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Got a job at 18,000 HKD per month...is that enough to live on?

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Got a job at 18,000 HKD per month...is that enough to live on?

    Hello friendly people!

    I just got offered a job that is in Kowloon near Lai Chi Kok Station and really wanted to know if my 18,000k per month salary would be enough?

    ALSO..i am moving there alone and wanted to know if that area is has a young community of expats or you know neighbours that i can make friends with as i dont speak Chinese.

    The company said they would help with accommodation but they sent me only Horizon Hotel & Suites website to check on...I am very confused! I mean is that normal to live in a hotel? would renting an apartment out be cheaper?

    and if so can you please tell me where else to search for around Tsim Sha Tsui area?


    THANK YOU THANK YOU..please help me with any info, as i have never been to HK and i am moving form the UK.

    Last edited by GotTheJob; 21-02-2012 at 07:53 AM.

  2. #2

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    It's borderline, but if you are young and used to living frugally, yes, it's enough to come and explore HK. You will need to find somewhere cheap to live - check with your job if the fact they sent you a serviced appt info means they will pay for that for a while. Then check it out when you get here - probably you need either something tiny "in the big smoke" (and by tiny, we REALLY mean tiny) or something decent further out with a commute - I'm guessing the former if you are young!

    And you'll have to give up expat food and enjoy the "local" cuisine (no, it's nothing like the local chinese back home). But you'll have a ball.

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  3. #3

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    I would think you need to look in the areas around Tsim Sha Tsui rather than TST itself. I assume you mean 18k/month rather than 18,000k per month! On that budget, I would think avoiding TST and living nearer work makes more sense - a shorter commute and cheaper accommodation.

    You can definitely find places cheaper than that website... and you'll need to as your budget is nowhere near enough to afford to live there. Not sure why your company offers you a place costing 8k when you're going to be earning 18k - 45% is a big percentage of salary. to be spending every month.

    Frankly speaking, I wouldn't even consider moving here on a package like that from the UK if you have never visited here. You might also have troubles with work visa issuance (if you need) as it's below the 20k/month rule of thumb frequently cited.

    I would recommend a visit first before signing up to an offer like that and moving here. Have a look at the type of place you'll be living and what you can afford to spend every week first...

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  4. #4

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    When I came here I started on 18k as a fresh grad. I got the work visa sponsored no problem so unless things changed in the last 3 years, Thebrit is wrong about that. It's plenty to live on provided you don't get mixed up in a social circle who go drinking in lkf every night.

    I would suggest that as well as meeting some expats, you meet some locals with good English because they will be able to give you much better advice on how to make your money go further in HK, and also I'm assuming one reason you're coming here is for an experience of a different culture. As long as you don't try to use HK to replicate your life in England you'll be fine. People who think HK is expensive are the ones who try to shop in citysuper, eat only western food and go out drinking regularly... things that are designed to rip off expats with money to burn (although there are ways of doing the last 2 at a reasonable price if you avoid the traps).

    Have fun.


  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by justjoe86
    When I came here I started on 18k as a fresh grad. I got the work visa sponsored no problem so unless things changed in the last 3 years, Thebrit is wrong about that.
    20K thing is a rule of thumb and not really a written nor a hard rule.
    I've brought in employees well under the 20K mark but when I've done so, I've faced much more scrutiny (more docs and paperwork).
    When I've brought people in at or slightly above 20K mark, I've had a much easier time with much less paperwork.
    Last edited by HowardCoombs; 21-02-2012 at 08:50 AM.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by justjoe86
    When I came here I started on 18k as a fresh grad. I got the work visa sponsored no problem so unless things changed in the last 3 years, Thebrit is wrong about that.
    It has frequently been mentioned on these forums, I have seen it cited several dozen times. It is a rule-of-thumb, rather than an absolute figure.

    When you came here on 18k/month 3 years, how much did you spend on rent? And how much would you spend to live in the same place now? Just checking the Hong Kong Midland Realty Residential Rent index.

    31/1/2009 0 15.34
    11/30/2011 20.51 (last figure I have access to)

    So, 44% average rental increase over the past 3 years, and that's not to mention CPI has been running at 4% or more.

    18k/month now isn't the same as 18k/month three years ago.
    Last edited by TheBrit; 21-02-2012 at 08:40 AM.
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  7. #7
    Mat
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    If you work in Lai Chi Kok why not livethere and that way avoid commuting costs.

    18K is that all or is it 18K + housing allowance?

    18K is low and not easy to live on BUT if you share a flat (say in Lai Chi Kok with a friend) then your rent would be about 6K/month (12K or about for a 600 sqf flat that you share) and no commuting cost since you could walk to your office, which would leave you with 12K/month, more than enough if you are young and not too demanding.

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  8. #8

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    I don't recommend TST unless you plan on living at Chungking Mansions or in a Guest House. Rents in TST are well over 9K and I don't think the OP can afford to spend more than half his paycheck on rent.

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  9. #9

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    Ok so, as I said... *unless things have changed in the last 3 years* (which Thebrit and HC suggest might be the case) 18k is ok for a working visa.

    Regarding places to live... with your budget I would recommend the new territories (it's easy to get to Lai chi kok by westrail... change at Mei foo and it's one stop from there), and forget about size. Whatever your budget, the best way you'll get space is to leave the flat, so don't go splashing 60% of your salary to get a boot box instead of a shoebox. Or you could do a flatshare somewhere more central.

    I remember my biggest problem moving from UK to HK and looking at flats is that everything seemed tiny. Now I look at the very same flats and they seem spacious... you learn to adapt. If I ever go back to the UK I will probably rent somewhere 'huuuge', only for my friends to ask why I'm living somewhere so tiny.

    Last edited by justjoe86; 21-02-2012 at 09:28 AM.
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  10. #10

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    I think it's possible to live on that salary without housing allowance as I know of others who have done so. It will probably be most economically sound living with a roommate. My friend used easyroommate.com and got a super good deal, that was well under 10K on the Kowloon side. Depends on your expenses as well, but local food is very cheap compared to the US and the UK, in my mind can be 1/3 the price. Another thing to consider is that if you want to go out to the bars in LKF, you may need to go home in the evenings via taxi, which could be another cost - or there are always Minibuses and Night Buses.

    18K is not super high, but certainly possible.

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