Working in Nakhon Si Thammarat
Monthly Earnings 30,000 Baht
Q1. How much do you earn from teaching per month?
Q2. How much of that can you realistically save per month?
Generally it will be around 10,000 a month but if I were really trying to save then I could definitely save half my wage and still live reasonably comfortably.
Q3. How much do you pay for your accommodation and what do you live in exactly (house, apartment, condo)?
I live with a friend in a good sized 3-bedroom house about 15 minutes drive from my school. Rent is 6,000 a month, so I pay 3,000 a month.
Q4. What do you spend a month on the following things?
I have a Suzuki moped which I bought for 16,000 bht and generally spend around 140 bht a week on fuel
Utility bills Bills are split in half so monthly I spend 315 baht for internet, 150 baht for electricity and 40 baht for water.
Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping
As Nakhon Si Thammarat is not at all touristy, prices aren’t inflated so food tends to be very cheap. In fact I generally eat out 6 nights out of 7 as it is cheaper to eat out. I’d say 4,000 bht a month is an over estimate
Nightlife and drinking
There is a really good social scene in Nakhon amongst the farang teachers and there is generally something going on. Most weeks/weekends there are bbqs and parties and we generally do trips to waterfalls/beaches at least two weekends out of four. I’d say on average I spend around 10,000 baht a month on this.
Once again the social side means that there is a book club/pool of books to read so I’ve yet to buy any books while living here. If we go to Samui or a touristy place I might buy a book but it’s rare. So I’d say 200 baht maximum. I have my laptop as well and we're always swapping movies on our hard drives so once again very little is spent on this.
Q5. How would you summarize your standard of living in one sentence?
Excellent. Nakhon Si Thammarat is a quiet place but still has a good social scene. I play football and frisbee. I go to the gym (free) regularly and there are many places to relax and enjoy a glass of wine. During the weekends I’m always doing something fun and different. So to sum things up I have a great life with a great standard of living here.
Q6. What do you consider to be a real 'bargain' here?
Food, fuel and most definitely rent considering the size of house that you can get for your money.
Q7. In your opinion, how much money does anyone need to earn here in order to survive?
You could survive on 15k, but I’m not sure how much you’d enjoy yourself. My salary enables me to save some money but in all honesty I don’t consciously try to save, as long as I don’t go crazy it’s pretty easy to save a third of your wage. On 30k it allows you to enjoy life, enjoy Thailand and still have a little left over..
Phil's analysis and comment
We seem to be hearing more and more good things from teachers about Nakhon Si Thammarat. It's certainly becoming a place to check out down south and you can't grumble with paying 3,000 baht a month to share a 3-bedroom house. The vibrant social scene sounds interesting too. Getting together with friends for a bike ride or a barbecue and a few beers certainly doesn't need to cost you a lot of money. Not sure about surviving on 15,000 baht a month though. Anywhere in Thailand. It amounts to 500 baht a day. I couldn't do it.