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Where is the best country in the world to SAVE money?

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by Camray1, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. Camray1

    Camray1 New commenter

    Hello there,

    I am British, 31, and have a BA Primary Education degree and PGCE Primary (QTS) with 5 years international school experience. I am interested in saving some money, be that in the hottest place known to man, the most boring, or even a place where barely a man, woman or child can survive. I would like to dedicate the next few years to building a nice little nest egg. So with that in mind, where oh where is the best place in the world to save money? Thanking you for any ideas which you may have.

    Mr Simon.
    peterhowarth1 likes this.
  2. hs9981

    hs9981 Established commenter

  3. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Saudi Arabia!
  4. Jason_Bourne_

    Jason_Bourne_ Occasional commenter

    I was led to believe that the salaries in Saudi Arabia are not as good as they once used to be...?
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  5. Mr_Frosty

    Mr_Frosty Occasional commenter

    I have also heard this but one of my current colleagues came from Saudi and said their pay was significantly higher there so it maybe depends on where you work.

    Anecdotally I'd say China. One of my good friends went to China when I came to the UAE and he saved around £5k a year more than me while he was there despite having a lower salary because of the cost of living differences. It would probably be much closer if you had a different type of social life though.
  6. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Salaries in the ME are definitely not what they use to be in the good old days.

    If you can get into a school in China that offers the older 2012 pay scale in rmb you can easily earn 3.5k GBP/month.(ex rate on today's figures)

    Many of the rent-a-name schools have reduced the salary due to the rmb/GBP been so good over the last couple of years. You will find it hard to pick up 2.7k GBP at these schools to start with.

    The first thing most applicants for a job do is to convert the local monopoly money into a hard currency such as USD/GBP. The ex rate in China has changed to the point where you get 25% more GBP compared to 6 years ago.

    So you need to check the rates for exchange in the next couple of years, I dont see the GBP hoing up in value.
  7. SPC2

    SPC2 Occasional commenter

    Bentley89 likes this.
  8. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Saudi Arabia is a good place to save money because fun is not really allowed. You cannot go to the pub because there aren't any. You will save money on central heating during the winter because you will not need any, although you might want to put on a jumper.

    A lot of these "Where can I save money?" threads that you find on the TES nearly always ignore the cost of living. A fantastic salary is not so fantastic if your outgoings are high. As well as accommodation, transport and holidays can also be major costs. Another point to bear in mind is that you probably will not save a big pile of cash in your first year, so you need to be somewhere that is not too awful and then you can start to stack those big piles of cash in your second and third years.

    february31st mentioned China. Single male teachers might like to consider working in the Middle Kingdom because there seem to be quite a lot of very rich (and rather attractive) Chinese ladies who would like an English husband.
  9. kemevez

    kemevez Occasional commenter

    Not an easy question to answer, how long is a piece of string and all that. You can save a lot of money in a lot of places if you spend the minimum needed to survive. Hong Kong is a good bet if you live in a shoe box, eat noodles, don’t drink alcohol and ride a bicycle around town to entertain yourself. You won’t make many friends though (possibly none) at work and at play and you’ll be bored out of your box. Salaries are high though and you’ll be better off than if you are at most schools in Saudi.

    Factor in the cost of living, go somewhere that will be a bit (at the very least) interesting, engage at least a bit (a little goes a long way) with the local culture or otherwise, and save some money. Life’s too short to get mega rich - and you
    can save a pretty decent sum in a lot of places.
  10. Xtinelove

    Xtinelove Occasional commenter

    China! I used to waste a lot of money buying nice clothes in the UK but I can't do that in China because they never fit me. So I'm saving loads and drying my eyes with all my banknotes.
    ChaiLattePlease, jofran, JL48 and 2 others like this.
  11. mikemcdonald25

    mikemcdonald25 Occasional commenter

    You would think a teacher with international experience would not ask this kind of question!!

    Places don't save money, only people do!

    Great picture SPC2, great movie too!
    576 likes this.
  12. Ne11y

    Ne11y Occasional commenter

    Generally, less attractive places tend to offer more money to entice teachers (and will often have lower costs of living).

    OK, so you need to factor moving, which can be very expensive, plus settling in. But I set out to do various things, including save over 1/2 of my salary. I am living well enough and am on target at the moment to reach that, although best wait until August to declare it a complete success, as it's only November.

    However, winters are cold, paperwork is a pain and while day to day living is cheap, luxuries like gym membership are not.

    It really depends what you are prepared to do....or what you are prepared not to do. You can save anywhere if you're prepared to be a hermit and live on a diet of biscuits.....
  13. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Bulgaria is a great place to SAVE money and you can read all about it in my blog, bulgariawithnoodles.blogspot.com Taxes are lower in Bulgaria and you can live quite cheaply here. The Bulgarian equivalent of Council Tax for our large villa is 42 BGN a year. That is about twenty euros or eighteen quid. Wine is also quite cheap too and the other day I bought a three-litre box of very drinkable Bulgarian plonk for 10BGN (that is about 5 euros or four pounds). In the winter, you can use woodburners. Firewood is around 90BGN (45 euros) for a cubic metre and that is a bit cheaper than in the UK.

    Bulgaria is not, however, a good place to EARN money because salaries for teachers are lower than most schools in the ME or SE Asia.
  14. Camray1

    Camray1 New commenter

    Thanks for all the brilliant replies so far. It looks like Saudi Arabia and China are taking an early lead for savings potential. Answering the statement which has been posted, "You would think a teacher with international experience would not ask this kind of question!!" While I do have experience in an international school, it is not a particularly high salary and the time has come to further my experience and plan for the future. At 31 I feel I can spend a good 5 plus years somewhere less than desirable, and return to my cheap country with a bulging wallet and more experience. While I value learning about other cultures and immersing myself in the life, the sole purpose is saving, after that I feel a secure life overseas awaits.
  15. peterhowarth1

    peterhowarth1 New commenter

    This is a truly interesting and important question to anyone teaching internationally. It is however a broad question and many variables come in to play when searching for a very well paid job abroad. If you get into a top international school you will get a good package wherever you may be. I used to work in a top school in The Yemen and I got buckets full of spondoolicks every F. in day and retired early to an island in Greece where I drink Ouzo and eat lamb all day. It was all worthwhile.
    stopwatch and Camray1 like this.
  16. peterhowarth1

    peterhowarth1 New commenter

    Djibouti has one international school with a website and it only wants Americans.
    Vietnam is another option with loads of money being pumped into education, in English especially. It can pay as well as China and the air is generally breathable, apart from Ho Chi Min City. Korea can be well paid too. Some Koreans who teach English online and privately, earn over 1 million dollars a year. Private tutoring can be most lucrative outside of school and in Qatar the same is true, effectively doubling your salary..
  17. willow78

    willow78 Occasional commenter

    A few staff here in Vietnam have been trying to do the 6 million Dong challenge, basically living off that for a month (Around £200). I'm not sure how long you could do it, but I still think as a single person here you could well off a 1/3 of the your salary. I had friends who worked in Saudi, there salary was fantastic and would certainly allow you to save a lot, I suppose it depends how much you would spend getting of of Saudi (Which you would need in holidays).

    Most schools in HK offer a very good bonus scheme and the Malaysian saving scheme is also very good.

    If you get the right school in Asia you will be able save a lot of money and still have a decent life.
  18. Bentley89

    Bentley89 Occasional commenter

    Kuwait is one of the higher paying countries in the Middle East but the cost of living is very high too (only topped by Qatar I believe). You can live a very basic life there and save money, but the second you venture out to eat, or join a gym, or go to the cinema etc, expect to be stung.

    That said though, I have friends who are in top international schools in KL, HK and Brazil who all earn an equivalent package, or better.

    It's about finding the right school rather than country in my experience. Avoid the big chains/franchise schools and go for the independent schools.

    It is also important to check what accommodation/expenses/transport/flight package you get. This proves to be very important in some countries.
  19. stopwatch

    stopwatch Established commenter

    Saudi - top of payscale teacher currently on around £4,400 a month
  20. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Name the school?

    But here in Shanghai beer is 50pence a can for the local brew, a pound for the imported beverage and having a bacon sandwich doesn't cost you 50 lashes!

    Here in Shanghai the best paying schools dont have a brand name and are not very well known outside of China.

    Best standard teaching salary net with no responsibility payments tops out at 3750GBP.

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