Working in Nakhon Ratchisima (Khorat)
Monthly Earnings 30,000
Q1. How is that income broken down? (full-time salary, private students, on-line teaching, extra work, etc)
I work for a medium-sized Thai school and my full-time salary is 30,000. I used to make another 5,000 - 10,000 baht a month working a couple of nights a week at a private language school but due to the Co-vid situation, there hasn't been any work there for months! I was pretty low down the pecking order so I tended to get the evening scraps and the students nobody else wanted. However, so many students cancelled their courses, there isn't enough work to go around.
Q2. How much money can you save each month?
Very little. I might stash away 5,000 in a good month but that's quite rare.
Q3. How much do you pay for your accommodation and what do you live in exactly (house, apartment, condo)?
I've moved in with my Thai girlfriend to try and cut down on the expenses. I was living in a nice studio apartment and paying around 6,000 a month plus bills but that's down to 3,000 now I've moved in with her. It's not an ideal situation though; two people living in a tiny studio apartment can get ridiculous, especially as I'm a big guy anyway. Plus I hate living 'the Thai way' - cooking food on a tiny balcony, showering with cold water, etc.
Q4. What do you spend a month on the following things?
I have a small motorcycle, which you really need to have to get around Khorat. We live in the city centre and my school is about five kilometres away. Public transportation isn't really an option. I suppose gas costs a few hundred baht a month.
No more than a few hundred baht a month for electricity and water. We do have air-con but don't switch it on much. My girlfriend says the air-con gives her a cold so whenever I'm home during the hot season, I strip down to my boxer shorts and tough it out.
Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping
Being a person of ample proportions, I do like my grub! I spend easily 10,000 baht a month on meals out and supermarket shopping for the two of us although most of our eating is done at moderately priced Thai restaurants. Khorat has plenty of opportunities for a Western food splurge but they're generally too expensive for me. I can't afford to drop 700-1,000 baht on a meal for two.
Nightlife and drinking
Gave that stuff up several years ago. It's a shame really because Khorat is a terrific night-time city with plenty going on. Oh to be a single fella again because I sometimes overhear other male teachers discussing going out on the Friday night lash and do feel as if I'm missing out.
Naaah. Nothing to see here. Even my smartphone is about four years old. Hopefully it won't conk out before I get to the end of this survey.
Q5. How would you summarize your standard of living in one sentence?
Khorat is a cheaper city to live in than Bangkok of course but only just. It's got all the opportunities to spend money that the capital has, so 30,000 baht a month isn't really enough. That extra 10,000 baht I used to make from teaching in the evenings made all the difference.
Q6. What do you consider to be a real 'bargain' here?
Running a motorcycle is cheap (both for gas and repairs) and eating out at those moderately priced Thai restaurants (hole-in-the-wall places) only comes to a couple of hundred baht for two people.
Q7. In your opinion, how much money does anyone need to earn here in order to survive?
I suppose at a push I could live on 20-25K if I were a single fella but that would be just an existence. I dream of making 50-60K a month; that would be nice! It would allow me to go home and see my family because I haven't been home for several years.
Phil's analysis and comment
Thank you Steve for another brutally honest cost of living survey. It's important to get a balance in these surveys and the teachers 'surviving' on 30,000 are just as essential to hear from as the international school teachers raking in the big bucks. As far as your survey goes, Steve, I've said it many times before - that extra 10,000 baht can make all the difference! Hopefully the Co-vid situation will improve in the not-too-distant future and you can get back to doing some evening work. Hang on in there!
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