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 10th July 2020

฿31 to one US Dollar
฿39 to one Pound Sterling
฿35 to one Euro
฿22 to one Australian Dollar
฿0.63 THB to one Philippine Peso

Richard

Working in Bangkok

Monthly Earnings 150,000

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

After tax? Around 150,000 which really is great for Bangkok, but well down on the comparative scale. I’m the principal of a small but well run international school in Bangkok.

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

I try to put at least 50-70,000 away and manage it most of the time

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

I have a nice condo in Bangkok and a house in Pattaya which together costs me around 30,000 a month

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

Transportation

5,000

Utility bills

5,000

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

10-20,000

Nightlife and drinking

20-30,000

Books, computers

Very little

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

Comfortable. I’ve been lucky to have spend most of the last decade in Thailand or the Middle East which has meant a nice, comfortable lifestyle; far better than I could afford in the UK although being single with no kids probably helps!

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

The whole lifestyle is a bargain. From Emporium to Tescos or from The Oriental to Nana, everything is fresh, cheap and available. Tailored clothing, live-in maids, affordable cigarettes, I love it all.

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

For a farang? At least 20,000 baht

Phil's analysis and comment

Richard has earning and saving potential that 99% of teachers in Thailand can only dream about. Thailand's your oyster on 150,000 baht a month and there should be plenty left over for a rainy day as well. What more can you say?


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.


Showing 5 Cost of Living surveys out of 330 total

Page 64 of 66


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