Richard

Working in Bangkok

Monthly Earnings 75 - 100K

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

My salary from my full-time job in an international school is about 75,000 nett. Unfortunately, as I have a PGCEi (and therefore not QTS) I get paid significantly less than most of my colleagues. I'm currently trying to obtain the QTS but this is difficult to do from Thailand. The rest of my income is from private tuition, which is reasonably lucrative at 1,000 to 1,500 baht per hour.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

Usually 40,000 - 60,000 per month, depending on how much I earn.

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

11,000 a month. I have a studio room in a new condo very close to a BTS station. Its only about 40 sqm but I live alone so it's OK.

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

Transportation

Despite living near public transport, I rarely use it. I much prefer my two-wheeled death trap. Petrol comes to about 800 baht a month.

Utility bills

My room is smallish and new so the AC isn't too hungry. Electric, water, phone and net come to about 2,000 a month.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

During term time, school provides a half decent buffet lunch for free. Unfortunately this means I've got to listen to my colleagues whinge whilst I eat. So during term it's probably 6,000 a month and more like 10,000 in the school holidays.

Nightlife and drinking

Not too much. I very rarely pay for 'company' and avoid the all you can eat / drink buffets in 5-star hotels that many of my colleagues rave about. I'd rather watch football or have a few beers and chat with a mate or two. Let's say 6,000 a month.

Books, computers

Almost nothing. I've had my current laptop for a few years and get great reads from the school library (that's one of the best things about international school work). I'm guessing that unless you're mining bitcoins or running a website, computer expenses are generally going to be zero?

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

To be honest it's decent enough. But when the rest of the teachers in you school earn 30K+ more than you do and are given flights and bonuses, it doesn't feel great, especially when a minority of these qualified teachers have minimal subject knowledge and classroom management skills. Hopefully I'll get the QTS badge within a year and then brush this chip off my shoulder!

If I could give one piece of advice to any aspiring teachers thinking of working overseas, get qualified at home FIRST. It's an investment that pays for itself very quickly. And don't believe people who tell you that international schools work their teachers too hard. In my experience, it's easier than working in Thai schools, better paid, with more holidays.

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

My bike! 100 baht for a full tank of gas. 600 baht for a year's insurance and tax. 500 baht goes to 'on the spot fines'. It's very cheap and fun (and dangerous?) on two wheels

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

If you don't have kids, don't drink, avoid other 'tempations' and have a rich relative about to pass away and bequeath you enough cash to retire on, then 40K should do it. If you do have kids and do need to save for retirement, well that figure would be much higher, perhaps even as high as 150K?

Phil's analysis and comment

75,000-100,000 a month is not bad at all in Bangkok though Richard, especially when you are only paying about 15% of that for your accommodation. I'm sure it must be frustrating though to see all your colleagues earning significantly more plus benefits for technically doing the same job. 


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