Tim

Working in Bangkok

Monthly Earnings 67,000

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

50,000 from a full-time job at a private school and 17,000 from private gigs (approx 500 baht per hour)

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

I can save approximately 37,000 baht each month. Once the cost of trips home and 3/4 trips throughout the country are taken into account, it amounts to approx 25,000 per month.

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

I pay 9,000 baht for a studio apartment which has fantastic facilities right on the MRT line. I can find the living space cramped at times but I prefer to spend my free time around the facilities on offer (gym, pool, study areas, lounge etc)

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

Transportation

Approx 2,000 a month including monthly MRT commutes to work and various buses on the weekends and minivan trips

Utility bills

Utility bills are really low - approx 90 baht for water and 800 baht for electric for the month. I will forego the air-con during the day but cannot sleep without it on during the night

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

I have just started cooking at home so I am hoping this expense drops. However, I spend approx 13-15k on food a month. I generally eat out but have no real craving for Western food (the odd time a craving for a beefburger arises but that is about it)

Nightlife and drinking

Almost nothing. If I go out drinking it would be for a beer or two and no more. I would say I go out drinking maybe once a month and it amounts to maybe 250 baht a month

Books, computers

None

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

Comfortable without being excellent. Even if I was earning a gigantic salary, I would live the same way each month anyway. The only difference would be in the frequency of trips home or the type of places I can stay when I do splash out on holidays

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

Taxis are the ones I see most frequently mentioned here and I would have to say that I would agree. I also think that accommodation is a real bargain here, despite living in a "box" that same "box" would cost 40K baht upwards at a minimum where I am from

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

50K to survive and 80K to be comfortable (both after tax)

Phil's analysis and comment

Thank you Tim. So when the figures are totted up, you manage to live in Bangkok on just over 40K a month while still managing to save 25K, which is decent. As you say it's a lifestyle that's 'comfortable without being excellent'. I think 40K is definitely at the very bottom end now for Bangkok. 


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