No, I don’t have a girlfriend, I have a generous boyfriend, quite a different ball of wax, but he doesn’t foot my bills.
And no, I don’t study Chinese, I’m doing a Masters via UK university, which is a lot more expensive than studying Mandarin.
I live alone, and recently moved to the outskirts of Taipei, and pay double what you were probably figuring in rent, bills, and utilities because I need my privacy.
I’m not socially-drinking very much anymore, but when I do budget that in, I figure on $2000/night out. including taxi fares. Some of my friends probably spend in the double thousand digits on going out each week, which includes movies, restaurants, etc, as well as the boozing sessions, which subsequently PISSes your money away and leaves you feeling the worse for it.
I eat at home now (stock up on veggies, etc. at Costco once a week) and take a shuttle to my office, spending approximately $600/wk on transportation. This, since I’ve moved OUT of town, has gone down quite a bit for me since I used to flag taxis in order to save time in the summer when it’s too hot to ride my bicycle and walk everywhere. Unless the MRT is very convenient to where I’m going, I usually abhor city buses, and tend to avoid certain lines like the plague. There are some, like the Xinyi lines, which are quite convenient, however.
My biggest expenses are evidentally my phone/ADSL, cell phone, sports club, and impulse buys. These all add up.
It’s a good idea to try and save at least $20k per month, although I don’t always take my own advice.
Btw, you sound like you’re figuring on low pay with 32 hours week. Get privates instead, and reduce the hours at buxiban. Many schools require only a minimum number of hours from their contracted employees. I’d go that route since it’s much more profitable than relying on all your work/pay coming from just one source. I think that’s a big mistake some teachers make in Taiwan when private students are bloody everywhere, if you really want them. Try placing an ad on Tealit when you get here and pick and choose privates who will cost you less time on travel so you can slot them in nicely with your work and study schedule. That’s another thing that eats up your money here: having to wait around in coffee shops, etc, while you’re ‘in-between’ jobs/studies that aren’t near your abode.
This is my experience even though I’m not really teaching anymore, I did for a long, long, time, and spent a lot more money when I did, than I do now…
(what the hell did I just say?)