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The TEFL Budget Planner

Updated: Mar 18, 2019


How much money do I need? Our budget planner helps you determine your total costs to get TEFL certified and your running cost before you get your first teaching paycheck in Thailand


Estimating your Total Expenses

The TEFL Budget Planner is a tool to estimate your total costs to become TEFL certified and then begin working as a teacher in Thailand.

It’s spread out over three months as that’s a conservative plan to complete your TEFL course, interview and secure a position, and get your first paycheck.

As most all schools pay at the end of the month, we’re assuming—conservatively again—that it’s at the end of the third month when you’ll start to receive income. Some may receive a partial paycheck at the second month, but that depends on the actual start date and the policy of your new employer.

A Three Month Plan

In Month One, these are the core expenses to become TEFL certified over four weeks. It includes course tuition, internet and incidental costs as well as food and accommodation. Expenses for accommodation, transportation and food are based on real Thai costs and our experience of living in Bangkok for decades. You can adjust any of these cost inputs based upon your personal preferences and budget considerations.


You can also add your own row(s) to include additional expenditures like entertainment and Thai travel to complete your budget planner.

In Month Two, you will begin interviewing after graduation. As such, transportation costs will probably increase as you need to get round town (and upcountry) to see schools and institutions. You TEFL tuition fee is listed as paid in Month Two as that cost was covered in the first month.

In Month Three, you’ll be working, but you may not get paid until the end of this month. That means you’re still living off your savings.

Included in this month are the cost of securing new accommodation as many grads prefer to move closer to their new school. Typically long term room rentals are one month’s rent and three months as a deposit. These costs are figured in. We’ve also returned the one month’s deposit at the end of Month Two for the service apartment near Vantage TEFL’s training center you stayed in Months one and two.

Your Excel Spreadsheet Planner

You can see the total expenses for each month separately as well as running cumulative total for the months combined.

In Month Three, for example, we’ve added all the costs for all three months together to give the amount of total investment you’ll need to make to become professionally certified and begin a teaching career in Thailand.


Just Add Airfare

There’s just one more major cost to add: your airfare. That’s not included as people are coming to Vantage’s Bangkok training center from all other the world—and airfares to Thailand can vary widely.

Add your airfare costs to the expenses you’ve already itemized on the planner and you’ll have a good idea of the total investment you’ll need to make to become a professional teacher.

How To Get Started

Step one is to download The TEFL Budget Planner spreadsheet, which is on this page.

Each of the three months is on a separate tab.

Most expenses have already been inputted. Your can adjust these for your personal preferences.

If you have a particular need that's not on the spreadsheet simply add rows as needed above the month's total row to include that cost.

Add your airfare and you should get a cumulative total on Tab (Month) 3 that will give you an estimate of your total expenses until the paychecks start rolling in.

You can also do scenario analysis where you change your assumptions on particular expenses. Food is a good example. You can see how that can affect your total bill if you eat more local, which in Thailand will be significantly cheaper.


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1873/15-16 Sena Center, Phaholyothin Rd.

Ladyao, Chatuchak, Bangkok, Thailand 10900

Tel: 02-511-3516

Fax: 02-511-3515

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