Teach English in Thailand: Financial Snapshot
ESL teachers travelling to Thailand can expect to earn between 25,000 – 40,000 Baht per month and enjoy a low cost of living. Meeting monthly living expenses, occasional dining out and in-country vacationing are all possible with a responsible approach to budgeting.
As in most countries around the world, the cost of living varies significantly between large and small city centres. For example, expected costs for a bachelor apartment in Bangkok could run between 8,000 - 15,000 Baht monthly and be lower in smaller city centres. Utilities run between 2,000 - 5,000 Baht depending upon how often the air conditioner is used.
ESL teachers should know that ATMs are the best way to exchange or withdraw money while in Thailand. They are readily accessible. Taking traveller’s cheques is not advised as they would not necessarily be accepted at local restaurants and shops.
To open a bank account in Thailand, one must have a working visa. A 100 Baht deposit is typically required and an ATM card costs approximately 150 Baht. Overseas bank accounts can be accessed from inside Thailand provided that the Debit or Credit Card has a Cirrus or Plus logo on its back.
In the event that an exchange of currency is needed, it will be important to remember that bills must be virtually perfect (not crumpled or torn).
The following table provides ESL teachers with examples of the cost of food in Thailand.
- Restaurant meal – 40 - 100 Baht in a relatively nice restaurant
- Apartment meal – 20 - 40 Baht per portion (Often available at or near apartments)
- Soft Drink - 10 - 15 Baht for a can; up to 50 Baht a glass or more in an expensive bar or restaurant.
- Big Mac – 82 Baht
- Pizza Hut – approximately 4300 Baht for large pizza
Other Miscellaneous Items
- Hair cut – 60 Baht (up to 500 Baht at an expat salon)
- Cinema – 150 - 400 Baht
- CDs – approximately 100 Baht
- Beer – approximately 50-60 Baht
- Toothpaste – approximately 50 Baht
- Deodorant – 50 - 150 Baht (however, imported toiletries can be quite expensive)