Working in North-east Thailand

Monthly Earnings Up to 40,000 baht a month

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

35K a month, including end of year bonus for my current teaching post at a rural government school. This includes private health care. I also sometimes teach at my local village community hall at weekends for between 300-600 baht an hour.

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

I put aside 10-15,000 baht a month to pay off some UK bills.

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

Nothing. I live in a bungalow that we designed and built last year on my wife's property. We laid the foundations 7 years ago and it cost us £10k in materials for the build. I have a Thai brother-in-law in the trade.

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


I bought a new car so pay petrol at 2,000 baht a month Commute is 50-minutes each way. The car costs me 6,000 baht a month.

Utility bills

Electric is about 800-1000 baht per month. Internet is 750 baht. As for water, we have our own well.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

Probably 800-1,000 baht a week for house food from Macro/Tesco Lotus. We save a lot on rice and fresh produce from our own farm. Don't go out to eat because my wife is the best cook in town ;)

Nightlife and drinking

Don't drink much and don't dig the nightlife. About 500 baht in the odd month on a crate of Leo is about the extent of my nightlife and drinking.

Books, computers

Mostly kindle books and I have a very good PC I brought over from the UK. I read a lot so spend about 500 -1,000 baht a month on books

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

Rich in lifestyle, stress-free job, zero mortgage.

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

Has to be the food. Also the fuel prices have dropped considerably of late. I also enjoy some of the free transport Thailand has to offer. I would also say some of the clothing is pretty well-priced if you know what to look for.

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

I've only been in Thailand for six months and it appears 30,000 baht is the average for teaching. It really depends on the lifestyle you wish to lead. My wife and I are not very materialistic here. As a foreigner you have to be able to adapt and just go with the flow here in Thailand.

Phil's analysis and comment

Niall, I'm surprised that you spend up to a thousand baht a month on books. I thought you would have made your own board games out of bits of wood and played them by candlelight.

I'm pulling your leg Niall. I genuinely like what I read here. A bungalow built on your own land. Water drawn from the well. Fruit and veggies fresh from your own farm. There's something wonderfully uncomplicated and 'wholesome' about your lifestyle.

You sound like one of those guys who dropped out of the rat race to be 'close to the land'. There ain't nothing wrong with that! The idea even appeals to me more and more as I get older.

I don't know about 40,000 baht a month, it sounds like you could live on a lot less. What are you going to do with all that extra cash once the UK loans and the car are paid off? :) 

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