Cost of Living

At the present time of writing, 1 Thai baht is equal to .031 US dollars. This means 30 baht is about $1, and 100 baht is about $3. Currency values fluctuate daily, but the baht has been a fairly stable currency for the last decade, and a good rule of thumb for calculating prices is to divide the cost in baht by 30 to find the approximate cost in dollars.

Generally speaking, ALL necessities of life are cheaper in Thailand. Only imported items and heavily taxed luxuries (such as alcohol) approach western costs. Thus, with a beginning salary of 25,000 baht, you can use the rough guide below to see what you will spend. Since many schools offer housing, meals, and transportation, you may be able to save far more than this, or you can feel free to spend the excess on the many entertainment options available in Thailand.

Below is a basic breakdown of average monthly living expenses for a foreign teacher.

Depending on your location and contract, this can vary widely. Prices given here are for Bangkok; the provinces tend to be much cheaper places to live, so you can reduce most of the prices here by 20-50% if you live at a distance from the capital.

• Rent: 4,000 baht (living room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen with cable and wi-fi included)

• Utilities: 200 baht (water and electricity)

• Phone: 300 baht (for a basic, no frills cell phone that is mainly used as an alarm and calculator. It is easiest to buy the phone and SIM card when you first arrive, then just buy minutes every few weeks. You can also have your own phone adapted to use a Thai sim card, and we will provide assistance with this)

• Motorbike rental: 2.000-3000 baht (Renting a motorbike is not necessary, but will provide you with a greater degree of freedom than using public transportation. Nonetheless, public transportation is cheap and easy to find in Thailand, and the price of renting a bike can also be assumed to be the cost of regular travel by bus, train, or meter taxi. If you prefer to walk, you can spend much less)

• Gas: 300 – 500 baht (it costs about $3.50 to completely fill the tank of a Honda Wave motorbike. This is assuming you wish to rent a motorbike: it is quite easy to live without one, and the money you save in gas every month will provide you with a large number of bus or motor taxi rides.)

• Laundry: 300 baht (Most laundry is washed, ironed, and folded by professional laundry services, which are common everywhere in Thailand It normally costs 30B/kg to wash, dry, fold and iron your clothing)

• Food: about 4,000 baht (This assumes that you are eating a combination of local Thai food from the plentiful and clean street stall, which costs about $1-$1.50 a meal, and the occasional, more expensive, fare to be found at nicer restaurants, which often serve Western food. You can spend more or less here, depending on your dietary preference!)

• Snacks: about 500 baht (Again, this can vary widely based on personal preference.)

• Drinks: about 1,500 baht(this assumes you will be spending about 50 baht a day on drinks. If you consume large amounts of coffee or alcohol, you will pay more. If you stick to bottled water, which is less than 10 baht a bottle, you will pay much less.)

• Toiletries: 200 baht (toilet paper, shampoo, etc.)

• Miscellaneous: let’s say 3,500 baht to be on the safe side (Obviously this varies, but I think this would be generous estimate. Medicine is fairly cheap and accessible– and even going to the dentist for a cleaning is only around $60. Shopping for clothing and other essentials is equally cheap: you can find a nice work shirt for about 300 baht, or 10 dollars.)

TOTAL: 18,000 baht or $600

Licensed By Strategic Wisdom and Research Institute, Srinakharinwirot University & EA