International School Community Blog

Money Diary: How Much Do You Spend in a Week Living in Bangkok, Thailand?

Occupation: PYP Coordinator

Industry: International Education

Age: 50

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Salary: $64,000 USD (includes rental allowance and responsibility stipend)

Paycheck Amount (Monthly): $3800 USD (I put 15% of my base pre-tax into a retirement fund)


I catch the free minibus from the MRT stop near where I live and head to school. Lunch is free and delicious. After school I go to tutor, earning an extra $38 which goes in my jar for weekend trips.  I take a motorbike home for $1.50, buy some street food on the way home for $1:00 and go for a splash in the pool.


I am running late so I catch a motorbike at $1:50, I take the bus home. For dinner I have Tom Kha Goong from our local cafe for $6.39. It is delicious. I go to 7-11 to pay my internet bill, $32.20 a month for unlimited phone data and unlimited streaming at home. I could cut that cost but I like this service. They are also very responsive and have English speaking operators.


I catch the bus to work, and tutor after work, another $38 to the extra trips fund.$1.50 again for the bike home.  Wednesday is a long day, I get home at 6, so I have a glass of wine. I am careful with wine here, the best deals I can get on drinkeable wine is $22.48 a bottle,  Dinner is from the local night market and costs $1.20


Bus to work again, after work I have coaching practice down town, so that is $5:30 for the bike to get there in time. I come back on public transport at about $1. The metro stops right at the end of my road so it is really convenient. Sometimes I eat downtown with friends on a Thursday, an Italian with a glass of wine is about $25.00 USD. I am going out tomorrow though so I don’t stay this week. Tonight I decide to fast until lunctime tomorrow, I do intermittent fasting about once a week, it is healthy 🙂


Bus to work so no cost there. At lunchtime I order 3 books from Book Depository, books are expensive in Thailand so this is the cheapest way of buying them – $20. I go for a massage after work with a friend who drives. My local place gives a 20 percent discount if you buy a card for 10,000 baht, thats $314 Sounds a lot? That makes my 90 minute Thai massage only $12 so it lasts for ages. It’s an up front investment, I save $60 by paying up front. We have a light dinner in a local restaurant appx $6. Then I head off to wine tasting, this is one of the best deals in the city.  Every week a different region is featured, there are 6 to 7 wines on the list. Three hours of wine tasting with tapas for $31.40 is a bargain. Trouble is we tend to go out afterwards so I end up spending another $15-30. I tend to limit these nights to once a month.


I am often out of town on a workshop or travelling for fun, so if I am home, I don’t do much on Saturdays unless I have visitors. I swim, clean house (I could get a cleaner for $16 a week but currently I choose not to as my place is really easy to keep). I take a few pieces of ironing to the local laundry, that will cost about $5.  Lunch is salad made at home and some hot smoked salmon. A friend gets me this for $32 a kilo, It stays frozen in pieces until I want it. A coconut is $1.50. If there is an exhibition or other cultural event I might go there which ranges from free to about $30. I book a trip to Phuket, where I go about once a month, total cost of flight, beach accommodation, sailing and food is about $380. But I love it, that is why I tutor.


Catch up work day, and grocery shopping. Because lunch is provided, and I travel 2 weekends out of four, I don’t need a lot. My big monthly shop is about 100 USD, my weekly catch ups $ 20 – 40 depending on the week.  I have lunch at the local mall for $1.50, it is delicious freshly made Thai soup with steamed rice and an omlette. Totally delicious.

Monthly Expenses

$940/month rent (my allowance after tax is $630 and I could theoretically find a smaller less convenient place for that, but I love where I live so I bump it up)

$600/month put away for holiday travel

$380/month travel

$200/month groceries

$200/month nice restaurants and socialising

$50/month local streetfood and markets

$560/month retirement fund (comes out of salary pre-tax)

$32/month Internet

$27/month electricity

$6/month building water

$14/month drinking water

$40/month public transport

$10/month ironing

Savings potential on my (mid range for Bangkok) salary, and lifestyle is about $1300 a month, I also have my pension fund which my employer contributes an extra 5% to (appx $185 a month), so that is an additional $745 a month in a growth fund.

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