Working in Sakon Nakhon
Monthly Earnings 115,000-125,000 (+15,000 to 30,000 from other businesses) = around 130,000 to 150,000
Q1. How is that income broken down? (full-time salary, private students, on-line teaching, extra work, etc)
All of my work and teaching comes from online. I have about 25 private students and I work for two online companies. I still work about 35-45 hours a week online and sometimes work on weekends doing private students.
My wife and I own two businesses and income from those ranges from 15-30K.
Q2. How much money can you save each month?
It really depends because I have a baby daughter and sometimes it ranges from 50,000 to 100,000. This is because my wife and I opened two coffee shops and a coin laundry shop recently which can bring in revenues of 15,000 to 30,000 in good months. It is often hard to predict in these businesses.
Q3. How much do you pay for your accommodation and what do you live in exactly (house, apartment, condo)?
My wife and I built and paid for our own house so nothing for this.
Q4. What do you spend a month on the following things?
7,000 baht per month. We have a lease on a car.
It ranges from 750-1,200 depending on how hot it is and how much air conditioning we use
Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping
This can range from 5,000 to 10,000 per month. Every once in a while I might splurge on foreign food or restaurants.
Nightlife and drinking
To be honest none. Never really liked drinking and taking care of a baby daughter and working has made our lives a bit too busy for this.
I have two laptops that I bought a year ago. Both were about 5,000 baht each. I only read e-books and I spend maybe 500 baht per month on this.
Q5. How would you summarize your standard of living in one sentence?
I wouldn't say it's a life of luxury but it is very comfortable. Owning our house and working full time from home and managing two businesses with my wife has been a great experience here in Thailand. I never expected this when I moved here 18 months ago.
Q6. What do you consider to be a real 'bargain' here?
Being Japanese and having worked in Tokyo, I feel almost everything is cheaper. If I used the air-conditioner and electricity as much as I did in Tokyo for example it would cost me over 3.000 baht per month.
I will admit the fact that I don't have many expenses help, but it works because in Tokyo if I was renting the same size home, it would certainly cost me at least 80,000-120,000 baht. On top of that, we would need to pay for parking every month.
Q7. In your opinion, how much money does anyone need to earn here in order to survive?
It truly depends on your lifestyle. Here in Sakon Nakhon, if you are single, I am sure you can get by with less than 35,000. On top of that, I don't go out to drink or party. But if you are into partying and want to eat out often, I would say 50,000 might be good to make even for a place that is the countryside such as Sakon Nakhon because nothing is close unless you live in the city or town.
In my case, I would like to send my daughter to an international school and provide the best education I can, so saving and managing her money for the future becomes critical. One note, I do pay 9,000 baht for family insurance that includes my wife, my daughter and myself.
If saving isn't a priority, even for a couple, I'm sure you could survive on less. But for me, I have a goal to save as much as possible and invest in a portfolio to grow my family's wealth through the diversification of that portfolio. My hope is to have 10-15 million saved when my daughter becomes 8, so we have 7 years left.
I hope I can make it. Thank you for reading.
Phil's analysis and comment
It sounds like you and your wife both work very hard. I don't know the ins and outs of online work but organising 25 individual students can't be easy, Fair play to you if online teaching is bringing in well other 100K a month though. I'm not sure if I had to teach 35-45 hours a week, I could be bothered with running coffee shops and laundries. Where do you find the time? I remember teaching 38 contact hours a week and hardly having the time to eat and sleep.