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Wage, Expenses, Savings, Variables
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 672
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:12 am    Post subject: Wage, Expenses, Savings, Variables Reply with quote

I know this has all been rehashed, and I did indeed search, but it seems a good time for a refresher.

Just, in general for a CELTA holder with lots of classroom experience, are the AVG. wages and cost of living in Indonesia? I know it's a huge country and there are many variables, but a toehold figure would be great.

I really am attracted to Indonesia but just don't know if it's financially viable for me.
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KopiKopi



Joined: 01 May 2011
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 4:47 pm    Post subject: Dont Teach in Indonesia for Money Reply with quote

Here are the facts. Don't teach in Indonesia for money.

Salaries are high compared to locals, but low internationally. The dollar is down now, so if you are saving for the future you might be able to save some. But don't teach in Indonesia for money.

I spend around 200 USD a MONTH in Indonesia. BUT, I live like a local. I cook at home. I do not go drinking or clubbing because my friends are Indonesian and they do not have the money to do so. But, my friend on the same salary is broke every month and spends the last week or so miserable and swearing he would budget his salary better the next month but he always winds up broke. I send back to the US about 18,000 dollars a year.

If you SINGLE, someone who likes to DRINK, PARTY go out once a week, you will not save money in Indonesia. Drinking is expensive. Clubbing is expensive. Come to Indonesia ONLY if there is another reason besides money.
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 672
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So are you saying that if you don't like clubbing, drinking, and partying (I don't), there's no reason why you can't save money? Are local restaurants and food stalls cheap? $200 a month is extremely reasonable, and I'm not interested in going to Indonesia to live like a westerner, but like a local too. That's the whole point for me. I'm far too old for the college crowd as well.
Savings of $18,000 a year is not bad! I'm not making all that much more than that just getting by in Japan.
If you don't mind, could you tell me what your accommodations are like?
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KopiKopi



Joined: 01 May 2011
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:25 pm    Post subject: You can save Reply with quote

Here is the deal.

Yes, street food is dirt cheap. 80 cents for a meal is average for what I eat. If you can NOT speak any Indonesian, and you dont have an Indonesian friend, the vendors WILL try to charge you more. I suggest the first time, look for places with menus.


You CAN save, just dont expect to
Here is my living situation.

I live in a private house. 2-bedrooms, 1 bath, plus maid's room/bath. I live in a gated community. I paid 5 million rupiah for a year -- about 45 bucks a month.

I have a maid, live-in, who cooks, cleans, shops, and talks on the phone way too much. I pay her 50 bucks a month. I also give her another 50 - 60 bucks a month for her to buy food and household stuff - enough for both of us.

I pay about 10 bucks a month for my cell, 10 bucks for internet (SMART) and about 15 bucks for gas for my scooter.

I do go out on occasion, but really, those are my expenses.
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chezal



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'll get more money working in Jakarta but there are also far more things that you can spend your money on.

To earn the higher wages in Indonesia you need to get yourself into a National Plus School. Many of these have International in the name of the school but are really schools for rich Indonesian's and other Asian expats with a few western kids. Depending on your experience and other qualifications outside of your CELTA you can get anywhere between 14 - 25 million rupiah a month. The higher salaries are usually only achieved after lots of networking. It is possible to get the higher salary but don't expect it to be the norm for a newbie in the country.

If you work at a language school the better ones pay between 10 - 15 million rupiah a month.

4 years back I used to earn 10.5 million rp a month and got my housing paid for. I had a 3 bed house with a maid on a gated complex which cost 11 million a year so even if I had to pay it would have been doable. I was living with my husband (Indonesian) and running a car and a motorbike on my salary and still saving about 3 million a month. I would go away camping/trekking with Indonesian friends most weekends. This was outside of Jakarta and Java with just a CELTA and a degree. Note I'm not really a big drinker either I'd much rather spend my money on travelling.

I have recently moved to Jakarta but have upped my qualifications to a home teaching cert so to compare like with like isn't really possible. I have however noticed that there is far more to spend money on here. Once I have my house set up and I'm settled I'll be able to comment better on the cost of living in Jakarta. My main money drain at the moment is getting taxi's everywhere. Whilst they are relatively cheap they soon add up when you are getting one everywhere. If you have a motorbike/are brave enough to have a motorbike in Jakarta then transport cost will come down.

On the whole if you are going into a language school job don't except to save a lot. If you can get into a better paying job at a National Plus school then your saving potential increases dramatically. However the salary is very much dependant on where you end up in the country.
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 672
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even on the lower end wage scale, it sounds like you're doing far better than me in Japan right now.

Maids have been mentioned twice, which seems very alien to me. I don't think I could do with having a maid! I realize it's the culture of course, but I've never seen a maid outside of a hotel.

What's up with gated neighborhoods? Is that just in Jakarta? Is there a lot of robbery? Dangerous at night, etc.? In Japan everyone I know locks their doors but I have no idea why. Houses are very easy to break into anyway. Personally, I don't have anything to steal really so I just leave my door unlocked. In 20 + years, I've never had anything stolen in Japan. But I digress.

I take it then that outside of Jakarta/Java (I'd at least like to be outside Jakarta and preferably outside Java), lowest end wages bottom out to 8-10 m. rupiah then? And from what you've said it sounds like you could live on 2 m. rupiah if you were frugal (400k housing, 600k food, 100k travel, bills, and misc.). I know that's extreme but you could do it, right? and you could still save 6 m. or so. That's not bad! I would be going for the scenery, language, culture, not the bars. I'd rather wake up to the sunrise than go to bed with it (God knows I'm getting way too old for the partiers!).

Thanks for the info! Just one more thing- what's up with med. insurance in Indonesia?
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chezal



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think EF is still offering as low as 6/7 million rupiah a month with shared accommodation included. It's do-able but I wouldn't recommend taking a job with EF if you have the relevant experience to get you into a better school.

On the health insurance front the school usually provides you with health insurance. If the school isn't offering any health insurance steer well clear. The health insurance usually only covers you locally. The doctors can be a bit hit or miss. However I had my appendix out when I was teaching in Sumatra and the hospital and treatment was better than some of the secondary rate care that passes for the NHS in the UK. The operation and recovery in a private room was all covered by the school.

Not everyone lives in a complex. In 5 years of living in Indonesia I've only lived in one complex (1 year) as I wanted to have a swimming pool/sports facilities on my door step. Some people are extremely paranoid about security but all the windows have bars across them and we have a big gate around the house so no one is getting in. I've never had any problems on or off a complex. The key to off complex living is get friendly with the neighbours as they will look out for you. I feel far safer in Indonesia than I did in some of the places I've lived in the UK.
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 672
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You taught in Sumatra? Wow, that's fantastic. I'd really love to go there. There and Lombok. Was the countryside readily accessible?
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chezal



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes the countryside was very easily accessible. I used to go to Siobolangit (1hour from Medan) most weekends. It's also very easy to get to Bukit Lawang (3hours less if the road is repaired) to see the orangutans or 3-4 hours to Lake Toba.

I lived in Pekanbaru also in Sumatra previous to Medan and things are a bit more of a trek from there. However if you join the Hash House Harriers (running club) you can go running in the jungle every weekend even in Pekanbaru.

I love Sumatra and would go back there in a heart beat if I manage to get a job at the International school in Medan. Medan isn't for everyone but I liked it due to being able to easily escape to nature at the weekends. Also they have a great choice of food in Medan far better than the food in Jakarta IMO.
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 672
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry not to add anything but that sounds wonderful!
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Letiz



Joined: 23 Nov 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bluetortilla wrote:
In 20 + years, I've never had anything stolen in Japan. But I digress.


Interesting digression, though. 20 odd years?! Do tell us a bit more.
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 672
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Letiz wrote:
bluetortilla wrote:
In 20 + years, I've never had anything stolen in Japan. But I digress.


Interesting digression, though. 20 odd years?! Do tell us a bit more.


In what vein? I will say Japan is a nice place to live though it takes getting used to like everywhere else. It's quite a peaceful place though. Jobs are really tough now though and if you can stomach an ALT position, there is still work. Otherwise, you'll need good credentials to work at the colleges. I guess this is all for the Japan forum though.

I started off as an exchange student and got a minor in Japanese. I later passed the first level of the Japanese Proficiency exam. I tried THREE TIMES (yikes!) to get an MA in Linguistics, and was not able to. I'm on my fourth go now. This time I'll make it. For 10 years I ran an English school, and was fairly successful at that. I guess I naively thought it would just go on forever, but it didn't (won't go into that- just say I'm not married anymore!). In any case, I was too busy then to pursue an MA anyway. I wouldn't recommend running a school, although there is potential there.

Oh yes, nothing stolen. Never threatened either. Japan is very safe.
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Letiz



Joined: 23 Nov 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting. Much appreciated.
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Lmbenv



Joined: 24 Jun 2011
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 2:21 am    Post subject: Re: You can save Reply with quote

KopiKopi wrote:
Here is the deal.

Yes, street food is dirt cheap. 80 cents for a meal is average for what I eat. If you can NOT speak any Indonesian, and you dont have an Indonesian friend, the vendors WILL try to charge you more. I suggest the first time, look for places with menus.


You CAN save, just dont expect to
Here is my living situation.

I live in a private house. 2-bedrooms, 1 bath, plus maid's room/bath. I live in a gated community. I paid 5 million rupiah for a year -- about 45 bucks a month.

I have a maid, live-in, who cooks, cleans, shops, and talks on the phone way too much. I pay her 50 bucks a month. I also give her another 50 - 60 bucks a month for her to buy food and household stuff - enough for both of us.

I pay about 10 bucks a month for my cell, 10 bucks for internet (SMART) and about 15 bucks for gas for my scooter.

I do go out on occasion, but really, those are my expenses.


Kopikopi-- I like your style-- this is my intention as well. May I ask where you are located--Jakarta? I am wondering if I could do something similar in East Java while working with a school under EF Surabaya Group. I am open to any suggestions and recommendations...esp if you are familiar with language schools in East Java! Kindly let me know.
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JZer



Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 3824
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was wondering how many hours one works at a typical job in Indonesia as a teacher. I earn $1000 a month online but would like to add a teaching job in Jakarta to my work.

I have a Indonesian girlfriend which is why I am planning to move there.
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