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Vietnam - Not So Cheap

 
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CNexpatesl



Joined: 27 May 2015
Posts: 188

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:57 am    Post subject: Vietnam - Not So Cheap Reply with quote

Rent for a decent studio apartment (not a sharehouse) with small kitchen, shower, elevator in building: Anywhere from $300 - $400+
Electricity bill (basically, keeping A/C on whenever at home) $50 - $60+ (!) per month
Eating decent meals/eating out/occasional Western food dining and not starving: Anywhere between $300 - $450+ a month
Motorbike rental (motorbikes are crucial for commuting in Vietnam): $45-$50+ a month

Now take into consideration, most foreign teacher salaries are $1200-$1800 a month. With some companies like Apax topping out at $2000 a month, but that's a rare case. You cannot save money here. You cannot stack coin here. Most teachers have to be living paycheck to paycheck if they want to have even a little fun (bars, clubs, hobbies) and eat out/not starve. Is it really worth it coming here in the end? No, I'd say it's not.
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 476

PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The market is saturated. Too many people are coming here and the wages are stagnant while costs rise yearly. Also the quality of life in the major cities is worse and worse.

It was never a good option for money. If you want to be in vietnam for your own reasons and can work hard then teaching with provid a basic living.

If you need to make money fast try Korea. Or the Middle East if qualified.

Things aren’t what they were. Maybe they never were.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 937
Location: Temburong, Brunei

PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:31 am    Post subject: Re: Vietnam - Not So Cheap Reply with quote

CNexpatesl wrote:
Rent for a decent studio apartment (not a sharehouse) with small kitchen, shower, elevator in building: Anywhere from $300 - $400+
Electricity bill (basically, keeping A/C on whenever at home) $50 - $60+ (!) per month
Eating decent meals/eating out/occasional Western food dining and not starving: Anywhere between $300 - $450+ a month
Motorbike rental (motorbikes are crucial for commuting in Vietnam): $45-$50+ a month


You didn't add health insurance and tax. So, let's say, you spend $900 a month to have your own apartment, eat out all the time and to rent your own transport. BTW, I'd recommend buying your own motorbike. I rented a scooter for far too long when I was in Vietnam. Complete dead money!

Anyway, assuming your salary is a pretty standard $1500 a month then that leaves approximately $600 for entertainment and savings. If you want to do extra hours/tutoring/IELTS examining then the opportunities are there. I honestly don't think that's too bad, especially if you are just breaking into the industry. Personally, I found Vietnam to be a great place to start my TEFL career.
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Prof.Gringo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 2229
Location: Dang Cong San Viet Nam Quang Vinh Muon Nam!

PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

skarper wrote:
The market is saturated. Too many people are coming here and the wages are stagnant while costs rise yearly. Also the quality of life in the major cities is worse and worse.

It was never a good option for money. If you want to be in vietnam for your own reasons and can work hard then teaching with provid a basic living.

If you need to make money fast try Korea. Or the Middle East if qualified.

Things aren’t what they were. Maybe they never were.


Well said!
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Mattingly



Joined: 03 Jul 2008
Posts: 249

PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The OP and all the responses are correct.

If saving is your goal. Don't waste your time.

If a certain experience is what you want, then fine.

It's simply not worth it financially, and I'm including people who are say, 23 who come here.

Unless you really LOVE the experience, you'd be better off not doing more that 6 months or a year, tops.
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Piscador



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I arrived in Saigon nearly 18 years ago. In 2000, most schools were paying 11-13 USD per hour (about 13,000 VND to the USD), with the top schools paying 16-18 USD.

The cost of living then? Dirt cheap by today's standards.
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Mattingly



Joined: 03 Jul 2008
Posts: 249

PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

skarper wrote:
The market is saturated. Too many people are coming here and the wages are stagnant while costs rise yearly. Also the quality of life in the major cities is worse and worse.


Agreed.

Quote:
It was never a good option for money. If you want to be in vietnam for your own reasons and can work hard then teaching with provid a basic living.


Indeed.

Quote:
If you need to make money fast try Korea.


I seriously don't consider Korea to be a good option anymore. The pay is not like it was in the past and they cap the amount you can earn by capping the amount you can work (legally).
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tellersquill



Joined: 08 Apr 2016
Posts: 93

PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I earn around 40 million dong per month working 20hrs per week (roughly $1700).

I spend around $800 per month on rent, food, gym, bikes etc.

I travel every other month so that's a few more hundred dollars per month gone.

Each month I save around 600 to 700$
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sigmoid



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 1245

PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

I earn around 40 million dong per month working 20hrs per week (roughly $1700).


Just to clarify, is that salary of 40 million per month or an hourly rate of 500,000 vnd?

Also, is this in HCMC? One school or several?
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tellersquill



Joined: 08 Apr 2016
Posts: 93

PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sigmoid wrote:
Quote:

I earn around 40 million dong per month working 20hrs per week (roughly $1700).


Just to clarify, is that salary of 40 million per month or an hourly rate of 500,000 vnd?

Also, is this in HCMC? One school or several?

My rate is actually 450,000vnd per hour, but I get tons of bonuses.

I get 100k per day travel bonus, 200k per day when I work in a public school, 100k per day if I have a 30 minutes forced break (in public school).

I end up making around 8 million per month in bonuses.

HCMC
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1600
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:05 am    Post subject: btw Reply with quote

BTW someone mentioned going to the Middle East. Well, as a Middle East vet, I can tell you it's pretty much over here too. The university programmes are cutting back, the oil companies are hiring locals or Gulf locals, salaries are down as are benefits and the cost of living marches on. Not really doable for families now.

Get out of TEFL if you haven't sorted yourself already.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15318

PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My career spanned the period 1968-2011. Those were good years but now - forget it. Do something else. Train as n engine driver or plumber.
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nomadic_meow



Joined: 07 Apr 2013
Posts: 59
Location: Vietnam

PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems like there are several provincial jobs where housing is covered and you may get a company motorbike. I had one of those, although it was pretty far on the isolated and inconvenient end. I wonder if some nicer ones might be found orbiting the outskirts of the major cities.

On the other hand, if you don't take a long-term contract there are also likely to be significant visa run expenses every few months (depending how long you stay). Maybe still, significantly less than paying rent in the major urban centers every month.

I've also noticed the recent thread about government unease with shorter-term stays, but I don't have background to add.
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