Sunday, February 22, 2009

it's all about the rmb, baby

Teaching doesn't pay. I could make more per hour tutoring kids than I do teaching. However, you can't get a Chinese working visa from tutoring, you need to have an actual company employ you, thus I have a crumby teaching job.

It's actually not that crumby. I like my kids (for the most part), the administration is pretty nice, and we get a ton of holiday and vacation time. The only part of it that's crumby is the fact that I make 6,500RMB a month (about 950 dollars). For being in China, it's a pretty decent chunk of cash if you're living like a local, i.e. NOT getting 4+ items hand tailored every week/eating cereal and sandwiches every day. I tried that whole "living like a local" thing, and it just didn't work out for me. I don't like baozi enough to eat it daily, even if it is only 1RMB. I also really, really like getting things hand made at the fabric market.

But I digress. Pay day is on the 26th of every month, which is coincidentally also my Monthiversary with China, so I always have two reasons to celebrate the day. Currently, I have about 21RMB in my wallet to last me until Thursday. It definitely won't be a problem since my fridge is fully stocked, but I was sort of looking forward to buying a few new DVDs (16RMB each), which I guess I'll need to hold off on.

I don't have any real monthly expenses except for my Metro card which I need to re-charge about once a month with 100RMB, my cell phone minutes which are usually around 50RMB, and international calling cards (four for 100RMB). Everything else is just play money, for shopping or going out to eat or traveling.

Except this month. This month I want to play Survivor and try to NOT spend more than 500RMB (75 USD). I told my mom this and she seemed very distraught, Strawberry, that's no money at all! What are you going to do? to which I replied, "Mom, I'll be able to spend more money if I need to, it's not like I'll blow up into flames if I spend more than 500RMB".

So why am I doing this? Because I'm bored and it seems like a fun little game to play. My goal is to spend no more than 500RMB, but if I do go over that amount, I would like to keep my expenditures under 1000RMB. I don't plan on making any real changes to my monthly budget except maybe cut out a few restaurant dinners here and there, and definitely cut out shopping (if anything because I will have no room in my suitcases when I eventually come home if I continue buying new clothes). By no means am I going to cut out anything essential like my weekly massage or DVD store trips. I'll keep ya'll updated on my progress.

Here goes [spending] nothing!


Andy said...

Wait... during a MONTH?!? Or during a week?

Well, in any case, good luck.

Frank said...

I play that game every month, although if I go over $75 dollars of expenditures I get a nasty e-mail from the bank saying I'm overdrawn again.