Cost of living from an english teachers salary

What kind of lifestyle can you have teaching english. Do you have enough money to travel to other contries or see a movie whenever you want?

I think that as long as you dont have any VERY expensive habbits, you can do well on your teaching salary. Vacationing twice a year is achieveable. Drinking and having fun. Renting a car once in a while. Stay away from the recruiters because they will take a cut of what you make. Most people would not stay in Taiwan if they werent making good money!!

The 3 W’s aren’t your wallet’s best friends either - Western restaurants, getting Wasted and Women.

I think if you’re making NT$80-90,000 you will want for very little. And that is a realistic salary.

It depends on how much you drink in pubs and how good a flat you want.

If I’m making less than $35,000 a month I feel like it’s not enough money. But, I get a lot of free time.

It would depend on where you choose to live. Taipei is obviously more expensive, with more entertainment options to tempt you to spend. If you choose to live way out in the country, cheaper to live and unless betel nut or KTV is your thing not to much to spend the money on…

I think it comes down to time or money:

You can have a lot of free time but earn just enough to get by (as some of the posts above have mentioned).


You can work all sorts of hours, making a lot of money, but then have little free time to pursue other interests.

Of course, someone will probably post here and say that he/she has both–plenty of time and plenty of money!

I guess it all depends on what your goals are and quality of life and so on…

Taiwan is no longer the place to make a fast buck. However, if you accept for the first couple of years you will be making mediocre money, and can live on what you earn, the next few years you can really save money and have a reasonable lifestyle doing so.

As a short term proposition, I don’t know. If you work long hours and live like a recluse you can save a modest amount of money in a year. But how much is a year of your life worth ? I guess it depends what age you are and whether you intend to return to wherever you call home.

I would add that I think it is difficult for an English teacher to break the NT$120,000 mark and have any sort of free time.

It depends where you live. (Oops someone said that already!) Outside Taipei the rents are dirt cheap but the wages are the same, if not higher. In Taoyuan I lived in a 60 ping apartment with 2 others in a gated community and paid 6000 in rent for the master bedroom. For a while I was making over $90,000 a month so it was easy to save.

Man, English teachers here in Taiwan make a shitload of money. I am an engineer here in Hsinchu Science Park, I work my ass off everyday, and I get shit for pay. Nowhere near the figures you teachers are at. Hmmm, maybe I should consider a career change. haha

Hey it might work. Career change in English and Technology…



Yes. Taoyuan is desperate for teachers! Is this the case Taipei as well? Rents are cheaper here…money is pretty good too.

I you do things “right” you should be able to travel, see movies and save near 1000US/month (give or take). It just depends on how you like to spend your money (like anywhere else in the word). If you wanted to be a nut about working, you could do all those things and save quite a few dollars more then 1000.

I am surprised to hear engineers are so poorly paid.

If you pay NT$20,000 rent (ie you live in a reasonable apartment in Taipei - much cheaper if you share or live in the sticks), spend an average of NT$1,000 a day on food and basic expenses, you would have NT$30,000 a month left over out of an NT$80,000 salary to save or piss up against the wall as you see fit.

80-90k seems optimistic to me. It is certainly possible, but the average salary of most folks I know who teach is around 60k. This is working 25 hours per week at 600 per hour. Someone freshly off the boat might find work for more if he or she were lucky, and certainly one could take on more hours (though class schedules often result in 4-6 paid hours of classes stretching over 7-10); but 60k is the average.

Subtract from this costs: A room in a pleasant (by Taiwan standards) shared apartment in Taipei ought to run 8-12k with utilities. Another 8-10k for food is quite reasonable if you eat local and/or regularly cook for yourself. Subtract your social and recreational expenses from the remaining 40k and you’ve got your savings. 34k, USD1000, is probably about right.

I think 80,000 is closer to average than 60,000. The majority of chalkies I know are above both those figures. I think 60 is the bare minimun for someone working just one gig.

Get out of the north! You can live in the south make the same money and have a 40 ping apartment for $10,000 NT or less. Your only concern is that you piss all your money away on Western food, beer and ladies.

I’m just working one gig at 18 hours a week. I come out with about 50k each month; it is enough to get by and i have the free time to go to Shi Da and the gym every morning and still have my evenings free. The problem here is that for as long as I live this way, I will never be able to afford to go home if i want to. That is why i gave my notice last week. i dont want to teach anymore if i can help it.

It seems that most people who come to Taiwan rarely stay more than a year or two at the most. Having said that, it also seems that logically those who are asking how much they can save in Taiwan are those who have yet to work here.

Be all that as it may, I think that with average wages–50-70K per month-- in the first year one would do well to save 50% of net wages.
Yes, I know, it is possible to live out of a sleeping bag tied on the back of a bicycle, live on noodles for a year and go home with 99%.
But, I suspect those cases are few and far between.

If you are lucky enough to get hooked in with a school that will rehire you year after year as long as you make money for them, I believe you will find them willing to share with you. At least that has been my case. I have been at the same school for 6+ years and I have no trouble consistently saving $1,300US a month (some months more). In my time here I have travelled extensively all over Asia and been back to the States twice.

BTW, I live quite well; better, in some way’s, than I would back home on double what I make here. Taxes and cost of living you know.

Stay a while and you can save some real money.

One year? Probably most leave with a plane ticket and enough for a good vacation or enough to live off while they find a job back home.

I’ve been here for years; recently I’ve been saving about NT$10,000 a month.
God! if I had all the money I’ve spent on grog, I would spend it on grog!!