Daniel

Working in Hong Kong

Monthly Earnings Roughly around 105,000 Baht

Q1. How is that income broken down? (full-time salary, private students, on-line teaching, extra work, etc)

I work two jobs Monday to Friday. A kindergarten job 8:30 to 1.00 and in a learning centre 3.00 -7.00. The kindergarten pays better as it is part of the school system and between the jobs it is a 60:40 split between kindergarten and centre. I'm normally well shattered at the end of the day but I do have fun in the process.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

I am a father of a young boy and the cost of living is extremely high here but my wife brings in a similar income too. It sounds alright in Baht but in Hong Kong, it is just a basic income. Which is why I am on this site and read through so many of these!

Q3. How much do you pay for your accommodation and what do you live in exactly (house, apartment, condo)?

We live in a 2-bedroom apartment quite far out and it costs us 55,000 baht a month and that is pretty much the average here. It has a basic gym and pool but when I see the cost of living here, my eyes fall out of my head. People who live in the centre of Hong Kong itself keep telling me there are too many "temptations" so my wife so has turned down my requests to move down there. Hong Kong is just too fast-paced for me now and the people in general are quite cold.

Q4. What do you spend a month on the following things?

Transportation

I personally spend around 3,000 Baht most months but during the hot months I take taxis a wee bit more so closer to 5,000.

Utility bills

This can be close to 20,000 baht during the summer months and just a tad over 10,000 baht in Winter. I'm breaking into sweats typing this.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

We have half of our meals at home and half out and that figure is roughly 15,000 to 20,000 a month.

Nightlife and drinking

I do not really enjoy the scene here. It's not like the "Land of Smiles" here and also as a new dad, I am trying to phase this out entirely. Let's put that at zero.

Books, computers

I read a lot of e-books and do a lot podcasts but I do not really spend anything on it except for the wifi and the device itself.

Q5. How would you summarize your standard of living in one sentence?

It is decent for sure and I am happy with what I have but it is more the mentality of the place I do not like. I have plenty of Thai friends here and I just prefer the friendliness of the Thai people. I enjoy their 'life is for living' attitude.

Hong Kong is a beautiful and safe city regardless of what people tell you about the political situation here.

I have taught here for over 10 years now and I feel like it is time to move on. Given my experience and qualifications and after some emails and browsing through your site, I feel I will be in the 50-65,000 baht range. A big jump down in salary but then the cost of living is also drastically lower. It seems more possible to actually save money in Thailand and have more fun outside of work too.

Q6. What do you consider to be a real 'bargain' here?

Well in Hong Kong the transport network is world-class and there are so many restaurants. If you eat as the locals do, you will find some real gems here. Apart from that everything is on the pricey side. It is very similar to Japan but minus the manners and friendliness.

Q7. In your opinion, how much money does anyone need to earn here in order to survive?

If you are single, anything over 70,000 baht can get you similar to a 30,000 baht lifestyle in Thailand, which is neither here nor there. If you have a family then 100,000 baht is close to minimum in Hong Kong.

Value for money is poor in Hong Kong. Seems like in Thailand. what you pay is what you get. It is not always the case in Hong Kong.

Phil's analysis and comment

Thank you Daniel. I think this is possibly our first cost of living survey from a teacher in Hong Kong and nothing of what you've said has surprised me. We know the rental fees are in the stratosphere but 55,000 baht a month for an apartment! Bloody hell! 

I've been to Hong Kong about ten times. I think it's an amazing place for a 4-5 day break or a long weekend. It's worth going for the food alone. But no, I could never live and work there. 


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