Working in Hong Kong
Monthly Earnings 370,000
Q1. How is that income broken down? (full-time salary, private students, on-line teaching, extra work, etc)
I have a full-time job in an international school which pays me 250,000 baht a month. My wife works at the same school and earns 50,000 baht as a TA. I also do some tutoring which brings in an additional 50,000 bath. I consider my tutor money my play money. I charge between 2,000-4,000 baht per hour.
Q2. How much money can you save each month?
I save around 135,000 bath a month. My wife saves half of her salary as well. We place a lot of value on putting a bit away for a rainy day. We don't really feel like we are shorting ourselves though. Hong Kong isn't nearly as expensive as people think
Q3. How much do you pay for your accommodation and what do you live in exactly (house, apartment, condo)?
Our apartment, which has three bedrooms and is brand new, costs about 70,000 baht.
Q4. What do you spend a month on the following things?
We spend around 1,000 to 2,000 baht a month. Public transport is dirt cheap in HK and is so remarkably efficient and well run!
Utilities are paid every two months in HK. For gas, we pay 2,000 baht every two months and for electricity 3,000, water is every two months as well and for this, we pay 1,000 baht. We have the best internet package we could find at 1,200 a month.
Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping
We go out to eat at least once a week, which will cost us around 1000 baht (per week mind you). Food shopping will cost us around 30,000 I suppose, because we are past that stage were we like to eat shit haha!
Nightlife and drinking
I love to party in Thailand, but HK is really just a place for me to live and work, so I don't spend any money on that at all. We do enjoy a nice bottle of wine every once in a while, so maybe 2,000 baht? By the way, alcohol in HK is actually way cheaper than in Bangkok.
I download my books and have a laptop from work, so nothing
Q5. How would you summarize your standard of living in one sentence?
I think we have a great life here. Could we spend more? Of course, but you need to have goals. We are saving what could be considered a few salaries back in Europe every month. As a 29 year old that isn't too bad. HK is incredibly well organized, safe and exciting. It kinda makes me wish I had left Thailand earlier.
Q6. What do you consider to be a real 'bargain' here?
The public transport system is very cheap and efficient. Healthcare as well is just fantastic and for free!
Q7. In your opinion, how much money does anyone need to earn here in order to survive?
I would say you could do so on 80,000 baht but would you want to? I suppose it all depends on your priorities. As a married man I feel the need to provide for the future, but if I was a single man I'd perhaps give it a crack
Phil's analysis and comment
It sounds like an amazing life in Hong Kong on that sort of salary. I've been at least seven or eight times and it was certainly an amazing city in the past. As Patrick says, very well organised with a great public transport system. Not sure I ever fancied living and working there though. But a fantastic place for a four-day city break.