Working in Korea

Monthly Earnings 117,000 baht equivalent (after taxes, insurance, and pension are taken out)

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

This is a full-time salary teaching at an international school.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

85,000-100,000 baht depending on the season. Once motorcycle season hits, I'm out on the road enjoying this beautiful country on my bike. Gas is much more expensive here than in Thailand, and an overnight stay in a love motel will run about 1,400 baht/night. In the winter months I stay close to home though, so no real expenses as I tend to stay in and watch TV with my girlfriend and our cats.

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

We live in a 3-bedroom 2-bathroom apartment rent-free.

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


300-400 baht

Utility bills

Zero. The utilities are paid for by my school.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

10,000 baht for the shopping and an occasional meal out.

Nightlife and drinking

I almost never drink at bars and have an occasional drink/beer at home. 1,000 baht/month at the very most.

Books, computers

Zero. I have my own desktop computer and a school issued MacBook. I read on the internet and occasionally download a free ebook or two. I also pick up books from friends or colleagues that they want to pass off after they've already read them.

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

I enjoy a wonderful standard of living in which I never have to be concerned about money.

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

Korean food is a bargain, and it's delicious. Also, the beer selection at the convenience stores is excellent. You can get 4 mix and match 16oz cans of just about any beer you could imagine for less than 300 baht. I'm not a big drinker, but I enjoy an occasional beer and it's great to have such a wonderful selection to choose from when I'm in the mood.

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

English teachers earn around 60,000-70,000 baht per month here, minus taxes, insurance, and pension. You could live very comfortably on that as long as you didn't have any bad habits such as being a heavy drinker or a shopaholic. If you earned less than that, I think you might be uncomfortable and wouldn't be able to save anything for the future. I never really consider what one would need to simply "survive". I suppose that's relative.

Phil's analysis and comment

Wow! 117,000 baht a month plus your accommodation and bills paid for by the school. Sounds like a very nice life as a teacher in Korea. Nothing to complain about there.

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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