Thursday, September 16, 2010


I wrote down and took a look at our budget before we moved to China. All our expenses totaled $2,555. I wasn’t making that much because of reduced hours. I converted the budget into a percentage and also into what it would equal in Chinese money. I thought someone might find it interesting to look at our current budget.
TOTAL= $2,555/MONTH = 100%
INSURANCE = $330 = 12.92%
TAXES = $295 = 11.55%
HOUSE = $305 = 11.94%
UTIL. (ELEC, GAS, WATER, TV,) = $285 = 11.15%
CAR = $460 = 18%
PHONE = $175 = 6.85%
SCHOOL = $100 = 3.91%
FOOD = $535 = 20.94%
OTHER = $70 = 2.74%

TOTAL = 6,000/MONTH = 100%
INSURANCE = 1,000 = 16.67%
UTIL. = 400 = 6.67%
CAR = 0
PHONE = 400 = 6.67%
FOOD = 3,000 = 50%
OTHER = 200 = 3.33%
SAVINGS = 1,000 = 16.66%

My pay is 1/3 what I would need in the US. The school pays for insurance on me but I had to purchase insurance for the family before we left America at $1,780 for one year. We don’t pay taxes. Housing is provided. Water and electric are 1/4 what they would be in the states. We don’t have a car, but we do take taxis and buses when we don’t walk. Cell is 1/3 what it was before we came here because it is pay as you go and we only call each other usually. We purchased all of Suzanne’s home schooling materials before we came over here. The cost of eating out isn’t too expensive except at KFC. A big expense of our food budget is buying imported items such as pasta and cheese. We are trying to get used to not using them as much but it is a hard habit to break.

Following budget we should be able to save 1,000RMB each month. So far we have saved nothing because we have had extra cost moving here and getting settled. A single person could live comfortable and save money. A couple, even with a family, like our friends in Beijing, who both work, can manage to save money. Deb would like to look into getting ESL certification so she also can work after DJ gets old enough to go to preschool. Our budget isn’t in the red like it used to be but we still have to watch it. For what little we do have, we really enjoy ourselves.

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