EFL Teaching: How much to budget for Thailand

If you’re planning to teach English in Thailand you probably have one burning question: ‘How much money do you need to live in Thailand?’.

The basic TEFL wage for new teachers in Thailand is usually around 30,000 Baht per month, with those experienced able to earn much more than this, but it’s hard to find a higher wage if you have less than a year or 2 of experience.

Now when it come to how much you’ll need to live on you are likely to here a variety of figures, from as little as 20,000 Baht per month, up to and beyond 50,000 Baht per month. The truth is, it all depends on the lifestyle you are looking for.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the possible bills and expenditures you’ll find in Thailand (bearing in mind that the exchange rate in the early part of 2013 was 44 Baht to £1 UK, and 28 Baht to $1 US).

Accommodation

streets in Thailand

 

Prices for basic, no frills studio apartments can be as little as 3000 Baht per month. More realistically, if you are looking for a comfortable studio in a nicer part of town, or a one-bedroom house or condo in a friendly suburb or rural location, you’re looking at around 5,000 to 10,000 Baht per month.

Once you start looking at 10,000 to 15,000 Baht per month you are allowing for a far more modern and comfortable house or apartment, and anything beyond that you are heading into the realms of luxury.

Utility Bills

Interns eating in Thailand

Utility bills are generally cheap in Thailand, you may have to pay a little towards water, and if you have to pay for your own WIFI you are looking at anything from 200 to 600 Baht per month for a fast connection.

The most significant utility bill you’ll need to pay will be for electricity. This can vary greatly depending on how you live. I know TEFL in Thailand teachers who spend very little time at home, just watching a little TV before bed, and using their laptop and charging their phone, while sleeping under the constant blow of their fan, adding up to an electric bill around 500 Baht per month, sometimes even less. On the other hand I know some expats who spend a lot of time at home, playing with the latest gadgets, spending hours on the internet, and most significantly, leaving the air conditioning on for hours on end, including overnight while they sleep. Living like this you can easily rack up an electric bill close to 3000 Baht per month.

Food and Drink

Thai food

 

Thai food is inexpensive in Thailand, whether you are constantly eating out or cooking at home most of the time, you don’t need to spend much at all to eat well. Street meals can cost anything from 30 to 60 Baht per meal, while a small banquet at a Thai restaurant will still set you back little more than a couple of 100 Baht. Many food markets and popular supermarkets such as Big C and Tesco Lotus also make food shopping very affordable.

The big expenses come with eating western food and drinking alcohol. If you like to buy imported goods you’re food shopping bill will soon rise, and if you crave lots of home cooked western meals and pub grub you can expect to pay at least double what you would for a local meal.

Alcohol will soon get your budget soaring with a bottle of beer costing around 70 to 100 Baht in a bar aimed at westerners, and if you are looking to enjoy the anything-goes nightlife of Thailand you can soon find yourself racking up bills of 2000 Baht and up on a good night out.

Clothes & Shopping

Thailand shopping in streets

Thailand has an amazing market culture, here you’ll find everything from the latest boutique fashion and knock off DVDs/CDs, to art, decor, and electronics. If you stick market shopping you can quite easily keep adding to your wardrobe without drastically affecting your monthly budget. However, if you crave the latest gadgets and brand name shopping Thailand has some uber modern mall experiences, but expect to pay as much as you would back home (if not more).

In summary

Buddhas in Thailand

It’s quite possible to live comfortable on 30,000 Baht per month. Don’t expect to create much in the way of saving, but do expect to have clean, modest accommodation, be able to eat well (sticking mainly to local food), and having a fairly active social life. However, if you are looking to live in a little more luxury,  indulge in Thailand’s wild nightlife, or spending your weekends and holidays travelling around the country, you  can easily see your monthly outgoings rising to 50,000 Baht per month and beyond.

Ready for your own Thai adventure? Check out our Paid Thailand Internship!

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Comments

  1. Hailey

    Teaching English in Thailand

  2. Jake

    If like to teach in thailand

    • Rebecca Potts

      Hello

      Thanks for getting in touch. That’s great news that you’re interested in teaching in Thailand, we’ve got a couple of trips which might interest you; our Paid Thailand TEFL Internship and our Thailand TEFL Experience. You can find all our TEFL trips here: https://www.i-to-i.com/teaching-internships/. If you would like some more information please give our office a ring and have a chat with one of our TEFL advisers.

      Thank you
      Your i-to-i team

  3. Siya

    Hi if you already have a teaching degree and you want to teach English abroad does that have an advantage in terms of the salary or is it still the same

  4. Prephulla Chandran J.

    Me, a graduate in English Language & Literature and my wife, a graduate in Botany from India are interested in working as teachers in Thailand. We are living with our son of 8yrs. and daughter of 6 yrs., and would like to keep our children also with us.

  5. David Lines

    Hello, I am a retired Commercial Pilot Flight Instructor (light aircraft) and am interested in teaching English in Thailand for 6 -12 months. I am 76 years of age and in good health. I have no university degree or formal qualifications in teaching language. I do however have an extensive background in writing business letters etc. and writing and teaching aviation material. For the past 20 years since leaving the aviation industry, I have worked with my wife who owns and runs a Licenced Finance Mortgage Brokering business here in Australia. We are considering selling our business and living for a short while in Thailand. We have a friend who is a retired lawyer living in Thailand and he recommends Thailand as a nice place to live. I would indeed be obliged if you could please advise me what steps I would need to take to register my interest in this teaching activity.

  6. Jonathan mbuzi

    I am Jonathan mbuzi a 24 year old zambian studying international business in China. I have been teaching children English here in China as a party time job. Am interested in relocating to Thailand and work as an English teacher . Your consideration of my email will be highly appreciated.

  7. Julia

    I’m an Indian. I’d like to know about the English teaching job opportunity for me in Thailand,if I have TEFL certificate.
    Thank you.

  8. Boniface Ayabie

    Good afternoon, I am very interested in the English training program. However, I wish to know who pays for the cost of the internship and whether the internship is compulsory for the completion of the course. Also, I want to know if only citizens of USA, UK and Canada can participate.
    thanks for your anticipated promoting response.
    I am Boniface Ayabie from Nigeria.

  9. Fikile

    I am Fikile from South Africa n 46 years I have been teaching for 16 years, I have a diploma plus advanced certificate…I would like to work in Thailand.

    • catherinegreenwood

      Hi Fikile, thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, you’d need a bachelor’s degree to teach English in Thailand – but there are plenty of countries where you can teach without a degree. Our advice would be to check the visa requirements of any countries you’re interested in, and then get back in touch to get TEFL qualified. All the best!

  10. Doroth Nyamoita Nyandieka

    Hello? I am a Kenyan and I am greatly interested to teach in your country. I am a fresh graduate with a Bachelor of Education (english and literature) . I could like to work in your country if given breakdown on how you pay and how i can apply for the same. Thank you

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