hello all!

it’s been a long time. time flies and I’ve already lived in HK for over 2 months. it’s crazy how fast time goes by when you’re busy at your desk. I thought I would have a lot more time to blog because I get off at 6pm sharp everyday haha but my brain’s pretty much paralysed at the end of every day. but it’s going to be better. I hope. haha.

for today, I thought it would be interesting for me to share about the (crazy) living expenses in one of the most expensive countries in the world.

if you’re a long-time reader, you probably would’ve known that I am very (very very very) frugal. but as frugal as I can be, this city definitely isn’t cheap. at all. and  living expenses here is like 4 times of what I spent back in Seoul, which isn’t the cheapest city out there. the average salary here is 16,000HKD which is around 2,000USD. starting salaries are obviously different across industries but it can go as low as 9,000HKD and as high as 70,000HKD for fresh grads in the financial industry. honestly, it may sound a lot to some people but very little to some as well, especially when HK is considered one of the most expensive cities out there. but let’s do a little breakdown on what’s “normal” from my observations so far.

rent (1BR/studio) – 13,000HKD
rent (shared) -8,000HKD
rent (2BR apartment that looks decent) – 25,000HKD and above

cheap Chinese meal – 60HKD
western food – 250HKD
hot pot (HK people’s fav) – 300HKD
cocktail at a bar – 130HKD
shaved ice dessert – 80-100HKD
Korean meal – 200HKD
sushi – 150-200HKD
milk (1L)- 22HKD
drinks (non alcoholic) – 20-60HKD
onigiri – 15HKD
tea set – 500HKD (and above) for two
banana – 7HKD for one
water bottle – 7HKD
yoghurt drink – 9HKD

so basically, you’d expect around 200HKD for a decent meal.

MTR/Bus – 5-20HKD
Cab – around 40HKD for a short 10min journey, 400HKD from airport to central. (similar to Korea. fairly affordable.)

medical – not sure. will update you when I know lol
specialists – 900HKD per 15min.

gel manicure – 200HKD onwards. around 150HKD for dirt cheap ones at dodgy looking places.

haircut – 150HKD and above
perm – 500HKD and above

gym – 700HKD

movies – 110HKD

utilities – 500HKD

phone bills – 200HKD (unlimited data)

did I miss anything? or are you interested in knowing the prices of something else? just let me know!

on average, I spend around 6,000-10,000HKD on everything excluding rent and bills per month. you have to take my thriftiness into consideration. I really do not spend that much. I only eat better food maybe once a week. but I have to admit I shop quite a fair bit. living expenses here seems okay sometimes especially when it comes to shopping, but rent is definitely the killer here. food is quite expensive too but there are cheaper options and also if you cook at home, it’s going to be much more affordable. I would say that the starting salaries here may sound decent if its like above 20k but it is really just enough to get by with little savings.

hope this would help those who plan to move here have a general idea of what to expect and also for those who are not planning to live here, have some kind of general knowledge haha.

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6 years ago

Hi Jamie, just curious to know why you chose to work overseas (in HK specifically) instead of working back in your home country?? Will you go back to your home country for good one day?