Paul

Working in Bangkok

Monthly Earnings About 170,000

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

I work at an international school in Bangkok and my salary is 130K after tax for a Monday to Friday position. I also do part-time Saturday teaching and the occasional evening and whilst this amount varies greatly, it averages about 40,000 baht a month extra.

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

It varies from month to month but I average about 100,000.

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

I live with two other teachers. We share a three-bedroom condo near Asoke. It's 35,000 baht a month plus utilities, so my share is usually about 13,000.

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

a) Transportation

Asoke is great - we have the BTS, MRT, airport link and canal boats within walking distance. Which is great because the traffic is a nightmare! I rely on public transport and probably spend about 2,000 baht per month.

b) Utility bills

Utility bills are shared between three and usually come to 2,000 - 3,000 baht each (mostly for electricity).

c) Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

Again, Soi Asoke is great! Every cuisine I could imagine is within reach, unfortunately I have to pay for it and it comes to 15 - 20,000 a month.

d) Nightlife and drinking

It's Asoke... clubs and bars of ALL types are here! I have one night out a week and spend a few thousand, so probably 15.000 - 20,000.

e) Books, computers

I spend almost nothing on books and computers as I have a school laptop and the library there is great.

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

Fantastic! I work hard (6 days a week) but enjoy life too. Then again, during the school holidays I usually only work Saturdays.

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

Accommodation - a large 3-bedroom condo in the middle of London (my home) would cost a LOT more! Taxis too, especially if you're sharing.

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

Who knows? Everyone is different. I'm sure it's possible to live on 30,000 and many locals clearly live on a lot less. As a qualified professional however, I wouldn't want to. I've recently turned thirty and realised I need to start saving for the future. The question I often ask myself is... how much should I be saving in order to survive in the future? My calculations tell me to save at least 60,000 a month.

Phil's analysis and comment

You are clearly doing well Paul and you obviously love that Asoke area of Bangkok.

I would be very interested (as I'm sure would many others) on how sharing a place with two other teachers works out. 

Personally, I never think humans are built to share living spaces, except with those we choose as our life partner and of course any children that may come along. 

I shared a small condo with an old schoolfriend many years ago. We moved in as best friends but after nine excruciatingly long months, I was on the verge of committing murder. It started with small things. He would blow his nose on a tissue and then leave the tissue on the dining room table. WHY? He would clean his stinky sports shoes in the bathroom. He would make a cup of tea and never wash his cup up after him. Over time, the small annoyances started to stack up and sharing a living space became a living nightmare. 

That was over 25 years ago. We haven't spoken since. 

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