Money & Expenses in Shanghai, China

On this hot and sweaty day in Shanghai, teacher Ian talks about expenses in Shanghai. He covers rent, food, free housing, transportation, health checks and phone.

Here is a transcription of the video:

In a snapshot I am going to give you some expenses in China. I am living in Shanghai and Shanghai is probably one of the more expensive places in China. More expensive than Shanghai would be Hong Kong. Shanghai is pretty expensive, however it can be cheap as well. It just depends a little on your lifestyle and on how you want to live.

Food. You can get pretty cheap food. You can get some noodles in a restaurant for 6 or 7 Yuan (about $1) or fried rice for around those prices. If you want to eat on the street you can also eat cheaply for around the same price perhaps. You can get barbecue, snacks and breakfast foods for pretty cheap. And you can pay a lot more for that too. You can pay 20, 30, 40, 100 on up. Shanghai is pretty international so there are a lot of options. But if you want you can live cheaply here.

Rent. Usually in China you pay three months rent up front. I met a girl who was paying 1700 Yuan (a month) for a more Chinese style apartment. She had a balcony and I believe it was a one bedroom. And that is pretty cheap for Shanghai. For around 3000 you can find something, however this is going to be more Chinese style or older. If you want something more westernized or newer you're easily going to pay 3000 or more depending on your tastes and what kind of lifestyle you want to live.

Visas. Visas can be expensive especially if you are an American. If you are an American you are going to pay $150 for a visa and a $150 for an extension as well. Z visas and tourist visas (L) are the same. If you are from another country then you are better off. I think you will only have to pay 160 Yuan for a visa. That's around maybe $20-30.

Rent. To back up a bit some schools will provide rent housing. However, in Shanghai not many schools provide free housing. Once you get out of Shanghai more schools will be willing to give you free housing.

Transportation. On a bus you can pretty much go anywhere for 2 Yuan. On a subway that will start around 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 depending on how far you go on the line. That's one way.

Health checks. My health check cost about 700 and it was pretty detailed. They checked everything: eyes, blood, heart, inner organs, height, weight and these kinds of things. About 700 Yuan.

Phone. I pay about 50 Yuan a week for a prepaid plan. About 200 a month, so about $30-40 a month for a phone.

*Added note: You'll need to get a health check if you want to legally teach English in China with a Z visa. You can watch this video to find out how much money you can earn teaching English in China.

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