David

Working in Chonburi

Monthly Earnings 50,000

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

I work in a large secondary school in Chonburi and my full-time pay is about 50,000 a month after tax. Obviously with the Covid situation in this province being particularly bad, the school is closed and tuition has switched to completely online (I could rant about this for pages and pages but of course this isn't the place)

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

At the moment I'm saving about half of my salary but in normal times, that would go down to about 10K if I'm lucky. I'm not particularly good at saving.

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 in a typical 'lower-end' apartment building and pay 5,000 baht a month rent. I keep saying I'll look for something nicer but I'm going to have to spend at least double on the kind of place I want. It's quite nice only spending 10% of your income to put a roof over your head.

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

Transportation

I take motorcycle taxis to and from work (they are plentiful in this neighborhood) and that's 40 baht a day - so maybe 800-1,000 a month. I've thought about buying my own bike but never taken the plunge.

Utility bills

This bill has doubled now I'm spending virtually all my time at home and now comes to around 2,000.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

I've actually found that I'm eating less and spending less on food at the moment with restaurants closed and not going to school and popping into 7-11s en route for an ice cream or a chocolate bar. I've got my food spending down to around 5,000 a month and order most of my meals from a local Mom and Pop restaurant. They charge just 50 baht a dish.

Nightlife and drinking

That's been zero for months. I only drink if I socialize and there are no opportunities to do that right now. I do miss a good night out in Pattaya!

Books, computers

I buy the odd book from Amazon but it's hardly worth taking into consideration. I had to spend a few thousand on upgrading my equipment to teach online but that's just a one-off investment.

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

Well at the moment, it's a 'forced way of living'. I don't like it but I've got used to it. I certainly miss seeing people and the excitement of being in a live classroom. I'm praying we don't have to live like this for too much longer.

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

Most things really but especially food from neighborhood hole-in-the-wall restaurants.

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

50,000 is a decent amount. I'd love to earn more but with 50K I never feel I go without.

Phil's analysis and comment

Thanks a lot Dave. You seem to be using the lockdown and teaching online situation as an opportunity to save some money. I think there will be plenty of others who are reaching for those apps and ordering expensive food deliveries and generally buying stuff online. And of course it's up to the individual how they live their lives.  


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