Working in Bangkok

Monthly Earnings 69,000

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

69.000 after tax – I work at an international school in Bangkok (Mon to Fri, 8 am to 4 pm) + 1.500 - 3.000 internet income (spouse's income is a separate "thing")

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

15,000 baht goes into my off-shore retirement fund; 5,000 baht into my Thailand 3-year savings account, and 10,000 baht into my Thailand money-for-travel account.

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

6,500 baht – a 20-something year mortgage on a one-bedroom condo.

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


2.000 baht / month in gas for my car + 100 baht / month in petrol for my Honda Wave

Utility bills

1.200 internet, 100 water, about 1,000 for electricity

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

both restaurants and supermarket shopping 100 baht / day for weekday food and drinks + 2.000 baht / month for weekend meals + 1.000 baht / month for "fridge food" – I rarely cook at home.

Nightlife and drinking

No time for such things: I keep myself busy with sports and hobbies

Books, computers

1,000 baht / month

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

Comfortable with few worries.

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

Cost of food.

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

I earned less than 30.000 teaching in the provinces (8 years ago) and less than 35.000 teaching in Bangkok (6 years ago) and was able to live decently. I reckon that one could do that with the same amount in the provinces and 45.000 for Bangkok.

Phil's analysis and comment

Look up the word 'organized' in the dictionary and there won't be a definition; there will just be a photo of Mike. He's got a mortgage on a condo as a nice investment. He stashes a bit of money off-shore. He runs a car and a motorcycle. And he puts 10,000 baht a month into a travel fund. 120,000 baht a year should certainly get you a very nice annual holiday somewhere. On top of all that, the fleshpots of sin city might be winking and beckoning, but Mike's not the sort to be tempted. He's got better things to spend his hard-earned cash on. Let's be under no illusion though - 69,000 baht a month is a very decent salary for a teacher. I'm sure Mike appreciates it but he knows what it's like to survive on much less.

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