Working in Phattalung

Monthly Earnings 25K

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

25,000 is my take-home pay from a full-time job teaching English in a government school.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?


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

I live in a large 3-bedroom terraced town house which costs 8,000 a month.

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


Gas for my scooter is 1,000 baht a month and another 2,000 goes on the loan repayments for it, so transportation comes to 3,000.

Utility bills

I pay 1,000 for electricity, 100 baht for water and 600 baht for the internet.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

I never cook at home and eat mostly from food-stalls. I would call this around 8,000 baht a month.

Nightlife and drinking

The final 4,000 baht a month goes on booze and smokes.

Books, computers


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

It's very much a hand-to-mouth existence. I have no extra money for savings, retirement, local trips or a flight home.

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

Street food.

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

I'd say 40,000. However, I'd recommend staying in your home nation because you'd be better off pushing trolleys around a Walmart parking lot.

Phil's analysis and comment

Thanks Jim, a brutally honest survey there at what you might call the low-end of English teaching in Thailand. I think the figures throw up just one main question - how much longer can you keep doing it? There will be many teachers who say that 25K is more than enough to live on out in the sticks but like you, they won't be saving much or putting away money for their future years. I agree with you that 40K is a far more realistic figure to be aiming for. 

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