Working in Chachoengsao
Monthly Earnings 53,000
Q1. How is that income broken down? (full-time salary, private students, on-line teaching, extra work, etc)
I get 35,000 as base salary and another 6,000 from my school’s extra classes. I also tutor outside school which on average gets me another 12,000.
Q2. How much money can you save each month?
Not much really. I go home to see my family once a year, usually for Christmas, and that cleans out my savings. Also I have unexpected expenses at least twice a year that additionally prevents me from saving.
Q3. How much do you pay for your accommodation and what do you live in exactly (house, apartment, condo)?
I live in a three-bedroom house in a gated community with a roommate. Monthly rent is 6,000. Yeah, I know, it’s dirt cheap, but that’s the benefit of living in suburbia.
Q4. What do you spend a month on the following things?
I own my own motorbike that I bought on 12 installments. I still have another 5 months to go and a monthly installment is 3,000. With 1,000 for petrol costs it adds up to about 4,000 a month.
I like to run my two air-cons all night so the electric bill is around 3,000. We pay another 1,000 for water and internet. My share is about 2,000.
Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping
I really love to eat well and since I’m trying to buff up, I’m eating a lot of beef and protein in general. I both eat out and cook at home. My food budget is about 15,000 a month.
Nightlife and drinking
I’m a very sociable guy so I do go out often with friends for a couple of beers at a local bar. It adds up to 5,000 a month. If I go out to Bangkok, I usually spend 3,000 in a single night.
I own a MacBook and an iPad. I have a monthly subscription for Scribd which is 300 baht.
Q5. How would you summarize your standard of living in one sentence?
I really can’t complain. Although I work a lot of hours it does provide me with a good standard of living. I only wish I was able to perhaps budget myself more carefully so I’d have bigger savings.
Q6. What do you consider to be a real 'bargain' here?
I really can’t say what is a real bargain here. I wanna say food, but good quality stuff is pretty pricey. Sometimes even pricier than in Europe.
Q7. In your opinion, how much money does anyone need to earn here in order to survive?
I’d say not less than 35,000. Anything under that is a real struggle.
Phil's analysis and comment
Thank you Mark for a very straightforward and honest survey. 53,000 baht a month is not bad at all for Chachaengsao and you manage to keep your accommodation overheads pretty low (even with running those air-con units all night) It's really the 15,000 baht a month on food that eats into your monthly package isn't it? That's quite a big expense for a single guy!
Going back to your rented house, I bet it's nice to have all that space where you can disappear to for a bit of peace and quiet. I think that's important when you share a house or apartment. No matter how well you get on with your house-mate, opportunity to spend time alone will preserve your sanity. I remember many years ago, sharing a studio apartment with a school-friend. After six months, we were ready to kill each other.
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