RJ

Working in Central Bangkok

Monthly Earnings 53,000 - 65,000

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

My standard monthly salary is 53,000. During term time I also teach 'after school' lessons (during school hours) which make me another 8-12K a month.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

I'm more than happy living a 'Thai lifestyle', eating street food and enjoying a simple day to day life. My rent, bills and monthly expenses are low, and I *could* comfortably save half of my salary each month. That's not to say I have. Since 2015 I have traveled extensively, visiting almost all Asian countries. I've had the most amazing four and a half years and wouldn't change it for the world, but it has come at a cost of having almost no savings.

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

I pay 10,000 baht for a fairly modern studio apartment with amazing views overlooking Sukhumvit. The condo has a swimming pool, decent gym and a sauna.

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

Transportation

I own a motorcycle and use it to ride to work, as well as the odd trip to the shopping malls. I spend approximately 100 baht every two weeks on fuel.

Utility bills

Government rates electricity 800 - 1,500 a month.
Internet and phone contract - 800 baht
Water - 50 baht

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

I much prefer Thai food to Western food and most of the time I'm happy eating 50 baht street food, so food expenses are fairly low.

Nightlife and drinking

I find drinking in bars to be more expensive than back home in the UK. Fortunately I rarely drink these days, and will only drink in bars if there is a special sports occasion.
Maximum 2,000 baht a month.

Books, computers

Maximum 1,000 baht a month.

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

I often hear expats moaning about living in Thailand, but apart from the pollution in Bangkok I can't find many complaints. I love it. My standard of living is far better than it was back in the UK.

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

If booked in advance, air fares to other countries in Asia.

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

If you're a single guy with no dependents and you're happy to live a simple life, I'd say 40,000 baht is enough to live a relatively comfortable life in Bangkok. Of course you would have to prioritize what to spend your money on, as it wouldn't allow for a nice condo, travel, regularly eating out and other luxuries - and certainly not savings for the future.

My 'live for today' attitude, prioritizing travel over saving, will probably be seen as irresponsible by most, and I'd tend to agree. But do I regret it? Not really, as I've had the time of my life over the past four years, and you never know what the future holds.

That being said, having recently reached the big 30, I realise it would be a foolish move not to plan for the future. For this reason I am (reluctantly) returning home next year to gain my professional teaching qualifications, in order to return to Bangkok on a much higher salary. For a young guy 50-60k is fine, but I wouldn't want to live on that kind of salary for the rest of my working life.

Phil's analysis and comment

RJ, I'd love to introduce you to my sister-in-law because I think you would get on famously. She's probably a good few years older than you but she has travelled all over the world. If you tell a travel story, she's got a travel story to top it. Her mantra is 'spend life gathering experiences and creating memories you'll never forget. One day you will be too old to do these things. Don't worry about the future because it will generally take care of itself'

I suppose many cautious folks will see that attitude as reckless but I often think she has a point. I think it's great that you've done loads of travelling and seen so many places. They are memories no one can take away from you. 

We're a long time dead! 


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