Working in Bangkok

Monthly Earnings 55,000 baht (before tax)

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

45,000 baht a month salary plus a 10,000 baht housing allowance

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

Around 5,000 to 10,000, but only because I'm currently supporting my family with my salary. Otherwise I'd wager I could save around twice as much.

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

I pay 7,500 baht for a studio, 30+ square meters in size.

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


2,500-3,000 depending on the month. I take a motorbike taxi to and from work every day.

Utility bills

Around 1,000 for phone, 1,500-2,000 for electricity (I'm an air-con addict) and 900 for internet

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

Probably my biggest expense. I'd estimate around 8-10,000 per month for meals, daily coffee, and groceries (for the whole household).

Nightlife and drinking

Anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 for going out, but this usually means movies or shopping rather than drinking. ;)

Books, computers

I download what I need and I'm still using the same computer my dad gifted me 5 years ago, so zero.

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

I don't have much room to complain.

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

[Some forms of] transportation, Thai massage, street food (in terms of convenience as well), and healthcare.

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

I think it depends heavily upon the individual and how much they're willing to kind of "go local". For anyone who's been here as long as I have and misses the occasional taste of a Western lifestyle, I'd say you could easily be comfortable at 40,000 baht a month (assuming no dependents).

Phil's analysis and comment

Thank you Nikole. I would call this an 'above average' teacher salary even for Bangkok - and I would think yes, you can live quite comfortably as a single person on 55,000 a month and paying about 10,000 baht for rent and bills. With those figures you are left with 45,000 a month and that equates to 1,500 baht a day to spend on yourself. It's a different kettle of fish when you are supporting other family members though. Hopefully that won't last forever.  

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. Just click the link at the top of the page where it says 'Submit your own Cost of Living survey' or click here.    

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