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Coming with wife (saving money/working together questions)

 
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traydragen



Joined: 20 Aug 2012
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:02 pm    Post subject: Coming with wife (saving money/working together questions) Reply with quote

Hello,
I've been doing some research on here as far as saving money goes while living in Japan (I know this varies from city to city obviously) and I have seen a few great and thought out questions. I have a couple specifics though so let me first tell you my situation.
My wife and I both are currently working in Korea and our contracts are complete at the end of February. It is great working at the same school and to be honest we would like to stay that way if at all possible, but we are up for change. Here's my first round of questions: Is it feasible to work at the same school? How do the Japanese feel about hiring married couples that have just spend a year in Korea?

Okay, here are my other questions. We came to Korea to essentially save money. We don't really go out and drink so we save a lot of money there and we are somewhat thrifty when it comes to food and things of that sort, so all of that to say, we have fun, but we don't 'blow money'.
I know housing in not paid for in Japan and I've read on here where the going rate for a private school is around (260Y, I could be wrong). So, is it feasible to save about 20,000 USD after working a year in Japan if we manage our money wisely?

A few other questions. I have a Masters (+30) in school counseling and my wife has her B.A. We are both native speakers from the US. Are there going to be difficulties in finding jobs? How far in advance should we begin to look? FBI background checks, etc. etc. etc. ?

Also, we are up for working in other countries in Asia that allow us to save roughly the same amount as in Korea (roughly 25,000 USD). Are there international schools in China that offer this same advantage? I will probably hop over to that site and post there as well.

Finally, the members of eslcafe have been so great in the past and I really want to thank all of you who contribute your time to this website. You truly have been more helpful than you know to a lot of foreigners and newbies on this website looking for quick information. You really are the reason I felt comfortable coming abroad and taking this journey with my wife. Very Happy
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:40 am    Post subject: Re: Coming with wife (saving money/working together question Reply with quote

traydragen wrote:
It is great working at the same school and to be honest we would like to stay that way if at all possible, but we are up for change. Here's my first round of questions: Is it feasible to work at the same school? How do the Japanese feel about hiring married couples that have just spend a year in Korea?
Doesn't matter about correlating married couples and teaching together anywhere. What is more pertinent is how many employers in Japan hire married couples together. Answer: not many. My advice is to look for ads for those that do, but to keep a VERY open mind about it and to look for solo placements instead.


Quote:
I know housing in not paid for in Japan and I've read on here where the going rate for a private school is around (260Y, I could be wrong).
The standard salary pre-deductions used to be 250,000 for most places. In recent years this has dropped to more like 200,000 to 250,000. You will find higher and lower salaries, but don't go JUST on salary. Look at the benefits, too. Many employers legally dodge copayments into health insurance, for instance.

Quote:
Okay, here are my other questions. We came to Korea to essentially save money. We don't really go out and drink so we save a lot of money there and we are somewhat thrifty when it comes to food and things of that sort, so all of that to say, we have fun, but we don't 'blow money'... So, is it feasible to save about 20,000 USD after working a year in Japan if we manage our money wisely?
Two can live more cheaply than one as far as rent, food, and utilities go. Figure like this for a single person first:

If you get 250,000 yen/month, your first year will not have a large insurance payment, roughly 2,500 yen/month. You will end up paying a little less than half the salary for basic necessities (food, rent, utilities, phone, insurance). After the first year it will be closer to half the salary because insurance goes up tenfold. Let's just say you have 125,000 left over as a general rule of thumb. How you spend/save/blow that depends entirely on you. Go out and drink moderately and you can blow 50,000 a month, leaving 75,000 to pay for whatever else you think of:
sightseeing
subscriptions to cable/satellite TV or reading material
hair care
gifts/souvenirs
replacement items (clothing, blank disks, printer paper, etc.) that are not general groceries
a car or scooter (plus mandatory parking) if you opt for it
long distance calls or anything not on your phone plan
trips to your homeland
school trips or parties
emergency medical or dental care
etc.

ROUGHLY figure a single person could save 50,000 per month. (There are those who save more. When they chime in, ask them to explain in detail how they do it so that you can compare apples to apples.)
Multiply by 12 months and you get 600,000 yen per year. Now, sit back and decide how much you really, truly want to spend which might change that 50,000 figure.

Also take into account the fact that your rent/utilities/phone will be shared.

Quote:
A few other questions. I have a Masters (+30) in school counseling and my wife has her B.A. We are both native speakers from the US. Are there going to be difficulties in finding jobs?
What are you hoping to land? The market here is very tight. Also, when would you start looking? Makes a difference. The academic year begins in April, and eikaiwas start big advertising in Feb/March, while ALT dispatch agencies begin late in the year for the spring starts.

B.A. in what? With a year of teaching in Korea, even with a linguistics degree, she will be treated like most newbies here, even those with degrees in geology. Many employers here don't see teaching outside Japan as equivalent to teaching IN Japan. Some do. But, the bottom line is, a year is nothing. One is still considered a newbie. That means eikaiwa or ALT work.

A masters in school counseling is also not directly related to teaching, so IMO you would be nearly in the same boat. If you want to leverage your MA for university work, it will take some doing. See the FAQ stickies about the requirements for uni teachers.

Quote:
How far in advance should we begin to look? FBI background checks, etc. etc. etc. ?
See above.
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traydragen



Joined: 20 Aug 2012
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Coming with wife (saving money/working together question Reply with quote

[quote="traydragen"][quote="Glenski"]Doesn't matter about correlating married couples and teaching together anywhere. What is more pertinent is how many employers in Japan hire married couples together. Answer: not many. My advice is to look for ads for those that do, but to keep a VERY open mind about it and to look for solo placements instead.

[quote]

Glenski, thank you so much for that response, that had to take some time. It was all very helpful. Alright so, in regards to your first response about trying to find employers or ads that offer such positions to couple I was wondering where the best place to do that at is. I mean, should I just post a resume on eslcafe and see if I get any bites. I know there are a slew of ESL job websites out there, I just haven't been in tune with the ones that offer jobs in Japan and I've been searching for a little while. Thanks again!
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:17 am    Post subject: Re: Coming with wife (saving money/working together question Reply with quote

traydragen wrote:
Glenski, thank you so much for that response, that had to take some time.
Naw, I type fast, and it's a pretty common question.

Quote:
Alright so, in regards to your first response about trying to find employers or ads that offer such positions to couple I was wondering where the best place to do that at is. I mean, should I just post a resume on eslcafe and see if I get any bites. I know there are a slew of ESL job websites out there, I just haven't been in tune with the ones that offer jobs in Japan and I've been searching for a little while. Thanks again!
Have you looked at the ones in the FAQ stickies? If you aren't looking at web sites that cater to Japanese jobs, you obviously aren't going to find the jobs in Japan!

As for sites that post ads catering to couples, there aren't any. Just scour the gazillion ads that are there (many duplicated, of course), and keep your eyes peeled. You won't find many, though, which is why I recommended keeping an open mind about working separately.

No offense to the Cafe, but I would not recommend posting a resume here. I mean, I got my first teaching job from the Cafe, but that was in 1998! Since then, many people have complained that they get responses from employers not even in Japan. I wouldn't know where to post a resume, but instead just tell you to seek out the jobs themselves. Unless other people know of target-rich sites where employers look for teachers (the only one that even remotely comes to mind is OhayoSensei), I'd say just focus on the ads.
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traydragen



Joined: 20 Aug 2012
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:44 am    Post subject: Re: Coming with wife (saving money/working together question Reply with quote

Glenski wrote:
traydragen wrote:
Glenski, thank you so much for that response, that had to take some time.
Naw, I type fast, and it's a pretty common question.

Quote:
Alright so, in regards to your first response about trying to find employers or ads that offer such positions to couple I was wondering where the best place to do that at is. I mean, should I just post a resume on eslcafe and see if I get any bites. I know there are a slew of ESL job websites out there, I just haven't been in tune with the ones that offer jobs in Japan and I've been searching for a little while. Thanks again!
Have you looked at the ones in the FAQ stickies? If you aren't looking at web sites that cater to Japanese jobs, you obviously aren't going to find the jobs in Japan!

As for sites that post ads catering to couples, there aren't any. Just scour the gazillion ads that are there (many duplicated, of course), and keep your eyes peeled. You won't find many, though, which is why I recommended keeping an open mind about working separately.

No offense to the Cafe, but I would not recommend posting a resume here. I mean, I got my first teaching job from the Cafe, but that was in 1998! Since then, many people have complained that they get responses from employers not even in Japan. I wouldn't know where to post a resume, but instead just tell you to seek out the jobs themselves. Unless other people know of target-rich sites where employers look for teachers (the only one that even remotely comes to mind is OhayoSensei), I'd say just focus on the ads.


Alright so, your recommendation is to just start looking at the ads on the cafe and browsing those webpages in the stickies for job listings, got it! When should we start looking for jobs? We are six months into our job here now and it wraps up at the end of February 2013, so should we start now or wait a few more months to start looking (the things I'm most concerned about is the paperwork and forms and background checks). Thanks again for your help!
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Coming with wife (saving money/working together question Reply with quote

traydragen wrote:
Alright so, your recommendation is to just start looking at the ads on the cafe and browsing those webpages in the stickies for job listings, got it!
Those sites and any others you can find.

Quote:
When should we start looking for jobs?
I gave you some advice earlier (8/23 1:40am).

If you want ALT jobs, start anytime from now to March.
If you want eikaiwa jobs, start in late January to March.

Get the documentation you need in the meantime. Perhaps others can advise on whether FBI/police background checks are required nowadays. I suspect not, except for ALT positions, where you would be in public schools.
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