Working in Ang Thong

Monthly Earnings 35,000

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

I work at a Thai government school in Ang Thong and my full-time pay is 35,000. For this I teach about 16-18 contact hours a week. I only do two hours on a Friday morning so I'm free to leave at lunch time, which is nice. I'm also paid directly by the school and it's great not to have to shout at an agent down the phone and ask why my salary isn't in the bank (been there, done that!)

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

I try to put away 5,000 baht every month and I do manage it most months. That 60K a year mostly goes on short trips to various Thai islands. I like to travel whenever we have a school break.

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

I pay 5,000 baht a month for a small studio in a fairly new apartment building. Over the past year, the restaurant has closed, the little convenience store has closed, the gym has been locked up for months and there's a mysterious green substance floating on the surface of the swimming pool. Some mystery person is also taking a whizz in the elevators. But my studio apartment is OK. I've got a hot water shower, a new air-conditioner and there's also a wardrobe and a little bedside table. I've also put up a few pictures to make it look homely and you can get a nice rug from Homepro for a few hundred baht.

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


I have my own small motorcycle so that's just a couple of hundred baht each month on petrol. Repairs are as cheap as chips here! Without your own wheels in Ang Thong, it's tough to get around.

Utility bills

200-300 baht for electricity and water. I'm something of a tightwad when it comes to turning on the air-conditioning (that thing just eats up the juice) I might stick it on for an hour in April when the temperature becomes unbearable, otherwise I have four fans (one in each corner of the room) battling it out.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

I try to keep this cost down as much as I can but find it difficult. Even at a hole-in-the-wall joint an evening meal with a large beer can cost 150 baht. That's 5,000 a month right there. Thrown in some patong-ko and moo ping for breakfast on the way to work and a 7-11 lunch (I like the sausage and cheese toasties) and you can easily eat your way through 10K even as a single bloke.

Nightlife and drinking

There's nowhere to go out in Ang Thong unless you go out with a group of Thais and although I do have Thai friends I prefer to keep them at arm's length when it comes to night-time partying. No, I like a beer with my evening meal and a couple at lunchtime if I'm not working. That'll do me.

Books, computers

We have an old bookshelf at school where past foreign teachers leave dog-eared paperbacks before going on to teach elsewhere. I've read 'Confessions of a Window Cleaner' four times. Sometimes it's the boredom that can kill you.

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

It's OK. One of the reasons I left Bangkok was because I could never seem to make ends meet. I was earning 40,000 baht a month and it didn't seem to go anywhere. I was always skint before the end of the month. At least here in Ang Thong I'm not living on cans of tuna from the 24th onwards.

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

I can go down the fresh market and come back with a great big bag of fruit for 150 baht. I'd love to get myself organised and buy fresh meat and fish but I'm hopeless in the kitchen. I'd probably burn the condo down anyway if I was allowed access to a gas ring.

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

35,000 is enough in rural Thailand because there's nothing much to spend your money on. You need at least double that in Bangkok though.

Phil's analysis and comment

Nice survey Rob, We always like to hear from the teachers in the 25-40K bracket because that's what so many foreign teachers get paid and have been doing for the past 30 years. We don't hear from many teachers in Ang Thong either.

Yes, it's hard to keep those monthly food bills down if you want to eat reasonably well. It think learning how to cook might be a good move if it gets you off the Chinese donuts and the 7-11 junk food (difficult to resist though isn't it?) The meat and fish can be really cheap at those morning markets.  

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