Site Search:
 
Get TEFL Certified & Start Your Adventure Today!
Teach English Abroad and Get Paid to see the World!
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

How Are You Doing Financially in Japan?
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Japan
View previous topic :: View next topic  

How Are You Doing Financially in Japan?
I'm Thriving. Making & Saving A lot of Money
42%
 42%  [ 6 ]
I'm Just Doing Okay. Enjoying My Life Here & Managing To Save a Bit.
21%
 21%  [ 3 ]
Money's Too Tight To Mention.
35%
 35%  [ 5 ]
Total Votes : 14

Author Message
Black_Beer_Man



Joined: 26 Mar 2013
Posts: 453
Location: Yokohama

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 7:16 am    Post subject: How Are You Doing Financially in Japan? Reply with quote

I don't know about most foreigners in Japan, but as an English teacher, I find it difficult to earn much money and save much of it given the relatively low salaries most language schools are paying out these days. The cost of living in Japan, especially the health insurance and residence tax, is very high.

I remember a teacher working for Interac saying that the pop song that describes his family's living situation was "Money's Too Tight To Mention" by Simply Red.

Yet, I still see many foreigners enjoying living in Tokyo with no plans to go home.

I assume some teachers are doing well financially, so I've decided to check with this poll.

If you want to leave a comment, you might tell us what kind of school you work in, what portion of your salary (percentage) you're able to keep after your apartment rent and other living expenses are deducted, and tricks you use to cut down on expenses.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1562
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Terrible. Rent is a lot but even AU adds up. I think it is time to ditch the home phone.
Frankly I think if I stay I would live farther out and take a bus to a train station. It is all about distance to central Tokyo.

The farther out one lives means health insurance is cheaper. Kawasaki must charge me 30,000 a month.
Taxes are a lot but I do get refunds.

I read that many Japanese are taking second jobs. I believe it. I work at four universities and an eikaiwa. I need one more job or 2-4 more university classes.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
currentaffairs



Joined: 22 Aug 2012
Posts: 828

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a great time in Japan but I didn’t save much. Saying that, I did go partying a lot most weekends. You can save but that means being fairly frugal.

The first two years were the toughest. You have to pay a lot of money to move into an apartment, and it took time to fill out my week with work.

I would recommend looking into the UR scheme in the Tokyo area. This is a government-run scheme and rents are reasonable and there is no key money. Some of the apartments are huge and it was a big upgrade from my tiny box apartment..
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1562
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

UR permits one pet only. I have two.
UR is not always cheap. It depends on the size of the place, and if it is older or newer.
Older places with no elevator can be quite reasonable.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
steki47



Joined: 20 Apr 2008
Posts: 1029
Location: BFE Inaka

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am doing rather well. Broke into uni work 3 years ago and having been saving most of the extra salary. 5 years in dispatch ALT taught me to scrimp and save. J-wife usually works, no kids.

Bought a condo in a major city. 20% down payment and a 10-year loan.

Some downsides tbh. Wife is having health problems and can't work this year. Uni work is great but not stable employment.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
TokyoLiz



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1548
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It really depends what kind of teacher you are and where you live, doesn’t it? Eikaiwa employee, dispatch ALT, university instructor, private high school teacher, or an international school teacher. The income could be anywhere from ¥200,000 to ¥500,000 + / mo from what I read here, and see in job listings.

I just had a big lifestyle change - ex partner moved out, gave up the 4LDK with enormous garden we rented for¥70,000/mo. I’m in a 1LDK apartment on my own, still east of Tokyo. Though moving and initial costs stung, I’m doing well enough that I can recover my finances within two months. The bills are cheaper now, and I’m not feeding two people anymore.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
rxk22



Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 1628

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the difference between being single or with someone, and then having kids is pretty significant. When I first was an ALT, my GF and I moved into together. SHe went to college, and I paid for most everything. We weren't doing great, but it wasn't bad at all.
Being married with kids, things are tough. We still rent, and both work. If we didn't have kids things would be much easier.
Having kids here is more expensive, and more importantly time consuming. Lots of stupid little detail things that pop up and make it hard
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
marley'sghost



Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 255

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I voted "Just doing okay". But that's because there was no option between that and "Money's too tight to mention." and I'm a hopeless optimist.
I'm married, 2 teenagers, wife is stay at home mom. I'm a dispatch ALT, pull in another 3-4万 a month now through private lessons, (often more, sometimes less) we have some real estate back home in way of a nest egg.
So I say we are doing okay, but we live really simply and there is not a lot left over at the end of the month.
We are like, no car, no family trips, eating out is a rare treat, no big tv or iphones or anything. We live in a small 3ldk a stone's throw from the train station.
I'm a man of pretty simple tastes too. I doubt I spend much more than 1万 a month on booze, snacks, movies and hobbies and that's just all right.
Not everyone could live within our means. And there are times money is.....not a problem, but there are times that I regret we've had to to pass experiences and travel and socializing for lack of it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
rxk22



Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 1628

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

marley'sghost wrote:
I voted "Just doing okay". But that's because there was no option between that and "Money's too tight to mention." and I'm a hopeless optimist.
I'm married, 2 teenagers, wife is stay at home mom. I'm a dispatch ALT, pull in another 3-4万 a month now through private lessons, (often more, sometimes less) we have some real estate back home in way of a nest egg.
So I say we are doing okay, but we live really simply and there is not a lot left over at the end of the month.
We are like, no car, no family trips, eating out is a rare treat, no big tv or iphones or anything. We live in a small 3ldk a stone's throw from the train station.
I'm a man of pretty simple tastes too. I doubt I spend much more than 1万 a month on booze, snacks, movies and hobbies and that's just all right.
Not everyone could live within our means. And there are times money is.....not a problem, but there are times that I regret we've had to to pass experiences and travel and socializing for lack of it.


Me too, snacks and entertainment wise. I maybe spend 5000yen a month on snacks and treats for us a month.
Hopefully my business will pick up, but it's hard finding daycares to take me on. They like the bigger dispatch companies that look nice, but send in poor quality teachers that can't teach. Its' weird as I also charge less, as I don't have a middleman involved.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Black_Beer_Man



Joined: 26 Mar 2013
Posts: 453
Location: Yokohama

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started this thread because, in my opinion, being an English teacher in Japan has gotten difficult.

It's my second stint in Japan. During my first stint in the late 90's, no teacher ever made less than 250,000 yen / month. The government let us buy private heath insurance that, in my case, was only 8000 yen / month (which also covered prescription medications).

Now, I see ads for ALT jobs on Dave's that have the nerve to start people at 170,000 yen / month. And the gov. forces everybody to buy its overpriced national health insurance.

A couple of years ago, like mistui on this board, I was paying 30,000 yen / month. I quickly realized that this was a rip-off when I checked the traveler's health insurance rates in my country for a 30 day stay in Japan. It was around 10,000 yen with 100% coverage.

It's my guess that to compensate for the higher costs of living vs the stagnated or declining salaries, most teachers have to take on additional teaching gigs.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1562
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep. I teach eikaiwa once a week. I might have to do it more.
I go out to Chiba on Friday, near where Liz probably lives (Noda).

I have two dogs and they have health bills. Wife had surgery twice and I had cataract surgery this year.

I guess if I can go back to full-time work the employer can pay part of the health insurance and then I can get a housing allowance again.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
The Transformer



Joined: 03 Mar 2017
Posts: 69

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Things have gotten tougher in the last 10 years, with the Nova crash, the recession, and the GEOS crashes razing the eikaiwa and ALT industries to the ground. Starting salaries haven't changed much in eikaiwa but the pay bands have contracted big time, so that the potential earnings in an eikaiwa instructor job are probably about 70-75% of what they once were.

Back in the good old days, it was possible to be earning 300k a month after even just a couple of years with an eikaiwa as a regular instructor, and in a few more years be getting closer to earning even 350k a month. Nowadays, after a couple of years, you'll probably earn around 260k a month tops and that will be it. If you want to earn more, you'll have to take on extra work or get promoted.

People with MAs tend to do better. I know one guy nearly in his mid-40s who's been in Japan knocking on 20 years, working in eikaiwa for years, then in a gakuen for about 10 years, and he recently completed a TESOL Master's and landed a full-time job at a uni. You have to invest in yourself and spend time, money and effort skilling up if you want to earn more and have the chance of a more secure, stable career (and the sooner you do it the better, as it only gets harder as you get older).

Back in the good old days, you could simply cruise along in 2nd gear most of the time and get those nice 10k per month bonuses each year with little trouble. Those days are well-and-truly gone in Japan.

I think the way the world is going generally, the "gig economy" is the future. Full-time jobs will get scarcer and you'll have to be working several jobs, perhaps a mix of part-time employment with different employers, and working freelance/self-employed as well, in order to make a living. Investing your money in "tangible assets", things that actually maintain and appreciate in value, will also become more important.

That's the way things are going everywhere. Better to get used to it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 811
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've posted links to the exact figures before: basically, university faculty here earn over 500,000 yen/month on average. They get lots of other perks too.

There are nearly 800 Japanese universities (including two-year colleges). Currently, there are over 21,000 foreigners working at these schools. Of this number, 8099 are full-time with tenure.

I (and others) have posted and posted here on how to get these jobs. That said, finding a full-time university position is about to become much more difficult, as the big hiring push (that I reported on here four years ago) has come to an end. Still, good jobs remain available.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kzjohn



Joined: 30 Apr 2014
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You need another choice in your poll:

Quote:
• Are you finished working and enjoying your retirement?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 811
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kzjohn wrote:
You need another choice in your poll:

Quote:
• Are you finished working and enjoying your retirement?



There needs to be a "like" button here! Very Happy

Congrats, by the way. Wink
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Japan All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2018 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Teaching Jobs in China
Teaching Jobs in China