Working in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Monthly Earnings 90,000

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

I earn the equivalent of 90,000 baht (before tax) working at a mid-tier international school on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.

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

It really depends on the month. If I have a weekend away, I save almost nothing but I think I regularly save around 25,000 baht in a normal month.

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

I live in a nice modern condo in a KL suburb and pay 13,500 baht a month. It takes just ten minutes to walk to the nearest MRT train station, so it's in a good location. The building also has a rooftop pool and gym.

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


I don't have a car so I take Grab and Uber to most places. This is cheap at first but can add up after a while. I think maybe 1,000-1,500 baht a month.

Utility bills

Lloyd did not answer this question.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

Local food is very cheap and I will often eat this sort of stuff at school and also for breakfast but then I usually eat Western food in the evening. I eat mostly take-aways which adds another 10-12,000 baht to my food bill.

Nightlife and drinking

The nightlife in KL is fairly average and also expensive. I will often have a few beers on a Friday or Saturday and if you end up drinking after the happy hours have finished, this can end up expensive - maybe around 10,000 per month. I also play golf once a week for 750 baht and joined a gym and taekwondo club for around 1,500.

Books, computers

Lloyd did not answer this question.

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

I live a very Western lifestyle I guess, I can buy most Western items that I want at around the same price as back home. The lifestyle is more relaxed and the weather is sunny all year round. The biggest difference for me is the price of housing. I wouldn't be able to afford my own condo for the price I would need to pay back home.

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

Housing and street food

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

I would say you can live on maybe 60,000 baht a month here and not live too different a lifestyle to back home.

Phil's analysis and comment

I think you are our very first cost of living survey from Malaysia, Lloyd. 

I haven't been for many years but I always liked what I saw in KL and I can imagine it being a place where you can live a very Western lifestyle - if that's what you're after. 

Submit your own Cost of Living survey

Back to the main list

Featured Jobs

Female Kindergarten Teachers

฿42,000+ / month


NES Teachers for August Start

฿42,000+ / month


Academic Tutor for Private Students

฿600+ / hour


Kindergarten Homeroom Teachers

฿55,000+ / month


NES English Teachers

฿350+ / hour


Online Teachers (with Work and Study Option)

฿35,000+ / month


Featured Teachers

  • Jonathan

    British, 56 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Reign

    Filipino, 33 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Jay

    Filipino, 32 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Gregory

    American, 59 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Michael

    Australian, 46 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Valentin

    South African, 36 years old. Currently living in Thailand

The Hot Spot

Teacher mistakes

Teacher mistakes

What are the most common mistakes that teachers make when they are about to embark on a teaching career in Thailand? We've got them all covered.

Air your views

Air your views

Got something to say on the topic of teaching, working or living in Thailand? The Ajarn Postbox is the place. Send us your letters!

Contributions welcome

Contributions welcome

If you like visiting ajarn.com and reading the content, why not get involved yourself and keep us up to date?

Can you hear me OK?

Can you hear me OK?

In today's modern world, the on-line interview is becoming more and more popular. How do you prepare for it?

Renting an apartment?

Renting an apartment?

Before you go pounding the streets, check out our guide and know what to look out for.

Will I find work in Thailand?

Will I find work in Thailand?

It's one of the most common questions we get e-mailed to us. So find out exactly where you stand.

The dreaded demo

The dreaded demo

Many schools ask for demo lessons before they hire. What should you the teacher be aware of?