Taiwan Cost of Living – Monthly Budget

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Taiwan Cost of Living – Monthly Budget

What is the cost of living in Taiwan? I am putting together a monthly budget report to help you figure out what to expect living in Taiwan. All of the information comes from my personal income teaching as an English teacher in Tainan. The cost of living in Tainan is lower compared to a city like Taipei, but the overall cost will not differ that much.


I live in Anping District, one of the more expensive districts in Tainan because of its location near Tainan City Central, the beach, and the historic sites in Anping. I rent a one-room apartment with one bathroom. My rent is a little higher than usual for most people living in Tainan. You could easily find a three-bedroom apartment at the same cost as mine in another district.

In Taiwan, it is usually cheaper to eat out than buy groceries. So the only money I spend monthly on groceries is for things like instant coffee, papaya milk, and lemon black tea. During the week I eat at local restaurants that serve Taiwanese dishes, these places are usually pretty cheap. If the students were particularly ornery during the week, I will go to Lola’s. On the weekends, I am usually traveling around Taiwan so I go to more expensive and popular restaurants.

My travel expenses during the weekends are where I spend the majority of my monthly income. Purchasing train and bus tickets, meals, bar tabs, concert tickets, etc. I could easily save money by not traveling every weekend, but I did not come to Taiwan to live a spartan lifestyle.

Income Breakdown:

  • Teaching Hours: 55 x $600 = $33,000
  • Teaching Assistant: 21 x $140 = $2,940
  • Homeroom Teacher: 3 x $100 = $300
  • Total Pay = $36,240 NTD or $1170.24 USD

I work part-time as an English teacher. Compared to most English teachers in Taiwan, my monthly income is towards the lower end of the scale. My weekly work limit is set at 20 hours, any hours left over from teaching that does not add up to 20 is filled up by the teaching assistant pay. While I am only paid for 20 hours per week, I am usually at the school for around 24-26 hours per week either preparing for class or going over students homework. The homeroom teacher pay is an additional amount of money added for being the homeroom teacher for a class. The homeroom teacher pay fluctuates based on how many students are in the classroom. Homeroom teacher responsibilities include grading tests, tracking homework, giving re-do tests, and occasionally talking to parents.


  • Rent: $7,500
  • Food & Drink: $6,000
  • Travel Expenses: $5,000
  • Cell Phone: $1,000
  • Clothing: $3,000
  • Total Expenses: $22,500 NTD or $726.65 USD

Since it is the beginning of the month, my estimates for the monthly cost of living are guesses based on the previous month’s budget. I will update the figures with more accurate information at the end of the month. I estimates are based on the higher end of the scale, so I expect the exact numbers to be less…(I hope).

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I will do my best to answer them.

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