Working in Bangkok

Monthly Earnings 180,000 baht

Q1. How much do you earn from teaching per month?

I'm now in the very fortunate position of leading teaching staff and my salary is 180K baht a month.

Q2. How much of that can you realistically save per month?

80-100K a month.

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

I get a three-bedroom house as part of my benefits package.

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


I'm provided with a company car and local fuel costs are also covered,

Utility bills

500 baht a month. Believe it or not, I hate air-conditioning.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

My weekly supermarket shop sets me back about 2-3K a month and I spend anything from 10K-50K a month on eating out at restaurants.

Nightlife and drinking

I very rarely drink and spend probably a thousand baht or less per month on alcohol. But when I do enjoy a beer, I normally go for an expensive brand.

Books, computers

Internet costs are covered by the company and I have no time to read books that aren't work-related.

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

A damn sight better than it was ten years ago.

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

Nothing if I compare the cost of living to ten years ago. You can't even get an extra fried egg for 5 baht anymore.

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

10 years ago, I made 50k a month and saved around 25-30K of it and lived what I thought was an OK life, although I dipped into savings a fair bit. 10 years on, I would live on 70k, but it wouldn't be enjoyable. 100k is better, it guarantess savings for emergencies and retirement. Don't forget health insurance - I'm covered to walk into a top Bangkok hospital and it not cost me a penny.

Phil's analysis and comment

Hmmm, I wasn't sure whether or not to put this cost of living survey on-line because it does smack a little of 'gloating'. However, Steve did send me a couple of introductory paragraphs and hoped that he wouldn't come across as a gloater. He merely wanted to highlight what can be achieved with hard work (and a little bit of luck no doubt). This is what he had to say.Just over ten years ago, i set out in the TEFL world, and after 4 years of it realised that if teaching was for me, then I had to get qualified and not be fannying around pretending the world was great while eeking out a meagre existance.

My cost of living survey might spur people on to show them what they can achieve with some hard work, good luck and timing.

I have gone from TEFLer to teacher to upper senior management in only a few years.

I'm not trying to brag, but I think before a young TEFLer gets himself tied down out here, they have to really look at what they want from their future.

I'm always amazed at the people I have met who have been doing the TEFL game for 10 years+ and still on similar salaries, getting by and trying to convince others they are ok.They might well be until something serious happens.

I know my work life balance is terrible. i don't see my family enough, but they will be taken care of in the future.

Anyway, I hope I'm not coming across as a complete knob.

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