Working in HCMC, Vietnam

Monthly Earnings 160K

Q1. How is that income broken down? (full-time salary, private students, on-line teaching, extra work, etc)

145K from full-time teaching and 15K from investment income.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

130k into a range of financial assets such as ETFs and crypto.

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

7.5K for an apartment (bed n bog with air-con) and it's just one kilometre from work in the heart of the city. Like-for-like accommodation is more expensive than Thailand, but the higher salaries offset this. I'm sure it's more aligned with Thailand in the provinces.

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


Zero. Bought a second hand rust-bucket bicycle for 1,000 baht and I cycle everywhere. Worth a mention that the Grab app is excellent and Grab taxis are cheap here.

Utility bills

Zero, because it's included in the rent. I run the air-con on 26 degrees pretty much constantly when I'm home.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

I only eat out so never go to supermarkets. However, I mostly eat like the locals during the week so probably around 100 baht/evening. The school meal is free and I generally skip breakfast. I like a McDs breakfast on the weekend with the odd Indian thrown in for a treat. I'd say around 8,000 a month.

Nightlife and drinking

This used to be massive but now pretty much zero. However, I like massages on the weekends and I'd throw those into this bucket. So let's say 3,000. It should be noted that the nightlife is more sedated than Thailand. There's a chilled coffee-cafe scene here. It's kind of more laid back and more sabai - if that's even possible!

Books, computers

Zero. The 11k Acer laptop and 3k Samsung phone (bought on Lazada-Thailand in December 2017) are still going strong.

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

Excellent. I want for nothing. I normally have around 10,000 floating around to spend on whatever I want. If nothing presents itself, I just whack a wedge of bitcoin on the ledger.

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

The food in Vietnam is great and possibly a shade cheaper than Thailand.

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

I reckon a cool 30,000 would see you alright. That would provide a basic lifestyle and no savings, but, hey, you'd survive.

Phil's analysis and comment

Sounds like you're earning a great salary in a cheap place to live. That's a sure way to keep the bank balance healthy!

Could you even afford to splash out on a nicer bicycle? 

Submit your own Cost of Living survey

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