Budget for family of three in Taichung?

I might be moving to Taiwan with my family and I want to know how livable our budget will be. The monthly salary will be 186,000 TWD before taxes. I would like to save about 24,000 TWD for retirement investments. I am wondering if that’s feasible for a family of three. I have visited Taiwan as tourist before, but I was never thinking of budgeting for living.

Here’s what I am wondering:
Rent for a two-bedroom apartment: It doesn’t have to be sparkling and new, but we would something that won’t collapse during a quake. It would need a decent kitchen space.
Cell phones: As I recall, I used to get a SIM for about 500 TWD a month for unlimited 4G, or maybe it was 799 TWD.
Food: One of us has a food allergy, so we don’t eat out much as a family. That person lives off of tofu, rice, and veggies. We know we can get GF flour from Jason’s–at a price. I’m vegetarian and I lived off of pay-by-weight vegan buffets when I visit.
Education: The kid is homeschooled, but I would like to enroll him in Chinese lessons.
Internet: I have no idea what that costs.
transport: Seems like busses are free up to 10k in Taichung with an EasyCard. How difficult would it be to get by sans scooter? I see a metro is going to be up an running soonish.
Utilities What’s the range that people have experienced?

I generally don’t go out too often to bars and enjoy Taiwan beer well enough. My family’s clothes are mostly second-hand or from Uniqlo. Our only splurge is usually an expensive computer or a vacation. We generally buy mid-price cell phones and use them until they die. We don’t like to carry a lot of debt.

Any insight would be helpful. Thanks!

no problem.

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It’ll be a struggle to only save 24k a month.


You could save about 80-130k a month.
186k a month salary puts you in the top bracket. Lots of value oriented folks on this forum who live on far less can walk you through how to live on next to nothing


You’d probably have to struggle to save less than half your salary.

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I think it really depends. I can’t answer all of your questions but I’ll definitely answer what I can for you.

Internet Prices with Taiwan Broadband $449 for 24Mbps to $999 for Gigabit. Click the speed buttons to see what the price is.

Making $186000/m might even make it easy for you to purchase a home and put mortgage payments on par with rental costs if you’re able to do so. Might as well make your money come back to you instead of enriching yet another landlord. You might wanna look into that.

City centre is pretty easy to get around by bus and with the new MRT is likely to get easier. Suburbs might have you waiting for the bus more often than you’d like.

Mobile phones can be cheap.

GT4G Unlimited 4G at full speeds for $299/m
Good: Low price, Speeds acceptable in high signal areas
Bad: Spotty in undeveloped or rural areas.
Taiwan Mobile $499/m plan with unlimited speeds
Good allarounder. Decent speeds, decent connection. Not the best at everything but good at most things.

Chunghwa $599 Unlimited plan.
Biggest company, highest prices

Fareastone $499 plan

Really fast in some areas, slower in others. Third place company.

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Cool! Thanks!

Succinct! Thanks!

Cool. Thanks! I’ll be sure to troll through the forums for that info.

Here are some references below based on life in Taichung. I moved here on business two years ago with a wife and 1 year old. Now we have a second child - both enrolled in a local school and have been doing great.

Housing - 3 bedroom ~ 45,000 ntd in Xitun district.
Cable TV includes internet (I think bi-monthly) ~ 1700ntd
Cell phone: ~1100 ntd/month/per phone for unlimited 4G
Education ~ 10,000 ntd/month for 1 child
Transport: Yes, the bus is free and Uber is cheap. The new MRT has been taking a while but only runs north to south along one track.
Gas bill: ~ 900 bi-monthly if you like to cook
Power: Could be ~5000-9000ntd (bi-monthly) depending on how cold you like your place.

Hope that helps!


sort out your taxes first and make sure your wife and kid are registered under your household, otherwise you’re looking at high taxes

You’re a top-5%er in Taiwan. Don’t tell the locals how much you are making per month. You’ll have to do all the 請客

Cool. Thanks!

When you mean “local” school, do you mean public school? Or a private?
I am looking at places on 591. I am seeing 2 bedroom places at 15000-20000. Should I expect those places to be subpar?

Thanks again!

yes, in Taipei City, no elsewhere

Probably not, was looking there a couple years back and 20k would get a new build 2br…it went up or down a bit depending on location. I don’t think much has changed.

I think you are being ripped off if you are paying this much for telcos. Nowadays you can pay much less.

Cool. I am looking at Taichung. I have seen Taipei prices a few years ago when I was on a trip. Holy smokes!


Those were just the standard packages from TBC and Chunghwa telephone set up for us by the real estate person. Will be moving soon and can look in to, thanks!

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