Working in Bangkok

Monthly Earnings 35-45,000 baht a month

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

I get a 35,000 baht salary from the agency I work for and they employ me to do a full-time job at a Thai secondary school. Fortunately the schedule is quite light so I'm able to bump up my monthly gross with private students.

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

Very little. I'm lucky to stash 5,000 baht away.

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

I live in an apartment with my Thai partner. It costs about 8,000 baht a month with bills.

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


1,000 baht

Utility bills

Between 2-3,000

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

We don't eat out much but we do bring a lot of streetfood home. I guess about 6,000 baht a month all in.

Nightlife and drinking

About 3,000.

Books, computers

I use the internet at school and I'm not much of a reader so this expense is virtually zero.

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

The 10,000 baht a month I make from privates is the difference between a good month and an OK month. I don't want for anything on the kind of salary I earn but I know I can't go on like this forever. I can't afford a holiday back home for a start.

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

Food and transportation, although taxis are getting noticeably more expensive.

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

In Bangkok, anything under 40,000 baht a month is a bit of a struggle. I would love to live in a better apartment but you can't have rent eating up a third of your salary.

Phil's analysis and comment

Nicholas has really said it all for me. You're only 'surviving' on 35-45'000 baht a month in Bangkok. It's going to be great for a few years, but not something you can do forever. What about the trips home when the folks get ill? Or are you going to rely on Auntie Doreen to look after her favorite nephew and send you the cost of an air ticket? Surely you can't live like that when you are in your thirties and forties - a slave to family handouts. I don't know the exact ins and outs of Nick's situation but perhaps by being employed directly and not through an agency, he could add 5-10,000 baht a month to his salary. And all that money he could relistically save. 

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