Stu

Working in Chanthaburi

Monthly Earnings 43,000-55,000

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

My base salary is 35,000. On top of that, I do after school classes twice a week and tutoring on Saturdays. The reason I put between 43-55,000 is that there has never been a month where I’ve done a full month of after-school plus a full month of tutoring. If the stars align, 55,000 is the maximum, but it’s normally just shy of 50,000.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

Easily half of my salary, and even more now with COVID limiting travel.

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

Myself and my girlfriend live in a fairly large apartment, with a bathroom, living room, bedroom and a balcony. Rent is 5,500 and bills are never more than a thousand.

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

Transportation

2,000 for a bike, with maybe 200-300 baht on petrol. Maybe a couple of hundred on Grab taxis if we go somewhere to drink so that we don’t have to drive home.

Utility bills

1,000 for electricity water and wi-fi.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

We spend about 6,000 in total, with that divided between groceries and restaurants. In normal times, we get lunch at school, and we have a few cooking appliances at home as well.

Nightlife and drinking

We don’t drink in the week (apart from when I watch football and then just a couple to settle the nerves). At the weekend, with bars and the clubs shut, a few beers or a bottle of whiskey is enough for a night in or at a friends house. I’m praying this number rises when places re-open.

Books, computers

A few kindle books a month, so maybe 1,000 at most.

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

Awesome. Having gone pay cheque to pay cheque when I lived in Bangkok and Lopburi, Chanthaburi is by far the best place to be in Thailand. 30 minutes in the one direction and you’re in the mountains for hiking and waterfall treks. 30 minutes the other way, you’re at the beach. The salary plus tutoring allows me to save a lot, and a girlfriend who’s in charge of the money allows me to save even more!

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

Relative to England, what isn’t a bargain here? Rent and food bills , gym membership, petrol prices; everything! The only annoyance is the two-price policy at national parks and waterfalls. Some places are 20 baht entry for locals, but 200 for foreigners. It lends to a divisive “us and them” mentality in my opinion.

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

In Chanthaburi, a salary of 35,000 is enough to survive and save a little bit. If your schedule allows it, a tutoring job can give you the spending money for weekends away or for trips to the islands.

Phil's analysis and comment

Thanks Stu. You're singing the praises of Chantaburi there and I don't blame you. It really is a wonderful little province and probably my favourite place in Thailand when it comes to two or three-day getaways from Bangkok. What always strikes me is how much pride the locals take in Chantaburi; for starters, you rarely see a scrap of litter anywhere. You've got the magnificent church, that interesting old town part down by the riverside and the bustling gemstone neighborhood. If you've never been to Chantaburi, then put it on your list! I know Stu will back me up there. 


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