Working in Koh Samui

Monthly Earnings 65-70K

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

Salary is 60K per month and part-time tutoring adds another 5-10K

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

At the moment I'm managing 15-20K I could probably do 30 if I was careful.

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

15K to rent a big one-bedroom villa with fitted kitchen, dining and living area, balcony and pool. Prices have risen massively in the last year though and my neighbours are renting for almost double my price.

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


Occasional car rental when people visit, but mostly only bike fuel - 1000 baht.

Utility bills

Cheap as chips. Usually 1300-1500 baht

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

I like buying food in both markets and Tops/import supermarkets, and I buy good alcohol. 4,000-5,000 baht.

Nightlife and drinking

I do a pub quiz once a week and maybe a Friday or Saturday, depending.

Books, computers

Varies. Sometimes nothing. But I like picking up the odd book, and buying clothes every couple of months.

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

Comfortably middle-class.

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

Food, even on Samui. Getting a delicious meal for $3 never gets old. Bills are so low also such as electricity and mobile phone. On the other hand, used cars are a rip-off. Anything under 200K baht is a huge risk and far too expensive.

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

If you're single and like Thai food, 35k to 40K is definitely doable if you're away from Samui, Phuket or Bangkok. Things can quickly get expensive otherwise.

Phil's analysis and comment

I'd be interested to know where you work John. Is it as a teacher in a school or is it one of those in-house teacher jobs at a 5-star beach resort that most chalkies can only dream about. Either way I'm sure a 65-70K income goes a long way despite the temptations, and that's pretty much proved by the amount you can save. 

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