For those of you who are considering making the move to China, this blog post will try to answer the all-important question of:
What does it cost to live in China?
As a foreigner living and working in China, you will find that it’s a very affordable country. Working in China will allow you to save a substantial amount of your income, giving you financial freedom and ample opportunities to travel, pay off debts, and save for your future.
To put it into context, take a look at some typical price differences between the two countries: A bottle of water in the U.S. costs $1.50, whereas in China it’ll cost you $0.30 (2 RMB); A dozen eggs in the U.S. costs you $2.64, whereas in China it’ll cost you $1.55 (10.65 RMB); A McDonald’s combo meal, $7.00 and $4.37 (30 RMB); A single-fare metro ticket, $2.25 and $0.30 (2 RMB); A domestic beer, $4.00 and $0.73 (5 RMB) and so on. In nearly every situation you’ll find cheaper prices on everyday items.
Let’s break it down further.
According to a 2015 Consumer Expenditure Survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor, the average American saves around 9% of their monthly income after taxes. The largest expenditures go to housing, transportation (car payments, insurance, gas), and food. On average, American teachers make $47,601 per year, which is an average monthly savings of about $357 per month.
Working with Ambright in China, you will receive free housing (or subsidized for teachers living off-campus) with western amenities. You’ll also receive a flight & relocation allowance two weeks after your arrival. This alleviates our teachers’ initial upfront costs that come along with moving to a new country.
Ambright teaching salaries are based on overall qualifications and experience. Let’s consider, for example, the estimated monthly costs based on a starting salary of 20,000 RMB (2,985 USD):
- Food: 1,200 RMB ($179)
- Entertainment: 2,000 RMB ($298)
- Utilities: 400 RMB ($59)
- Clothing: 400 RMB ($59)
- Transportation: 240 RMB ($35)
- Healthcare: 200 RMB ($29)
- Insurance: Free (provided by Ambright)
Savings: 15,560 RMB per month (2,288 USD)
These numbers are realistic, but of course depend entirely on your own spending and saving habits. Example: If you plan on eating at western-style restaurants multiple times per week then you’ll surely need to budget more for food.
Most of our teachers are placed in AHSP partner schools throughout Tier 2 & 3 cities across east China – Anhui, Jiangsu, Shandong, and Zhejiang provinces. China is indeed a massive country but no matter where you live, the cost of living between cities is relatively universal. Even in Tier 1 cities – Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou – you’ll find only slightly higher prices than the national average, and way more Starbucks!
For more China/USA price comparisons you can visit Numbeo.
*Featured image courtesy of www.theygetaround.com