Working in Pattaya

Monthly Earnings 118,000 (after tax)

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

My full-time salary is 118K, plus a housing allowance of 20K and food allowance of around 2K per month because I don’t eat the school dinners.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

I could save plenty, but I’m not great with money and am prone to impulse purchases. Previously (8 years ago) I was teaching in the UK and living paycheck to paycheck, also racking up debt just to keep afloat. I arrived here in Thailand with around £25,000 of credit card/loan debt and paid it all off in about 4 years. I lived comfortably while paying off that debt so I should probably start chucking 25K Baht into a savings account now I’m debt free, but I haven’t got around to that yet.

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

I pay 20K per month for a 3-bedroom detached villa in a nice moobarn with a swimming pool and park included.

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


I drive to work in my car and it's not too far to school. A few years back I could fill the tank for around 800 baht, but now it costs around 1,400. I reckon I fill the car about twice a month if my wife and I don’t head off for a road trip holiday. So let’s say 3,000 a month.

Utility bills

Electricity comes in around 4,000 usually and water around 300.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

We cook a couple of times a week and the rest is delivery - around 12K per month. We’ll usually go to a street food restaurant and have the occasional western treat maybe once a week.

Nightlife and drinking

We don’t go out drinking very often, but do like a drink at home. This is probably the biggest expense at around 15K.

Books, computers

I’m a bit of a gaming and movie geek. I have 3 consoles and I’m signed up to the various subscription services (PS Plus, Xbox Live, Switch, Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus) so it’s fair to say I spend a fair chunk each month. I honestly couldn’t tell you the monthly average accurately, though.

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

Compared to my previous life in London, I live like a King.

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

Street food, Bolt taxi rides, Grab food. In the UK I never ate out or ordered delivery apart from on special occasions. Here it’s just part of life.

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

It’s a common cliché, but it all depends on lifestyle choice. Live and eat like a farang every day and you’ll need at least 80K a month in Pattaya. Live ‘Thai style’ and you can quarter that number. I guess I'm somewhere in the middle.

Phil's analysis and comment

Thank you Jeff. You sound like another teacher who is very glad they made the move from teaching in the UK to teaching in Thailand. It's a great move for those who have the qualifications. And I hear you on the cost of filling up the petrol tank thing; my wife is always moaning about it. 

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