Working in Bangkok
Monthly Earnings 52,500
Q1. How much do you earn from teaching per month?
I work in the English program at a government school. My basic salary is 45,000 baht and I make an extra 7,500 for teaching three hours on a Sunday.
Q2. How much of that can you realistically save per month?
I save my state pension, which is about 28,000 baht, my RAF pension, which is another 45,000 and generally about 25,000 baht of salary.
Q3. How much do you pay for your accommodation and what do you live in exactly (house, apartment, condo)?
I used to pay just 3,000 baht per month for a basic apartment but I have recently moved to a new condo that costs 8,000. It has a swimming pool, gym and good security, etc. It's a lot better than the old place.
Q4. What do you spend a month on the following things?
I have my own car which with insurance, maintenance and fuel costs adds up to about 5,000 per month.
b) Utility bills
Electricity is 900 baht per month and water 300 baht.
c) Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping
I usually cook at home because I have a kitchen now but if I do eat out, then it's local restaurants all the way at around 100 baht a meal.
d) Nightlife and drinking
I have a girlfriend who works shifts so often one or other of us are working. We'll perhaps go out together once a month and spend a couple of thousand.
e) Books, computers
I use internet and android TV so the only costs are for the internet at 390 baht per month
Q5. How would you summarize your standard of living in one sentence?
Much better than the UK. I would probably spend most of my income there whereas I spend less than 1/5th of my income here.
Q6. What do you consider to be a real 'bargain' here?
Accommodation, utilities and food . You have to be careful though as you can get ripped off as a foreigner. It's best to let your Thai friend do the negotiating and then appear when its time to sign the documents!
Q7. In your opinion, how much money does anyone need to earn here in order to survive?
I survive on around 26,000 a month. Of course I could spend a lot more showing off and being a Jack the Lad but I am happy being me - enjoying the Thai lifestyle and being grateful to be a part of this wonderful country.
Phil's analysis and comment
Thanks Nick. With almost a hundred thousand baht a month getting put away for a rainy day, I was beginning to wonder why you didn't treat yourself a bit more. But it sounds like you are happy to lead the simple Thai lifestyle. Not everyone can, but good luck to you if it works for you.
Come on! send us your cost of living surveys. We would love to hear from you! This is one of the popular parts of the Ajarn website and these surveys help and inspire a lot of other teachers help there. Just click the link at the top of the page where it says 'Submit your own Cost of Living survey'