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
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 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.