Hazel

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)

I make around 97K after tax and while we have been working online, I've taken some extra online tutoring and also tutoring one student at home.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

I put around 13K in a retirement investment each month, and I also try to put away between 30K and 40K each month into a Thai savings account.

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

I share a condo with my partner. The rent is 22K per month but I pay 15K of that amount.

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

Transportation

I recently bought a secondhand car, but I'm not doing much driving, so maybe 1,000 baht per month.

Utility bills

My internet (399), water (120) and phone bill (375) and electric (2000ish) usually come to around 3,000 baht depending on how much I'm running the air con.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

8,000 baht, could be less but I love a takeaway, especially during lockdown!

Nightlife and drinking

None existent recently, maybe 1,000 baht on a box of Big C wine! Before lockdown, it would be more like 5K per month.

Books, computers

I have a friend who shares kindle books with me online, so no costs at all. However, a huge cost for me is my online spending habit (Lazada, Ali express and Shien) Maybe 10,000 a month on online spending.

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

I think my standard of living is really good. I've been in Bangkok for around 7 years and I really love it. I live in a great area, have lots of great friends and even in lockdown, there's always something to do in Bangkok.

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

Food! Not just Thai street food but I use Happy Grocer on Grab Mart and you can get a whole weeks worth of vegetables for 300 Baht in their surplus box. It's all packaged in recycled materials and plastic free, and more than two people can eat in a week.

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

I think Bangkok is a city where you can live on as little or as much as you like. Saying that I think anything less than 50K would be a struggle and wouldn't allow you to save for your future.

Phil's analysis and comment

Thank you Hazel. I'm guessing you must work at a fairly good international school to pull in such a decent salary. That's a good idea to put some money away in a retirement fund. You might want to look around at some Thai investments as well with that 30-40K you have spare each month. There are some great Thai investments out there (mutual funds, etc) if you can latch on to someone who knows what they're doing and will look after your money with minimal risk. I'm hopeless at this sort of thing but fortunately I'm married to someone who's a bit of a financial wizard and she's done OK with what money I've given her to invest. This year has been fantastic - north of 10-15% in fact.  


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