Working in Nakhon Ratchisima
Monthly Earnings 45,000
Q1. How is that income broken down? (full-time salary, private students, on-line teaching, extra work, etc)
I teach at a Thai government school in Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat) and my take home salary is around 33,000. I generally add 12,000 baht a month to that with some on-line teaching and a few other bits and pieces (nothing too taxing)
Q2. How much money can you save each month?
I can easily save 20,000 baht a month. Although Khorat is expanding rapidly and we're seeing a lot more in the way of Western temptations, I manage to resist them except maybe at the weekend.
Q3. How much do you pay for your accommodation and what do you live in exactly (house, apartment, condo)?
The school found me a very nice apartment about ten minute's walk from where I work. Most of our foreign teaching staff live in this building. It's only a studio apartment but it's a very good size and has a large balcony and bathroom. I'm also up on the 15th floor so if I keep the door to the balcony open, the room doesn't get too hot and I rarely have to use the air-con. The rent for this is a bargain 6,000 baht a month.
Q4. What do you spend a month on the following things?
Nothing during the week because I am able to cycle to work along fairly traffic-free back roads. I use public transport at the weekends to go into town and that costs peanuts. I wouldn't even call my transportation an expense.
Barely a 1,000 baht a month, even in the hot season when I might indulge in a few hours of air-conditioning.
Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping
This is probably my biggest expense apart from rent of course. I make breakfast at home and eat a good school lunch but I consider my evening meal as the main meal of the day and always eat at a restaurant in the neighborhood. I would say with supermarket shopping included, I probably spend in the region of 10,000 a month.
Nightlife and drinking
I'm too tired to go out during the week but I might meet a few friends on a Saturday night. This is probably 5-6,000 baht a month.
I'm not into gadgets or computer games or anything like that. I have a three-year-old laptop and a newish smartphone and that's really all I need.
Q5. How would you summarize your standard of living in one sentence?
Excellent. I love my life here. I have a relatively cushy teaching job with plenty of free time. I could push myself and earn more if I wanted but I'm saving 250,000 baht a year and that allows me to travel around Asia whenever I get a break and also to fly home once a year.
Q6. What do you consider to be a real 'bargain' here?
There's really nothing here that strikes me as that expensive apart from imported foods in the supermarket.
Q7. In your opinion, how much money does anyone need to earn here in order to survive?
You could live comfortably in Khorat on 25,000 - 30,000. You might not be saving much but you certainly wouldn't be going without. It's an ideal destination for someone who wants to live in a relatively large city but still maintain a feeling of being in rural Thailand. A great destination for a first-time TEFLer like me you might say.
Phil's analysis and comment
Thanks Ricky. You sound like another very happy teacher. I like Khorat. I was amazed at how much the city centre had expanded on my last visit a couple of years ago. It's not too far from Bangkok either.
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