James

Working in Bangkok

Monthly Earnings About 55-60,000 baht

Q1. How much do you earn from teaching per month?

I live in West Bangkok and teach P.E at a private Thai school. I earn 50,000 baht per month as a basic salary plus 2,000-4,000 baht for extra coaching. I also get a 50k bonus each year at the end of my contract.

Q2. How much of that can you realistically save per month?

25k - 30k per month and I will be able to save all of my 50k bonus each year.

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

I pay 4,000 baht per month for subsidized school accommodation) It's cheap and it's very convenient for school and also opposite the gym which I use.

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

Transportation

I bought a scooter for 14,000 Baht a year ago and spend around 100-200 baht a week on petrol going to rugby training in the center of Bangkok and getting food

Utility bills

My utility bills are 100 baht per month on water and between 2,000 and 3,000 baht for aircon (the school charges a lot for electricity... 7 baht per unit!)

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

I always buy Thai food off the street and rarely go to restaurants. Therefore food and supermarket expenses are about 9-12,000 baht per month. I also go to the gym every day and play rugby so I eat a lot but I feel 9k-12k baht goes a long way on food.

Nightlife and drinking

For nightlife I go out drinking once a week these days, either to Khao San Road or out with my rugby team. This would cost about 4,000 - 8,000 baht a month.

Books, computers

My computer was paid off a year ago and I hate reading so no cost there till my laptop breaks. Lastly I will add sports on as a section as I play rugby for a team in Bangkok. This costs me 300 baht a week for training and all competitions are paid for by the club, however when we go on tour around Thailand or Asia I have to pay for hotels, transport and nightlife - which can soon rack up. However this is only occasional and the regular season again is paid for by the club.

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

I'm a fresh graduate (1.5 years ago) so my standard of living is low but better than I'm used to.

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

Food and getting around.

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

James chose not to answer this question.

Phil's analysis and comment

James has very low accommodation overheads. Even with utility bills, the roof over his head costs just 7,000 baht a month, which is about 13% of his salary. Not every teacher is this 'lucky' but then again, we don't know anything about how comfortable the school accommodation is. Standards of school housing for its teachers can vary dramatically. But that said, James has plenty of spending money in his pocket each month and is clearly a saver. Putting away 30,000 baht a month is a very decent effort.

Keep these cost of living surveys coming guys. You're doing a great job! Apart from the jobs page, this is the most popular section of the ajarn website. People love reading this information. And don't worry if you've sent me a survey and it's not on-line yet. I have it safe. I just like to space them out a bit.

If anyone fancies doing a cost of living survey, I've now put the questions on-line to make it easier and quicker for you. Please spare half an hour if you can.


Submit your own Cost of Living survey

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