Working in Bangkok
Monthly Earnings 110,000
Q1. How is that income broken down? (full-time salary, private students, on-line teaching, extra work, etc)
That figure is my full-time salary from a mid-tier international school, inclusive of a housing allowance. I also recieve annual flights, family health insurance, school fees for my son, end of contract bonus, and free school lunches.
I probably could do some private tutoring but I have a young son that I like to spend time with in the evenings, and it just doesn't seem worth it. I'll also add that my wife earns a part-time salary of around 30,000 working remotely in IT. She mainly covers food for our child and her own expenses.
Q2. How much money can you save each month?
Between 20,000 and 40,000, depending if I take a holiday, make a significant purchase or just splash out a bit more than intended.
Q3. How much do you pay for your accommodation and what do you live in exactly (house, apartment, condo)?
We pay 24,000 for a large (by Bangkok standards) modern 2-bedroom condo beside a skytrain station and just on the edge of downtown.
Q4. What do you spend a month on the following things?
Around 6,000 on taxis and skytrain fares.
Around 3,000 to 4,000 on electricity, plus 1,800 for a True package, which mobile, TV, home internet, etc.
Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping
I'm going to include nightlife and drinking in this too as at weekends eating, nightlife and drinking are all part of the same.
During the week I budget 300 baht per day to eat but often spend much less. At weekends I budget 4,000 baht for eating, drinking, going out, general leisure, and doing stuff with my wife and kid. Sometimes it's more than this, sometimes it's less. Average is 4,000 baht per weekend though.
Nightlife and drinking
I don't make any definite monthly purchases in this area, it would be difficult to put a regular amount here. Usually I'll spend maybe up to 5,000 for various things for my son and that could be toys, books or clothes. I've never really tracked this amount. Definitely not over 10,000 baht in a regular month for any extras.
Q5. How would you summarize your standard of living in one sentence?
I really can't complain. I don't need to make a huge effort to put some money away and still maintain a level of expense to spend on leisure and to enjoy a life I'm happy with. There is absolutely no chance I could save monthly and have the quality of lifestyle I have here being a teacher at home. I'm far from filthy rich but nobody becomes a teacher thinking that's going to happen.
Q6. What do you consider to be a real 'bargain' here?
For sure transport and rent are the things I feel are particularly cheap when compared to my home country. I also really like that in Thailand the option to go 'super cheap' is always there for most things if you need to. Food is a good example. If I need to tighten the strings for a month, it's simple to just go with cheap street food and home cooked meals.
Q7. In your opinion, how much money does anyone need to earn here in order to survive?
With a family, I have been able to cut spending to about 50,000 baht a month if needed, but that wouldn't be a fun month. I also have a spouse with some income though.
For a single person, I'm sure it's possible to survive on 25,000 baht or even less, I mean lots of Thais and locals in neighbouring countries do it here. For most Westerners though, they'll find that really difficult and they won't last. I'd say 40,000 baht minimum in order to survive and get some enjoyment out of life.
Phil's analysis and comment
Thanks for that Decco. Always good to hear from the teachers at the mid-level international schools where teachers don't receive the top dollar salaries but it's still a very, very good one. Just imagine being a single guy on 110,000 baht a month. I like the point you make about being able to go 'super cheap' in Thailand if you have to. If money's a bit tight and the work has dried up, there's always the option of living on street food for a few months until the good times roll around again.
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