Working in Bangkok

Monthly Earnings 90,000 + other sidelines

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

After taxes I earn 90,000 baht per month as a full-time science teacher at an international school. I also am an active Forex Trader and I do private tutoring which pays around 1,000 baht per hour. My wife earns around 40,000 per month. So in good months, we have a combined income of over 150,000.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

Normally I would save at least 30,000, but it depends on the month. As I am still young, I am not really saving for retirement yet.

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

I share a nice house and garden with some friends and we share the rent. I pay around 13,000.

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


I drive my car or motorbike most of the time so I guess around 3,000 baht on gasoline per month with the odd taxi drive.

Utility bills

Around 4,000 per month. which includes optic fiber Internet with 1Gbit.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

This very much depends on my mood. I can spend between 10,000 and 30,000 depending on what foods I am craving and what the wife wants to eat.

Nightlife and drinking

As I never drink cheap local beers, I might spend up to 15,000 per month on craft beers. But then again, some months I might spend close to nothing if I stay at home a lot.

Books, computers

I use my MacBook Pro, an iPad Air and an android phone which are already paid for. I might spend up to 2,000 baht per month on videogames.

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

I feel like I am living to a very high standard, but I am also earning more in Thailand than I would earn in the West.

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

Eating out in Thailand is dirt cheap compared to my home country, Germany. Also the cost of high speed internet is unbelievably cheap here.

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

I would say 50,000 would be enough to live decently as a single person in Bangkok. However in order to be able to save and not to worry about the future as much, I would not want to earn less than 80,000 as a single person.

Phil's analysis and comment

Thanks Stefan. You and your wife have a nice standard of living there. I'm guessing that you don't have costly children either. It's just you and your partner to look after. 

Even without the private tutoring and the Forex trading, you have a nice income but sometimes it's all about having fingers in several different pies. 

I've thought about dabbling in that Forex trading myself a few times. I've got several friends who are enthusiasts and they all seem to do well with it. 

Please send us your cost of living surveys. We would love to hear from you! This is one of the most popular parts of the Ajarn website and these surveys help and inspire a lot of other teachers. Just click the link at the top of the page where it says 'Submit your own Cost of Living survey' or click here.       

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