Working in Chonburi
Monthly Earnings 45,000
Q1. How much do you earn from teaching per month?
About 45,000 baht. I teach and live just outside Amphur Muang, Chonburi.
Q2. How much of that can you realistically save per month?
Not much. I have two daughters, a house loan, and a car payment that take my savings. Occasionally I'll manage to put 3000 baht in my savings account.
Q3. How much do you pay for your accommodation and what do you live in exactly (house, apartment, condo)?
We just finished building a three bedroom two bathroom house. It's paid for with the exception of a small loan that runs us 3000 baht a month.
Q4. What do you spend a month on the following things?
15,000 baht. Car payment and gasoline.
5000 baht. Two phones, electricity, and water.
Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping
Nightlife and drinking
Do you mean going to the zoo and buying ice cream? 1000 baht.
1000 baht (unless I go to Kinokuniya Bookshop in Bangkok then it might be a LOT)
Q5. How would you summarize your standard of living in one sentence?
We are middle class but we're not putting anything away for the future at this point.
Q6. What do you consider to be a real 'bargain' here?
Food and taxes. If I didn't buy western food our bill would be a lot lower.
Q7. In your opinion, how much money does anyone need to earn here in order to survive?
A single teacher could get by on 20 grand here. I suppose I could get by on 30 with a family, but it would be tough.
Phil's analysis and comment
My father always had a saying - "running a car will keep you poor" and while that's not always the case of course, a whopping third of Tim's salary goes into keeping his four wheels on the road. On the other hand, he'll soon be in the position of not having to pay rent of any description. It's always nice when your accommodation overheads don't include a rent bill every month, despite the fact that property here doesn't have a great re-sale value unless your front door opens on to the beach or you're five minutes walk from an international school.