Monthly Expenses and Items Included in Salary Deduction

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Hong Kong

    Monthly Expenses and Items Included in Salary Deduction

    Will a monthly basic salary of 20,000 HKD be:

    1) sufficient to cover living expenses in Hong Kong AND
    2) allow me to generate some savings preferably at least 5,000 HKD a month?

    My budget for monthly rent is a maximum of 10,000 HKD a month. This is inclusive of broadband internet, local phone, electricity, water and government rates.

    I know rental rates vary greatly depending on the location and the size of the flat.

    Aside from the items above, I thought of the following that I should pay for with my basic salary:

    -mobile phone
    -transportation to and from work (Work will be in Central; I know tram costs $2 one-way)
    -management fees
    -deposit and/or 2 months worth of monthly rental payment

    Can someone give an approximate amount for each of the items above or at least say whether 20,000 HKD a month is a reasonable amount to cover all living expenses and generate some savings (as mentioned above)?

    Are there other expense items I should take note of?

    I read that the tax rate is 16% in Hong Kong. Is this a fixed rate that is deducted monthly from the basic salary? Aside from tax, what are the other deductions from the monthly basic salary (this is assuming I am single with no dependents)?

    I would greatly appreciate your advice. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Sai Kung

    for deposit, you actually need 3.5 months up front. two months are deposit, one month is first month's rent and .5 is the agent's commission.

    tax is NOT deducted from salary... you need to save for it.

    $20,000 might be a little on the tight side. i realise that many locals earn a lot less. i earned a lot less when i first arrived. it was difficult to save anything on that salary.

    you have forgotten any form of entertainment! you need to do something besides work or else you will HATE your time in hk and your life.

    mobile $100/month (at a stretch~if you live on HK island or most of kowloon, there wouldn't be need for a landline)
    internet $2-300/month
    electricity $400-1000/month (depending on your reliance on air con during summer)
    transportation $500-1000/month (yes, tram is only $2 BUT HK island is generally MUCH more expensive for rent. you might be better off to live in kowloon and travel to work...)
    management fees... negotiate that INTO your rent.
    gov't rates... negotiate INTO rent.
    water $100/quarter
    food~VERY subjective! do you only eat organic imported foods? will you eat locally? are you vegetarian? will you cook at home and take a packed lunch or will you eat lunch out everyday? will you eat in a "restaurant" once per day, per week, per month or per year?

    hope that helps

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Yuen Long


    $20,000 is possible to live off of yes, but you may want to find a place cheaper to live if possible than $10,000 incl all bills etc. I think $5000 is kind of hard to pay phone bill, transport, food etc.

    Don't get me wrong it is possible. I guess it depends how you live. There are a lot of local familes that live on $10,000 a month or even less. However they also don't live in Central areas generally.

    Keep in mind the $2 tram is only on the North side of Hong Kong Island, and is very slow. Therefore it is reasonable to assume you are very unlikely to use this as a daily commute (Do-able, but not if you live off the island)

    Also for food if you eat out a lot or eat western food it will be expensive. If you work in Central it will be very easy to slip in to western restaurants for a quick lunch or dinner.

    What I am saying is it will be possible but with $5000 monthly savings it will be very difficult. Tax is calculated yearly and paid in lump sum FYI.