Yash

Working in Sukhothai

Monthly Earnings 29,000

Q1. How much do you earn from teaching per month?

I work at a private school in Sukhothai and my salary is 27,000 baht per month. I make an extra 2,000 a month from private students.

Q2. How much of that can you realistically save per month?

Around 8,000 baht.

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

I live in a studio apartment (with double bed, fridge, TV, closet, wifi and a table and chair) With utilities my monthly rental is in the range of 2,900 to 3,200 baht per month.

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

a) Transportation

I have rented a motorbike which I share with another teacher so it costs me 750 baht a month and around 250 on gas and repairs if any. So a 1,000 baht on transportation. Although one can take tuk-tuks and songthaews, its more convenient to have a bike.

b) Utility bills

Utilities are included in the rent.

c) Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

Food is quite cheap if you stay local but I have been here for two years and now I can't do Thai food for every meal. So I fancy a pizza or a burger or cook Indian food every now and then so I end up spending around 7,000 baht per month.

d) Nightlife and drinking

Sukhothai has some really cool bars with cocktails & shots as cheap as 80 baht!! then there's a beer bar with international beers ranging from 160 to 500 baht. I'd say I spend about 500 baht on nightlife

e) Books, computers

Not much. Maybe about 300 baht.

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

I started working on 23,000 baht per month and now am making 27,000 baht. I'd say I live pretty comfortably, no real hardships unless I spend extensively on travelling and leisure. Sukhothai is a countryside town but I guess I spend a lot on food and when I travel to Chiang Mai. To be fair anything in the range of 28 to 30,000 baht is a decent amount of money to live comfortably in Sukhothai. Of course if you are not a nightlife person and can live on Thai food everyday, even better for you.

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

Everything except Western food. You can get good Thai food for 50 baht or less per meal.

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

At least 20,000 baht per month to literally survive and 25,000 baht for a decent living. Anything under that and you will probably be counting your change during the last week of every month.

Phil's analysis and comment

I've just come back from a few days in Nan Province, right up in the north of Thailand and I was pleasantly surprised by how cheap things were. I can certainly see how one could live relatively well on the sort of money Yash is earning if you live in very quiet Thai towns and cities. How much are you putting away for a rainy day though? That would be my main concern. But 8,000 a month is certainly a start.

When we talk about living cheaply outside Bangkok, I think you have to keep in mind that there are the quiet Thai towns and then there are the likes of Pattaya, Chiang Mai and Phuket etc. They are very different in terms of how much money you will need to survive.

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