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Supporting a Family
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12203
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:31 pm    Post subject: Supporting a Family Reply with quote

Is it possible to support a family on a teacher's salary in Poland ? I suspect not since Saudi institutions are full of TEFLers with Polish wives, fleeing from the horrors of post-socialist Poland.

Last edited by scot47 on Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:49 am; edited 2 times in total
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simon_porter00



Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 443
Location: Warsaw, Poland

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends on what you'd want per month.
e.g.
Flat, car, 4 weeks shopping, 2 kids and related stuff must come in at about 5-6k zł if not more. (I'll have a better idea of this as of August)

Short answer - 1 person (teacher's) income - very very difficult. Even if you work at the BC, on average you'll be getting 6-7k zł per month.

Joint income - If teacher is earning 5-6k zł per month, and other person is bringing in 3-4k = 8-10k.
Once you pay for a nanny (if required) you're not left with much over 6-7k.

These are my back of fag packet calculations.
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 504

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Short answer: Yes!....Anything is possible.

Simon's numbers don't seem too far off, of course there is always the debate about how much you need to live a good life in Poland. If you get some help from your partner's family (this is often the case in Poland) it makes it easier as well. Two people with a kid, on their own, on 10k in say, Warsaw, should be able to do it, still not luxury though. Just the 6ish K of a teacher=penny pinching like crazy.
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dynow



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 1030

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="sparks"]If you get some help from your partner's family (this is often the case in Poland) it makes it easier as well. quote]

haha, i just HAD to comment on this statement. haha, someone is asking if they can support a family on a certain salary, and you say, "it makes it easier if people give you stuff that you'll need to do it."

priceless.

anyway, this thread is doomed to be your typical Dave's pi$$ing contest in 5....4....3...2....
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forfuxake



Joined: 01 Jun 2012
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found life in Krakow very comfortable until I started a family and could no longer afford it. Struggled to get by on 6-8k a month what with mortgage and nappies and car etc and then when the summer came it was a nightmare. My mother-in-law is an absolute legend and helped us financially where she could. How she did that on her salary I will never know but I have serious respect for her. That said, I have to agree that it is impossible to support a family without such help and therefore we left. I considered Saudi to the point where I was offered several jobs. Surprised to learn that there are other Teflers in Saudi with Polish wives.

Would like to go back and I miss the spring, summer and autumn and even the winters but was working hard and still struggling and had to call it a day.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12203
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of the Polish wives I have met in Saudi hate the place but put up with it for economic reasons,. That is what adults do !
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dynow



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 1030

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i stand corrected, this thread is actually making a bit of sense.

informative. good stuff, fellas.
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forfuxake



Joined: 01 Jun 2012
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

scot47 wrote:
Most of the Polish wives I have met in Saudi hate the place but put up with it for economic reasons,. That is what adults do !


I would hate to live somewhere I hate for economics reasons. What a career choice. This what adults who made a decision to teach EFL as a career do.

Can you support a family teaching EFL? Sure but you have to live somewhere you(or your family) hate. I would like to hear from somebody with a Polish wife living in Saudi. Anyone know where I might find such a person?

In before Saudi
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john123



Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Scot47,

It is possible. And I don't know what the likes of you and the other usual contributors squander money on, because with a combined net salary of around 7500-7800 zl, we do just fine here where we are. It's not Warsaw I hasten to add.

We refuse to pay nonsensical prices for clothes, and meals 'on the Rynek'. And we do not smoke. It works you know. I remember some buffoon on this forum who paid around 1200zl for a jacket, and then started complaining about not having enough money. Crazy.
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dynow



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 1030

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

john123 wrote:
Dear Scot47,

It is possible.


of course it's possible. millions of poles live in Poland. it just depends on what you consider to be a good life.
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TwinCentre



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 271
Location: Mokotow

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

simon_porter00 wrote:
Depends on what you'd want per month.
e.g.
Flat, car, 4 weeks shopping, 2 kids and related stuff must come in at about 5-6k zł if not more. (I'll have a better idea of this as of August)

Short answer - 1 person (teacher's) income - very very difficult. Even if you work at the BC, on average you'll be getting 6-7k zł per month.



I don't get it. Even back in 2005, when I worked at the BC in Warsaw, salaries were about 10.5-11.5k a month for teachers...surely they haven't dropped that much...talk about austerity!
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 936
Location: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TwinCentre wrote:
I don't get it. Even back in 2005, when I worked at the BC in Warsaw, salaries were about 10.5-11.5k a month for teachers...surely they haven't dropped that much...talk about austerity!


Sure, there are teachers who make near this amt. at the BC today. Although I'll wager this figure is probably closer to gross rather than net income.

But the BC have chosen to minimise the number of employment contract teaching staff (only 7 as of today) in favor of hiring more and more freelancers (i.e. private contractors). Freelance teachers are cheaper for the BC to employ because they are paid hourly - i.e. no health insurance, sick leave or holiday pay.

In reality, the amount freelancers can average per month at the BC is much closer to 6-7 k/mo. - and this figure includes working six hours on Saturdays.

Say goodbye to the secure, full-time BC Warsaw teaching jobs. Still, the BC do pay well for Warsaw.
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TwinCentre



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 271
Location: Mokotow

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, Warsaw seems to be changing fast.
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simon_porter00



Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 443
Location: Warsaw, Poland

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding the BC figures at 10.5k to 11.5k. This was always a bit of a misnomer because, yes, they did/do get paid that (full time contracted teachers) but actual take home money was a lot less about 6-7k.

Now, I've never been a contracted teacher at the BC, but have worked there for 4 years & often hear the grumbles from the contract teachers about the deductions (of which I don't have an exact list). But because you're working for a UK quango, you have to pay UK taxes, UK national insurance (health and pension), student loans (if you have any) & any other deductions that the UK government deem fit & it's even possible you have to pay local taxes too.

The best gig in town is to work for the BC, as a freelancer, on full time hours (24 clock hours in total) and only pay 19% tax. Based on the old salary scale at the BC this would earn you:
CELTA 110x24=10560-19%=8553.60
DELTA 112x24=10752-19%=8709.12
**Mind you these figures are on the basis there are 4 paid weeks in a month which of course is not always the case, most of the time less, sometimes more**
Given that what the BC require of you you wouldn't want to work any other hours for anyone else (or that you're not allowed to), the chances are you'd probably do up to 5/6 hours of privates, you'd be looking at (assuming you'd charge 80zł an hour, which if you're working at the BC, you really should) an extra 2000zł extra cash in hand on top of that.

This sees you clearing 10k a month, easy. Yes, you'd work hard, but as my old dad used to say "you gotta make hay when the sun shines, young man".

The new BC salary structure for freelancers, would see you earning (once again assuming you're working full time) anywhere between 9600zł (7776zł gross) to 11520zł (9331.20zł gross) depending on where you come on the scale that they've introduced.

The figures look very pretty, but they come with a word of caution.
The chances of you hitting 24 hours a week from the off are very slim as:
1)the figures rely on you do evening blocks - 3 classes one after the other and some work on Saturday as well.
2)if you get sent off site (as you probably will) then there's no chance for you to do those blocks as those blocks only exist within the BC HQ, not at any off-site school
3)the BC want you to do plenty of ancillary work related to your classes which will take up an hour of your time a week (best case scenario) or more likely 3-4 which are of course unpaid.
So I want to make it clear that above I've presented the 'very best' scenario.

The question is: Can I make that kind of cash elsewhere?
The short answer is:
If you're working for another school - no.
The best I've heard any other school pay is is 80zł per hour gross and that's for an in-company specialist school with someone who's got umpteen years of experience.
If you work for yourself - yes.
The caveat here is that you'd have to work for a school for a few years first to develop skills, get known, build a reputation, possibly steal clients etc before you go down this road. Once you've put that hard graft in and set yourself up as a freelancer you can charge 100zł upwards per hour.

You have to bear in mind that most schools will 'sell' a native speaker for 120-180zł per hour to the client. (Based on my experience - yes, you do get monkey outfits such as Felberg who only want 50zł an hour for their 'teachers'). So why can't you get that money for yourself?

If you charge 110zł an hour, find 25 hours a week of business 1-2-1's or small groups, you're looking at 25x110=11000zł gross pcm (8910zł net) (rough figures) plus any cash-in-handers you might find or which prefer for whatever reason not to have an invoice which could be included in that 25 hours.

Getting back to the OP about living costs - if you're pulling close to 9k per month after taxes and you're a freelancer, your monthly breakdown would look something like this:
400zł ish ZUS (national insurance/health for the first 2 years)
200zł accountant
up to 1700zł flat
180zł ish monthly travel card
1000zł food (rough figure)
=
3480zł
which gives you (9000-3480) 5520zł per month. On today's exchange rate that's a 1000gbp more or less to play with. You can decide for yourselves if that's enough or not.

Final note - I cannot stress enough the figures I'm playing with are realistic figures once you've been in Warsaw for 3 years working hard

So for any newbies to Poland this bit is for you:

You've arrived in Poland, you've got a CELTA and you've gone to Warsaw (as in other cities chances are you'll earn less). You can expect to play the following figures.
(The BC will not hire you without 2 years experience with CELTA, so if you don't have that forget about them).
hourly rate 60zł gross (net if you're lucky)
hours per week - lets say 24 (mix of school classes and 1-2-1s.
(n.b.1 you don't have to limit yourself to 24 hours in the week. When I worked for a school, the maximum I did was 42 hours per week for a year as the school won't ever say "are you doing too much?". It killed me, but I made a lot of cash)
(n.b.2 taxes for you guys are different. I've explained elsewhere on this board)
60zł gross = 24x60=5760zł gross (4930zł net)
70zł gross (60zł net more or less) = 24x70=6720zł gross (5752zł net)
Simon's super example 42x70=11760zł gross (10.067zł net)

Please take into account:
up to 1700zł flat
180zł ish monthly travel card
1000zł food (rough figure)
=
2880zł

4930-2880=2050zł Sad
5752-2880=2872zł Sad
10067-2880=7187zł Smile
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delphian-domine



Joined: 11 Mar 2011
Posts: 518

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

simon_porter00 wrote:
You have to bear in mind that most schools will 'sell' a native speaker for 120-180zł per hour to the client. (Based on my experience - yes, you do get monkey outfits such as Felberg who only want 50zł an hour for their 'teachers').


Felberg are still in business?

I had good fun with that clown Pawel Felberg years ago - including getting as far as sending the documents to court to get what he owed me. Thankfully, I only ever worked 4 hours a week for him - so the bills were never particularly high.

He still owes a lot of people money throughout Poland, too.

Perhaps a list of non-paying schools should be made...hmm.
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