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Bangkok as a family

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by nikki2482, Feb 12, 2020.

  1. nikki2482

    nikki2482 New commenter

    Is there anyone currently working in Bangkok as a family of four? I've just been offered a job and need to work out if the one salary is financially viable.

  2. worlo24

    worlo24 New commenter

    I worked in Bangkok for a few years and still have friends there. He is working at a school and supports his wife and two children and he is finding it a stretch to be honest.
  3. blitz18qb

    blitz18qb New commenter

    Can't help with the current sistuation i'm afriad, but we are also a familty of 4 (2 girls 5/3) moving to Bangkok in August. Myself and the wife both have job offers.
    Good luck!
  4. worlo24

    worlo24 New commenter

    I am happy to answer any questions via PM :)
  5. Bsmart19

    Bsmart19 New commenter

    At my school there are many ppl in this situation. I can help if you’d like to message me.
  6. fordseries123

    fordseries123 New commenter

    It all depends on the salary and package and most importantly the quality of life you and your family want.

    Let us know some more details and then we can give you a clearer/more honest answer.
  7. gilderbeast2000

    gilderbeast2000 New commenter

    You will need at least 150,000 gross to be able to have a comfortable, expat lifestyle and save some money. There are many issues that you should consider. Air pollution is very bad from December to March,(although today it is good). Bangkok Traffic is horrendous. The roads are the 2nd most dangerous in the world. Thai people seem friendly but do not like criticism or confrontation. It can be diificult for expates to adapt..oh and the government did nothing about the Coronavirus crisis other than tell everyone one to wear masks or 'f... off out of their country'!! That's a quote from the Minister of Health. Xenophobia is a huge issue and is evident everywhere, especially if you can understand Thai. Double pricing based on skin colour is everywhere. For example in National parks its 400 baht for a 'white' person but only 40 for a Thai person (if other Asian nationalities stay quiet they get the Thai price!) That's the negative stuff.... Sometimes Thai people can be very friendly and helpful but its becoming less common. Bangkok has many amazing places and things to do for families. Food is spectacular but getting expensive. If you dont have an open mind and are not flexible Bangkok may not be for you... Also, many International schools here have wealthy, priveileged students. Some of them are nice but many are spolied and not nice individuals. Its not really their fault as they have been brought up by an army of maids and nannies.. Its a great place but at times it is frustrating and diificult to live here...
  8. mightyb

    mightyb New commenter

    I am. You are welcome to send me a message :)
  9. percy topliss

    percy topliss Occasional commenter

    I am really not sure what this particular rant has to do with the original post but my personal opinion is that the writer should leave Thailand, now, or at least as soon as possible.
    I agree that double pricing is an annoyance, however, all ex pat teachers earn many, many, many times what a local does so it really doesn't hurt us to pay more than a local.
    The Labour party in the UK at the moment seems to be suffering from a lot of problems owing to their anti semitism, the Tories are reportedly more anti Islamic and Donald Trump is anti Mexican, whilst everyone hates the French,is Xenophobia only a Thai issue?
    The government in Thailand is full of clowns, but then so are most other governments, aren't they?

    Anyway, to the point. Dear OP, to live as the only breadwinner you will need to get a job at one of the top end schools which pay better than the majority , give great packages and, sometimes, offer a trailing spouse a chance of a job. That your kids get a free place is a given, however, the extras, such as uniform, trips and all of the other stuff that kids take for granted will cost you a lot. There are a lot more poor paying schools here than good payers. (for a list send me a message)
    A few other points:
    Pollution has only been bad for the last 2 years.
    I drive to and from work every day, it is no worse than when I worked in London.
    Most deaths in Thailand on the roads occur in rural areas or on holiday islands.
    If you learn Thai, even a little, then Thais are very friendly
    Most countries have done very little about the virus as most countries have no idea what to do about it
    Gilderbeast seems to be a bit of a di#k, I hope I do not know who (s)he is....or, god forbid, work with him/her....


    worlo24 likes this.
  10. kemevez

    kemevez Occasional commenter

    Nonsense. Constructive criticism is valued by everyone, Thais included.

    Ok, you got me on the second part, they don’t like confrontation. Who does?
  11. kemevez

    kemevez Occasional commenter

    Yes everywhere, including Thailand. It’s a national trait of, er, all countries. Get to know the individuals though and that collective psychosis evaporates before you even thought about it.

    Xenophobia is generally easier to deal with if you are economically advantaged. Those that are less economically advantaged tend to hide it better and just get on with life.
  12. BlueHues

    BlueHues New commenter

    We struggled and left because of it. Depends where you work.
  13. nikki2482

    nikki2482 New commenter

    That's a shame. The salary is 120k inc housing so I'm hoping that is enough for us to live on. We have already been told about extra costs for the children as a standard cost of 2k baht per month.

    Does anyone know what the tax would be on 120?
  14. BlueHues

    BlueHues New commenter

    Depends on where you are. Some
    Schools don’t adhere to the tax. But expect to lose around 20%. If your accommodation is included, and not out of that then it would be ok. But as a family of four - we had to live in town and the accommodation was double the housing allowance. We are local food mostly because cheapest and expat food was extortionate in supermarkets. Also the electricity could be up to 5,000B a month. We had a young child at home and a nanny her wages were lower as she didn’t speak English but was 11000B p/ m. Some English speaking nannies earned up to 20,000B per month. We also had to pay for kids medical and flights, only husband got flights/ medical. Getting home to UK was a lot of saving and planning. The money earned is good enough in the region but not enough to do much. Thailand isn’t as cheap but I think is strong against the £ so you can probably save.
  15. fordseries123

    fordseries123 New commenter

    Very good reply!
  16. ToK-tastic

    ToK-tastic New commenter

    Whether you can live, as a family of four, on 120K partly depends on the location of your school, as this will influence where you live. Rent prices vary hugely in BKK at the moment, even for the same type of property, a quick search for a 3 bedroom 300sqm house showed me prices of 9-12,000 in Nong Khaem, and 120-150,000 in Khlong Toey. This price differential is for the same type of house in each area. So, if your school is in an expensive area you may have to commute.
    Can you live on 120K ? (I assume that this is 120K take home after tax). Sure, you certainly can. The vast majority of Thai people live on far less than that (often supporting far more than 3 people on that salary). However, you'll be a little pushed to comfortably support a typical western 'expat' type lifestyle on 120K for 4. You certainly could pay for housing, food, sundries & entertainment on 120K. However, savings and travel are a bit harder. There are plusses to your situation: if your partner is not working they have time to go to the market for food each day you can save you a significant amount of money over a period of time, food at the market is significantly cheaper than in the supermarket (esp. Villa & Tops) - this really clocks up over time. Further, I guess that as your partner is not working you won't need to pay for childcare.
    worlo24 likes this.
  17. BlueHues

    BlueHues New commenter

    agreed ToK. I will only add that the language of key things- food, numbers and direction is a priority as it was a surprise to us that BKK Thais English wasn’t as good as the tourist places (living and learning and being a bit spoilt) so the market was quite daunting and is fine if your culinary skills are on par with Delia. Mine improved with time but when the kids wanted a spag-bol- it’s cheaper to go out and eat than buy the ingredients! Also some of those cheaper houses may not have western kitchens... our first two houses had a gas ring. The last one was beautiful but we had to motorcycle taxi in as traffic and distance from school made everything else impossible. I would recommend apartment living close to a BTS.

    Very much loved BKK living but in the end we needed to make a decision about finances and lifestyles. 120 is an enormous wage for a Thai but they can access things you will not - cheaper rent, markets etc; and it became wearing after a while. PM if you want any other info
    ToK-tastic likes this.
  18. fordseries123

    fordseries123 New commenter

    I think it is around the 20,000B mark, however you admin will be able to give you an exact figure before you start your contract.

    After the first year you will get back a little bit of your tax paid as you have dependents.
    nikki2482 likes this.
  19. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    Will you get flights and health coverage for the whole family? If not, you may struggle. If yes, you may still struggle.
    For me, out of my take home of 120,000, I pay 45,000 in rent, 2700-3000/mo in electricity, 5-7,000/wk on groceries and living with three kids and a partner. We don't buy school lunches they take theirs. Other things come up like repairs for appliances, new shoes, dentist, doctor, sport competitions for our kids (FOBISIA is 25,000), residentials (one child was 13,000) or internet/t.v - which is 1500/mo. I had a maid as well for 15,000/mo but offloaded that expense so I could also pay for holidays. It's a balancing act. I'm sure some are able to spend a lot less that we are in our situation but we can't.
    I get a housing allowance but after tax the above is what I take home. My spouse has his own job and we save his salary as much as possible.
    Anyhow, let me
    24hours likes this.
  20. nikki2482

    nikki2482 New commenter

    It is 120k pre tax unfortunately! But all flights, medical etc are included. The housing is 30k for a 3 bed house unless we want to find cheaper. We wont have any childcare costs as my husband will be home so should save there. We will also have significant savings for emergency things I was just hoping we wouldn't need to use much of it!

    Also hoping hubby can get a part time job which will then be extras/savings money!!

    Thank you all so much for your advice. It is in line with what I thought.

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