Working in Bangkok

Monthly Earnings 48,000

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

I work full-time Monday to Friday and clock in before 7.48 am and clock out by 4,00 pm.
I teach 20 contracted hours (much better than where I was teaching before) I also tutor on the side from Tuesday to Thursday which brings in 900 baht/hour but there are occasionally things that come up with my client, warranting a cancellation. My good Thai friend got me this gig so I’m pretty open with my scheduling “policy” but to be honest, I’m pretty much anytime after I finish my “day job” so I could care less what time I get 'booked' by my client. Then again, I just teach one client. LOL
I was also doing some online tutoring but have given that up for a while.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

Honestly, after having read all of these posts in the cost of living section, I don’t know what the hell you all are drinking, but if you’re a single guy or woman, you CAN most definitely live on MUCH less of an income than what people on here are preaching. I can assure you that. I have an earning potential of about 55K a month and after bills, I can easily save 30-34K.

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

I pay 9,500 baht a month for a brand spanking new condo near the BTS.

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


1,080 Baht for a 40-ride rabbit pass, which covers my to and from school expense just fine. I only take the BTS and never really find myself taking the MRT. Of course, since I do go to the gym (aside of the gym I have in my condo) in Phrom pong I do eat into those passes so sometimes I may spend a little more (500 baht) on an extra pass.

Utility bills

700 baht/month on electric as I do like to run the air-con a bit when I’m home or if I forget some days to turn it off when leave for the gym. 599 on internet and 500 on my local phone bill. Then about 3,000 on my credit card bill.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

I don't skimp on food. I pay for breakfast at the school but they include free lunch, which is usually great. I end up cooking my own dinner and an additional meal since I do training. In that 6,000 a month, I spend about 600-700 on protein drinks after the gym. I also try and eat 4-5 meals a day

Nightlife and drinking

I don’t really go out at all to party. Maybe 1-2 weekends out of the month. I'm not much of a drinker to be honest.

Books, computers

I have my own MacBook. The school I work at provides laptops too and plenty of office amenities to work with.

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

I’m honestly really happy. I simply don’t understand (and find it comical) how people can sit and write this stuff — saying you won’t/can’t live well with anything less than 40 or 35K. I was living well enough with 35K at the old school I was teaching at and that was even before I was tutoring. All while eating well, commuting and having a gym membership. Oh yeah, and I live in the city! You guys are crazy.

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

Food, rent and utilities. I used to live in Hawaii since I was both stationed there in the military and went to college there. And I was spending 50% of my income on rent. So I can tell you right now, I’m living the dream. Then again, I’m just a simple dude.

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

35K will do just fine. 48K will do you more than just fine. 50-55K (like me) is honestly more than enough. My recommendation is to have a little side hustle. It won’t hurt. Thanks for reading!

Phil's analysis and comment

Some pretty strong opinions there from Gus but I think he sums it up in one of his answers - he's a simple guy. His food bill is a fairly modest 6,000 baht a month (that's only 200 baht a day), his living accommodation is 9,000 and apart from those two expenses - what else? he goes to the gym. I'm not knocking the lifestyle at all but I'm guessing there are plenty of folks out there (the ones who say 35K isn't enough) who like to do some travelling, go home to see the family once a year etc. And that can add 10,000 baht a month to expenses. 

900 baht an hour for a private student is not too bad. Quite a nice lucrative sideline there.   

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