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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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41 Comments ( Add your comment )


More or less there are some useful concepts such as income tax etc for newbies to lookout for when looking for a jobs in peking. and the rest of the article ... it's really just for entertainment.

Aug 03, 2017 09:49

I was wondering what salary is considered relatively good for an expat in Beijing?

Mar 24, 2017 07:43

if u want work just add my wechat 13679105477

Mar 09, 2017 10:13

if u want work in China add my wechat 13679105477

Mar 09, 2017 10:11

So, this budget is nice =)

Dec 24, 2016 10:04

This article is misleading!!! Item Chinese are getting salaries between 10-15K. My Ayi is getting 8k a months f.e.

Mar 28, 2016 09:00

Not true infro at all!

Mar 06, 2016 14:34

Any expat who settles for 10k in Beijing without also being granted a free apartment where they don't pay bills is retarded and should be used as food.

Mar 04, 2016 10:22

Good luck!

Jan 13, 2016 12:02

Exactly true. Which is why I need another part time job. Struggle to live in Beijing.

Jan 11, 2016 17:33

When a company hire you here, they even don't care of what visa you have and how you can handle it ! what to say that they no give accomodation, they no care you are foreigner at all ! There are so many jobs with a salary of 3-5k a month. They think as Chinese ! don't forget this... you can't change their mind and culture ... I have a friend who is working here and the company offered house, and he no pay anyting for house or bills, plus a salary of 20-30K a month. That is a good chance for a foreigner, but how many of us can have this chance ? Now even for a Native English teacher, they offer 8-10 K. Even with accomodation, this is very low ! ! !

Dec 15, 2015 20:43

If you have not any life , stay at home , eat only 1 time per day, no buy anything else, no have girlfriend or boyfriend, no travel anywhere , then yes ! 10 K is ok ! =))

Dec 15, 2015 20:38

Seriously, where do they get these info ! breakfast at Mcdonalds which is relativly cheap costs more than that. Utilities are 300. i mean WTF, i pay management fee of 160 rmb / month, thats half of it and i didnt started paying my bills. Either post some real info or just dont post at all.

Nov 27, 2015 14:16

"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." So, this article is obviously directed towards the heterosexual male (or possibly a few gay/bi females)... and obviously, BJ obviously doesn't see the need for equality - the guy has to pay for the girl! What I also find amusing... 3000RMB for a BEDROOM in the outer circle... I pay less than that for my fully furnished 3-BEDROOM APARTMENT down here in Hangzhou!!! Seriously, does no-one understand the concept of 'nett profit'?? Earning more money is irrelevant if you end up having less in your hand!

Nov 20, 2015 14:15

The article is about Beijing ! not Hangzhou city !

Dec 15, 2015 20:36

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

If healthcare was 200 RMB a month I'd have signed up to it by now

Nov 16, 2015 16:11

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

Nov 12, 2015 17:37

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

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

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