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.

Utility bills

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

Covered above.

Books, computers

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.   

Please send us your cost of living surveys. We would love to hear from you! This is one of the most popular parts of the Ajarn website and these surveys help and inspire a lot of other teachers. Just click the link at the top of the page where it says 'Submit your own Cost of Living survey' or click here. 

Submit your own Cost of Living survey

Back to the main list

Featured Jobs

English, Science and Math Teachers

฿42,300+ / month


English Conversation Teachers

฿35,000+ / month


NES English Teachers

฿40,000+ / month


Essay Editor, Writing Coach, IELTS/SAT/GMAT Tutor

฿50,000+ / month


ESL Teachers

฿33,000+ / month


Teacher Assistant for Kindergarten and Primary

฿20,000+ / month

Chon Buri

Featured Teachers

  • Alvin

    Filipino, 38 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Jolina

    Filipino, 29 years old. Currently living in Canada

  • Nona

    Filipino, 22 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Chris

    American, 66 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Ma.

    Filipino, 55 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Ibrahim

    Turkish, 41 years old. Currently living in Turkey

The Hot Spot

Teacher mistakes

Teacher mistakes

What are the most common mistakes that teachers make when they are about to embark on a teaching career in Thailand? We've got them all covered.

Contributions welcome

Contributions welcome

If you like visiting and reading the content, why not get involved yourself and keep us up to date?

Need Thailand insurance?

Need Thailand insurance?

Have a question about health or travel insurance in Thailand? Ricky Batten from Pacific Prime is Ajarn's resident expert.

Will I find work in Thailand?

Will I find work in Thailand?

It's one of the most common questions we get e-mailed to us. So find out exactly where you stand.

The cost of living

The cost of living

How much money does a teacher need to earn in order to survive in Thailand? We analyze the facts.

Air your views

Air your views

Got something to say on the topic of teaching, working or living in Thailand? The Ajarn Postbox is the place. Send us your letters!

The Region Guides

The Region Guides

Fancy working in Thailand but not in Bangkok? Our region guides are written by teachers who actually live and work in the provinces.

The dreaded demo

The dreaded demo

Many schools ask for demo lessons before they hire. What should you the teacher be aware of?