Working in Ayuthaya
Monthly Earnings 45,000
Q1. How is that income broken down? (full-time salary, private students, on-line teaching, extra work, etc)
45,000 baht is my take home salary from my teaching position at a Thai secondary school in Ayuthaya. I've been working at the same school for four years.
Q2. How much money can you save each month?
Generally around 15,000 baht per month.
Q3. How much do you pay for your accommodation and what do you live in exactly (house, apartment, condo)?
I share a small townhouse with another teacher from the same school and the rent is 8,000 baht a month, so 4,000 each. We split everything 50/50 from utility bills down to improvements that we know aren't really the landlord's responsibility. The house has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a large kitchen and a nice garden and sun terrace. I love living here because there's enough space for two people without ever getting on top of each other.
Q4. What do you spend a month on the following things?
Next to nothing. I invested in a fairly spiffy mountain bike and it's about a 5-minute cycle to school. Not much fun during a heavy downpour but it's certainly a great way to stay fit and save money. During the weekends, I'll take it out for a longer ride and explore the province (although I know it pretty well now)
Around 5,000 baht a month. It's fairly high because we both sleep in our respective rooms with the air-con on and we'll turn it on in the living room when we are both at home at the weekend. Water and Netflix come to about 600 baht but I've included that in the 5K.
Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping
I used to eat out at local Thai restaurants and food courts quite often and although it was only 30-40 baht a meal, the portions were too small and I never felt full. Now I've mastered the art of 'Thai food pimping'. I buy a load of cheap chicken and vegetables at the market, cook it all up in one go and then store it in the freezer. Then I buy my Thai meals to take away and add a little bit of my own cooking to basically double the size of the meal. I bet the overall cost of the meal still doesn't break 60 baht. I never touch western food at all. I just got bored with it a long time ago. So I guess my food and supermarket bill comes to around 6K.
Nightlife and drinking
What nightlife is available in Ayuthaya doesn't really appeal to me anymore and despite the bright lights of Bangkok being only an hour or so away, I can rarely / never work up the enthusiasm. I'll have the ocassional bottle of wine or glass of craft beer at home but I'm not the sort to have a fridge full of Leo and just sit and drink myself into a stupor. If I averaged a thousand baht a month, I'd be surprised.
I do enjoy computer games and I probably spend 3-4,000 baht a month on games and computer-related stuff. I'd much rather have a night in with the Playstation than a night on the tiles.
Q5. How would you summarize your standard of living in one sentence?
It's pretty basic. I always say 'I live like a Thai but with a few luxuries thrown in'. And that's just how I like it. I'm all about reducing life to a stress-free minimum and I've gone a long way to accomplishing that.
Q6. What do you consider to be a real 'bargain' here?
Food at the market. It's unbelievable how cheaply you can pick up a bunch of asparagus compared to the crazy money they want in the supermarket
Q7. In your opinion, how much money does anyone need to earn here in order to survive?
I can live very comfortably in Ayuthaya on 30K but then again, my needs are few. 30K would be my absolute minimum though. The 45K I earn certainly gives me money on top to treat myself whenever I want.
Phil's analysis and comment
Thanks Gareth. 'Thai food pimping' is something I do as well (adding a bit of your own home-cooked food to flesh out the meagre portion size of a Thai street food take away) That aside, it seems you live happily in Ayuthaya on 45K. 'Living like a Thai with a few luxuries thrown in' is probably a very good way to describe things.