Working in Bangkok

Monthly Earnings 115,000 baht

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

I work in an international school which pays me 115,000 baht a month, of course up to 18,000 of this goes in tax each month. On top of that my son gets a free place at the school plus we get all the other bits and pieces such as healthcare, two-year visas, etc.

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

I give myself a target of 30K every month, which is a very realistic target and could probably be higher.

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

I pay 17000 baht a month for a three-bedroomed house, which does seem a little on the steep side but is by far and away the nicest area of Bangkok I’ve ever lived in.

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


Around 4000 to 5000

Utility bills

Electricity averages at 2000 per month, TV 1200, Internet 650, water 150, Muubaan fees 450, Phone 150, in total about 4500 a month.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

I get free lunch at work so most of my cravings for western food are satisfied there. My wife and I tend to cook at home so I’d be surprised if we spend more than 8000 baht a month on food.

Nightlife and drinking

Around 5000 baht a month

Books, computers

Books and computing equipment are such rare purchases that the answer has to be just a few hundred baht a month, if that.

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

I’m a lucky man.

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

Taxis and maids.

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

In Bangkok, I think a couple with children and only one wage-earner would not want to be taking home less than 50000 a month long term. Having said that, it’s amazing how one’s lifestyle can creep up as one’s income increases. I spent the whole of 2004 working in the south of Thailand for 22500 baht a month and felt that I had a good lifestyle.

Phil's analysis and comment

It's not often we get a proper international school teacher earning a proper international school salary venture in to the ajarn cost of living section. What is there to say? Martin earns a small fortune by Thailand teacher standards. He's obviously got a lovely house. There's a maid somewhere in the equation and he also pays 'moobarn fees', which is probably a monthly payment that goes towards the upkeep of Martin's housing estate and compound security. Sounds nice doesn't it? And that's the kind of lifestyle that a salary in excess of 100K can get you. Personally though, I would be looking to save considerably more than 30,000 a month out of such a whopping salary, but even 30,000 baht a month will get you a couple of very nice holidays abroad every year.  

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