Working in Koh Samui

Monthly Earnings Around 50,000 baht

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

I teach at an international school and my salary is 40K. I also earn 2,500-5,000 teaching private students and my website work brings in another 5,000-10,000. So I can make 55K in a very good month.

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

About 10,000 baht

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

I live in a 15,000 baht a month condo with a swimming pool, sea views, a proper oven, a free cleaning service, fibre optic broadband and cable TV.

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


I own my own motorcycle and gas costs 500 baht a month

Utility bills

Electricity and water come to about a thousand baht a month, sometimes a bit less.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

I get a free meal at work every day and try to cook at home in the evenings because I rarely go out after a school day. I'll go out two or three times a month to what you might call a 'nice' restaurant.

Nightlife and drinking

I don't drink all that much so this wouldn't amount to more than 500 baht a month. I'm also trying to quit smoking so I spend 400 baht a month on vaping.

Books, computers

Nothing really

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

I have a great condo that is cheaper than a bedsit back home, with amazing sea views and want for nothing

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

Fresh vegetables and fuel compared to back home

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

You could survive on 25 - 30k a month but an extra 10k means that you can save a bit.

Phil's analysis and comment

I used to live in a rented house on a quiet moobarn in Bangkok. It was a lovely place and I was extremely happy for all of the five years I lived there. However, rent and bills came to a hefty 11,000 baht a month (we're talking 15 years ago here) In a month when I only picked up my regular school salary of about 36,000, that rent always felt like a big chunk of change. It was almost a third of my salary! But in a month where I taught a few private students as well, my monthly income was about 46K - and suddenly the rent and bills drop to less than 25%.

I always remember an old boss in England saying to me - "look to spend about 25% of your salary on putting a roof over your head. No more than that"

That advice has always stuck with me.

Nomad spends 15,000 baht a month on what I'm sure is an amazing place to live - but in a month where he / she earns less than 50K, it becomes almost a third of the salary. I just think it's a little too much. But looking at Nomad's figures above, apart from the apartment rental, there's not much being spent elsewhere and I'm left wondering how Nomad doesn't manage to save a bit more than 10K a month.  

Submit your own Cost of Living survey

Back to the main list

Featured Jobs

English, Science and Math Teachers

฿42,300+ / month


English Conversation Teachers

฿35,000+ / month


NES English Teachers

฿40,000+ / month


Essay Editor, Writing Coach, IELTS/SAT/GMAT Tutor

฿50,000+ / month


ESL Teachers

฿33,000+ / month


Teacher Assistant for Kindergarten and Primary

฿20,000+ / month

Chon Buri

Featured Teachers

  • Saung

    Myanmarese, 23 years old. Currently living in Myanmar

  • Marivic

    Filipino, 45 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Claire

    Filipino, 30 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Amie

    Filipino, 27 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Meljun

    Filipino, 48 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Christianne

    Filipino, 27 years old. Currently living in Philippines

The Hot Spot

Need Thailand insurance?

Need Thailand insurance?

Have a question about health or travel insurance in Thailand? Ricky Batten from Pacific Prime is Ajarn's resident expert.

Air your views

Air your views

Got something to say on the topic of teaching, working or living in Thailand? The Ajarn Postbox is the place. Send us your letters!

Contributions welcome

Contributions welcome

If you like visiting and reading the content, why not get involved yourself and keep us up to date?

Teacher mistakes

Teacher mistakes

What are the most common mistakes that teachers make when they are about to embark on a teaching career in Thailand? We've got them all covered.

The dreaded demo

The dreaded demo

Many schools ask for demo lessons before they hire. What should you the teacher be aware of?

The Region Guides

The Region Guides

Fancy working in Thailand but not in Bangkok? Our region guides are written by teachers who actually live and work in the provinces.

Will I find work in Thailand?

Will I find work in Thailand?

It's one of the most common questions we get e-mailed to us. So find out exactly where you stand.

The cost of living

The cost of living

How much money does a teacher need to earn in order to survive in Thailand? We analyze the facts.