Working in Nakhon Ratchisima

Monthly Earnings 55,000

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

I work at a private school and my salary after tax is around 40,000. I usually add another 15K a month from private tutoring and online stuff.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

Usually in the region of 20-25K Baht but that figure can be lower if I go off travelling somewhere.

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

I rent a two-storey shophouse for 8,000 baht a month. I live mostly on the ground floor (that's where I've got my living room space, kitchen, etc) and on the second floor is my bedroom and a room I've converted to a small study where I can accommodate groups of two or three students. A third tiny utility room I use for storage space. I've been here about three years.

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


I have a motorcycle which I bought a couple of years ago and costs me around a thousand baht a month in gas.

Utility bills

Electricity and water come to around 4,000 baht a month. The bill is high because I have three aircon units and usually, at least two of them are on.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

I like to follow a fairly strict healthy diet so once every couple of weeks, I'll have a cooking day. I'll put together about a dozen or so portions of food (pasta dishes, casseroles, etc) and freeze it all in individual plastic containers. I sometimes grab something street-food on the way home if I'm running low on freezer stock but I almost never eat out. Cooking at home can save you a fortune and I bet even with supermarket shopping for non-food items, I can keep the total below 8,000 a month.

Nightlife and drinking

Don't really bother with that side of things. I will sometimes go out for a few beers with colleagues but it's never more than once or twice a month. This is probably 2,000 baht at most.

Books, computers

I quite like my technology and have a nice flat screen TV with Netflix, etc and the latest smartphone. Difficult to put a monthly price on this but probably around 4,000 if you average it out over a year.

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

I'm very happy with it. I don't go short of anything.

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

Fresh meat and vegetables are still a pretty good buy if you know where to go. Nakhon Ratchisima is a great place to live. It has all the attractions, temptations and big city feel of Bangkok (where I lived and worked for five years) but I don't spend anything like the money I used to there. It's just a shame that the traffic seems to get worse here with each passing year.

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

Outside of Bangkok, you will live reasonably well on 30-35K. Once you hit 50K+ out in the provinces, you're on easy street.

Phil's analysis and comment

Thanks Patrick. I've been to Nakhon Ratchisima a number of times in recent years and I've always been impressed. I agree that it always comes across as a very affordable place to live but with a big city feel. I like your food arrangement as well. I always say that I'm going to do something like this - have a day in the kitchen and freeze a load of meals - but can never quite get myself organised. 

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