5 Ways to Save Money while Teaching in China
Photo by Athena Lao
It’s well known that teaching abroad can be financially advantageous. This week’s blog post comes from Emily, a travel writer, and considers how you can adjust to a lifestyle in China and save money, while teaching in one of the world’s most exciting and rapidly developing nations.
Limit Your Expenses
Although this might sound like generic advice, it is something to keep in mind. While living in China is comparatively much much cheaper than living in locations such as the UK, USA or Europe, it can be easy to get used to a low cost of living, coupled with a high salary, the chance to travel a lot, eat in more expensive Western restaurants, buy a new laptop/ mobile phone…all of which can add up and prohibit your saving.
Different cities= different costs of living
Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou are expensive cities, and life here will be pricier than living in a tier 2 city (such as Hangzhou, Fuzhou, Chengdu or Chongqing) or tier 3 city.
Know About Your Credit and Reward-Card Benefits
Get to know the advantages your bank offer on credit cards. You might regularly receive messages informing you of points you have accumulated through shopping and or using your credit card for transactions. Learn about frequent flyer plans from various airlines as you’ll be likely to travel around China and Asia, as well as to and from your home country at the end of your contract. These plans will help you save on those airline costs, and you might end up flying one way for free.
Working Overtime Might Prove Valuable
Most schools in China require between 18- 24 teaching hours a week, and some will pay overtime for any teaching hours you complete on top of this. So, if you do wish to earn a little extra, as well as save more, then you should consider adding some extra work hours to your schedule. You can either start private tutoring (if allowed in your contract), or ask your current school if they have some extra classes to have you teach. In China, you will get anywhere between RMB100-300 per hour from tutoring a single child if you work diligently and deliver results.
China is a hugely entrepreneurial country, and many take advantage of a thriving business community that is present in the country. Teachers can get involved in many areas of business life, for example assisting with market development for a start-up, promoting Chinese products to a new market or tourists, or Western style branding (such as food or candies). So, if you’d like to learn more about how business works in China, start talking to people. This will help you expand your networking circle and potentially even broaden your future horizons!
China is an extremely pleasant and comfortable country to live in. As a teacher you’ll live a comfortable lifestyle, and if anything the low cost of living will enable luxuries such as travel, day trips, eating at restaurants, and taking taxis. Without too much effort, you could easily be saving half your wages each month!
Author Bio: Emily is a traveler and a blogger for http://mexicancandy.org. She loves knowing about varied people and their lifestyles while at the same time guiding people across various domains.