Cost of Living in Taipei?

i have recently recieved a job offer to come to Taipei.
the payment in the begining will be 50,000, or about $1,500 per month and my rent will be paid as I will be living with coworkers. Not that I make a ton back here in Chicago, but that’s a bit less than I make here, and I’m wondering how easy/hard it will be to save a little money and still enjoy and experience the place and do a bit of traveling here or there. Will I be starving or be able to go out a few times a week? any advice helps…

You mean 500,000 NT?

For me it’d be hard. How old are you? What kind of lifestyle are you used to? I would say, without having to pay rent, you can probably go to a bar twice a week (not the super expensive ones) and travel a bit, but not stay at nice hotels.

On 50K, with rent already paid, you should be ok.

A decent meal from a nightmarket stand or small mom-and-pop restaurant will run NT$50-NT$150. Typical price for a 1.25L bottle of tea in 7-11 is NT$38; you can get it cheaper at a grocery store if you can find one (other than “Wellcome”) nearby.

Be aware that beer in clubs/bars is extremely expensive here compared to back home, usually about US$4 (NT$120) or more per bottle/can/glass. Even the cheap stuff from a store is usually around US$1 (NT$35) per can. I assume mixed drinks and shots are similarly very expensive. There are cheap places to have a drink, but usually they’re lunch counters which happen to sell beer among their other drinks.

If by “travel” you mean to other places in Asia, there are a lot of places you can get to for about NT$5K to NT$8K roundtrip. HK, Thailand, Singapore, probably the Philippines. Not sure about others. Package tours will get you a hotel and maybe some sightseeing for a better price than you can get them separately. The travel forum has discussions about this.

You should also know that Taiwanese employers often employ “bait and switch” tactics when hiring people from overseas. I’m guessing your job is with a school, which are the worst offenders. The housing will very likely be far below what you were told to expect or consider acceptable. Searching through the older posts here should give you an idea for what can (and too often does) happen and some steps you can take to fight it – assuming you still want to risk the trip.

Also, if you’re coming any time soon, you’ll want to buy a heater as soon as you land, since the weather is starting to cool down and most apartments don’t have any sort of heating equipment (unless it’s the cooktop).

Not to put a damper on your job offer, but it’s rather different over here. No Lou Malnati’s, either.

NT$50,000 a month is fine, with rent paid. That’s saving you at least NT$6,000 a month, minimum cost for a small room with flatmates.

I came to Taiwan about NT$50,000 in debt, earned less than NT$45,000 a month for the first 3 months or so, paid NT$6,000 in rent a month and paid back my NT$50,000 debt within 4 months. Granted this was 5 1/2 years ago, but if anything, I think Taiwan has become cheaper since then, at least for the more western stuff we like, as demand has grown.

You could use the extra NT$6,000 a month that you save on rent for your “social life” activities. I didn’t get to have a social life during those first 4 months. :frowning:

If you really want to save money…try getting a job outside of Taipei.
Things are generally a bit cheaper…rent being much much cheaper…outside of Taipei.
And if you like partying…the temptation is much less outside of Taipei.

-1 month of food:
10 breads 300 NT
cheese 80 slices: 200 NT
30 meals of 50 NT: 1500 NT
various snacks: 2000 NT

drinks: 1000 NT

transport: 1000 NT

entertainment: 5000 NT

That’s 1000 in a super-cheap version.

If you don’t spend too much, you should easily
be able to save 20.000 to 30.000 NT a month.


You’ve forgotten the cost of maintaining a gf - subtract 20k for this expense line at minimum.

On that salary you can expect to have around $500US after all expenses. If you want to blow that each month travelling, upgrading the meals you eat, or pleasing a lady friend, that’s up to you. But you won’t be poor here.

One more thing: They will initially be taking 20% taxes out. Since there aren’t 183 days left in this year you won’t be getting that back. Next year you will still be taxed on 20% but once you have 183 days in the year you will be taxed at a lower rate (10% on average). You won’t have to worry about US taxes unless you earn over $80,000US in a year.