Working in Bangkok
Monthly Earnings 54,000
Q1. How much do you earn from teaching per month?
I work for a language school in Bangkok. My salary is 50,000 a month and I make about 4,000 a month from a private student who I see weekly.
Q2. How much of that can you realistically save per month?
Recently I've been saving almost nothing because I have had some major expenses come up, but realistically I could save 15-20 K if I tried.
Q3. How much do you pay for your accommodation and what do you live in exactly (house, apartment, condo)?
I pay 6,800 a month for a nice, safe, and clean apartment in the Huay Kwang area. My condo is 42 square meters and has everything I need, although no fitness or swimming pool.
Q4. What do you spend a month on the following things?
I take a motorbike to the MRT / BTS to work and back every day and that all comes to about 3,000 baht a month
About 1,300 baht. I don't use air conditioning because the electricity at my place is expensive. Most of the cost is from my hotplate and TV.
Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping
I only eat out at an Isaan Restaurant or a Kao Dtom restaurant in my neighborhood on weekends. About 8,000 a month.
Nightlife and drinking
Usually drink 1 or 2 big bottles of Thai beer every night. Maybe go to a bar occasionally and drink some 65 Baht beers. All in all about 3,000 baht a month.
Q5. How would you summarize your standard of living in one sentence?
I work a lot, but am able to support two people on that salary (including my girlfriend's college tuition), while still saving a decent amount of money and living in a spacious apartment in a pleasant area.
Q6. What do you consider to be a real 'bargain' here?
Food. I give my girlfriend 6,000 B per month and she buys and cooks all the food for us
Q7. In your opinion, how much money does anyone need to earn here in order to survive?
If you are living in Bangkok on your own, then 35-40K should have you pretty comfortable as long as you spend reasonably. Like I said, on about 50K a month I completely support two people and am still able to have a good time and also save a decent amount of money each month.
Phil's analysis and comment
54,000 baht a month is a decent enough salary in Bangkok. Mike lives pretty much how I would live if I was earning the same amount. I like the way he's managed to find a nice apartment for just 8,000 baht a month (so it's only costing about 15% of his monthly take home) Shame that he feels he can't afford to turn on the air-conditioning though. There are months of the year when I just couldn't live without the a/c. But I also remember living in an apartment building that charged through the nose for 'leccy' and must have made a small fortune out of the tenants. I used to turn on the a/c for a couple of hours in the evening if I wanted to give myself a special treat.
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