Working in Pathum Thani, near Bangkok

Monthly Earnings 30,000 - 50,000

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

I'm a retired UK school teacher in my late 50s and I've earned the reputation as a 'Mr Reliable'. I'm on the books of several language schools, I do a bit of part-time work at a nearby college and I have several online students. Frankly speaking I don't need the money but I take on enough work to keep me fairly busy and to keep the old grey matter ticking over.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

I don't really consider it. As long as I can earn between 30-50K because that's about how much it costs me to live here, it means I never have to dip into my nest egg.

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

I bought a one-bedroom condo several years ago so don't have any rent to pay. I knew from a friend that there was plenty of teaching work in this area (which there is) so I always make sure I don't have to go very far for a job.

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


I use the BTS and subway systems quite often so it probably amounts to around 2,000 a month.

Utility bills

About 4,000 a month. I have the air-con on all the time when I'm at home.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

I do like my western food but I try to mix it 50/50 with Thai. I never cook at home and always eat out. This is probably about 10,000 a month. I could get that figure considerably lower if I just ate at my regular Thai place where it's 50 baht a dish but I find I can't do that for more than two days running and get the craving for a burger and fries. I do think western food is quite pricey in Thailand though.

Nightlife and drinking

Almost zero. I have the odd beer at home but rarely go out in the evening. It's never really been my thing. I get asked to go out on social evenings quite often but I make it clear to people that I generally prefer my own company. Eventually they get the message and stop asking.

Books, computers

I love my technology. I've always got to have the latest laptop and mobile phone. I bet most of my money goes in this area but difficult to put a figure on it. Let's just say I can afford it.

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

Wonderful. I'm lucky to have a decent retirement fund so the money I earn from teaching here is just icing on a very lovely cake. I don't live a lavish lifestyle though nor am I interested in one. I've always been a 'saver' rather than a 'spender'.

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

I don't think there are that many real bargains anymore but the cost of staying in hotels outside of Bangkok can be very reasonable for what you get.

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

In my opinion, Bangkok has become as expensive as most other capital cities in the world. The days of living here are cheaply are gone (and I've been coming here on and off for almost three decades) I don't know how anyone could survive on less than 50K and if you wanted the full package (pension plan, travel, etc) you would need closer to 80-100K as an absolute minimum.

Phil's analysis and comment

I love this survey, Wilf. There's just so much common sense and reality in those words of yours! Firstly, you're in an ideal situation aren't you? You've made your money elsewhere and teaching is a nice way to cover your Bangkok living expenses without dipping into savings. As you say, it also keeps the mind active of course and I always think that's important as you get older. Well done sir!

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