Working in Bangkok

Monthly Earnings 40,000

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

I am a training specialist at a 5-star hotel and my salary has just been increased from 37K to 42.5K. I end up with about 40K after tax.

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

I usually manage to save half of my salary - so about 20,000.

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

I live in a condo and share a room with my boyfriend. It's a very nice apartment and we have an amazing swimming pool and gym, We pay around 17K per month including bills.

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


I live a walkable distance from work so the cost of my daily commute is zero. We occasionally go into Bangkok City Centre so I suppose maybe 500 baht a month for taxis and public transport.

Utility bills

I don't really know what the breakdown of the utility bills is. I just consider it as part of the 17K for rent.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

I actually have a food allowance of 9,500 baht every month that I can use in our international restaurant, and I am also entitled to two free meals per day in our cafeteria. However, I am a very choosy woman and prefer to eat outside sometimes with my boyfriend and I love to go to local markets as well. So I think for food it's around 5,000 baht per month.

Nightlife and drinking

Very little. I enjoy a drink at home sometimes but we're not what you would call night owls.

Books, computers

I like to read books online so no real expense there either.

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

My standard of living is excellent and I feel so lucky. I'm a single Filipina who just turned 23 recently. I forget to mention that I also get a 5,000 baht a month laundry allowance. Yes, I enjoy a very good lifestyle indeed.

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

Food, services, lots of things really.

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

It depends on the individual. I don't really have an opinion on this.

Phil's analysis and comment

Kit does sound like a very lucky young lady. I think a lot of us imagine Filipino teachers working in Thailand as all struggling to make ends meet on 15-20K a month. But we've had a few Filipino teachers complete these cost of living surveys and it seems like there are plenty of them breaking the 40K.

Kit isn't just earning a 40K salary though. She's got that very nice 9,000 baht food allowance (and if it's a 5-star hotel, it's going to be good quality food as well) and also the 5,000 baht laundry allowance. These are terric benefits. Everyone has to eat and everyone has to get their clothes washed and ironed. This is a 50-55K package.

I still feel that there are questions left unanswered though. Firstly, why on earth would you spend money on eating 'outside' when you should be taking full advantage of that delicious hotel grub? (change of scenery perhaps?) Secondly, we don't know how much Kit's partner earns or how much he contributes to the general living expenses for both of them. But all in all, this is a teacher doing very well.

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. Please spare half an hour if you can. 

Submit your own Cost of Living survey

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