It’s time for another cost of living in Shenzhen China update.
December was another great month filled with new memories, Christmas Parties, and a few vacation days. I didn’t do any traveling for the month, because I know that I’ll have tons of days off next month. Financially it was also a great month! I was able to exceed my income goal and save much more than expected. So overall December 2019 was a good month!
I will take this time to review my Top 10 expenses, document my thoughts, and come up with a realistic plan to improve for the new decade.
So let’s get started:
Cost of Living Shenzhen China: My Top 10 Expenses
1. Rent: $482
Rent is a pretty fixed expense for me. I live in a two bedroom apartment in Shenzhen China. This price ($482) reflects my half of the bill. I don’t see much changing in this category in the near future.
2. Taxes: $399
Since I still earn a significant income in the U.S. , I still have pretty hefty tax bill. Every month I sock away approximately 30% of my earnings to hedge for Uncle Sam.
3. Tithes: $357
I contribute to a church in my home town of Atlanta, Georgia. The church helped me develop as a youth and I want to give back. Therefore, this expense is fixed at approximately 10% of my total gross income for the month.
4. Student Loans: $255
Student Loans… oh how I can’t wait for you to disappear. This is another fixed cost, but the payment will be decreasing soon because I will be paying off an individual loan. YES!
5. Restaurant: $231
So let me explain… the cost of living in China is quite different from in the U.S. If you eat at local restaurants you will spend pennies compared to what you would at a Zaxby’s or Chickfila. Since a large portion of my income is based on my time I really have to do what I can to maximize it. I’ve found that eating at restaurants is one of those things.
I can show you better than I can tell you:
As you can see I ate out 56 times in December, that’s almost 2 meals per day and I only spent $230
6. Grocery $185
Now… If I’m eating out 2 meals a day, what the HELL AM I SPENDING SO MUCH ON GROCERIES FOR?After looking at the transactions most of the most expensive items were Beer & Wine. I promise I don’t drink that much.
Next month I’m going to create separate budget just for alcohol.
7. Thailand $143
This is for my AirBnb for my upcoming vacation to Thailand. I created a budget for my trip to Thailand and this is one of the expenses in the budget.
8. Health Insurance $143
I HAVE to purchase some form of private insurance, because the plans that are offered by my company are sketchy. Therefore, this is another fixed expense.
9. Transaction Fees $85
There’s not much I can do about the transaction fees. They are a pain in my a** though. It really is just a cost of being an Expat.
10. Entertainment $83
My entertainment expenses were a lot higher than usual for two reasons.
- My girlfriend and I had a little Christmas nostalgia and decided to make a Holiday Watch-list. If we couldn’t find a movie on Netflix, I didn’t hesitate to rent it on another platform. I may have rented 6-10 movies over the month.
- The last day of the year was filled with drinking a little too much alcohol.
Ways to Improve in the new decade – January 2020
- Keep the cost of my meals at restaurants below $3.50
- Reduce grocery budget and make a limited budget for alcohol. Maybe $50.
If you know of ANY ways I can cut cost. Please feel free to leave a comment below. Thank you for taking the time to read my post.