Working in Nonthaburi

Monthly Earnings 50,000

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

I earn 50K a month as a basic salary and I work for a really nice laid-back language school. When we have an English camp four months of the year I can double my salary, which is awesome but it's a lot of work. My basic salary isn't anything special but I hardly work in the week, maybe a few hours a day. The bulk of my work is on the weekends. It's a very chilled life.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

When camps come around I can save 50K but when it's just my salary, I'm lucky if I save 5-10K a month.

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

I live right next to Yeak Twinon Market in an old fashioned one-bedroom condo. It's about 38 square metres and a steal at 7,000 a month. Most of the condos in the area cost 10,000 up because of the MRT system that makes getting in to Bangkok super easy.

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


About 5,000 a month on taxis getting to work . It sucks but there's no suitable accommodation near my work as it's on a huge highway.

Utility bills

I've just moved into my condo but I'm guessing maybe 1,000 a month. I only open the air conditioning for an hour a night before I sleep as it blocks my sinuses if I have it on all night.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

I get through a lot of food. My girlfriend and I must eat our way through about 15,000 baht a month. We love eating out and I can't seem to get through the week without eaten Western food about 4 times. I am trying to lose weight though and save more money so I'm going to make cutbacks in this area.

Nightlife and drinking

I love to party but I have never liked Sukhumvit. I think it's boring and expensive. My girl and I normally hang out in Lard Phrao and chill in a Western style Thai bar. We also like to eat at Thai BBQs and visit markets. Sometimes we visit Pattaya also. I'd say about 10,000 a month on average.

Books, computers

I have had my Dell laptop for a year. It cost me 16k and works like a dream. My girlfriend has a second-hand Samsung laptop which I bought her for 2,500 and it runs smoothly. As for books I have a library at my language school where I can take books when I want, so next to nothing in that area.

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

Well I'm certainly not rich! I basically support my girlfriend and myself. She's not lazy but her last job had her working for 12 hours a day, 6 days a week for 300 baht and it wasn't practical for our relationship. She finished high school but never had the chance to go to university so shes currently trying to start up her own food-stall business with the support of her sister. Overall I'd say my life is good. I don't have a lot of money but I eat well, have a good job and have money to go out when I want. I definitely need to get an extra income for the future though.

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

Rent for sure.

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

This is a very hard question. Depends on the individual.

Phil's analysis and comment

Thanks JJ. I don't want to sound harsh but at the moment you have a partner who is a bit of a drain on your finances. That's the stone cold reality. It raises an interesting point though. 15-20 years ago, if you had a Thai partner without a university education, running a food-stall, probably making just enough to survive, was one of the few options. Things have changed though and nowadays, there are all sorts of opportunities for Thais to run online businesses if they have a bit of internet, marketing and social media savvy. There are thousands of Thai folks making great money online and the lack of a university education doesn't matter as much as it did. 

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