Working in Bangkok
Monthly Earnings 57,000
Q1. How much do you earn from teaching per month?
57,000 from work at a kindergarten Monday to Friday and some private and Saturday work. My wife also earns 20,000 baht a month so her money is hers and mine is mine.
Q2. How much of that can you realistically save per month?
20,000. If nothing pops up. (trip away etc etc.)
Q3. How much do you pay for your accommodation and what do you live in exactly (house, apartment, condo)?
7,000 baht including bills. I live in a 38 square metre condo in central Bangkok.
Q4. What do you spend a month on the following things?
About 800b per week for gas in my CB400. Including a long Sunday roadtrip
1,300, on top of 5,700b rent. For electricity, water, and internet.
Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping
About 3,000 to 4,000 baht per week. We usually cook nice food that will do for a few days twice a week or so. Nice, clean Thai restaurants for lunch at 60 baht. I generally eat well.
Nightlife and drinking
Usually stay at home with some scotch or box of wine as opposed to going out. About 1,500b per month. Maybe a few pints to watch the football at the weekend once or twice a month. Add 1000b
Books, maybe 500 baht per month. Download everything I want from my computer for free.
Q5. How would you summarize your standard of living in one sentence?
A happy one.
Q6. What do you consider to be a real 'bargain' here?
Massages. Both nice and naughty.
Q7. In your opinion, how much money does anyone need to earn here in order to survive?
Depends on the definition of survive. I don't want for anything but I live a quiet life. I don't like sacrifice. I'm also not happy if I'm not putting money away every month. With everything set up - rental deposit, motorbike, clothes etc. a living wage of 35,000 might cut it, but there'd be no money put away and no feeling of security. I need both of these.
Phil's analysis and comment
Worth adding that Dave is only 30 years old. He went on to tell me that in the future, inherited property will earn him similar to what he's earning now, so he generally doesn't have to worry about security in his 60s. Dave sees retirement as living in rural Thailand helping to run small family businesses. By which time he will hopefully have bought his own property with cash saved. As for now, a 77,000 baht joint income is not too bad for a couple with presumably no kids. He spends 16,000 baht a month on food. He certainly eats well. No doubt about that.