Cost of living... yet again


I have been doing some research about the cost of living (for 2)and wanted to check my numbers with you to hear different opinions.

Here is what I found calculated in a monthly basis:

Phone: $110
Mobile phone: $160 (for 2) (I have heard people spending average of 500 alone!)
Internet: $238
Electricity: $600 (annual average) Is this right? I have heard of people spending much more for air con running all year.
Gas: $400
Water: $150
Housing: $17.000 (average for a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment)Is this number righ or could I get better prices for a decent place?
Transportation: $1.500 (for 2) I kow that it depends where you live, but I don't know and wanted to be covered for daily trips.
Food and home supplies: $3000 (for 2)
Clothing: $1.000
House cleaning: $1.500 a month. (8hrs x 4 times a month)

I don't have any kids yet, and I know that schooling would add and extra amount.

This gives me a total of around 24.700 HKD a month. Do you feel is a right number?

And then... the most difficult part. Trying to figure out the right income...

I am an Industrial Designer with 6 years of experience and I am applying for a job at a consultancy (not a corporation). I read about many different stories, from which I end up with a number around 30 to 35K a month.

I know it can vary, also considering housing and flight allowances, insurance, bonus, etc. Even dough, I don't know what is standard when dealing with a consultancy. I don't want to undersell and don't want to give out a number so high to fall out.

So... what should I expect in term of benefits? How much can I ask for? Please give your opinion.


Your cost of living

You can certainly live quite comfortably on your overall figure, but whether the figures are realistic depend so much on how you chose to live - see Mr Tall's comparisons for details.

Your figures for transportation ($25 / person / day) would have you using buses & MTR almost exclusively, no Taxis.

Similarly Food & Home @ $50 / person / day wouldn't have you eating out much. eg if you're expected to go for drinks & dinner with colleagues, that could easily be in the range $200-500 for an evening without going anywhere too extravagant.

On the other hand you can find cheaper accomodation if you don't mind somewhere small.

I don't know enough about your field to suggest anything on salaries, but it's worth being clear whether the company is expecting to hire an expatriate because your skills are in short supply, or if you are competing with local hires. If local, check some of the local job sites listed here for ideas on curent salaries. If you can find adverts for recruitment agencies that specialise in your field, it would be worth calling them to see if they have anything similar at the moment, and what the package is.

Good luck, MrB

Thank you MrB. I did a

Thank you MrB.

I did a search on job sites, but it looks that nowadays everybody is asking for expected salary instead of offering a salary range on the add. No info available there.

I think that I might be competing with local hires, but I guess they might be all expats themselves. I'll have to wait now.

Thanks again!