Working in Hanoi

Monthly Earnings 150,000

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

150,000 baht equivalent is my full-time salary. I also occasionally earn free booze by playing guitar in bars.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

I aim for half and always slightly underachieve it. Let's say 70K.

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

My rent is 17,000 baht a month for a two-bedroom apartment.

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


I have two motorbikes. Petrol costs 2,000 per month. I usually take taxis when trapising around some evenings, which come to about 2,000 per month. I cycle and walk a lot too.

Utility bills

About 3,000 a month for electricity, air-con and water.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

Regular weekly shopping comes to about 4,000 baht a month with some convenience store pop-ins adding an extra thousand. Restaurants and/or delivery a couple nights a week add another 6,000. So that's about 11K a month I think.

Nightlife and drinking

I go out 2-3 nights a week (very light on weekdays but not on weekends) Those nights out cost about 30,000 baht monthly.

Books, computers

I have my kindle and only use free books. There are lots of free books ! I have a 3-year old personal laptop that has survived me well and a school laptop - so no cost there. Average Western book is about 500 baht and I buy 2 or 3 a month.

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

It is an excellent standard of living when you work hard although you could survive here on a lot less.

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

Food and drink are inexpensive if you stick to local products (local beer and street food). Taxis are cheap. Normal motorbikes ( not vanity purchases) are also very good value by Western standards.

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

I know some people who earn maybe 40,000 baht per month. If you are young it's fine I suppose.

Phil's analysis and comment

I'm not very familiar at all with the teaching scene in Vietnam but not sure we've had anyone in our cost of living surveys earning as much as 150,000 baht a month. Rent only costing 11-12% of your salary is always going to be a bonus. It sounds like you've got a great lifestyle out there Tim but it would be interesting to know exactly how hard you work for it though.   

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