Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby Javarox » Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:24 am

Hi, everyone! My name is Kevin. I'm a software engineer at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in sunny Florida. I also do web work on the side. We (my wife and I) are in the planning stages of moving to Shanghai. I'll be taking a six-month sabbatical from NASA and will be mainly living off my wages earned from my small web business, which brings in roughly $3,000 USD per month.

My question is: Can we live "okay" in Shanghai on that amount? Doesn't have to be luxurious accommodations, but would like to be near food places, grocery stores, parks, etc. But, for now, we'd just like to know if the USD can get us to at least "comfortable" in Shanghai?

Thanks, all!

Kevin
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby burrito » Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:50 am

No.
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby freddiesdead » Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:05 pm

burrito wrote:No.

Not sure I'd be quite that harsh :D

But the trip to Hong Kong every month to get a new visa will take a big bite out of that $3,000 ...
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby AngelPigdoctor » Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:32 pm

Hi Kevin,

I guess the best way I could help is let you know how much I spend here.

I have a 2 bedroom apartment in Xujiahui, nice area maybe 10-15 year old building, modest, comfortable - 10,000rmb (1.6k USD)/ per month rent.

I live alone, my usual monthly utility bills (I travel a lot)
Telephone 150.
Electricity - 200.
Gas - 20.00
Water - 20.00
Bottled Water - 40.00 month

Roughly 10,500rmb - 1,750 USD

Which leaves you 1,250 USD per month for other things or 180.rmb-41.66USD/day.

Comfort is relative to what you are used to. A good ramen at IPPUDO costs about 80-100rmb. McDonalds would have meals at 20-30rmb ranges. Transportation is ok, from my office (Caobao Rd.) to my place Taxi would be about 26rmb, bus 3.0 rmb, metro 6.0 one way.
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby MarvinHC » Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:51 pm

Water 20 RMB? Do you ever take a shower??
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby bigroh74 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:30 pm

MarvinHC wrote:Water 20 RMB? Do you ever take a shower??

I shower every day, sometimes twice. Washing machine on every other day. Lots of dishes washed daily. Last water bill 27.6 rmb. Something wrong with your water meter perhaps?
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby bigroh74 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:34 pm

Wondering why the OP would want to come to Shanghai for a sabbatical. Anything worth seeing or doing here can be done inside a week. Pollution getting worse, according to the latest survey, and the weather in summer verges on the unbearable. I understand why people come here to work, because that's why I'm here. But to spend your hard-earned time off in this city?
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby AngelPigdoctor » Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:37 pm

bigroh74 wrote:
MarvinHC wrote:Water 20 RMB? Do you ever take a shower??

I shower every day, sometimes twice. Washing machine on every other day. Lots of dishes washed daily. Last water bill 27.6 rmb. Something wrong with your water meter perhaps?


I am actually surprised as well as I do take a shower everyday or twice as well but have never seen the water bill go higher than 30 rmb. But as I said I do travel a lot in China.
Last edited by AngelPigdoctor on Thu Feb 04, 2016 6:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby AngelPigdoctor » Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:40 pm

MarvinHC wrote:Water 20 RMB? Do you ever take a shower??


Maybe my avatar confused you, yup I do like my showers but that is the average water bill I have had for months. Maybe you have a pool?
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby crivens200 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:44 pm

You should probably come on a reconnaissance trip first to see if you have proper access to your business on the internet. There would be nothing more frustrating than getting here and finding you need to use a VPN to get through to your money making method.

$3000 is not fantastic but it's definitely survivable.
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby AngelPigdoctor » Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:57 pm

crivens200 wrote:You should probably come on a reconnaissance trip first to see if you have proper access to your business on the internet. There would be nothing more frustrating than getting here and finding you need to use a VPN to get through to your money making method.

$3000 is not fantastic but it's definitely survivable.


Right!!! The VPN, I do pay for VPN monthly, forgot that one, and the cable/satellite TV as well. VPN 5-10usd/month / Cable TV 2500.rmb/year
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby Moonlighting » Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:15 pm

Yes, you will have no problem living in Shanghai on $3k.

You can find a decent 1 or 2 bedroom apartment close to downtown for about 6000rmb. per month ($925), and expenses for bills are minimal.

What's nice about Shanghai is that you can splurge if you want, or you can go totally cheap. It all depends upon you.
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby crivens200 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:26 pm

bigroh74 wrote:Wondering why the OP would want to come to Shanghai for a sabbatical.


Yeah, not the place I would choose for 6 months off, but then I've been here for 14 years.

I'd choose somewhere clean an warm and civilised with fast internet. Okinawa probably.
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby burrito » Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:52 pm

In all seriousness, if you are looking for a Chinese speaking country for sabbatical I'd choose Taiwan. It is a better country for foreigners compared to China... cheaper, cleaner, more beautiful, better quality of life, and no crappy visa applications for the majority of foreigners. $3000 will definitely get you a better quality of life there compared to Shanghai.
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby freddiesdead » Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:45 pm

burrito wrote:In all seriousness, if you are looking for a Chinese speaking country for sabbatical I'd choose Taiwan.

Minor technical problem with staying in China - I know they changed the L and F visas but did they drop the 30 day limit ? Even the one and two years visas were only good for 30 days at a time.
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby burrito » Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:54 pm

Aside from my work/residence permit, I've only received an F visa before. I know for a fact these let you stay 60 days at a time and are good for 10 years now.

... I've been to Taiwan many many times though with just my passport though.
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby ruebreteuil » Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:03 pm

freddiesdead wrote:
burrito wrote:In all seriousness, if you are looking for a Chinese speaking country for sabbatical I'd choose Taiwan.

Minor technical problem with staying in China - I know they changed the L and F visas but did they drop the 30 day limit ? Even the one and two years visas were only good for 30 days at a time.

Agree with Burrito.
Come to Taiwan.
Landing visa 90 days.
With 3,000 US$ ( 110,000 NT$/ month), your quality of life will be multiplied at least by 3 compared to Shanghell.
You can find a new apartment for about 30,000 NT$ ( 1,000 US$).
Subway as cheap and new as Shanghai, Pollution average PM2 : 44.
Ubike exceptional system and almost free.
Mountains, rivers, hot springs 20 mn away from Taipei 101.
Food : let say I have never eaten street food in China, but I could be eating outside in Taiwan every day.
Import food with minimal import taxes, so much that French Bordeaux costs the same as in France ( because VAT is 5% :D ).

I will stop here, but you get the picture.
Maybe you can get a quick glance at this : https://twitter.com/Taiwanderful, while you are still in the US ( because once in Shanghai, you will need a VPN, which Burrito forgot to mention ).
Ohh and unlimited lightspeed internet for about 20 US$ a month.

You could even find a new job in Taiwan, last night read these news :
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/ ... 2003638651

NCTU launches two-stage rocket

There are many business incubators in Taipei city, and you could surely get a one-year visa if you wanted to start a business in software field.

And, with all the money and stress that you will save, you can always fly for a week to Shanghai, around May, or September, to take advantage of the rare moments when the air is decent , and the temperature is mild... My daughter and her husband stayed with us in our Shanghai home for 10 days , and it was more than enough to see most of Shanghai, plus one water town ( Zhuzhajiao) and Hangzhou.

Edit : forgot to add a touch of culture : :party::
Just read the Taipei Times "Features" section every friday, you will be flooded with options:

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/feat/ar ... 2003638304

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/feat/ar ... 2003638303

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/feat/ar ... 2003638302

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/feat/ar ... 2003638222
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby Shanghai Noob » Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:08 pm

Why?

Why would you want to spend 6 months living in Shanghai? I mean, you're saying your budget is $100 a day right?! That's loads of money to go traveling, even including train fares you could see every province of China in 6mo. Shanghai's a fun place to live when you have a job that pays for cocktails but it's hardly experiencing the 'real China'.

Or, why would you limit yourselves to China when you could go overland from Beijing, say, to Singapore or something if you wanted to see SE Asia.

As I said, why?!?
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby MarvinHC » Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:59 pm

AngelPigdoctor wrote:
MarvinHC wrote:Water 20 RMB? Do you ever take a shower??


Maybe my avatar confused you, yup I do like my showers but that is the average water bill I have had for months. Maybe you have a pool?


Must be my wife then, our water bill is around 150 RMB usually...
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby freddiesdead » Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:40 pm

burrito wrote:Aside from my work/residence permit, I've only received an F visa before. I know for a fact these let you stay 60 days at a time and are good for 10 years now.

Had to go loko through the the museum :D ... this probably doesn't apply anymore but I've never seen the Bureaucracy make anything easier. They make it look easier but in practice ...

Anyway, the L's are all 30 day stay dating back to when they were just stamped in the passport. And an L (or its current equivalent) is all he can get without knowing someone with a registered company in China. Even years ago they wouldn't usually give you an F without a real invitation letter and a bunch of hoop-jumping.

You could extend an L once, for another 30 days. Seems to me there were rumours some people succeeded at twice, but that was it.

F's were similar ? It's been a while :(

The coolest ones were around 2007 when they had a bit of pretty red ink. Nice.

The F visas don't have the length of stay printed on them, but some of the entry stamps do. The ones I see say 30 days.

The 0 entry F's seem to last as long as their validity. But you can only get these from inside the country. Unless they came from Qingdao, someone with a registered company had to physically take the company's license and stamp down to entry-exit and fill out some forms, create an invitation letter, and so on.

Of course this was all pretty loose a few years ago, but that seems to have gone away with Expo / Olympics.

I'm sure there's way to get around this but it is something to deal with. You can't just come here on a tourist visa and decide to stay six months.
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby yoyoy » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:44 am

taiwan or japan even korea... puppets of u.s.
you don't really get the real east asia.
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby Moonlighting » Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:14 am

yoyoy wrote:taiwan or japan even korea... puppets of u.s.
you don't really get the real east asia.


You're right! Getting ripped off, being buried in corruption and mired in pollution.....that's the real East Asia.
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby Javarox » Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:46 am

Thank you all so much for the awesome replies! In all honesty, I've always wanted to travel to the orient and stay for a while. Shanghai doesn't have to be a set-in-stone destination. Based on the majority of the posts here, perhaps Taiwan would be a better destination. It's just that all the things I've read about Shanghai were pretty nice and it seemed interesting. As far as what we expect as living accommodations, we'd be happy living in a one-room flat as long as it had water to bathe and a microwave to cook instant food ;-)

Anyway, thank you again for the replies. I'll return to my investigations for an oriental sabbatical and see what I can find out about Taiwan.
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby Javarox » Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:52 am

ruebreteuil wrote:
freddiesdead wrote:
burrito wrote:In all seriousness, if you are looking for a Chinese speaking country for sabbatical I'd choose Taiwan.

Minor technical problem with staying in China...


Thank you so much for the very detailed response! You went above and beyond what I was expecting, and I do greatly appreciate it!
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby yoyoy » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:55 am

Moonlighting wrote:
yoyoy wrote:taiwan or japan even korea... puppets of u.s.
you don't really get the real east asia.


You're right! Getting ripped off, being buried in corruption and mired in pollution.....that's the real East Asia.


thats y u live in sh n don't leave
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby Moonlighting » Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:08 pm

yoyoy wrote:
Moonlighting wrote:
yoyoy wrote:taiwan or japan even korea... puppets of u.s.
you don't really get the real east asia.


You're right! Getting ripped off, being buried in corruption and mired in pollution.....that's the real East Asia.


thats y u live in sh n don't leave


You have to understand, there are many better places to live, but coming to China is like going to see an action movie, like Mission Impossible, where the idea is to try to live through it!

I often hum the Mission Impossible theme as I zigzag across the street trying to avoid being hit by the buses, the taxis, the scooters, the coughing and spitting, etc.....

China is an adventure.
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby Moonlighting » Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:11 pm

Javarox wrote:Thank you all so much for the awesome replies! In all honesty, I've always wanted to travel to the orient and stay for a while. Shanghai doesn't have to be a set-in-stone destination. Based on the majority of the posts here, perhaps Taiwan would be a better destination. It's just that all the things I've read about Shanghai were pretty nice and it seemed interesting. As far as what we expect as living accommodations, we'd be happy living in a one-room flat as long as it had water to bathe and a microwave to cook instant food ;-)

Anyway, thank you again for the replies. I'll return to my investigations for an oriental sabbatical and see what I can find out about Taiwan.


Basically, Shanghai is like New York City, except here, the ancient and the modern are all mixed together, with an Asian flare that you'll either love, or it will drive you crazy.
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby Mel69 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:14 pm

Moonlighting wrote:
yoyoy wrote:
Moonlighting wrote:
yoyoy wrote:taiwan or japan even korea... puppets of u.s.
you don't really get the real east asia.


You're right! Getting ripped off, being buried in corruption and mired in pollution.....that's the real East Asia.


thats y u live in sh n don't leave


You have to understand, there are many better places to live, but coming to China is like going to see an action movie, like Mission Impossible, where the idea is to try to live through it!

I often hum the Mission Impossible theme as I zigzag across the street trying to avoid being hit by the buses, the taxis, the scooters, the coughing and spitting, etc.....

China is an adventure.



Survivor at is best

OP you should also consider Macau
Last edited by Mel69 on Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby tim_q_tsang » Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:41 pm

AngelPigdoctor wrote:Hi Kevin,

I guess the best way I could help is let you know how much I spend here.

I have a 2 bedroom apartment in Xujiahui, nice area maybe 10-15 year old building, modest, comfortable - 10,000rmb (1.6k USD)/ per month rent.

I live alone, my usual monthly utility bills (I travel a lot)
Telephone 150.
Electricity - 200.
Gas - 20.00
Water - 20.00
Bottled Water - 40.00 month

Roughly 10,500rmb - 1,750 USD

Which leaves you 1,250 USD per month for other things or 180.rmb-41.66USD/day.

Comfort is relative to what you are used to. A good ramen at IPPUDO costs about 80-100rmb. McDonalds would have meals at 20-30rmb ranges. Transportation is ok, from my office (Caobao Rd.) to my place Taxi would be about 26rmb, bus 3.0 rmb, metro 6.0 one way.


you live alone? why need 2 bedroom? for what? just for spend more money?")
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Re: Live on $3,000 U.S. per month in Shanghai?

Postby tim_q_tsang » Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:53 pm

Moonlighting wrote:
yoyoy wrote:
Moonlighting wrote:
yoyoy wrote:taiwan or japan even korea... puppets of u.s.
you don't really get the real east asia.


You're right! Getting ripped off, being buried in corruption and mired in pollution.....that's the real East Asia.


thats y u live in sh n don't leave


You have to understand, there are many better places to live, but coming to China is like going to see an action movie, like Mission Impossible, where the idea is to try to live through it!

I often hum the Mission Impossible theme as I zigzag across the street trying to avoid being hit by the buses, the taxis, the scooters, the coughing and spitting, etc.....

China is an adventure.


I am wondering why don't you leave China?
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