Every new arrival wants to know if they can survive or live well in Thailand on X thousand baht a month?

It's a difficult question because each person has different needs. However, the following surveys and figures are from teachers actually working here! How much do they earn and what do they spend their money on?. And after each case study, I've added comments of my own.

Submit your own Cost of Living survey

Approximate Thai Baht (฿) conversion rates as of 18th June 2019

฿31 to one US Dollar
฿39 to one Pound Sterling
฿35 to one Euro
฿22 to one Australian Dollar
฿0.60 THB to one Philippine Peso

Zach

Working in Hat Yai

Monthly Earnings 33,000

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

33,000

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

10-12,000

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

5,000 baht for an apartment

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

Transportation

1,500

Utility bills

1,000

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

4,000

Nightlife and drinking

1,500

Books, computers

500

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

I live very comfortably. I don't feel like I'm missing anything.

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

Rent and food

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

I've talked to falangs who survive on 12,000 a month, I would hate that. But they survive.

Phil's analysis and comment

Zach saves a commendable 10-13,000 baht a month from his salary (150,000 baht a year is no small money), so that must please him. I'm not entirely sure what 5,000 baht a month would get you apartment-wise down in Hat Yai though. It is Thailand's third biggest city and it is a major economic center. I'd be interested in how much space Zach has for that amount of rental money. 33,000 is not bad at all though for The Hat.


Kirby

Working in Chiang Mai

Monthly Earnings 25,000

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

25,000 baht ( a government high school 30 minutes away from Chiang Mai) I have been married to a Thai with an 8 year old daughter for three years. My income from teaching supports my wife and daughter and goes directly into an account in her name.

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

Absolutely nothing! For two years we have been paying off a car, motorcycle, and other higher purchase items. During this month we are finalizing that debt.

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

5000 baht per month for a three bedroom house about 15 minutes away from Chiang Mai.

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

Transportation

Motorcycle 1200 baht per month if I take it to school during summer time. LPG 3000 baht especially when it is raining and my wife takes me to school. LPG is a life saver, for petrol if used all the time we would probably spend around 8 -9000 baht a month

Utility bills

2-3,000

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

5-6,000

Nightlife and drinking

No nightlife (I am married) Very little drinking (two times a year at Pattaya on a school trip with other teachers)

Books, computers

1,000

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

I've had to bring in 1000 dollars extra per month to counteract the debt payments, but by doing this, life is quite comfortable

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

DVD copy movies, I have millions of them. Most are pretty good but you get the odd few crap copies

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

25000 baht for a single person is quite comfortable outside of Bangkok.

Phil's analysis and comment

Bloody hell Kerb! Your wages go straight into your wife's bank account (I thought that practice died out when the second world war ended) You don't get let out for a night out with the lads and a couple of light ales. You're bringing in the dollar equivalent of 30,000 baht a month from your savings. And twice a year you have to go to Pattaya! I'm wringing my handkerchief out here boss.


Jack

Working in Bangkok

Monthly Earnings 50-55,000

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

Good month 60k, basic month 42k, average 50-55k

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

10k - although I don't often manage more than 5!

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

Townhouse, 2 bed 2 bath 1 air, 6100bt.

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

Transportation

4,000

Utility bills

4,500

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

7,000

Nightlife and drinking

7,000

Books, computers

2,000

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

Very comfortable, live really nicely but don't go out as much as before.

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

Food, booze, cigs. Got a good deal on a laptop. T-shirts

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

I think 40k would be OK - provided one was pretty sensible. But I also think that it's possible to "survive" on a lot less and indeed know people that do!

Phil's analysis and comment

What can I say? Jack's a spender - no doubt about that. Food, booze and nightlife run him 14,000 a month and a further 10,000 for rent and utilities. Keep out of those go-go bars Jack!
What's pleasing me about this survey is that many teachers seem to have found good houses in good locations. And there's me thinking that most teachers lived in 3-4,000 baht shoeboxes.


Allan

Working in Phitsanaloke

Monthly Earnings 30,000

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

25,000 a month plus about 5000 a month in extra teaching. Minus 1000 baht tax and 750 baht health care. I get a pay-rise to 27,500 next year and can earn more overtime if I wanted.

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

10,000 baht could be saved but I put aside 6000 baht a month into a separate account.

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

4,500 for a one bedroom unit. Includes satellite television, cable internet, and cleaning once a week. Room is provided by school

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

Transportation

200-400

Utility bills

Nothing

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

4,000 - 6,000

Nightlife and drinking

2,000 - 4,000

Books, computers

800

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

Comfortable and relaxed. Where I live means I can travel to Bangkok or Chiang Mai for three days get away. These trips cost me 10,000 baht and I do them once every two months.

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

Food

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

15,000 a month would mean you would not be struggling to eat and could have a night out at a restaurant. 10,000 would be bare survival.

Phil's analysis and comment

Allan manages his budget well and lives the kind of life he wants to lead....all on about 30,000 baht a month. He doesn't squander large amounts of money on beer, food and entertainment but he seems happy with his lot. He uses the words 'comfortable and relaxed' to describe his lifestyle. Who is going to argue with that? Nice to see that he's managing to stick 6,000 baht a month in the tommy tank as well. Probably to fund those trips to Bangkok every couple of months.


Graeme

Working in Samut Prakarn

Monthly Earnings 52,000

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

52,000

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

10-15,000

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

My rent is 7250 a month. I share a two bedroom apartment with a friend. It has a kitchen, two bathrooms, lounge, dining room, two bedrooms and a study + entrance hall.

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

Transportation

2,000

Utility bills

4,000

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

8,000

Nightlife and drinking

5,000 - 8,000

Books, computers

2,000

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

I live very comfortably, but do worry about lack of financial security in the future.

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

Food and clothes

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

For foreigners who are used to western standards of living I would estimate about 40,000 in Bangkok and 30,000 in rural areas

Phil's analysis and comment

I like the look of Graeme's numbers - I really do. It sounds like he lives in a really nice place, he spends quite a bit on the pleasures in life and he still sticks 10-15,000 in the bank every month. Like many teachers, Graeme worries about financial security in the future but if he's living for the now, then he's sure enjoying himself. I disagree with his inferring that 40,000 baht salaries will see you living in a shoebox. Again, it depends on your priorities.


Showing 5 Cost of Living surveys out of 289 total

Page 56 of 58


Featured Jobs

Early Years Foundation Stage 1 Teacher

฿70,000+ / month

Bangkok


Multiple International School Teaching Positions

฿90,000+ / month

Bangkok


English Teachers

฿60,000+ / month

Rayong


Grade 3 English Teacher

฿33,000+ / month

Bangkok


Kindergarten / Elementary Homeroom Teachers

฿60,000+ / month

Bangkok


Secondary Teachers for August 2019

฿60,000+ / month

Bangkok


Featured Teachers

  • Merisa


    South African, 20 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Asheesh


    Indian, 45 years old. Currently living in India

  • Ramon


    South African, 45 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Jesebeth


    Filipino, 25 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Mavand


    Filipino, 23 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Elgin


    Filipino, 36 years old. Currently living in Thailand

The Hot Spot


Need Thailand insurance?

Need Thailand insurance?

Have a question about health or travel insurance in Thailand? Walter van der Wal from Pacific Prime is Ajarn's resident expert.


The dreaded demo

The dreaded demo

Many schools ask for demo lessons before they hire. What should you the teacher be aware of?


Teacher mistakes

Teacher mistakes

What are the most common mistakes that teachers make when they are about to embark on a teaching career in Thailand? We've got them all covered.


Will I find work in Thailand?

Will I find work in Thailand?

It's one of the most common questions we get e-mailed to us. So find out exactly where you stand.


Renting an apartment?

Renting an apartment?

Before you go pounding the streets, check out our guide and know what to look out for.


Can you hear me OK?

Can you hear me OK?

In today's modern world, the on-line interview is becoming more and more popular. How do you prepare for it?


Contributions welcome

Contributions welcome

If you like visiting ajarn.com and reading the content, why not get involved yourself and keep us up to date?