Working in Rayong

Monthly Earnings 25,000 - 30,000

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

25,000 is my full-time salary, but if I'm doing private teaching on the side, I can usually net another 5,000 a month.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

I'm living paycheck to paycheck with my current lifestyle.

Q3. How much do you pay for your accommodation and what do you live in exactly (house, apartment, condo)?

Rent costs 7,000 for a semi-detached town house, with another 200 baht on top for village fees.

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


Probably gets the chunk of my pay at around 10,000 for the vehicles alone (a bike and a car both on finance). I also set aside 3,000 a month for petrol/gas.

Utility bills

Electricity bills keep on climbing recently, now sitting at around 3,000 a month.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

Whatever gets left behind goes on food.

Nightlife and drinking


Books, computers

I generally don't read a lot, but when I do its usually from online sources or books from the night markets where they are dirt cheap (10 or 20 baht a piece). I have a cheap desktop from 4 years ago for 10K, internet is 650 baht a month.

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

Extra classes and private students keep me alive for the time being.

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

Definitely food, the necessary ones that'll keep you going and you can't get enough of (I'm looking at you Krapao Moo Khrop).

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

Forsaking everything else (hobbies, nightlife, coffee), 20,000 is survivable with all the necessities. Probably not a life that you'd pursue in a foreign country, but when you don't have a lot of options, something is always better than nothing.

Phil's analysis and comment

Thanks Elijah. "Whatever gets left behind goes on food" is rather a sobering thought isn't it? Two thirds of your salary (even in a good month) goes on rent and running a car and motorcycle. That has to be at the root of the 'month to month' existence but if I were you, I'd firstly try to get a better-paying full-time job, even it's another 5,000 baht a month, and / or develop the private student part of your workload. I never think picking up private work is that difficult if you've got a bit of business acumen, put yourself out there, and earn yourself a reputation as a decent, reliable teacher. Word of mouth goes a long, long way in Thailand when it comes to hiring a private tutor.   

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