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Q: How much money a month do you spend (in RMB) while living in China?

I'm looking into teaching English in China and was wonder how much should I expect to spend while living in China, just living a very simple kind of life. (not really a heavy spender) I look at the pay for teachers, which is generally around 5000RMB-9000RMB with no experience. How much would  you say is a reasonable pay that will result in me not having to worry about running out each month? I'm considering living in Chengdu or Chongqing (Nanjing and Hangzhou are also good options that crossed my mind). How much I expect to spend on an apartment, bills, phone, food, etc monthly?

10 years 2 weeks ago in  Lifestyle - China

 
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The location, and your preferences in food are the two main concerns.  Some areas pay higher salaries for teachers, but cost of living is a lot higher than other places.  In general, big cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou ar more expensive to live than at smaller ones.

If you are hired as a teacher of a public institution (college level), part of your benefit package will be an apartment to live in, either you alone or share it with another teacher.  Internet, maybe phone, and electricity, water and gas will be included.

If you do your own cooking, with 1,000 Rmb per month you will eat very well, then think about 250 to 300 Rmb for electricity, 50 for gas, I pay 120 for cell phone, home phone and 4M Internet connection.  If you must pay rent, from 700 Rmb up you can get a place to live.  My apartment rents for 3,000 Rmb per month, but in a big city it will be upwards of 10,000 to 15,000 Rmb, it is 190 sq meters.  Of course,m you also must pay for building maintenance, elevator maintenance, cleaning of common areas,  scurity, etc.

I would say 3.000 to 5,000 Rmb will give you a good living experience here, nothing fancy but safe.

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10 years 2 weeks ago
 
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i spend 1500-2000  a month. my groceries include milk cereal and juice, and i eat out daily at cheap restaurant. once or twicew a month i'll eat a pizza at papa johns 100rmb if i find a real burger place then i will go broke eating there

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10 years 2 weeks ago
 
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The location, and your preferences in food are the two main concerns.  Some areas pay higher salaries for teachers, but cost of living is a lot higher than other places.  In general, big cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou ar more expensive to live than at smaller ones.

If you are hired as a teacher of a public institution (college level), part of your benefit package will be an apartment to live in, either you alone or share it with another teacher.  Internet, maybe phone, and electricity, water and gas will be included.

If you do your own cooking, with 1,000 Rmb per month you will eat very well, then think about 250 to 300 Rmb for electricity, 50 for gas, I pay 120 for cell phone, home phone and 4M Internet connection.  If you must pay rent, from 700 Rmb up you can get a place to live.  My apartment rents for 3,000 Rmb per month, but in a big city it will be upwards of 10,000 to 15,000 Rmb, it is 190 sq meters.  Of course,m you also must pay for building maintenance, elevator maintenance, cleaning of common areas,  scurity, etc.

I would say 3.000 to 5,000 Rmb will give you a good living experience here, nothing fancy but safe.

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10 years 2 weeks ago
 
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Oh man, I have spent so much money here (8000RMB) frown but I feel that is primarily because I will only be here for two months so I do a lot of sightseeing, have bought souvernirs for my family and have eaten out a lot. It makes me feel really guilty because I do not spend that kind of money in the USA, ever!!, but then again, I'm not certain I will return to China any time soon.

But like they said, it really depends where you are because I couldn't reckon living on 5000RMB in Beijing. It is merely impossible, unless you just rent a room or something like that. Your best bet will be to contact a fellow teacher in the city that you are interested on and seeing what their lifestyle is like.

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10 years 2 weeks ago

~Laura M. Santiago Rivera

 
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I live in Shanghai and somehow survive off of 2000RMB per month. my apt is 2000 (paid every 3 months) bills around 30 to 150RMB. I don't shop or go out to bars and clubs very often (i refuse to pay 80+RMB for a shitty manhattan) and most of my money goes to fruits/veggies I cook at home, also having clothes made. I think if you can keep it simple you can stretch a kuai.

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10 years 2 weeks ago
 
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I only spend a few hundred RMB a month, because I basically only buy food and the occasional necessity. I live in a tier 3 city. My apartment and bills are paid for by the school. The only thing I need to pay for is my food. I'm even supposed to get 200 rmb a month for that, but they will put it all together at the end of the semester and add it to my pay. I don't think that's enough to cover all my food, but most of it. I eat almost every meal at the school's cafeteria, and I eat what I want. Since I save my money, I figure I can spend what I want on food, which includes cheese flavored pringles and dark chocolate, as well as the occasional slice of cake.

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10 years 2 weeks ago
 
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Like most have said, it really depends on location. The bigger the city, the more expensive it will be. I imagine that Chongqing would be pricey. The place is huge!
I work at a public college in Changsha, and the school pays for the apartment, phone, internet, and substidizes the utilities, such as water and electricity (which usually pays the monthly amount). I live across the street from the school, so I can walk there, and I usually walk when I go somewhere in the city, as I'm an amature photographer and like to see things on street level. So really, my only monthly expense is food and hygene products.

I live very simply, in that I don't go clubbing much, don't buy anything fancy or expensive. Occassionally clothes, but I shop for bargins. I buy movies regularly to show on "movie night" for my students. I do eat out a lot, but most of that is local places (not western style cusine or pricey resturants) where the food is cheaper by far.

When all is said and done, when I am not traveling or buying art books, I live very well on under 2,000 RMB a month.

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10 years 2 weeks ago
 
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When I was in Jiujiang (just up the road from Nanchang - and it's a lower tier and crappy city), I was on 5K/month, large furnished apartment on campus, with gas and internet free. I had to pay electricity (which in winter was about 700/month, but in summer maybe only 100). Phone costs will depend on how many friends you make Tongue I would go out for dinner about 4 nights a week to a local restaurant - but with friends, that usually meant I would pay a little more, but less often - so probably about the same. Then I'd do a lot of cooking at home (but with limited resources - the Walmart there wasn't the best.. but are they ever?) Not being much of a drinker or socialite, I could save about 2-3K of that pay per month (and then blow it on other stuff Tongue)

OTOH, here in Hangzhou, I have to pay for my rent of about 2K for a 110sqm 3 bed apartment (but I get an allowance - so that evens out) - although it's out of town. Others in town are about 2.3-3K/month. Bills so far have only added a couple of hundred extra. Food - I now eat a lot more at home, though I'll have more foreign foods available. I send about 5-6K back home (credit cards), and still spend about 3-5K a month (though, when I do go out to the local expat bar once a week or so, that'll set me back a couple of hundred as well). I don't hit restaurants as much here, but that's because of my location - if I was closer to the city, I'd go through a fortune!!! I'm looking more into buying clothes now (nicer stuff), but I'll get them tailored, so I don't need the brand names (from 600-2000 for a shirt bah! It's only 120 to get it made to fit in Shanghai!)

I've been told (by my ex who lives there) that Chongqing has a nice economy - lots of money, but prices are still lower.

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10 years 2 weeks ago
 
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well i am spending from 700 to 1000 rmb max and i am cooking at home and doing shoping from local whole sale shops.

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10 years 2 weeks ago
 
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My god, you guys are making me feel bad.  I spend between 8 and 14K a month, depending on where I travel.  But I'm not a teacher (or anything, really). 1K a month rent in a third tier city, about 250 on utilities.  The rest is on traveling and.... I don't know.  I should start keeping a log.

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10 years 2 weeks ago
 
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I was too ashamed to reply before, but here we go....for the record my company pays for most of it.
12,000 rmb hotel, 5,000 food, 2,000 taxis and a crapload for fun.
I would say 25K plus.surprise

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10 years 2 weeks ago
 
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i rent a super cheap and crappy apartment in GZ and it costs 2100 / month,utilities - 300-to 500/ a month, and i don't eat Chinese food , cuz it makes me sick.So, around 7000/ month, maybe surprise

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9 years 41 weeks ago
 
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Where you want to live is the biggest deciding factor. I know in Chongqing you can get a really nice one-bedder apartment for about 1,500 quai (although schools often supply accomodation). It's not too expensive for living costs either, I think, I reckon another 2,000-3,000 would see you through the month comfortably.

In my opinion unless you're looking at a really light workload or living in tier 3 city, 5,000 is not enough.

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9 years 41 weeks ago
 
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Common folk

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If the school provides accommodation then it's a good deal. If no it will totally depends on how much you are willing to pay for rent. In that areas depending on the zone you could have a cheap rent (1k) or an expensive one (5k). Eating is not expensive if you stick to local places and Chinese food. If you want western food then expect to spend more than 80 RMB per meal, without including drinks. 

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22 weeks 1 day ago
 
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Common folk

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I live in Chengdu. I spend around 35-45k per month. Housing is about 8K anf yhe rest on living, eating out etc. Just md my wife and my dog.

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22 weeks 1 day ago
 
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Common folk

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If the school provides the accommodation or lodging you don't need a lot of money and you can live comfortably with 2000 - 3000 or a minimum of 1000 RMB for food and daily needs. I 'd been teaching in China for 14 years with a salary above 10,000 RMB。 Normally, I can get 15000 RMB. so you can keep some good savings if you are not a big

spender.

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22 weeks 1 day ago
 
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In Yantai (Fushan and Laishan district), rent is around 2000+ for a nice apartment. Usually schools will provide housing or subsidize your housing. You can spend less than 2000-2800/month on food, depending on what you choose to eat. Bus is cheap, DiDi a little more expensive. Walking is very cheap. If you eat out, Chinese food is much cheaper (usually 1/2 the price) than Western/foreign food. Example: breakfast and lunch foods [ ~200 yuan/week 1-2 persons: dozen eggs, milk, cereal, break, PB&J, ham, condiments, croissants, chips]; dinner [ ~100/day 1 person: Subway combo, DiDi to and from, drink (boba, milk tea)]; electric, gas and water are relatively cheap, maybe 150/month for all; phone/internet/tv depends on your package, mine ended up around 225/month; you can expect to spend a little more during winter months to turn on your heat. 

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22 weeks 1 day ago
 
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Common folk

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It's very cheap for you to live in Chengdu or Chongqing. As a normal Chinese male teacher, the total is no more than 1500 if his goal is to make money. While as a non-Chinese teacher, there will be a good amount of bonus/invoice for renting. Thus if you choose to live like a normal citizen in China, your rent fees is out of consideration. I'm a senior house agent working in Suzhou, and my hometown is near Chengdu. You just have my word.

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22 weeks 1 day ago
 
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Common folk

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Okay, but what if you just live off of jianbing?

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22 weeks 1 day ago
 
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Common folk

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If I will get the job there, at the 8000RMB is the convinent salary to spend the life in china. Because of food, travel, and other things which will be very important for use.

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22 weeks 1 day ago
 
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Accomodation costs/allowance is in addition to salary.
You should not expect to have to find this on your own.
if your contract does not specify either that accomdation is be provided or you get an accomodation allowance (with assistance in finding same) avoid the place.

you can live well and save money while working in China - I did.

despite what you hear, you do not earn more than a local teacher, as they are in recipt of a whole number of bonuses that a FT would not get, and in my experience your employer will look for every way NOT to pay out any bonus due.

Be VERY careful before signing any contract and giving your employer any confidential information as identiy theft is a problem.

get EVERYTHING spelled out clearly in the contract and ask a lot of questions before you agree to anything.

an employer who does not answer normal due-diligance questions should be avoided.

get someone to read over the Chinese language contract to be sure it says the same as the English langauage one.

good luck

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22 weeks 23 hours ago
 
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Common folk

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In a place like Chengdu or Chongqing, 9000RMB might have been an acceptable salary for a native english speaker with no experience in 2015, but certainly not anymore.

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21 weeks 1 day ago
 
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30000 a month in Shanghai.

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21 weeks 1 day ago
 
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