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Budgeting in Beijing: Living on 10,000 Yuan per Month

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10,000 Yuan may be about average for expat wages, but for Beijingers it is considered a relatively high wage. Most Chinese incomes are quite a bit lower. So, you have a job that pays 10,000 Yuan. What kind of life can you live in Beijing? The answer may surprise you:

First of all, social security and a few other payments will be taken from your paycheck:

Social Security
Your total income tax is 322.70 Yuan

   • Pension (8%): 800 Yuan

   • Medical (2%): 200.3 Yuan

   • Unemployment (0.2%): 20 Yuan

   • Housing Reserve Fund (12%): 1200 Yuan

After taking away all that, you get 7454.30 Yuan in take-home pay. This number may be slightly different for Chinese and expats, and most expats receive their social security upon leaving their job in China and do not put money into a housing reserve fund. A housing-related reserve fund is when an employee puts aside a certain percentage of their paycheck for buying or renting an apartment down the line, and the percentage is matched by their employer.

Monthly Cost of Living in Beijing:
1) Rent (a fully furnished bedroom near the Third or Fourth Ring Road): 3,000 Yuan

2) Utilities (water, gas, electricity, Internet, television, household management): about 300 Yuan

3) Transportation (mainly bus and subway with an occasional taxi ride on the weekend, in the rain or snow, or when running late, a car is out of the question on a 10,000 Yuan budget): 200 Yuan

4) Food: 1670 Yuan

   • Meals (22 days of cooking, 5 Yuan for breakfast, 15 Yuan for lunch and dinner): 770 Yuan

   • Entertainment (going out on weekends for dinner, drinks, and movies at 150 Yuan per day): 600 Yuan

   • Fruit (at least 80 Yuan a week for snacks): 300 Yuan

5) Clothing and Shoes: 300 Yuan per month at the very least

6) Daily Items (books, daily necessities like soap, toothpaste, shampoo, toilet paper): 100 Yuan at the very least

7) Phone: 100 Yuan, local only

Total Cost of Living: 5670 Yuan

Paying for the basic necessities of life leaves you with 1784.3 Yuan. There are a few things you could spend it on:

Dating: It’s hard to find a girlfriend or boyfriend on 10,000 a month, going to a bar a few times a month quickly adds up to 600 Yuan.

A Relationship: Having a girlfriend will cost you at least 1,200 Yuan a month, 900 Yuan at the very least.

Travel: You probably have enough to travel three times a year on your salary on short trips that cost about 600 Yuan, or monthly day trips that cost 150 Yuan.

Holidays: Purchasing gifts for birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, weddings, births, and so on can really add up, especially when the norm is about 300 Yuan per person. This can add up to 2,000 Yuan a year, or about 200 Yuan a month.

Parents: Chinese usually send a minimum of 500 Yuan to take care of their parents every month or buy them a gift of about the same value.

A 10,000 Yuan salary means that you have to pick and choose when it comes to travel, nightlife, wedding gifts and helping our your parents. In a city like Beijing, you just can’t do it all on a 10,000 Yuan paycheck. If you have kids, smoke, buy a car or are really social then the numbers will change even more.

Source: QQ News 

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Keywords: Budgjet Beijing rent food Beijing

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40 Comments ( Add your comment )


If you dont have any standards for the quality of your meals this article is about right.. which foreigner wants to eat a 5 yuan breakfast? i pay 20 for my coffee at Starbuck only. Dinner 15 yuan? Chuar?street food... by the logic of this article you spend 1600 on ur girlfriend and 1200 on food...where do EC get this editors? damn.....Plus, if you are making 10k and you are a foreigner, best advise you could have: go back to your country, get more and less same low salary and enjoy ur homeland perks

Nov 11, 2015 16:09

you kidding ? You can't get yourself coffee at home, and slow paced breakfast with bread and eggs or anything you like ?

Nov 17, 2015 09:07

10,000rmb is low for a standard English teaching job in Beijing.

Nov 11, 2015 16:27

Chewbacca 10k is low in any industry..why even bother to come to china for 10k salary and live in a crappy place and eating crappy 15 yuan meals...

Nov 11, 2015 16:36

I like how they chose the guy who looks kinda like a hobo to be the cover pic. This article is not very helpful though. If you chose a job in Beijing for 10,000rmb per month AND no accommodation then you chose wrong or you are the bottom of the barrel and couldn't find useful employment anywhere else.

Nov 11, 2015 19:10

mmm the stereotypical Back Home Loser for an article on how to live like a bum in Beijing....

Nov 11, 2015 21:13

if compared to my country, 1200 Eur is quite a high salary, for IT industry as example. not everyone is coming from US. but sure, 10k in Beijing is too low anyway

Nov 17, 2015 09:10

Why does the same money have distinctive feeling for you ?

Dec 16, 2015 16:00

Why does the same money have distinctive feeling for you ?

Dec 16, 2015 16:00

diference is that in my country from that same amount of money I don't need to pay each hospital visit for me neither my son, don't need to pay for his school crazy amounts as here is requested, so more money is left and allowed for better use :)

Dec 21, 2015 15:20

"Having a girlfriend will cost you at least 1,200 Yuan a month, 900 Yuan at the very least." Haha, has it really come to this? My girl would have to start getting used to splitting like!

Nov 12, 2015 01:50

"Most expats receive their social security upon leaving their job in China" WTF? No they don't.

Nov 12, 2015 09:22

it is possible, you should look into it. That is if you pay it. It was only complusary for about a year or so.

Nov 12, 2015 11:48

As a Chinese person, I think 10000 is just acceptable.

Nov 12, 2015 10:44

for chinese even 6000 is acceptable

Nov 13, 2015 09:25

Yes, as a Chinese person because you have house here bought by your parents ( you didn't work any day for it ! ) , you have money in the bank also from your parents and so on... oh yes, 10K then is so OOOKKK ! ...

Dec 15, 2015 20:30

Well, how do you get jobs paid more than 10k RMB then?

Nov 12, 2015 13:40

well if you have more options then just be a teacher you can. my first job in beijing, as a marketing specialist, i negociated a 15k salary.. 4 years ago..after that you try to go up the ladder or change to a better offer

Nov 13, 2015 09:19

Thanks for sharing your experience. Teaching jobs generally pay less but for 8-10k RMB you usually get free accommodation - even in cities which are reportedly cheaper than Beijing. But the career and development prospective is rather dire - be a teacher for the rest of your life?

Nov 13, 2015 10:38

my pleasure aswler.. i never teached, i have no insights on the teaching industry..but even if is your area you can try different options like, translations, localization, transcription jobs probably are more well payed and open other doors for you, as into international marketing or advertisement. Can also try as a part time job, you can freelance it from home getting experience and eventually will make the diference applying for a full time job in this area..would be easy specially if you are fluent in english and native in any other language, portuguese, spanish,german, italian, french, etc...

Nov 13, 2015 10:55

Can you help me find a job here ? I am not Native English and would like something from your "list" , like localization or other .. but cannot find or I don't know where to find... I am aylin008 for yahoo dot com.

Dec 15, 2015 20:34

expat is a broad term. If a person is a native speaker, and settles for a 10K a month job in Beijing with no accommodation included, then they are a retard.

Nov 12, 2015 14:25

how much for the health care required due to the apocalyptic pollution

Nov 12, 2015 17:37

You all do realize he is talking about Chinese people being paid 10,000 RMB a month.

Nov 14, 2015 14:50

Ha! You are correct! I skimmed over the article, and was negligent. But the first sentence is what it says. Inmy defense though, I will claim a misleading headline title coupled with a photo of an obvious Caucasian expat. Maybe the author should refine their article more accurately!!!

Nov 14, 2015 15:48
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