Kris

Working in Bangkok

Monthly Earnings 110,000 baht

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

I earn 110,000 and my wife 75,000 after tax. Plus medical insurance and a flight home and a two month salary bonus every two years.

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

We normally manage to save my better half's salary.

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

Accommodation comes with the job, but I would get an allowance of 55,000 baht a month if we moved out

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

Transportation

N/A

Utility bills

Aircon 6,000, Water 600, Internet 699, Phone 899

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

School food is good and cheap (and costs us about 500 baht a week) Having two kids, supermarket shopping can be expensive. I guess about 5,000 a week. We get a takeaway a least 3 times a week (750 baht) and eat out at least once (1,000 baht)

Nightlife and drinking

Cinema once a week 400 baht. I follow my local Thai football team but at 100 baht entrance and 35 baht a beer it doesn’t break the bank! Maybe another 2,500 a month for drinks with the boys and a brunch here and there

Books, computers

600 baht a month for Expat TV so I can watch UK tv without any hassles. 1000 a month on newspapers and magazines which are on Ipad subscription. Maybe 500 baht on kindle books.

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

With two kids under 5 and them getting free school places, then child care at this stage would be HUGE, so our standard of living is far higher here. We have a full time nanny/maid, which is the best 15,000 baht I spend a month. We don’t have to worry about cleaning or ironing or getting a baby sitter. Every holiday we go away by the beach and have seen lots of Thailand. We eat out a lot, and love a beer by the pool on a Friday afternoon thinking this is real life and not a holiday

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

Food, if you keep away from the big corporate places. Full time nanny instead of child care in the UK where our bill would be close to £1,500 a month. And despite the crazy driving, taxis.

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

You could live much cheaper than we do, but life is for living to the full. For those with a family working in an International school, you can easily live on one salary of 100,000 baht. I wouldn't want to live on much less than that but you could.

Phil's analysis and comment

I think this is something of a 'cost of living' first, because it's possibly the first time we've had a true 'international school teacher' complete the survey. There's not a lot I can say really about Kris's figures. True international school teachers, often recruited directly from abroad, are on salary and benefits packages that locally hired teachers can only dream about. It's all there isn't it? Even with two kids to feed, a couple are always going to live well in Thailand on 185,000 baht a month, especially when you haven't got rent or school fees or the cost of flights home to worry about (they're all part of the benefits package)

It must be nice to come home in the evening to your 55,000 baht a month pad, say hello to the full-time nanny, enjoy a gin and tonic around the swimming pool and settle in for a couple of hours of UK TV. But that's the life you can enjoy here if you're qualified to work in the top international schools.


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