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Beyond Optimistic - Expenses breakdown

 
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Aelric



Joined: 16 Dec 2009
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:29 pm    Post subject: Beyond Optimistic - Expenses breakdown Reply with quote

So, let's make a hypothetical situation, based on an offer I got and a few logical assumptions we'll make to fill in the gaps.


I have an offer, that honestly, I'm not likely to take due to the company's rep, that comes down to this:

250,000Y/month
60,000Y rent, company set-up, no key money or deposit
Company car, inspection paid for, 10,000 transportation budget
Shakai Hoken insurance scheme
likely Toyohashi, but certainly within Aichi Prefecture
All first year, before health premiums and city-taxes go up
I'll stay for only a single year

So, IF I were to take this job, let's say my net take home pay after rent, insurance and pension comes to 150,000. Of that, what will I likely be spending my money on, for the basic needs of living?

I DON'T mean going on dates, drinking, smoking or any other vices, I just mean, food, electric, internet.

Food is obviously the most variable one, so lets assume that I can eat like a local and rarely if ever bother with any western food or going out.

I ask this, because one group of people say that living a cheap life it not too tough and saving 100,000Y is no problem, while the gloomy folks on these forums all say I'm crazy to expect to save a single yen.

I tend to side with humans I know over strangers on the internet, but times are tough over there lately, I know, with the yen looking bad the the economy in the tank. So perhaps you guys could give some actually numbers instead of just telling me I'm "Beyond optimistic", which is vague and doesn't really explain why.
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bkkgriz



Joined: 08 Jan 2014
Posts: 16
Location: Bangkok

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm interested to hear any responses to this as well.
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Big_H



Joined: 21 Dec 2013
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

60'000 Y sounds a bit high end even if there's no key money involved, hopefully you're getting a company pad that is worth it. If your location is not a downtown area of a major city then you could consider relocating and finding your own place in your first month -provided your company's ok with that too-. Even if you'll pay key money rent may be as low as 45k Y which is less costing in the long term -i.e. still less than year-.

It is not impossible to save a decent amount on a 2.5k salary, though your location and how urban it is will affect most prices of your lifestyle's aspects. Counting on local food is a good choice and there are also those 100Y shops where you can get certain appliances and utilities be it for your residence or your teaching tools.

With all that said and done, you'd still have to actually be there and find what works for you and where you would have set line between when you're saving money and when you're being stingy.

edit: Don't expect anyone though to crunch numbers and present you a list though, only you'll be able to tailor your expenses for your own needs. Anyone else giving you more than "the general advice" would be wasting both your times.
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 796

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I actually said was that you might be able to save in your first year, but not once the taxes kick in, but that spoils your melodrama, so let's go with your version. As Big_H says, other people's breakdowns won't really help you. In any case, what would be the point when you have already told us you won't believe it, unless it matches what you want to hear.

But, for what it's worth, we spend about Y200,000/m for 2 people, excluding rent, internet/cable, cell phones, taxes and health insurance. We don't drink, smoke, go to the cinema, go bowling, go clubbing, go to Western restaurants, use taxis, etc. It doesn't include non-local travel or any vacations. We eat out at cheap local restaurants a couple of times a month. We do a couple of local day trips each month (parks, museums, shrines, etc). It includes 2 extravagances: 1 weekly sports class, and a packet of decent coffee every month.

We used to spend about Y50,000/m less by eating as little meat, fresh fruit and veg as possible, not using the air-con in summer and only using the heating when it was sub zero. But that gets old pretty quickly.


You plan to save $1,000 a month, so based on your figures, that leaves you about Y46,000 a month. That's to cover you and potentially your wife. It has to pay for all your utilities, (including internet), food, household supplies, toiletries, clothes, shoes, haircuts, and all your other day to day expenses.

How do you think it will breakdown?
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 396
Location: US

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Beyond Optimistic - Expenses breakdown Reply with quote

I'm not sure what "eating like a local" means, as Japanese people don't necessarily eat cheaply. If you cook at home rather than eating out, and you buy mostly vegetables and little meat, then you'd save money.

If:
1) Your apartment is fully furnished, and you don't need to buy any furniture, appliances, bedding/linens, etc.
2) You never go out to restaurants
3) You take leftovers for lunch, rather than ordering lunch or going out
4) You never drink
5) You never drive, except when you need to for work (petrol is expensive)
6) You don't have to pay any fees for the car (inspection, maintenance, insurance, etc.)
7) You don't get satellite or cable TV
8) You get cheap Internet and cell phone plans, and you don't have a land line.

Then I'd guess you could probably save around 80,000 a month without too much trouble.

------
Edit: I didn't realize you were also going to be supporting a wife. While it's one thing to make yourself live a monastic lifestyle, it's another to force your wife to live that way. Plus, things like food, cell phone, and some other expenses will be higher. If she doesn't bring in an income, I think you won't save much on 250,000 yen. Maybe 30,000, if you try hard.
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kah5217



Joined: 29 Sep 2012
Posts: 255
Location: Ibaraki

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I get paid around 230,000. My monthly bills come to roughly 16,800, and that's on the low end, not including food, gasoline, or a train pass. An average trip to the grocery store comes to around 3,000, but I tend to buy cheap things that I can spread out over the week (noodles, iced tea, meat for freezing).

Take home pay after tax, rent, and car lease is about 160,000, so if you subtract the above, it leaves about 1300,000 a month to spend on unexpected things (medicine, batteries, school supplies) and to save.

Saving 100,000 a month is possible. But keep in mind I didn't calculate any alcohol, sightseeing, souvenirs, restaurants, or the not-quite-mandatory after work dinner parties with the other teachers that come to 50k a pop. So realistically, you'll have a tough time hitting that goal if you want to do anything besides sit in your apartment on your down time.
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stumptowny



Joined: 29 May 2011
Posts: 220

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

monthly income:
day job salary 250,000
weekly privates 3* 3000 yen, 1*5000yen = 56,000

debt:
rent 45,000 (1dk in tokyo, older building but close to station)
bills 11,000
no phone - wimax w/ipod touch 3800

I don't drink (I meet women for free..... wait for it... in every day life!! go figure. amazing what talking can do) and eat out frequently but at cheap places.. or cook at home. also use costco! maybe 30,000 for all food?

city tax 150,000 (for the year)
health insurance 10,000 each month

no credit debt, anywhere, or any debt for that matter

I am able to send home 150,000 - 200,000yen a month directly to my brokerage account.

here's the kicker.....

TAX SHELTER!!!:

I made $75,000 investing last year and I lock in a low, short term capital gains tax rate because I make peanuts for income in japan (and by way of the foreign income exclusion).

if you are savvy, its a great place to work and invest for retirement because of the tax sheltering abilities... it truly starts becoming cost effective if your investments are over 6 figures or higher.

as my investments grow, I will continue to pay very low short term capital gains tax on them and its much more profitable than working and saving at home.. as it exponentiates..

otherwise better to go home and get a high paying job to retire..
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kah5217



Joined: 29 Sep 2012
Posts: 255
Location: Ibaraki

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I doubt the average smuck applying for an ALT job has 6 figures of investments.
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Tara2117



Joined: 14 Aug 2006
Posts: 78
Location: Gunma, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should be able to save plenty. Especially as it's your first year, so you won't have the big tax and insurance bills.

However, you ARE supposed to pay any taxes and insurance owed when you leave the country. So, if you leave after one year, you'll owe taxes and insurance for the year you lived here. It's what would have been paid your second year. If you never plan to return to Japan, I guess you can leave without paying up, as many people do. But if you ever come back in the future, they'll find out and send bills for back-payment to your new address. It may affect your ability to get a work visa in the future, but I'm not sure about that.

But yeah, you should be able to save plenty on that salary. Unless you are out drinking Cristal or spending every night in hostess bars (lol) you should be able to save a lot.

I have a student loan payment every month, tax and insurance bills to pay, gym membership, sort of pricey keitai plan, and all the normal rent and bills, and I usually manage to put away at least 50,000 yen each month. I do live with my fiancee, though, and our rent is only 40,000, so that helps. However, even when I lived on my own, I still managed to save about 50,000 each month.

One thing that has reeeeeeally helped me save more money, as old-married ladyish as it sounds, is meal planning. I plan our dinners for the week, and we shop accordingly. That way we don't just buy random stuff or stuff that goes to waste. We eat out maybe... slightly less than once a week? If we are going to a BBQ or having people over, that gets included in the meal plan and shopping list. I invested in a 3,000 yen crock pot, so I often don't even have to cook when I get home. We eat VERY well, don't shy away from good meats, but we don't spend so much because we plan well. But... if you aren't interested in cooking, maybe this isn't something you'd wanna do.

Another big thing to consider is how much stuff you'll need to buy for your apartment. If it's unfurnished, it may not even have a stove, fridge, or washing machine. Recycle shops are awesome for getting stuff like that for cheap, but it still adds up.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 396
Location: US

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tara2117 wrote:
I have a student loan payment every month, tax and insurance bills to pay, gym membership, sort of pricey keitai plan, and all the normal rent and bills, and I usually manage to put away at least 50,000 yen each month. I do live with my fiancee, though, and our rent is only 40,000, so that helps. However, even when I lived on my own, I still managed to save about 50,000 each month.

Does your fiance work, and contribute to expenses? The OP was talking about supporting himself and a non-working spouse, if I remember correctly. His apartment would also be 20,000 more per month than what you pay. I think those would likely take much of the 50,000 that you save. The OP's hope of saving 100,000/month still seems unlikely. I do think the OP could probably save some, but it would take some effort to do so, and would likely be quite a bit less than what he hoped to save.

Your advice about planning meals in order to save money is helpful -- I hadn't thought of that as a significant money saver!
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TokyoLiz



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1060
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't imagine paying ¥60,000 a month for housing if you're only earning ¥250,000 a month. Like others have said, you have minimal deductions in the first year, and get clobbered by tax and insurance deductions the following year.

I share a house which reduces my rent to ¥35,000 a month. I'm in a Tokyo suburb, 30 minutes from Ueno.

My monthly budget is about ¥100,000 including bills, savings plan, pocket money, bills, etc.

Most of my stuff came from sayonara sales, second hand shops and Tokyo Freecycle. All of it was like new. I save the big bucks for computers.
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marley'sghost



Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 109

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty hard to find anything starting more than 250.000 a month. They actually kick in their half of the shakai hoken? So far sounds like a pretty good deal. Be interested in knowing who it's with and what' the "bad rep". (nudge, nudge, wink, wink, pm me)
Modest lifestyle, no kids, and you can save on that. A grand a month? Sure, I can see it done. But I'm a cheapskate. Especially if you are only here for a year and split before you get hit for those surprise second year taxes.
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nightsintodreams



Joined: 18 May 2010
Posts: 223

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My guess is that he's scored a job with interac in Shiga. Am I right?
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Tara2117



Joined: 14 Aug 2006
Posts: 78
Location: Gunma, Japan

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does your fiance work, and contribute to expenses? The OP was talking about supporting himself and a non-working spouse, if I remember correctly. His apartment would also be 20,000 more per month than what you pay. I think those would likely take much of the 50,000 that you save. The OP's hope of saving 100,000/month still seems unlikely. I do think the OP could probably save some, but it would take some effort to do so, and would likely be quite a bit less than what he hoped to save.

Your advice about planning meals in order to save money is helpful -- I hadn't thought of that as a significant money saver![/quote]

Yeah, now I live with someone, but as I said, even when I lived on my own, in a more expensive apartment, I still managed to save about 50,000 a month, minimum. Usually more. I didn't see the part about supporting a non-working spouse, though. That makes it totally different.

But yeah, meal planning for the win. Also, there was one point where I was buying at least two drinks from a vending machine per day. I figured it up, and I was spending over 7,000 yen on drinks each month. So I cut that out, and put 250 yen in a jar every day instead. After a while I had a nice little nest egg. Little things add up!
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