Peter

Working in Bangkok

Monthly Earnings 245K

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

180k salary plus 65k housing allowance with free schooling for our two young sons. My wife is a stay-at-home Mum.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

I put 100K into mutual funds back in the USA.

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

65K per month. We use the full allowance for a place near Terminal 21 with panoramic city views from the balcony. This rental fee includes a full-time maid/nanny to help the wife look after the boys.

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

Transportation

The school provides a transport service for staff and students and it costs 2,000 baht/month. For everything else we use taxis so let's say around 5,000/month.

Utility bills

Those are included in the 65k rent.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

The maid does the supermarket shopping and cooking, which comes to about 20K/month. We're suckers for fine dining and there's plenty of that in Bangkok. We spend another 20K/month there - guilty as charged.

Nightlife and drinking

My wife and I still like to party despite our advancing years. Before the plague we could easily blow 5,000 baht on a night out. Let's say 15K/month for this category.

Books, computers

We brought four laptops with us from the US - $600 each - so nothing coming out of the salary there.

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

Brilliant. The rest of the monthly budget goes on activities for the boys and regular weekend trips to the islands. It's impossible to maintain this standard of living in the US while investing $3,000 each month.

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

Taxis are incredible value. You can cross the entire city for around 300B. Trendy rooftop restaurants in New York cater only to the elite, however, the common man can access them in Bangkok. And weekend getaways in paradise locations are within range of most budgets.

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

Poverty? 30k
Survive? 50k
Middle class lifestyle? 100k
Upper middle class? 200k

Phil's analysis and comment

You must feel like a millionaire Peter living in Bangkok on that sort of salary. I'm guessing you must work at one of the top international schools and although I'm sure you work hard for the money, qualified teachers are certainly well rewarded.


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