It’s no secret that residing in the Western world is expensive, and for a lot of people this has become a daily struggle resulting in working overtime and essentially ‘living to work’ just to be able to pay the bills. Furthermore, it’s no surprise then that a lot of people choose to move abroad in search of a work/play/travel balance. Asia is seemingly more attractive these days, and living in China brings with it so many conveniences, low costs and an overall more enjoyable way of living. But don’t just take my word for it, have a read below of why the cost of living in China just makes so much sense!
It couldn’t be easier to get from A to B in China. Taxi’s are everywhere and usually start from around 7-10RMB ($2/£1) in the big cities. UBER is incredibly popular here if you want to avoid standing on the street. Plus it’s always nice to have your own personal chauffeur. Alternatively you can avoid the traffic and take the metro – most journey’s will cost you between 3 and 7RMB (less than a $/£). Bicycles are popular and can be borrowed for free (upto 2hrs) from designated bike points. Then of course there are tuktuks and reliable bus services that will set you back a mere 2RMB in most places. As for long distance travel within China? Their affordable, fast and incredibly reliable train service will get you to almost all the tourist hotspots and beyond. Typically a 13hr overnight train (with bed) will cost 450RMB ($68/£45).
Hire an ‘Ayi’ aka housekeeper
I’m sure like me, you hear ‘housekeeper’ and you think of a big, fancy house or someone with a lot of money. In China, it is very common for the everyday person to hire a housekeeper if they work a lot, and because it is surprisingly very affordable. As an example for how it works; pay a monthly salary of 1,200RMB ($180/£120) and expect your trusted Ayi to come for 2hrs a day and help prepare food. I’ve met a few Ayi’s here in China, and every one of them has been sweet, hard-working and reliable. What’s more, expect them to become part of the family!
Here’s a question: how often can you afford to eat out at a restaurant at home? Well, here in China it is possible to spend as little as 100RMB ($15/£10) a day on three meals, including drinks and snacks. Let me assure you, this is not because the food is lousy or poorly made! Here’s a little list to give you an idea of what you can enjoy with your money and the low cost of living in China:
A plate of 15 dumplings = 15RMB ($2/£1.50)
A big bowl of noodles = 10RMB ($1.50/£1)
A meal for 4 people = 150RMB ($22/£15)
A western meal = 20-40RMB ($6/£4)
Beer = 5RMB ($0.70/50p)
Going out for food with friends, especially on warm summer evenings, suddenly becomes an everyday occurrence without breaking the bank.
Miscellaneous that make life fun
Treat yourself to a massage! At prices of 25-40RMB ($4/£2.5) per hour, you can afford to treat yourself 2 or 3 times a week.
Get that fancy new haircut! Salon’s are decent, and cheap. Prices range depending on the salon, but rest assured it will be cheaper than back home.
Shop ’til you drop! Find the infamous Chinese markets and haggle your way to bargains galore. It takes time to get used to, but once you successfully knock 50% off your first purchase, you’ll find yourself hooked on shopping in China.
In conclusion, as always, if you have any questions or anything to add, please leave a comment or get in touch! 🙂