Working in Ayuthaya
Monthly Earnings 30,000
Q1. How much do you earn from teaching per month?
I earn 30,000 baht a month from my job with a teacher placement agency and I leave it at that. I have been asked many times to teach students privately, but I can't really be bothered. I value my free time too much.
Q2. How much of that can you realistically save per month?
I don't really save anything to be honest. Perhaps on a good month I might stash away 5,000 baht but I only intend to work in Thailand for a year and as long as I don't keep dipping into my savings, I'm perfectly happy to spend what I earn.
Q3. How much do you pay for your accommodation and what do you live in exactly (house, apartment, condo)?
I share a rented house with another foreign teacher from the same school. It's a tidy-looking two-bedroom house with a living room area and kitchen. It costs us 6,000 baht a month and we split the rent down the middle. So rent costs just 3,000 a month.
Q4. What do you spend a month on the following things?
One of the Thai teachers at my school very kindly gave me an old motorcycle that he no longer uses. I put about 500-1000 baht of petrol in each month depending on how much travelling I do at the weekend. I've actually offered the Thai teacher something in the way of rental money but he won't take it. What a gentleman!
The house doesn't have air-conditioning so our bills are ludicrously small. I bet water and electricity barely break 1,000 baht on an average month, and as I said earlier, I share the house with another teacher so that bill gets split down the middle.
Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping
There is a battered old fridge in the house but you open the door and it looks like something out of a classic student flat. If you're lucky there will be a carton of milk and perhaps a yoghurt in there. I love eating Thai streetfood and never cook at home. Maybe on the weekend I might treat myself to a KFC or McDonalds but by and large it's Thai streetfood all the way. I guess in an average month I spend about 5,000 baht on food and still feel that I eat well.
Nightlife and drinking
There isn't a great deal to do where I am, even the town itself is relatively quiet. I've never been much of a social animal but I'll go out at the weekend for a few beers. I guess maybe 2,000-3,000 baht a month on entertainment.
I love my smartphones and laptops so I guess that's taken a fair chunk of my monthly salary. Difficult to put a monthly figure on though.
Q5. How would you summarize your standard of living in one sentence?
30,000 baht is more than enough to do what I want and to live relatively comfortably. That's possibly why I don't teach private students. If 30,000 baht is enough, why push yourself with more work? I wouldn't know what to do with the extra money anyway.
Q6. What do you consider to be a real 'bargain' here?
Thai food and foot massages. I do enjoy my weekly foot massage. It's become something of a Saturday afternoon ritual.
Q7. In your opinion, how much money does anyone need to earn here in order to survive?
Well, my experience of working in Thailand is limited to Ayuthaya - a peaceful, sleepy town. I think 30K is more than enough provided that you can keep your rent and utility bills low. If you could earn 40K a month then you could live very well indeed and get a nice serviced apartment perhaps.
Phil's analysis and comment
A nice, simple cost of living survey. The main point is that Marcus only intends to teach in Thailand for one year anyway and as long as he doesn't start plundering his savings account, he's happy. I've worked out that his main basics (food, accommodation and transportation) come to about 10,000 baht a month with another 2,000 baht for entertainment. It shows just how cheaply you can live if you want to. In fact I'm surprised that Marcus doesn't save more than he does. He must have a nice laptop and smartphone. One final point - I do admire the way he makes sure that he has plenty of free time to enjoy himself. Why kill yourself with a punishing workload if you don't really need to?