Working in Bangkok
Monthly Earnings 73,000
Q1. How much do you earn from teaching per month?
73,000 baht a month teaching IGCSE maths and physics in an international school in the middle of Bangers.
Q2. How much of that can you realistically save per month?
Q3. How much do you pay for your accommodation and what do you live in exactly (house, apartment, condo)?
I pay 3,400 baht a month for a Thai-style apartment near Praram 9 MRT where I am the only westerner.
Q4. What do you spend a month on the following things?
200 baht a month on fuel for my motorbike to ride the 3kms each way to school and about 500 baht a month on taxis and public transportation when I'm mincing around town.
Electric and water are 100 baht a month each and I use the free internet at school.
Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping
Roughly 5,000 baht.
Nightlife and drinking
300 baht for a couple of paperbacks.
Q5. How would you summarize your standard of living in one sentence?
I want for nothing but I live a very simple, minimalist life. I aim to retire in 2013 shortly before my 40th birthday hence the huge savings. See www.earlyretirementextreme.com.
Q6. What do you consider to be a real 'bargain' here?
Food. You can still get chicken on rice with soup for 30 baht - and no dishes to wash either. Bangkok taxis are cheap too!
Q7. In your opinion, how much money does anyone need to earn here in order to survive?
I have lived in Thailand for over three years. I've lived in rural areas and in cities and tourist traps. I would say out of all of them, Bangkok is the priciest.. In the sticks, 15K a month would be survival and you'd live like a king on 40k. In Bangkok you need 20K to just about survive and 100K to live like a king.
Phil's analysis and comment
When I read that Stephen earned 73,000 baht a month and spent less than 4,000 baht of it on rent and only a hundred baht on electricity (and let's not forget the use of free internet at school) I did wonder if we had finally found the man who switches his windscreen wipers off when he's driving under a bridge. Is this a man who only breathes in? Is this a man who would find a wooden crutch in the attic and go downstairs and break his son's leg? Then I read about his plans to retire at a ridiculously young age and the whole scenario fell into place. Well it kind of fell into place I suppose. It's certainly a very minimalistic lifestyle but who am I to knock it?
20,000 baht a month on nightlife though eh Steve? And he also offered this advice in his e-mail to me - "If you want to save cash here stay away from the local women. Thai women are the fastest money-reducing agents known to man!"
Steve, I'm putting two and two together and definitely coming up with four.