Daily expenses

i have thought in the past how sad it is when you see those “im on a mission” foreigners, who work all hours and live off nothing to save a big dough ball of money in a year or two. I think it is sad that someone is missing out on so much that Taiwan has to offer and basically using it as money pit. I know that they have every right to do that, but i just feel that they should live a little and appreciate Taiwan more. I suppose thats easier said than done though, especially if you have that crazy american style massive student debt to pay off!!

I don’t drink. That saves me quite a bit of money there. I go out to the pub with someone and I only drink soft drinks (for $90) or just ice water if I’m being cheap. But I’ve got my book addiction and my need to worship my laptop by giving it offerings of new hardware and software every so often and then fix it when something inevitably blows up inside it. I’m getting better now… sometimes.

I think if I hadn’t travelled to Europe (1 x) to do my CELTA ($$$$) to Bali for the last two summers ($$) and gone to the states almost yearly ($1200 USD x 4) along with my need for entertainment through books, CDs, and throwing money at that damn computer (also $1500 down the drain just to get it), I could have left two years ago.


But that’s the whole point. Stingy on the daily stuff so that you can spend big when it is time to have fun. :wink:


I’ve never come close to 80k per month.


I’ve never come close to 80k per month.[/quote] I came close to 80K once. I’ve changed jobs a few times and gone home a couple of times. I’ve lived both cheaply and not so cheaply.

I sort of get what you mean, but I also think it is impossible to miss out on Taiwan if you live here! At least that’s how I feel being in Taipei. Just walking down the uneven street and seeing the people, listening to the sounds of the language, traffic - that’s Taipei for me. Going to work and seeing how the Taiwanese interact with foreigners, fellow employees and superiors - walking home after work and seeing all the neat (or useless) stuff being sold on the streets - riding on the MRT and watching people, seeing how they relate, react to each other. That’s Taipei and it’s hard to miss for me.

However, I do like the souped-up version which involves going out to a nice place to eat and going to a movie now and then. I don’t know if that is characteristically Taiwan, though…I like TGIFriday’s and I see English movies. Oh waitaminute they have assigned seating at the flicks - ok it is Taiwan.

I wanted to post something about budgets and this looked like the newest thread to post on (I didn’t want to resurrect the even older threads)

So…for a while I’ve been trying to work out a monthly budget for my eventual stay in Taipei. Here’s a list, feel free to set me straight in any area, I need the comments!:

Rent: 300 USD (9300NT)
Transportation: 40 USD (1240NT)
Food: 240 USD (7440NT, which comes out to 8 USD a day, sounds good enough)
Toiletries: 15 USD (465NT)
Utilities: I’m not sure about this one, gonna estimate 10 USD (310NT)

So all together, I would be spending 605 USD a month, or 18,755NT. Keep in mind that this is barebones living…when I was in Taiwan for the month of July, I had 500 dollars of fun money to spend and only spent about 300 of it, so I guess when I am actually living there, my fun money will come to about 500 anyway. That would make for a total of 1105 USD a month. From what I’ve read, a teacher’s salary should be able to cover that easily, giving me some surplus for a savings plan, yes? :smiley:

The 300 dollars of fun expenses came from eating out at nice restaurants about 2-3 times a week, clubbing once a week (along with the alcohol), shopping for clothes, KTV, buying souveniers, beer runs every now and then, internet cafes, and random food that is so easily accessible. Most of the money admittedly went into clubbing and drinks; I’m sure I’ll grow out of that fast enough once I get settled…maybe…:wink:

I live comfortably off NT$200/day in Taichung. I give myself NT$1500/week and out of that comes food, petrol, dog food, minor bike maintenance, clothing etc. I have two big bowls of porridge oats for breakfast, cook lunch at home and spend about NT$70 on dinner somewhere local. I drink tap water, don’t drink or smoke and don’t think I’ve spent more than NT$500 on an item of clothing in the past year. Having said that, I live in a nice house and that’s my luxury.

[quote=“mixedvegetables”]Without resorting to instant noodles for every meal, what do you think is a reasonable amount of money to spend in a week for a frugal person? I think that comfortable living is possible on 2000nt, if you don’t go to nice, sit-down-and-order restaurants and don’t go to the bar.

That works out to almost 300 a day - maybe 200 on food and a hundred left over for incidentals like a beer or a few egg tarts or something.

Of course this leaves out rent and transportation :moped: costs…

If you’re dirt poor, I think that spending 150 a day is possible - maybe even less. Anyone with experience?[/quote]

I don’t see what frugality has to do with enjoying Taiwan. I love my work, I love Taiwan and I wake up with a big grin on my face every morning when I see the sunlight streaming through the forest into my room. I honestly don’t see what I could spend money on that would make me any happier. In total I spend less than a tenth of what I earn and I have no intention of going back to the UK. Part of my income will soon be going on a mortgage and the chunk I have saved away will go on business expansion and/or study.