When we were planning our move to Harbin, it wasn't easy to determine how much to budget per month for two people. The cost of living in China varies greatly from city to city and a lot of the information we found on Harbin was outdated (or maybe it was new and just completely incorrect).
I think people are always secretly, or not so secretly, curious about how much other people spend and on what... so here you go! A complete breakdown of our expenses which we have been tracking for the past three months.
In our latest vlog we take you along with us for a day to see how much we spend, where we spend it, and to show you a bit of the city. Afterwards we discuss the things that are surprisingly WAY more expensive in China than they would be in Canada. It's clear from our budget below that we don't buy those things.
Plus I share a sad story about the price of coffee. Fascinating.
All the prices below are in Canadian dollars and Chinese Yuan (sorry American friends).
Fun fact: Harbin brews a wide variety of beers which are both delicious and cheap. A big bottle only costs around 80 cents to a dollar Canadian.
Not-so-fun fact: You can't drink the tap water in China, so bottled water is an expense that needs it's own slot in your budget.
Full disclosure: There are two expenses which aren't included in this budget. I've left off the cost of Mandarin classes and the trip we took to Hong Kong. I'll be putting together a review video and blog post for our Mandarin school and tutors which will include those costs. The Hong Kong trip doesn't really fall under the cost of the living in Harbin....so those numbers will remain a mysterious secret.
If you'd like to see exactly how much apartment 2200 RMB a month gets you (not including the agent fee), check out our apartment tour here.