (full-time salary, private students, on-line teaching, extra work, etc)
My basic income comes from working at a private school. Occasionally I do some extra teaching for a few hours per week, but I make peanuts on that.
Q2. How much money can you save each month?
About 10,000 max. It used to be more, but since meeting my current girlfriend about a year ago, food expenditures have drastically risen, as we like to eat out in relatively expensive places.
Q3. How much do you pay for your accommodation and what do you live in exactly (house, apartment, condo)?
I rent an unfurnished two-bedroom house for 4,000 baht.
Q4. What do you spend a month on the following things?
About 500 baht monthly on gas for my scooter, some of its occasional repair costs, plus gas for my partner's car. Total amount no more than 1,500 baht/month.
I don't have a/c but run two dehumidifiers almost 24/7, especially during the rainy season, which adds up to about 400 baht for electricity.
Water costs me somewhere like 70-80 baht.
My mobile internet and home wifi bills total around 1,400 baht.
Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping
I don't cook at home and share most of the restaurant bills with my partner.
Costs vary between 5,000 and 8,000 baht a month, which includes meals during trips to Central Festival Hat Yai where we like "splurging" on meals in medium-cost restaurants.
Nightlife and drinking
Nothing. Zero baht.
Still using my old laptop, bought in my home country of The Netherlands.
Reading I only do online.
Q5. How would you summarize your standard of living in one sentence?
Basic but comfortable.
Q6. What do you consider to be a real 'bargain' here?
Accommodation. 4,000 baht is about 110 euro, which would be impossible to rent anything within the home country.
Eating out in The Netherlands is obscenely expensive too. In Narathiwat Town you can get a full meal made to order for 20 baht. There is no comparison.
Q7. In your opinion, how much money does anyone need to earn here in order to survive?
One can survive on 15,000 baht, but I would never try that!
Phil's analysis and comment
Thank you Dave. Good to hear from a teacher right down there in Thailand's 'deep south'. It sounds as though you live well enough on 30,000 baht a month. It would be nice to know what your partner earns and contributes to the monthly budget, although I notice you do share the cost of meals out.