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moving to hong kong - need cost of living information

  1. #1
    tali_b is offline Registered User
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    moving to hong kong - need cost of living information

    hey we are moving to hong kong in 3 months to the mid-level central area, so we need any cost of living information (utilities, internet and cabel costs, pre-school tuition e.t.c), recommended buildings choices and any tips you can give us.
    thanks!

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    there are tons of these types of questions on here and on geoexpat.com. i suggest that you search and read past threads, then ask any specifics because, the thing is this type of question is very open ended, how long is a piece of string.

    ie) if you choose to eat only imported food from the fancy citysuper-type supermarkets, you could easily spend $20k/month on groceries for 2. but if you find the frozen meat shops and buy veg from the market, you can feed a family of 4 for around $10k/month and still have some $ to spare for luxuries.

    you can choose a local kindergarten and have your child exposed to the cantonese language and pay next to nothing (with the pre-primary voucher) or you can go for a western kindergarten with 95% caucasian kids (nothing wrong with this) and pay $5000/month.
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  3. #3
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Agree with carang. Cost of living varies based on several factors especially A) location of residence and B) standard of living.

    We pay around $7K for rent but we live in the New Territories. We spend $6K/month on food for a family of 3 adults and 2 children but we make 90% of our meals at home. We hire a helper which is around $4K/month. We spend about $2K/month on travel but we only take public transportation and once in awhile a taxi for all of us. Our utilities are about $1500/every two months. Our insurance for our entire family is about $2K/month. Our kindergartener attends a local school which qualifies for the government pre-primary school voucher so we pay $800/month and another $500/month for bus transportation for him plus about $4K/year for extra expenses such as uniforms and books. There are few extra things that we do as a family. My son attends some sports and extracurricular classes which cost about $1-4K/every quarter, depending on how many and which ones he's involved in. I have a membership at a gym which is about $2K/every quarter. We don't travel outside of Hong Kong very often--once every few years. We don't go out to clubs or high end restaurants. We live a pretty simple life. We live on one income.

    But.....that's just one of the many lifestyles that's out there. You'll have to determine what type of lifestyle you want to live and how much you can/are willing to pay to do that.
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  4. #4
    MommieMid is offline Registered User
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    Tali,
    I am happy to help you to make choices about your move to Hong Kong.
    If you can be specific about what your budget is, for each item of concern, we can possibly tell you what you can achieve, at that price point.
    Location: Midlevels. A 700 sq ft apartment on/ around Caine Road will start at $20,000 HKD per month. I have a friend that lives in 970 sq ft on Robinson road in an OK apartment block, and pays $60,000 per month rental. Describe your ideas on age of building, proximity to escalator, price point, size requirement, and we may be able to direct you.
    Other areas of Hong Kong island can be much cheaper, which is why Hong Kong island has a huge spread of people. I live in Aberdeen, a very 'local' area. If you are happy to pay for Central area, then that is fabulous. If you wish to find a more affordable area, then if you state your preferences for the areas' facilities, then the forum members may come up with suggestions.
    As for cost of living, I believe that for a similar standard of living in Hong Kong compared to suburban US city living, your budget should double here in Hong Kong. Rents compared to New York City / commuting suburbs, are roughly comparable.

    I support an idea of living in a serviced apartment for an indefinate amount of time, until you find exactly what meets your 'adjusted' expectations. Everything is an adjustment and you don't know how much so, until you get here! Serviced apartments book up really early, so, you may want to start by reviewing which ones will have vacancies in the near future. Utilities and Cable will be included, so no worries there.
    Cable: seems expensive to me. We have PCCW. The companies are restrictive on the channels chosen. Each channel costs a significant amount to me. Also they require the customer to sign a binding contract for one year, in order to take a subscription of the channels chosen.
    If you are Jewish, then I recommend contacting the JCC on Robinson Road. You may get lots of assistance from them.
    Good luck and let us know what specifically, you wish to know!

  5. #5
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    Hong Kong is one of the crazy places that can be as expensive or as cheap as you want it to be. I have an expat friend who is single and lives on $18K a month - something which many expats would find near impossible. Compared to her, we are more "well off" and pay more than her monthly income on rent alone. But that said, I have friends who live in places where they pay more in rent than our monthly income!! There is such a huge range.

    Housing is the biggest expense - if you live somewhere that falls in your budget, everything else can fall into place. You can always eat out less, or take less taxis. Smaller places will have lower electric costs. There is a LOT of variability but the main thing is housing. I know in Australia, they recommend that rent should take up no more than 20% of your income, here I think that figure is more like 30-40%... of course you can pay less if you want, but that percentage is probably "do-able"...
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  6. #6
    MommieMid is offline Registered User
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    Nicolejoy,
    "take less taxis".

    Tali,
    I try NEVER to step foot in a taxi. Every single day that I am out, I see car/ bus crashes involving taxis, some worse than others. I am completely horrified by their lack of driving skills, aggressive manoeuvers and inability to give way or avoid collisions. They also jump red lights deliberately and need severe punishment for that.
    I am amazed that the government do not more strongly regulate who is fit to drive passengers around our city.
    I now get minibuses (maybe worse drivers) or the big red buses routinely, and I do share a car, so I am lucky. I would rather set off earlier and the journey take twice as long, than risk my life taking a taxi!
    When we first got here, our twins were just about small enough to still fit in their baby seats, so we insisted on using them in taxis. I am amazed how families ride around the city with babies and children on their knees in taxi whilst the parents are buckled up. It's the same in the private cars,the parents belted and the children freely moving around the moving vehicle. The public awareness of road safety, here in Hong Kong, takes me back to when I was a child, when 'cluck click every trip' was running on the TV as a public safety announcement.

    My advice, refuse to put your babies in taxis!

  7. #7
    elle is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by MommieMid View Post
    I try NEVER to step foot . Every single day that I am out, I see car/ bus crashes involving taxis, some worse than others.


    !
    Where in HK are you driving that you see such frequent taxi crashes? While I will admit that some of the drivers are pretty bad, I've seen very few accidents involving taxis in my 6 plus years here. I take a taxi to and from work (south side of HK island to Central) almost daily and see maybe one crash, that doesnt always involve a taxi, and is typically minor, every few months or more. I have also found most taxi drivers to be very accommodating when we put our baby seat in the car. However, we don't take taxis with our child without the baby seat and just drive ourselves instead.
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  8. #8
    MommieMid is offline Registered User
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    Elle,
    Here is the website
    http://www.td.gov.hk/en/road_safety/...0/index_t.html
    These are the exact numbers.
    http://www.td.gov.hk/filemanager/en/..._4474/f3.4.pdf

    Road traffic accidents statistics for 2010
    3556 accidents involving a taxi in 2010, 4053 including collisions of more than one taxi, with 17 deaths and 432 serious injuries and 4,469 slight injuries.
    That's 10 taxi accidents per day and more than one serious injury a day.
    With an involvement rate of 223.6 per 1000 registered vehicles (taxis), versus 15.5 per 1000 registered private cars.
    http://www.td.gov.hk/filemanager/en/..._4474/f3.1.pdf

    Interesting, but really scary to me!

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