Working in Bangkok

Monthly Earnings 65,000

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

65,000 is my salary for working 4 days a week as a general manager in a language school in central Bangkok. I used to work in an A-tier international school as a sport coach but decided to work less, start a business online and work just 4 days a week. My salary dropped by half, but I just work 25 hours a week now and do not teach anymore. We have a 1-year-old daughter, so I like spending time with her and to work from home too.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

On my salary nothing, but I'm married and my wife earns a great income (220K nett per month as a director for an advertising company). Also we bought a couple of condos as investments. We also bought a house next to the BTS in the suburbs of Bangkok. As a couple, we can save maybe 60K a month after all expenses.

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

We have a 25K mortgage for our house and about the same for the two condos, which we rent out.

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


We have a car and I use the BTS. I would say about 6,000 baht a month.

Utility bills

About 3,000 for electric bills and another 1,000 for internet.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

I'd say about 10-15,000 a month on dining out and 10,000 a month for our monthly shopping at Tesco Lotus.

Nightlife and drinking

I used to be a nightlife fan, but after marriage and now with a child, I go out maybe once a month. We'll call that about 3,000.

Books, computers

I use a 4-year old laptop at home.

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

Compared to when I arrived in Thailand a decade ago, I would say I lead an upper middle class lifestyle.

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

Eating Thai food, luxury hotels and anything that is labor intensive.

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

Hard to say because it depends on the person. For someone here on a 1-2 year adventure, I guess 40-50K a month would do but that would be just a break-even figure.

If you take yourself seriously as a teacher and think about the future - healthcare, pension, savings, kids, trips home, full-time nanny etc, you are coming closer to a minimum of 120K a month and with a family even more. Anything less than that and in my opinion you shouldn't be here. I pay 70,000 a year for health insurance alone.

Phil's analysis and comment

Thanks Hansie. I guess 65K a month for 4 days is a week is not too bad, especially if it allows you to spend more quality time with your daughter. It helps no end when you have a wife bringing in over 200K a month but I'd be interested in knowing how stressful and time-consuming that position is. Do you wish you saw more of her? Does she often bring her work home? etc.

Buying a condo or two as an investment (and then renting them out) is something my wife has considered many times but as yet, she hasn't taken the plunge. 

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