No Money! No Honey

Broke, skint, then sell your arse!
by Somchai


Have you ever been skint, down to your last bean, contemplating a robbery. No really, have you ever been so low on funds, that you could see yourself eating 10 baht noodles for the rest of your life. What's the lowest amount you have ever had in your pocket. I remember about 6 years ago I was down to my last 150 baht, due to a school closing (one day there, and the next gone) and no salaries being paid. I can't even describe how that felt.

Yes I had money in my home country, but not easily accesable and I was waiting for my new atm card. One card had already been sent by my mum, but had seemed to have gone astray. Now the parents were on holiday, and the prospect of no money and the rent being due sent shivers down my spine. It is times like this you reflect on life, and what put you in this situation. I think at this moment if I had bumped into the owner of the school, I would have been front page news the next day. CRAZY FARANG GOES BEZERK, KILLS SOMCHAI.

While sometimes Thai people, make me crazy, in this situation they came through. First I explained to my apartment manager, that rent would be a few weeks late. They said ok, which gave me breathing space. Next was to get some everyday cash, a quick phone call to some of my private students, where I offered them an extra 30 minutes of teaching if they paid for 2 weeks in advance. They agreed, and I was starting to see the light. I then started to look for a new job on, but that process from sending your cv to getting a job and then getting paid can take a while. So careful budgeting was needed, (it is easy to live resonably well on 100 baht a day food wise). Pride goes out the window in this situation, if you are offered work, which in the past you would have said, "NOT IN MY LIFETIME" take it and keep saying to yourself only for 2 weeks. Hopefully this experience will make you a stronger, wiser and hopefully richer person.

My advice to anyone working for a school, try not to keep all your eggs in one basket, spread your teaching time with different schools and universities. Keep some money in your wallet and in the bank for emergencies. (BEER OR CIGS ARE NOT AN EMERGENCY) Diversify, as you will never get rich teaching. If you can get another job other than teaching, go for it. Hopefully it will be from Monday to Friday which leaves you time to relax in the evenings and at weekends. If you want to you could teach part time to top up the cash. Good luck.

Q: Money problems! What's the least cash you've had, and what have you done to survive?

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