Monthly expenses

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    8

    Monthly expenses

    Hi everyone,

    I need advice on monthly expenses for 2 people in Hong Kong. I have a job offer for roughly 23k a month and not sure if it is enough to support 2 people. I was living with my folks before, but my gf is coming to join me from overseas. I would like to know if the following seems a reasonable budget of living expenses. Any advise on budgeting would be very much appreciated.

    rent $7500 (Tung Chung)
    electricity $700
    Water $300
    Gas $500
    Internet $300
    Transport $3000
    Food $6000
    mobile $300 (2 people)
    cat food+litter $400
    Total $19000

    Does this seem realistic at all or where would it need to be changed?

    Last edited by Mr.Chan; 09-07-2009 at 04:11 AM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    23,217

    $23K is more than the median total household income so clearly it will be enough.

    Water will be less than $100.
    Gas is very unlikely to be as high as $500 - more likely $200-300.
    Electricity may be about right on average but it will be higher in the summer and probably a lot lower in the winter.
    Transport at $3000 allows a few taxis - if you manage to stick to MTR and buses you should be able to better that a bit.
    You might spend more on your phones depending on whether you use them for data and on how many international calls you make and to where.
    Remember that there is tax. You can use the IRD calculator to estimate yours here: Salaries Tax Computation

    Does your girlfriend have the right of abode in Hong Kong? She can't legally just roll up as a visitor and reside here.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Fo Tan
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    Food at $6000 also seems to be a bit high, unless you are going to eat out a lot (in which case it might be low).
    We aren't spending $6000/month for food and we have two kids.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    115

    Depending on your lifestyle, I would also budget for the following(since you'll be living away from your folks):
    1. Clothing(I've found one cannot help but spend more on this category in HK);
    2. Holidaying(local and overseas);
    3. Toiletries, cosmetics and household cleaning;
    4. Entertainment, gym fee and gifts;
    5. Pay TV, long distance calls(if not bundled with your mobile);
    6. You probably can ignore medical expenses?

    Even you may not spend on these every month, it's still a good idea to put the money aside for them as you may need to spend it some day.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    394
    Quote Originally Posted by PDLM:
    $23K is more than the median total household income so clearly it will be enough..
    But nearly half of the Hong Kong population live in public housing! For 2 people, and 1 of them without and HKID card, you won't have much savings.

    Don't forget $1K per month for MPF contributions (don't have to pay it in your first year), and about $1.3K per month needed for your taxes.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Sleuth:
    Food at $6000 also seems to be a bit high, unless you are going to eat out a lot (in which case it might be low).
    We aren't spending $6000/month for food and we have two kids.
    Hi Sleuth,

    Where do you shop?

    We live in Disco Bay (Me, wife and 1 kid) and struggle to spend less than $6000... Or maybe thats what the wife is telling me!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    308

    I would say HK$6000/mth for 2 on food is already on the frugal side. That gives roughly HK$100/person/DAY. A cheap chinese lunch box + drink already costs HK$30! It just about covers food shopping at local wet markets and cooking your own meals.

    The OP can also consider living in smaller, more basic accomodation nearer to town or where you work, so you can safe on transportation.


  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    8

    Hi Thank you for everyone's input. As I am only starting my career this is really important and helpful to me. I cannot express how happy I am with everyones input. I am also hoping any future expats can find this useful for their own planning and budgeting to come to Hong Kong. To respond to some of the questions here, my gf does have the right of abode so thats not an issue. As for the 6000 food bill i was thinking $30 a meal, 3 meals a day, multiplied by 30 days. The hardest part of all this is the input on electricity, gas and water and is the most helpful part of all.

    I've compiled a new budget from all the extra info here. I have edited the gas and water bills. The rent I've looked into and can probably lower to 7k/month. I've also added other expenses as suggested.

    Necessities
    rent $7000 (Tung Chung)
    electricity $700
    Water $200
    Gas $300
    Transport $3000
    Food $6000
    cat food+litter $300
    cleaning supplies $200
    toiletries $100
    cosmetics $200
    Haircuts $300

    Luxuries
    mobile $300 (2 people)
    Internet $300
    Now-TV $300
    misc shopping/entertainment/dining $1000

    Others
    MPF 1000
    Tax 110 (assuming we get married in future)

    Total $ 21310

    Does this look more realistic?

    Last edited by Mr.Chan; 09-07-2009 at 03:26 PM.

  9. #9

    Join Date
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    Sarcasm - because beating the crap out of people is illegal
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    Just an FYI on the rent: You'll need to cough up 2 months' deposit plus 1 month in advance and, if you use an agent (rather than deal direct with the landlord), 50% of one month's rent as the agent fee. Total: 3.5 x the monthly rent.

    And don't forget you will need to pay deposits for the utilities.

    Last edited by Claire ex-ax; 09-07-2009 at 03:44 PM. Reason: Utilities

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    308
    cleaning supplies $200
    toiletries $100
    cosmetics $200
    Haircuts $300


    The above seems a little low.

    MPF 1000

    Mandatory MPF is capped at $1000, however, a lot of companies are more generous and will offer say 5%+ of your mthly income which you must match.

    Tax 110 (assuming we get married in future)

    Until you do get married, you will not benefit from your future wife's tax allowance. You also need to add any double pay or bonus/commissions in your tax consideration + provisional tax payments (visit IRD's website for more info).

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