We recorded all our expenses for 2 adults/1 child in New Taipei

For the past three months me and my wife have recorded every penny we have spent using a combination of a Google form and sheet, and I will share the data so that those interested to learn about the expenses associated with raising a child in Taiwan can get a better insight.

So the data is actually contextually useful, I will first give some key information about our life:

  • Two adults and one child (almost 2 years old)
  • We live in New Taipei City, in one of the more expensive districts
  • We rent; apartment is 14 years old, <20 ping, in a managed building with an elevator
  • My wife stays at home and looks after our daughter, so no kindergarten costs
  • On weekdays my wife cooks dinner for everyone
  • On weekdays my wife cooks breakfast and lunch for herself and my daughter
  • On the weekend we eat out or order in for every meal
  • I don’t work from home, and I travel for about an hour each way every day

So far we have recorded all expenses for May, June and July.

May: $58,749
June: $83,805 (high because my mom visited from the UK)
July: $51,973

Excluding June, where our expenses were higher because we ate out at fancy restaurants, our average monthly expenses are $55,361, which includes $21,252 in rent and management fees.

Excluding rent, our average monthly expenses are $34,109.

In July, our monthly expenses were broken down into the following categories:

Rent & building management fees: $21,252
Supermarket food and household items: $8,589
Eating out/ordering in for lunch: $5,184
Eating out/ordering in for dinner: $3,923
Public transport (mainly going to/from work): $2,680
Eating out/ordering in for breakfast: $2,421
Other bills (Netflix, VPN, etc): $1,732
Snacks & drinks: $1,533
Unexpected one off expenses: $1,391
Utility bills (water, electricity, gas): $1,288
Baby items (mainly diapers): $813
Other random stuff: $662
Taxis: $465
Bank transfer fees: $40

It is worth noting that in these calculations I did not include labor and health insurance contributions because these are automatically deducted from my salary, and since the amount paid for these items is based on salary amount, the contribution amount would be different amounts for everyone. I also did not include our private insurance payments in the above calculations because we pay once per year; it comes out to about $75,000 or $6,000 per month.

We are actively trying to reduce our costs, and we could save a lot more if we ate out more instead of cooking, but we are trying to eat healthy, and that is very hard to do when eating out.

Hope this helps someone!


So awesome! I know that this isn’t easy, but it is incredibly useful for both yourself and others. Thank you for this.


I only keep track of my own expenses and it’s higher than your family expenses, heh.

I should mention living in NTP. Numbers not exact because it’s converted to CAD and then I set currency to TWD for the post so +/- 1% variation due to currency fluctuation.

For comparison:

Osaka, Japan (moved out in October) - single
Rent was a one time payment the year before, monthly it would’ve been 12400 TWD

Kaohsiung (moved in in March, was outside Taiwan September to end of year) - with wife


Also, well done (I love the graph!!!) . Aside from your travel month in July, it looks like your budget isn’t that far off from @meishijia 's (overall) aside from rent being 5000 NT$ higher.

Good start! Getting a handle on your budget is useful! If I may, I’ll make some recommendations.

Rank your spending not by order but by category:

Category Amount
Rent & building management fees 21252
Household ( including food ) 21650
Transport 3145
Utilities 3020
Baby Items 813
Other: Sundries 2093

Unless your app is doing this or you’re okay with keeping lots of nitty gritty details (I’m not)… More general categories will teach you what you’re spending, what’s avoidable and what’s not. Keep doing this for a few months (or more) until you get a sense of what your spending priorities are over a longer term. Then begin to set a budget with your s/o on spending. You may discover that a) some categories are fixed and b) some items are quite flexible in terms of how much you choose to spend. You will also need to add categories for spending at some point (clothing, repairs, education, …).

At that point, you may wish to move to a save first, then spend bias. Don’t be too ambitious at the start. Once you have your goals set out and you’re habitually saving, micromanaging spending becomes less of an issue.

Eating out vs cooking: Cooking at home will always be cheaper. I estimate that, based on your costs, your at home meals are around 50% of the cost of eating out. Your s/o is doing a wonderful job. It might seem that cooking at home is more expensive as you have to equip your kitchen, buy food items in larger lots… etc. You may wish to call those ‘start-up’ costs. But in the long run, I estimate that you could cut about another $5000 from your food budget by doing so. Of course, time is an asset so would using your ‘cooking time’ in another way be more fruitful? Only you will know.
CAVEAT: my numbers are based on yours. Yours are inexact, so mine will also be as inexact as yours (perhaps even more so). YMMV.

Good luck: don’t sweat the small stuff, analyze at first! Step by step! Build up the knowledge!


You must make a lot more than me. I’ve got the same family size and spend quite a bit less unless something breaks. I don’t know how homecooked food ends up being more expensive than prepared food unless it’s a pretty unhealthy place you eat at. If you aren’t, try buying food in bulk. Diapers too, and wait for sales and toy giveaways. I also use LinePay to get money back on groceries and kid stuff.

Regularly having Carrefour asparagus instead of wet market cabbage, eating nice cuts of beef instead of cheap cuts of pork?

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Yeah, but if you’re going eat like that at home why are you going to choose soggy veg and cheap pork slathered with MSG to save money eating out?

Really neat info to see and very helpful. Out or curiosity, any retirement savings playing accounted for in this ? Thats one im trying to increase myself

I save roughly 40% of my monthly salary, and then an additional 6% of my salary is paid into my pension account by my employer.