Working in Bangkok

Monthly Earnings 90,000

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

90,000 before taxes from my job. No desire to teach private lessons.

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

40,000 to 50,000

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

18,500 baht for a nice condo about 10 minutes walk from the BTS

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

a) Transportation

1500, I use the BTS and Uber (far nicer/cheaper than a taxi).

b) Utility bills

5,800 baht because my wife likes to run the air-conditioning a LOT, plus internet costs are factored in

c) Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

This is the bulk of my costs. My uncle is a chef and because of him I love to cook meals such as Steak Milanese with rosemary and thyme roasted potatoes, prosciutto with homemade toasted tomato bread, lamb kebabs with apricots...etc. The wife eats less and less Thai food these days (down to once a week) as a result and we rarely eat out (exception being eating fast food once a month or so just for a change). I'm beginning to think it would be cheaper if we ate out vs cooking at home.

d) Nightlife and drinking

0 baht. The exception is when friends or family visit us (about twice a year) but it's not much at all and does not put a dent into savings or the budget

e) Books, computers

I have Kindle Unlimited for $9.99 a month, We have an I-Flix account to watch movies and Western TV on occasion. Other expenses include cell phone bill (I don't know how much as ignorance is bliss in this case), monthly charitable donations is about 3500 on average, We also put aside about 5,000 baht a month for traveling as we use that towards our summer vacation.

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

Above average. If I cut back on the fancy food I'd be well above average I think. Side note: I was making close to 6 figures in the USA before moving here but I am far less stressed and much happier being in Thailand. Although we've been discussing making the move back to the USA as my mom's age/health is a concern.

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

Mass transit, clothes, massages, health care, real estate

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

To survive I'd say 35,000. To live average I'd say 40,000.

Phil's analysis and comment

After hearing about what you cook at home Lance, I've got just one question - what time do you want me round? :) 

I sympathize with your mother's health situation and it's a situation that quite a number of teachers find themselves in eventually. It often becomes a case of which camp do you fall into - do you have family members (brothers and sisters) who live closer and can take care of the ailing parent or are you the only flesh and blood that a mother can call on? I hope things work out for you.  

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