Working in Central Bangkok
Monthly Earnings 200,000
Q1. How is that income broken down? (full-time salary, private students, on-line teaching, extra work, etc)
My salary is 149,000 per month and the housing allowance is 52,000 per month, so the total is just over 200,000 pre-tax. Each year I am also paid a 10% bonus from my employer.
Q2. How much money can you save each month?
After tax and housing, I am left with around 125,000 and I can usually save around 85,000 per month but slightly more during Covid. 10% of my monthly salary goes into a provident fund in Thailand. This comes out pre-tax and is managed by an investment fund. It saves me a little on tax each month. The rest of my monthly savings goes into my Thai savings account which I tranfer back to my home country each year.
Q3. How much do you pay for your accommodation and what do you live in exactly (house, apartment, condo)?
I live in a condo in Thonglor and pay 45,000 for a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 145 square meter unit. It is in an older building but the unit itself has been completely remodelled and renovated to a European standard. There are all of the usual amenities such as swimming pool, gym, games room, etc.
Q4. What do you spend a month on the following things?
I have an old scooter and I spend around 300 baht per month on fuel. This is only really used to get to work and back.
Electricity - 2,000 baht
Internet and sim card - 900 baht
Water - 100 baht
Cleaner - 2,000 baht
Netflix & Spotify - 400 baht
Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping
I tend to cook from Monday to Thursday and eat out from Friday to Sunday. Supermarket shopping is around 1,000 per week. Eating out comes to probably around 10,000 per month.
Nightlife and drinking
Pre-covid I would go out quite a lot but this is limited at the moment and saves quite a bit of cash. At the moment, most nightlife involves going to friends houses for drinks but I rarely drink midweek due to starting work early and finishing late each day.
Very little, but I will usually buy a number of books each year at the Neilson Hays Library book fayres.
Q5. How would you summarize your standard of living in one sentence?
Excellent. I earn a similar amount to what I did in the UK but the benefits such as housing, flight allowances, medical insurance and a substantial bonus means money goes much further in Bangkok.
I can travel, eat out and attend events without worrying about money and am lucky enough to be in this position. Thailand is a great place to work if you have the relevant experience, education and qualifications and can lead to a fantastic standard of living.
I also enjoy the social aspect of life in the city with regular events at the British Club and various balls throughout the year.
Q6. What do you consider to be a real 'bargain' here?
Transport is very good value, compared to the UK. Taxis are cheap. I'm not a huge Thai food fan but but that can be very cheap as well.
Holidays in Thailand can also be great value with some great deals at the moment due to the current situation. Flights abroad are also usually excellent value due to the number of options at Suvarnabhumi.
Q7. In your opinion, how much money does anyone need to earn here in order to survive?
To survive, if your employer pays your housing then not a huge amount as that is usually the biggest cost. Possibly around 35,000 but it wouldn't be a great standard of living. However, Bangkok can be as cheap or as expensive as you would like it to be.
I certainly wouldn't think about moving to the city for less than what the same job would be paid in the UK. Bangkok is as expensive as anywhere in the UK except London and the South East.
Phil's analysis and comment
Thank you Stewart. So this is one of those teacher packages where you have to spend the 52,000 baht housing allowance. You can't find somewhere nice to rent for let's say 25,000, and pocket the remaining 27K. Shame that because although I'm sure your condo is amazing, you could probably manage a downgrade and be quids in. I'm surprised your water bill is as low as 100 baht though in such a swanky place. Needless to say, it sounds like you have a great standard of living.