Working in Hat Yai

Monthly Earnings 32,000 baht

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

My full-time salary from a government school is 32,000 baht

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

About 20,000. Sometimes even a bit more.

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

I rent a two-bedroom townhouse for 3,500 baht a month.

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


I have my own scooter so depending how many miles I do, my gas costs are between 200 baht and a thousand.

Utility bills

Usually less than 400 baht a month - even when I turn the air-conditioning on.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

I mostly eat out but as I am in a small non-touristic area, I would put my daily food expenses (including supermarket shopping) at a "high" 150 baht a day so 3,000 - 4,500 for the month.

Nightlife and drinking

Nightlife is cheap in these parts and a beer only costs 50-100 baht, so about 2,000 for the month

Books, computers

I don't buy books and haven't bought a computer in a few years.

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

I live in a small town but I go to the city on weekends to see friends and hang out. Due to the nature of my living environment, I live a simple and relaxing life with the ability to go "wandering" into nature with my motorbike. I manage to save about 60% of my salary without even trying or missing out on much. The money I save I spend on going long weekends whenever there is a school holiday.

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

Obviously food is the biggest bargain followed by clothing. I smoke only one pack a week or so but I would also add cigarettes into the "bargain" category - especially if you are a heavy smoker.

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

To survive? About 50 baht a day.

Phil's analysis and comment

Saving 20,000 baht from a 32,000 baht salary is impressive to say the least. So that means John manages to rent a house, run a motorcycle, feed and clothe himself and enjoy a beer or two - all on 400 baht a day. The man's a walking miracle!

And well done John for giving a shout out to the smokers! 

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 so you've got no excuses. Come on! What are you waiting for?

Submit your own Cost of Living survey

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