Working in Phuket

Monthly Earnings 36,000

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

I work in a Thai private school in Phuket and I am a full-time employee. My salary is 36,000 baht a month.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

If I am lucky I can save 2,000 - 3,000 baht.

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

Condo rent is 6,000 baht. Keep in mind that I rented this condo before the Phuket Sandbox began (My same condo is around 8,000 baht now). It is very small, around 28 sq metres, The amenities are nice, it has a swimming pool and a gym. I use the gym at my condo so I do not have to pay an extra 1,000 baht for a gym membership.

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


I own a scooter and I pay 2,000 baht a month for it. I rented it from a friend of a friend. If you just go to any rental shop you will be charged a premium 3,000 - 3,500 baht a month for a basic scooter. DO NOT TAKE A GRAB! it costs 100 baht to go 1 km down the street (not joking).

Utility bills

Electric I pay 1,500 but that is with me having the AC on all night. My water bill is usually around 300 baht, and I pay 600 baht for home wifi and unlimited data for my phone.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

This is where you will spend all of your money. If you live in Phuket town or anywhere where it has less tourists Thai food will be around 50 to 100 baht. Western food will be 200 to 300 baht a meal.

If you live by the beach expect to be paying 120 - 200 baht for Thai food. If you want to eat Western food you will spend 300 to 400 baht a meal.

Supermarket shopping isn't too expensive. You can get chicken breasts for about 40 baht a kilogram in Makro. Fruit and vegetables are more expensive in Phuket than other provinces.

Nightlife and drinking

I cant afford to drink at all. One beer near a touristy area will set you back 150 to 200 baht. Expect cocktails to be around 200 to 300 baht at happy hour.

Books, computers

I brought my own computer and my school provides me with books so I spend no money there at all.

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

Would never want to live like this again. It's a never ending struggle at the end of every month.

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

The beaches are free. There is beautiful nature all around with a very peaceful vibe.

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

To survive and not have to transfer money from your savings, probably 45,000. To live comfortably you need around 60,000.
I really do not suggest to work in Phuket for a salary less than 45,000. Yes you get the beaches but the way you have to live and the constant struggle for money is not a good way to live. I will be leaving Phuket once my contract is up. I cannot live like this.

Phil's analysis and comment

I'm always curious about the lives of teachers who work in towns or cities that are predominantly tourist areas like Pattaya, Hua Hin or Phuket. There must surely be a great temptation to 'do as the tourists do' and go to their restaurants and bars, etc. It must be hard seeing tourists enjoying themselves and feeling almost like you've not been invited to the party. However, I'm sure there are many teachers who manage to block out all that noise if only for financial reasons. I get the impression from Tyler's survey that he wants to live a part-time tourist lifestyle while being a 36,000 baht a month teacher at the same time...and that must be tough.  

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