Beijing - Post Report Question and Answers

Can you save money?

Probably. I've had a hard time with that, though. Going out costs the same as it does in a major US city. - Dec 2015

Yes if you don't go out to eat often. - Apr 2015

Some - with a 15% post diff and high COLA, you can save money if you buy more local products. - Aug 2014

Maybe - if you don't buy any Western groceries or brands, eat at any Western restaurants or travel outside the city at all. Airfare from Beijing to anywhere else (even inside China) is quite expensive. I've actually been quite surprised by how expensive it is to live here. - Jul 2014

Sure, if that's your goal. But Beijing will tempt you with ways to spend it... - Jun 2013

Yes, if you don't buy imported products and eat at expensive restaurants regularly. - Aug 2011

Definitely - Apr 2011

This really depends on you. If you live in a high-end foreigner complex, eat Western food every day, shop at the foreign market for everything, have an ayi who waits on you hand and foot, insist on either having a car and driver or taking taxis everywhere, and buy lots of consumer stuff, no way. The ayi and taxis are relatively cheap but you'll be paying 3-4 times as much for everything in general vs. the US. Oh, and the bars. Many expats, unable to figure out that they're living in an amazing city of 30 million people with virtually limitless possibilities, drink away their evenings to the tune of several hundred dollars a month (or more).Anyway, just come to accept that you're not in the US anymore. You can have an American lifestyle here, but will it ever cost you. And it's totally not worth it. If you're going to be in China, do things the Chinese way!Take the subway most of the time, use local products, downgrade to a local complex (albeit a nice one), shop at local markets and buy local products, eat mostly Chinese food when you eat out, and take full advantage of your employer's benefits and reimbursement policy (taking full advantage of your meal allowance and filing for reimbursement for any little thing you're entitled to claim - it sounds weird, but locals do it so you won't raise eyebrows). If you're making a decent salary (more than 10,000 RMB per month), you'll be truly amazed how quickly the RMB pile up in your bank account. - Jan 2011

If you don't have any kids in pre-school, yes. It also helps if you don't eat cereal. - Apr 2010

No. - Jan 2010

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