Working in Bangkok

Monthly Earnings 129,000 baht (including a modest housing allowance)

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

I receive a full-time salary at a small international school of 115,000 baht, with a housing allowance of 14,000. Free education for my son breaks down at about 20,000 baht a month too, I also get free insurance and my son gets a yearly insurance allowance of 19,000. Free lunches for me aren't to be sniffed at either, Overall a generous package,

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

30,000 on average, 50,000 in good months.

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

I rent a very nice house for 25,000. It is secure and safe for my family, gives us lots of space and has a lovely smallish garden which gives a very productive hobby. We considered a condo but a house wins every time for us. We also invested 20,000 in a good alarm system and it is monitored at 499 baht a month, which brings peace of mind.

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


Brand new car repayments cost me 10,250 baht a month. Can you believe that? I was paying a similar price for a 7-year old model at home. Insurance, tax and gas are also a fraction of the cost compared to home.

Utility bills

I can't help comparing bills to my friends and family in Europe and America, and they are so minimal. 3,000 a month roughly for electric, 200 baht water and 800 for wifi.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

I allow myself two farang deliveries a week, so about 5,000 a month. One fancy Asian food delivery a week comes to about 2,000. Grocery shopping and markets about 10,000? Very flexible I guess.

Nightlife and drinking

1,000 a month on beer? Better add in 3,000 for "date nights",

Books, computers

I do try and build a library for my son because reading with him is so much fun. Maybe around 1,000 a month,

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

A lot better than if I lived in a western country,

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

Absolutely everything. Big shout out to transport, car repayments, insurance, tax, taxis, trains. They are all a bargain compared to home. Also all things to do with property. Seriously everything (if you are willing to respect Thai culture and live like a local).

Also, just pay the "farang prices". I used to hate them too until I holidayed at home and realized they ripped off everyone, locals and tourists,

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

I wouldn't get out of bed for less than 70,000.

I respect your question on survival because I did the 30,000 TEFL gig. It was fine in my early 20s. I am no longer interested in surviving, but glad I had those experiences.

Phil's analysis and comment

Thanks Trevor. It sounds like you have a nice lifestyle and certainly don't want for much. Is a 'date night' a night when you go out with your partner to somewhere like a restaurant or a movie theatre?

Please send us your cost of living surveys. We would love to hear from you! This is one of the most 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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