How much money can I save teaching English abroad?

To know how much you can save while teaching overseas, there are a bunch of things to consider.

What are the factors that will affect my ability to save money

Here are some things you should consider, factoring in all the different costs of living including:

  • How much is your rent (apartment, house, shared room, etc.)
  • How much does it cost to eat (this can have a huge impact that’s not so obvious)
  • What is my transportation going to be – do I need a scooter, a car, can I use public transportation like buses, trains, etc.
  • Are there any legal fees associated with my travel (like visas, passport updates, etc.).
  • How much does it cost to get certified or retain my certifications for teaching, or are there extra certifications or courses I need
  • How much are taxes going to cost? I know personally that in some countries the first year’s taxes can be higher than the rest. It’s going to depend significantly on where you go. Do your homework!

So I’m teaching overseas, how do I save?

You need to calculate the benefits you might receive, like housing and flights. Once you’ve done that, you should check out our article about saving money while living abroad. But in a nutshell here are some things to consider:

  • Rent, don’t buy (this may be pretty obvious) and don’t rent without seeing the place
  • Don’t buy your appliances new. Look for second-hand deals
  • Don’t always eat out. Eating out gets expensive!
  • If you do travel (which I encourage) consider traveling on a budget. Camp where you can, ride bicycles when available, and bring your own food where possible.
  • Buy local foods. Places like Costco can get extremely expensive. Look for the local markets.
  • Don’t drink (or don’t drink too much). Hanging out at bars night after night will burn through your savings.
  • Buy a cheap second-hand scooter or car (if that’s necessary). Don’t be lured into buying a new vehicle.
  • Bring along a kindle so you don’t need to carry books or buy at the local stores, because English books.

Volunteer jobs

If you’re not too concerned about the money, teaching English also offers plenty of volunteer positions in poorer places like rural Africa, where you won’t be able to save anything, but you can often help with English education in poor communities.

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