Working in Bangkok
Monthly Earnings 35,000
Q1. How is that income broken down? (full-time salary, private students, on-line teaching, extra work, etc)
35,000 Baht is my full-time salary. It's a decent Thai private school, across from Central Rama 2. I wish I made more money obviously, but I am not a certified teacher. I am a college graduate with the ability to teach and a smile goes a long way. I teach conversational English to grades 2-6. 20 classes per week. Mon-Fri, 8ish-3:00.
I've also done several odd jobs that brought in random bits of cash: weekend English camps, commercial & movie extra work and tutoring professionals on "The Millionaire Mind" - some seminar in Singapore that preaches how to make more money. I played CDs and we all had open discussion about what the CD was saying. All of these jobs were great fun!
Q2. How much money can you save each month?
Zero - I even dip into my saving most months.
Q3. How much do you pay for your accommodation and what do you live in exactly (house, apartment, condo)?
6,000 baht for a dirty old apartment near Victory Monument. But I'm all about location not comfort, although it does have air-con. The BTS and minivan set up is really good. I hate Los Angeles traffic and Bangkok is the same. For me sitting in traffic is the worst, and living on Rama 2 defeated the purpose of why I have chosen to live in Bangkok for the time being. I'm here to go out and get loose.
Q4. What do you spend a month on the following things?
BTS card - 1,500 baht
Minivans - 1,000 baht
Taxis - 2,000 baht
1,500 baht for electric and water.
Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping
10,000 baht. I eat out for every meal. I love Thai food. Victory Monument has food options available all day and it's easy for me to find something good and inexpensive daily. I'm not picky and will eat whatever.
Nightlife and drinking
20,000 baht. I like to go out. It's finally starting to get old/redundant and I am beginning to miss my old CA life to a slight degree. The CA dispensaries helped treat my anxiousness, now going out daily does and drinking in Bangkok ranges in price. A typical week involves partying at RCA, Khao San, Sukhumvit, and a BUI student event in Ekamai/Thonglor.
Iphone only - data is cheaper than home also.
Q5. How would you summarize your standard of living in one sentence?
Hectic by choice. I love it. It's been a strong 2 years, but it's time to hang it up in another few months maybe after Thai New Year and return to a nice CA summer. I'm 24 years old, and graduated college at 21. I was not ready to commit to some company for a solid tender to begin my money making. I felt it would be best to go get loose for a while. I planned for 6 months to a year but things continued going smoothly, and here I am today. This is now a second home for me, and I can see me coming back for multiple holidays. I have gone out so much in the last two years, that I feel comfortable getting around on my own, speaking the language a fair bit, and making multiple quality Thai friends. Thailand is great.
Q6. What do you consider to be a real 'bargain' here?
Rent, transport, traveling around Thailand, and traveling to nearby countries. Then I would add beach-front accommodation, tourist activities, fake bootleg shopping items, Thai food, and partying in certain spots.
Q7. In your opinion, how much money does anyone need to earn here in order to survive?
20,000 baht to survive paycheck to paycheck. I personally wouldn't stay here only to survive and would prefer CA in that case. I would also never live in a survival mentality. I am only blowing savings here because I can. That all changes if my situation was not a 24 year old head-in-the-clouds male. If you are looking to do this as a long term deal, I would recommend 65,000+ for Bangkok, and to set up that retirement account early because Thailand more than any other country I have seen really values their young teachers. The other teachers at my school were better teachers than me, yet I would get all the praise for being the youngest who just smiled a lot. Your appearance is commented on often and additionally helps secure employment.
Phil's analysis and comment
Thanks Ryan. I think you would be the first to admit that you're something of a 'party animal' and doing stuff like saving money and planning for the future is not on your agenda. But it sounds like you've had the time of your life and at 24 years old, you know it's now time to head back home and knuckle down to a career perhaps. Thailand will always be here for holidays and you've already got memories that will last a lifetime!
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