What costs will I find cheap living in China?
Public Transport & taxis
As stated above, you can get around effortlessly in China, and it won’t cost you much at all. No expat who values their life will have a car, although quite a few invest in an e-bike if they live close to their school. This makes renting a suburban apartment all the more ingenious: you can save hundreds on rent every month but spend just USD 60 to get around in taxis and metro/buses (or just USD 30 if you never take a taxi). It’s a no-brainer!
Delicious local food
FYI: expats barely cook at home in China, and when they do, it’s to cook something like mum’s lasagne. Now, the grocery bill for that one dish will likely buy them a week’s worth of dinners out at a local joint. Just sayin’! Eating out is so ingrained in the Chinese culture that you will likely do that six nights a week. Never fear. Local eateries are fabulous, so this is a gratifying and delicious way to look after your budget.
Fresh produce & farmer’s markets
China has some great fresh produce markets: you should find your nearest local market when you first settle in! Locally sourced meat, fish, vegetables and fruits are delectable and inexpensive. Discovering new and exceptional tastes is one of the most delightful experiences for new teachers in China. Doing the bulk of your fresh food shopping at a local market will also help keep your living costs down in China.
Have you ever heard of Chinese beer? Well, you soon will. The best beer in China is Tsingtao, yet every province has its distinct local brewery you ought to discover. If you live in a major city, you will likely find all the top brands on sale there too. Local brews are a fantastic way to counteract the expensive imported wine conundrum. Win-win!
YES! Keep yourself at home during CNY and travel at off-peak times, and you’ll be amazed at the travel deals you’ll find in China. Both domestic and international. That long weekend getaway with the girls in Bangkok or Seoul will just cost you a few hundred dollars, so it’s something you can indulge in often. Moreover, all those yuan you’re saving by eating local and going without a personal trainer? Spend them on travel! China enjoys a stellar central location in Asia – this is the time to indulge in inexpensive travel!