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Living on 25,000 HKD/m as a 29 year old American guy with law degree

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  1. #1

    Living on 25,000 HKD/m as a 29 year old American guy with law degree

    Hello. I had some questions about living in HK. I have looked at several similar threads but had some specific questions regarding my situation. Thanks in advance

    1) I read a thread about living on 18,000 HKD/m would be tough but doable. I have a job offer for about 25,000 HKD/m and am wondering what kind of lifestyle that might afford.

    I am looking to go out probably once a week to bars/clubs.

    I am flexible eating and have adjusted to eating on the cheap, having already lived abroad for 18 months in Tokyo and Osaka.

    I heard that buying groceries and cooking at home is more expensive than in the US, but less than eating out. I got no problem cooking a few times a week.

    2) Accomodation -

    I heard it is expensive and small. I have dealt with this situation living in Japan. I can adjust. Ideally, I'd love to live close to the fun parts but am willing to live farther away to save, since 25k/m just ain't a lot.

    3) Law Degree

    I am hoping I can leverage my degree. I am relatively green, but am already licensed in the US and my offer in HK is from a compliance/due diligence company. Growth is probable but I am always into networking and trying to go bigger.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Discovery Bay

    Your package should probably improve in a year if not less. Seems normal to start you off on HKD 25,000/-.

    Forget about living near the fun parts, you'll earn your way there in a couple of years. What you need to look for is a small, (relatively) inexpensive apartment close to where you will work. Keep your rent low, keep your transportation expenses low and, if you eat home-cooked meals with ingredients from the wet market, you may even be able to set aside a decent amount in savings each month.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Hong Kong

    -1250 mpf
    -3k tax
    = 20,750 take home, conservative estimate

    7-10k housing, not shared, in fun location, but very small
    1k utilities
    500 new iphone, unlimited data
    1k transport
    =about 10-13k

    western style is expensive, bread, butter, milk, cheese, peanut butter are costly. noodles and rice is cheap. what do you want to eat. easy to get fat here too. i spend anywhere from 4k-8k per month on food, but now closer to 4-5k, but when I first came, I was eating out a lot, now I am mixing it up, but you should experience the food here, it is good. Lots of buffet styles, easy to spend 300hkd for dinner.

    70-100hkd per drink, some clubs have covers, 300hkd+++ to enter. there are 7/11's nearby and many people drink in the streets, so depends what you like to do and how many drinks do you need to be happy, haha.

    25k is ok, I think 18k is very rough tho. Most companies have 13 months salary plus bonus. Check to see what yours is. Yet, you need to save some money for taxes.

    You can rent a room and pay less, live far away and pay a little less but much bigger. If you compare housing plus travel costs into one, I think most of HK is similarly priced.

    Also, most jobs in HK you need to negotiate your salary.

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using GeoClicks Mobile

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    3k tax a month? As a single guy with no dependents his annual tax bill would be $8,640 for this tax year, nothing like the $36,000 you estimate. Why do you bother to provide advice when it's just rubbish?

    Salaries Tax Computation

    There are errors strewn through the rest of your post too, drinks at 70-100? In some LKF bars, but in restaurants you can drink beer at $20.

    Fiona in HKG, jgl and dinamanning like this.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Do you have a permanent HKID or require a work visa? If you need a visa, you can ignore the MPF deduction for the first year. It's another $1000 for you to do what you want with.
    iPhone plan with unlimited data is cheaper than $500 if OP buys the phone here too. Base cost about $450 minus the monthly phone rebate, I pay just under $250/mo for unlimited data.

    Last edited by MCDC; 03-06-2012 at 12:11 PM.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Kent, England

    Agree, Booth your estimates are way over.

  7. #7

    Thanks for the detailed feedback.

    The company will sponsor my work visa, so I guess that will give me a bit of extra cash to play with, according to poster MCDC.

    There seems to be a bit of disagreement on expenses.

    Do you think I can manage a rent of around 7800 HKD/m - 9300 HKD/m?

    I can cook 3 times a week, stretch that into like 6 meals.

    I do have some student loans to pay, that might rob me of a good 2300 HKD/m.

    Currently living in Los Angeles, I was looking at some smart phones, but I haven't decided on whether it might be better to just get a phone out in HK.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Tai Hang

    You can spend as little or as much as you like on food. Pay peanuts for sacks of food cheap at wet markets, or rack up a bill on imported stuff at City Super, eat out cheap at food halls etc. for 30 bucks, or blow 100x that at any number of trendy eateries if it takes your fancy. Everything in between too.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    for your info:

    We currently live on 17k a month. I'm a married expat with a baby. HK can be as cheap or expensive as you make it.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Salary seems low for someone with a law degree. Even if you are just starting you should be looking upwards of 50k. So you might just want to treat this first job as a way to get into HK and then move on up from there. If that is the case you can try to survive on what you have until you get a higher paying job or start your own business etc

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