Working in Just outside of Bangkok

Monthly Earnings 45,000 per month

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

My basic salary + 8,000 housing allowance. There is opportunity for extra teaching which gets paid at an hourly rate, so this can make the salary on average to around 50,000 per month.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

It depends, but usually not much as there is always something that needs to be done. Pay school fees for kids or fix something on the car etc.

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

The rent is 15,000 per month for a house in a gated village.

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


I spend around 1,500-2,000 on gas as I drive everywhere. It depends if I do a weekend trip somewhere or not - so this amount can fluctuate each month.

Utility bills

I spend in total around 2,000 per month for electric, water, internet and Netflix.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

I am lucky to have a kitchen so I try to cook at home. If I go out to eat, the restaurants in my area are not very expensive. So I guess I would spend around 3-4,000 per month.

Nightlife and drinking

I don't really go out in the evenings and apart from the odd glass of wine, I don't drink so this expense is very low. In total I would say around 2,000 per month. However, I do like to do activities at the weekend and holiday times with my family, so I tend to pay for short trips to an island or have a weekend in Bangkok. This I do around once a month. So I guess I would add in around another 6-7,000 for this.

Books, computers


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

It is average. I am not living a life of luxury and I do have to keep an eye on what I spend. However, when I compare to what I would earn and living costs back in my home country I will say that I am still better off here in Thailand. The main reason is that not all my salary has to go on paying bills and food shopping. So, although I don't really save any money, I can enjoy travelling and relaxing at home without working all hours and stressing over money.

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

As a female, one of the best bargains is the luxury to go to the hairdressers. Compared to a Western country the cost is extremely cheap and the service great. So to get a hair cut, nails done, the typical extra treats that girls like, are very affordable here in Thailand.

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

How long is a piece of string? It really depends on each individual's lifestyle and expectations. As I have a family, I am not spending money on an exciting social nightlife. However, I am not able to live in a studio apartment either, so I have to spend a little more on rent than most of my single co-workers do in the area I live. For myself, I would like to have a steady income of around 70,000 baht per month so I can have some savings each month to put towards my kids future education.

Phil's analysis and comment

Thank you Sue. I take my hat off to you because you do incredibly well to take care of kids, have plenty of short vacations, live in a nice apartment and enjoy the odd glass of wine, etc - all on about 45-50,000 a month. You must be quite a wizard with the household budgeting. 

The main thing Sue is that you feel you have a far better standard of living here than you would back 'home'. I guess that's the main thing, right?

Good shout out for the beauty salons as well. My wife amazes me when she tells me how little she pays for manicures, pedicures, etc. All that girly stuff is certainly a bargain in Thailand! 

Come on! send us your cost of living surveys. We would love to hear from you! This is one of the popular parts of the Ajarn website and these surveys help and inspire a lot of other teachers. Just click the link at the top of the page where it says 'Submit your own Cost of Living survey' or click here.    

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