Working in Bangkok

Monthly Earnings Up to around 100,000 baht.

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

I work for a global teaching organisation here in Bangkok and I teach English to young learners. I make a monthly salary of 84,500 before tax. This increases by a couple of thousand baht each year. I also make between 10 - 20,000 baht for examining.

I also get two yearly bonuses, each being around 25,000 baht and I get a matching pension contribution of 1,800 GBP once a year. I also get full A1 insurance through my workplace for my family.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

Well, not much. I have a wife and toddler so I give my wife a 25,000 baht stipend each month. We decided it was better for her to be a stay-at-home mum rather than hiring a nanny. She's from Asia so her work options in Bangkok are rather limited anyway.

I pay 12,000 baht towards an offshore pension each month. This is insufficient in my opinion and I need to increase this.

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

I pay 16,000 baht for an old-style low-rise one-bedroom apartment in Phayathai. It's a 10-minute walk from a BTS station. It's nice enough but we will probably need more space when my child gets bigger.

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


1,500 on my Rabbit card for the BTS and another 500 baht on taxis / Grab.

Utility bills

2,500 a month (we use the air-con a lot!)

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

About 6,000 a month.

Nightlife and drinking

1,000 baht a month. There is not much time to go out now with a toddler!

Books, computers

500 baht.

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

It's very comfortable. We can afford most things that we want but there's not much left over at the end of each month.

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

BTS and MRT travel is so affordable compared to the London Underground! It's also a lot cleaner and reliable than my city's tube system.

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

As a single person, I would say that you need a minimum of 50,000 baht a month to enjoy a good standard of living, but I wouldn't say that you could save much on that salary.

As a family of three, I would say I need about 120,000 baht (as a single wage-earner) to enjoy a good standard of living. Currently, I earn below this figure so I'm looking at moving on soon to the Middle East or China. My biggest worry is that when my toddler is of school-going age, the cost of decent international schooling is prohibitively priced. I'm not sure if I can maintain my current standard of living with school fees in the mix.

Phil's analysis and comment

Yes, things certainly change when you have a family to look after. It becomes a whole new ball game when you are the sole breadwinner. 

We haven't touched on it much in these cost of living surveys, but your toddler's education (when they get older) is something you have to give a lot of thought to. It's one of the main reasons that a good number of teachers return to their homeland - for the sake of their son or daughter's education. The better international schools in Thailand are very expensive! 

Good luck with everything Stuart!

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