Discussion » Feedback & Suggestions » What's a good salary per month in Beijing?

  • Tian 王倚天
    Tian 王倚天 wrote:

    I recently saw a survey conducted on the home page regarding wages, which got me curious.

    How much does someone living in Beijing have to earn to be considered well off? Being able to foot groceries, restaurants and bar outings weekly, and a little shopping on the side.

    And how much would yu advise a tourist to bring for one month stay?

  • Eric Yang
    Eric Yang wrote:

    well, it depends on whether you've got a place to live or renting a place to live

  • Tian 王倚天

    I'm just looking for a number.

  • Sabrina
    Sabrina wrote:

    I feel that is 10,000 yuan more appropriate

  • Peter Baird
    Peter Baird wrote:

    Eric is right. Whether you have a place to live is big factor, because housing expenses here are pretty  high. With housing, you can live very well on 6000. Without, you need about 10,000. It also depends on how many hours you work. If you are working 40 plus hours a week 10,000 isn't enough in my book.

  • Melon
    Melon's Dad wrote:

    It depends!

  • Cindy Liu
    Cindy Liu wrote:

    whether offer room and board  maybe most important to how much will be the salary .

  • Tian 王倚天

    So, is there an average salary?

  • .
    . wrote:

     Average salary? Different people have different desire. So it's really hard to judge what is average.

  • Peter Baird
    Peter Baird wrote:

    According to a survey done last year, you are "white collar" (upper class) if you earn in excess of 3000 RMB per month in Beijing. Of course, keeping you collar white here is pretty difficult.

     Personally, I don't see how anyone can enjoy a quality life here on less than 4000 with housing included. That still means eating a lot of meals at home, but at least you can afford to go out every weekend. Without housing...yikes.

     As far as how much money a visitor needs to live here for a month...that also really depends on a lot of factors. Are they staying with a friend or at a hotel? Staying a month in a hotel will set you back well over 4000. On the other hand, you can get dorm beds for 60 a night, which adds up to 1800 over 1 month.

    Food-depends on how you plan on eating. If you plan on staying with friends you may just need to kick in for the grocery bill once in awhile. But if you are eating out every night, the expense can be very varied. You can live off chuan, gai fan and noodles for 10 kuai a day...or you can drop a few hundred a day at pricey restaurants. I'd guess a daily food budget at an average of 50 kuai per day...which brings the toal to 1500.

    Tourist sites. Are they going sightseeing? That can get expensive. The average admission price for most Beijing sights is about 100 kuai...and that's not including transportation. Including transportation budget another 800 to see sights.

    Are they a shopper? A lot of people like to shop at places like the Silk Market, Wangfu Jing and so on. Even if you have really good bargaining skills and great Chinese, this can get get expensive. I hate shopping and I have still managed to drop 500 kuai at the silk market...bargaining HARD. If you are a die hard shopper...double this number.

    Bars. Does the person in question like to hit the bars? If so, why and what for? A lot of people go to bars and don't drink. But if you do drink, going to the bars will add up. If you're drinking, budget a minimum of 150 for a night at the bar...more if you're going to a club. Clubs are ridiculously expensive.

     So....to sum up I'd say bring 10,000, a bank card and a credit card. Probably won't need more than the 10,000, but better safe than sorry.






  • Tian 王倚天

    Holyy guy, that's bloodly informative.

    I like the sound of 10k, 10k in Yuan right? That's lower than what I orginally planned on bringing.

    hey mad respects for the informations Peter, and everyone who commented!

  • Shane
    Shane wrote:

    Well, if your talking in Chinese terms is this including or exlcuding the monthly trips to KTV and "Massage" bonus?

  • Eric Yang
    Eric Yang wrote:

    oh, Peter, whatelse I can say? so...comprehensive

  • Tian 王倚天

    We're Chinese, we're predisposed to like that shit.

    I don't know about the massage part, why..how much does that cost?

    hahahaha...don't answer that.

  • Shane
    Shane wrote:

    hehe :)

  • 郝韵
    郝韵 wrote:


  • Suen Peng
    Suen Peng wrote:


  • Water
    Water wrote:

    LS, you're dreaming...

  • Joakim Lund Rangel

    after rent and things like that is paid i put a side 5000 a month to play with, I go out every weekend + a few week days and I eat out or get delivery home or to the office 2-3 times a day (every day) and even then I sometimes have some money left when the month is at the end.

  • Alex
    Alex wrote:

    haha Joakim is 月光族! 

    I think it all depends on how you want your life to be. I mean everyone could have different life styles over periods of time and there is a huge gap between luxury living and proverty. According to the condition given in the topic, I would consider 10k !

  • Alex
    Alex wrote:

    Peronally thinking it all depends how you want your lifestyle to be! I mean there's been a huge gap between luxury living and proverty. Regarding to the given conditions, I would say 10k.

  • Ole-Marius
    Ole-Marius wrote:

    On one person, it's possible to get an apartment with fair standard for 1-2000 rmb a month. I've even talked to chinese people who thinks it's out of the question to pay anything over 1000 rmb, and that was in 2008 before the rent went down.

    You can save a lot of money on homecooking :-)  just bought a bag of 8 rmb pr 500g of Chicken at Walmart, and vegetables is dirt cheap. And you get a lot more food this way, most places are pretty greedy on the meat hence the price.

  • Da Fan
    Da Fan wrote:


    If you got some kind of financial committment, usually house mortgage, things will be different. And if you have dependants, you also need to re-evaluate your disposable income.

    I also got a feeling that, when given same amt of monthly salary, people who work much more hours or endure more pressure tends to spend much more money "to compensate for sth." agree?

    PS1: good salary, even refers to a considerable disposable income, do not necessarily bring about happiness.

    PS2: Tyler Durden: "Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off."



  • John
    John wrote:

    Good shit Da Fan! That pretty much sums it up.

  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)


    At AIA, we consider people making 100k per year to be above average, and concluding from the above, it depends on room and board.

    I know people from out of town, who is making only 3k per month, still have change to buy clothes, though they are also paying credit card debt ... these are commonly known as 月光族, meaning that they spend all their money and have nothing left each month

    And then, look at all the laborers in Beijing, they make around 1000, and they still have spare to send home to their family.

    One thing I love about BJ, is that you can live whatever way you can afford (or choose) ... one can spend 5 yuan for lunch, or 500 yuan, or even more ...

    The old Chinese saying is ... 量入为出 ... 量出为入... you choose the life style and then make a simple decision if you have made enough ... or if you are stuck with limited money, then you change your life style to suit.

    Seeing things from a local Chinese point of view, will be different from a westerner in this case ...

  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)



  • Anthony
    Anthony wrote:

    what does 多多益善 mean? much sth?

  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)


    The more the merrier ... or the more the better

  • Anthony
    Anthony wrote:

    I can't so I won't speak for Chinese, however I agree 10K to start on-up- to 50K+ if you're a 'baller' would be enought to "live here" as you described but would I consider that well off? No.


    I believe the essecne of this disscusion is well off people enjoy a higher level of material comfort and convienence. If well off people rent large, luxury flats in a desirable locations, without the need for random roomates. They also tend to own a car or two or have a driver and hired help. In additon we have not considered  personal, shopping and entertainment expensces 10K is paltry here

    As for foreign travelrs /  tourists,  Hotel, taxis, taxes, tours, local travel for starters add up; Add food, night life, and shopping to the mix and I would advise a tourist to think 15K or more depending on amount of local travel they budget as a month in China while only visiting Beijing seems illogical.

    I do agree with the concnesous that 10K as the point where one would be considered by many well off  by local pay standards.

  • Jean
    Jean wrote:

    10k is pretty good even for renting, but I still rekon that housing is the biggest cost for living in Beijing.

  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)


    As far as rent goes, it is perhaps not as obvious as Hong Kong and Sydney (maybe Shanghai too?) ...

    In Sydney, a two-bedroom apartment could be anywhere from 200 up (per week), depending on the location. For one that is in good condition, convenient for public transport to CBD, 350 is a good deal. To be considered a GOOD salary, if yours is a full-time "legal" job (one that pays tax), one should get about 1000 per week (before tax), or about 700 after tax ... so you are paying half of your after-tax income. [all numbers are Australian dollars, too lazy to convert]

    We did consider relocating to Hong Kong in early 2008, but the cost of living (rent, transport etc) is so ridiculously that we cannot accept anything less than three times what we are getting in Beijing.


  • Tian 王倚天

    What kind of job pays 10k in Beijing?

    I thought 4k a month was a good go provided that housing is..provided. Does nobody work for the government anymore?


  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)


    When IT was still hot, if you have a Master degree or post-graduate from overseas, even without much (or any) experience, you can get 9000 or 10k, now, it is perhaps difficult to say ...

    Some of my friends, who had never been overseas (study, work or even travel), they are getting around 4k or 5k (without housing) ... and although they dont seem to save any money, they are living quite OK.

    As for "what kind of job pays 10k in BJ" .. well, I know as a fact that some of the engineers (with less than 5 years exp) are getting 20k per month from Lucent Alcatel, and some of the accountants at my wife's office are close to 10k ... so to answer this question, one will need to consider the nature of the roles, the companies, and the experience of the individual.


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