FI Lifestyle Personal Finance

How Much Does it Cost to Live the FIRE Life in Taipei? (As a Couple)

How much does it cost to live the FIRE life in Taipei?

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How Much Does it Cost to Live the FIRE Life?

Hello, and welcome to interview #3 in the How Much Does it Cost to Live the FIRE Life interview series! Part interview, part spending report, this series will introduce us to FIRE* seekers from all over the world.

They’ll reveal their essential spending and money-saving tips—all to help us learn new ways to save on our own expenses. As a bonus, we’ll also get to discover the unique advantages and challenges of living in different places around the globe.

*FIRE stands for financial independence, retire early. It’s also known as FI—financial independence. For more info, see my FI School series—it’ll teach you everything you need to know about FI (and FIRE).

About the interview series

I created an intro page for this interview series to help explain what it’s about, what’s included (or not) and why. I’ll also link to all the interviews from the intro page—so check back there to see the entire collection.

Jump to the series intro: How Much Does it Cost to Live the FIRE Life? (The Interview Series)

Disclosure: These interviews may include affiliate links. That means I’ll receive a commission if you make a purchase through my links—at no extra cost to you. Thank you!

Interview #3: Steve in Taipei, Taiwan

Today I’m sharing the first international interview in this series! We’ll meet Steve Cummings from the blog, The Frugal Expat. Steve’s an American expat living the FIRE life in Taipei, Taiwan with his wife Sarah (who’s an Australian expat). 

On his blog, Steve shares tips and info to help others become more confident with their finances. If you’re looking for solid money advice along with a peek into expat life in Taiwan, you’ll love The Frugal Expat

Steve and Sarah live an exceptionally frugal but adventurous life in Taiwan. They do a lot of camping, travelling around the country, and just enjoying life together in Taiwan. (Which is nearly COVID-free—the envy of most of the world!) 

Let’s dive into their numbers and learn just how much it costs to live in Taipei as an expat couple!

Part 1: Getting to know you

Steve Cummings—The Frugal Expat

Tell us about you and your wife

I am a 34-year-old American expat teaching English while living in Taipei, Taiwan. My wife Sarah is a 33-year-old Australian expat teaching English as well. We both moved to Taiwan for different reasons and met in Taiwan. 

Sarah moved to Taiwan originally to learn Mandarin Chinese. Growing up in a Cantonese family, Cantonese was the most oftenly spoken, but she wanted to learn how to read and write. Her parents suggested to her to learn Mandarin instead so she left home to study in Taiwan at the age of 26. 

After a semester, she left to go back to Australia, and apply for English Teaching jobs in Taiwan. After 6 years of teaching English, she continues to love it. 

On the other hand, I came to Taiwan to do more traveling. At the age of 30, I had a short midlife crisis when I realized life was just not going the way I wanted. Change was something needed, and traveling seemed like the answer. It was a sense of adventure, seeing new places, discovering new things, and living life to the fullest. 

I needed money to travel more so I got certified in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and headed to Taiwan as a jumping-off spot. 

I eventually met Sarah, and we got married. 

My wife and I now travel (pre-Covid), hike, camp, and love to explore the world around us. We work as English teachers teaching at a Camp Style school for 3 days a week. The other days we spend enjoying life together and exploring the beauty of Taiwan.

Where are you in your journey to FIRE?

Our journey towards FIRE probably started a little over two years ago before we got married. My wife wanted us to go into our marriage debt-free. I had some student loans that I was able to pay off in full a few months before our marriage. 

From there, I was really looking at ways to save, invest, and make our future financially responsible. 

Each month, I give an update of our Net Worth. Each month we save and try to hope our investments increase in value. We try to keep our strategy and allocation quite simple as well. 

On our way to FIRE, we are close to 20% of our way there. Each year we get closer and closer as we keep our savings rates high, and continue to invest. Our hope is to achieve FIRE in our 40s. 

What type of FIRE are you aiming for? (FIRE, Lean FIRE, or Fat FIRE*)

*See the box below for Chrissy’s definitions for these FIRE categories.

We are quite frugal and minimalist people. Spending money is something we do not willingly do often. My hope is to achieve FIRE, which will give us enough to cover our minimal spending and give us the opportunity to have some cushion for travel and experiences. 

How Chrissy defines FIRE, Lean FIRE, and Fat FIRE

Some people define Lean FIRE as under $40k in annual spending; FIRE as $40–$100k in annual spending; and Fat FIRE as $100k+ in annual spending.

I wholeheartedly disagree with this! After all, $100k could be Fat FIRE in a small Canadian town but Lean FIRE in San Francisco. Instead, I define each category more loosely:

  • Lean FIRE: The essentials with little or no discretionary spending.
  • FIRE: The essentials plus a comfortable amount of discretionary spending.
  • Fat FIRE: The essentials plus a luxurious amount of discretionary spending.

Tell us about your living situation

We live in a one-bedroom 20 ping (66 square meter/710 square foot) apartment, which we rent. It has a nice balcony for us to sit and enjoy cool mornings and warm nights.

Our location is close to intercity buses, a 5-minute walk to the MRT (metro) station, and a 5-minute bike ride away from our bus stop to get to our school. 

We picked the neighborhood based on location to the metro and our bus stop to get to school. 

Quite fortunately, there are tons of restaurants and a big hospital within walking distance of where we live. We live in a very convenient area in Taipei. 

Why did you choose to live in Taipei?

My wife and I both chose to move from our beloved countries to Taiwan. My wife loves her hometown of Melbourne, Australia, and I am up for wherever. So we live in Taipei, Taiwan, which happens to be a lovely city. 

Honestly, we could live anywhere in Taiwan if we wanted to. Taipei just happens to be the biggest city in Taiwan giving us a multitude of opportunities to see friends, go to events, and the public transportation system is quite convenient. 

Taipei also happens to be very close to mountains and many outdoor activities that we can get involved with. 

Convenience is a plus for us. 

Part 2: The expenses

In this section, Steve shares his essential expenses and best money-saving tips. But before we get started, let’s review some important notes:

Important notes about the numbers

  • Only essential expenses are included.
  • Discretionary expenses  (e.g. travel, gifts, etc.) are not included.
  • Expenses are rounded to the nearest dollar. 
  • Expenses are displayed in the interviewee’s home currency.
  • In this interview, the home currency is New Taiwan Dollar (NT$).

For detailed explanations about which expenses are included (or not) as well as why I decided not to convert my interviewees’ expenses to CAD or USD, see my How Much Does it Cost to Live the FIRE Life intro post.

1. Housing

Photo by Yehleen Gaffney on Unsplash

Rent (18,000 NT$/month; 216,000 NT$/year)

Our rent is quite cheap for Taipei. It’s probably one of the highest cost of living cities in Taiwan. Therefore, it has higher rent. The rest of the costs are quite minimal, but the rent is much higher. 

You could have cheaper rent in Taipei if you lived with flatmates or roommates. Since we are married and live in a one-bedroom apartment, we do not have any flatmates.

If you lived outside of Taipei, the rent would drop significantly, which would also give you a bigger space to live in as well. 

Property tax (0 NT$)

Since we rent our apartment, there is no property tax to pay on it. If we owned the property, there would be a property tax of 1.2%–5% depending on the property. 

Strata/HOA fees (0 NT$)

We are not a member of a strata or HOA. Right now, we have no HOA fees. In the past, we have had fees for maintenance, a security guard, and other things. Depending on what community your apartment is a part of, there may be other fees. Our apartment is in an old building without any additional amenities so we have no extra fees.

Home insurance (0 NT$)

We do not have any home insurance. 

Home maintenance (0 NT$)

Note: this category includes home maintenance, repairs, cleaning, and improvements; household goods and supplies; furniture, appliances, computers and mobile devices.

A lot of apartments come furnished. It makes it easier for people to move in and out. Our apartment was fully furnished when we moved in. We added a couch, a chair, and two small bookshelves.

Since we are minimalist, we do not purchase many things for our home. We do purchase some cleaning supplies, but that is about it. 

2. Transportation

Paris Shared Bike, Bus and Taxi Lane” by EURIST e.V. is licensed under CC BY 2.0 

Vehicle insurance (0 NT$)

At this time, we do not pay for any insurance on vehicles. Our main modes of transportation are our bicycles, and the public bus or Metro. We do drive a friend’s scooter, but he pays for the insurance. 

Gas (75 NT$/month; 900 NT$/year)

Our gas is quite minimal. Since we do not drive our friend’s scooter often, we pay for gas once a month, which is around 4 liters of gas. It costs about 75NT to fill the tank. 

Vehicle maintenance (0 NT$)

We do borrow a friend’s scooter, but he pays for the maintenance on the scooter. Therefore, we do not have to pay for vehicle maintenance.

Bike maintenance (50 NT$/month; 600 NT$/year)

During the year, we try to take care of our bikes. Sometimes we need to fix flat tires, re-oil the chain, and make sure the bikes keep going. Our bikes are our main mode of transportation. As long as they work, we are saving money by riding freely.
 

Parking and tolls (0 NT$)

We do not own any cars so we do not pay for tolls or parking.

Transit (1,615 NT$/month; 19,380 NT$/year)

We do take the public bus to work and back. That could cost anywhere from 60NT–300NT per week. It all depends on how often we will go into work. 

If we go out to do outdoor activities we will take the MRT (the metro) or the public bus to get from Point A to Point B. This will take up most of our budgeted money for transportation. 

Lastly, if it is raining, we prefer not to ride our bikes. Taking the bus or the MRT is our best mode. I am not a fan of getting soaking wet while riding a bicycle so I would rather take the bus or the MRT if it is raining. 

3. Food

Photo by gemma on Unsplash

Groceries (5,147 NT$/month; 61,764 NT$/year)

Our goal is to eat at home as much as possible. My wife often goes to our local food market to grab some of the best deals on fruit and vegetables. She is quite proud when she walks away with great deals. 

Things we cannot find at the local market we will find at our local grocery store. We also have a Costco membership that we often use to buy bulk items like flour, butter, and cheese. 

It is much cheaper for us to eat at home than it is to eat out. 

We even get free food from work, and we try to pack some of the leftovers to take home so we have additional meals at home as well. 

Eating out (2,525 NT$/month; 30,300 NT$/year)

Eating out is something we do on special occasions or on Sundays. We are usually out at church or hanging out with friends on Sundays so that’s when we often eat out. 

The weekends are another time we especially eat out. It is more convenient for us to eat out when we are with friends. The multitude of food is plentiful in Taipei. Vietnamese, Thai, Taiwanese, and any other food is quite plentiful and can be extremely cheap. 

The culture in Taiwan allows for people to not need a kitchen. With food so plentiful and cheap at local shops, lots of Taiwanese eat out almost every meal. Meals can range from 50NT to higher, depending on how much you want to spend. 

4. Utilities and bills

Photo by Jason Richard on Unsplash

Natural gas (178 NT$/month; 2,136 NT$/year)

Natural gas is used primarily for cooking and showers. During the winter months, we use more gas because of the hot showers. It can get quite cold in Taiwan, especially since most people do not have heaters in their homes. 

We tend to cook more at home so we use the gas more often than anything. 

Electricity (386 NT$/month; 4,632 NT$/year)

We pay the electricity bill every other month. During spring and fall, the electricity is quite low. We have the windows open, we let the natural light flood our apartment, and are not at home as often. 

In the summer, the electricity is usually the highest. We try to avoid using the A/C as much as possible. It is always best to go off on an adventure that allows us to stay cool. 

Winter is just cold, so we stay huddled up in our apartment, hoping for the warm weather to return. This uses electricity because we stay inside a lot more. 

Water (110 NT$/month; 1,320 NT$/year)

Our water consumption is quite minimal. We use water for showers, and if we go to the gym it is best to use the gym’s facilities since it would save money on our water. 

Garbage and recycling (0 NT$)

We do not pay for garbage. In Taiwan, there are many ways to get rid of garbage, but the most common way is to wait for the garbage truck at night. There is usually music that comes with it. You will have a group of people waiting on the side where the truck stops and they will all throw in their trash. 

The recycling truck drives right behind the garbage truck so you can knock out two things at once. 

Internet (489 NT$/month; 5,868 NT$/year)

Our internet is highspeed and cheap. We also have the option of using some of the free internet at school, on the bus, and there are multiple free wifi connections you can connect to. 

We chose to have wifi at our home for streaming, working, and to save money on our cell phone data plans. 

It is always good to check if there are cheaper options. Our colleague has fiber optic in his neighborhood so he gets faster and cheaper internet than us. It is always best to call around to see the best options.

Home phone (0 NT$)

We do not have a home phone. Our cell phones are our main use of a phone. 

Cell phones (300 NT$/month; 3,600 NT$/year)

Since we have the internet at our job, on the bus, and at home, we just prepay for data. Our data is for 2.2 GB for 60 days, which costs around 300NT. If 60 days runs out, we need to go purchase more data. If our data runs out we need to go purchase more. We try to stay in that 60 day period. 

Being free of contracts helps us to have options, plus with wifi all around we enjoy saving money on phone plans.

Streaming entertainment (305 NT$/month; 3,660 NT$/year)

The one thing we do spend money on is streaming. Having a Netflix account that we own helps us with options. My sister has Disney+, and she shares that with us in return for us sharing our Netflix account. It is a win-win. 

We do not spend much time on streaming, but every once in a while we will watch a movie or a show. Oftentimes, we will host a movie showing or The Mandalorian at our house and many people will come over and watch with us. 

5. Other essentials

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels

Life and disability insurance (1,924 NT$/month; 23,088 NT$/year)

At this time, we do not have any life insurance. There is a labor insurance that comes out of our pay. This is for disabilities. 

Medical insurance (2,258 NT$/month; 27,096 NT$/year)

Taiwan has a universal health care system. Medical insurance comes out of our pay. It is quite minimal, but for certain medical treatments, there is a small fee of like 150–250NT to register at the clinic or hospital. Most medicine is covered by medical insurance.

Out-of-pocket medical expenses (300 NT$/month; 3,600 NT$/year)

Sometimes there are small fees that are not covered by medical insurance. This is like a copay. 

There may be other procedures that people may choose that are not covered—like we are working on some fertility treatments, and those are often not covered by the medical insurance. 

Clothing and footwear (400 NT$/month; 4,800 NT$/year)

We do not buy much clothing or footwear. I would say a new pair of pants for hiking or maybe a pair of shoes a year. That is guessing since we do not buy much clothing throughout the year. It is just not a necessity for us. 

Part 3: Adding it all up

Now that we’ve detailed all of Steve’s essential expenses, it’s time to add everything up in some nice, organized tables!

Important notes about the numbers

  • Only essential expenses are included.
  • Discretionary expenses  (e.g. travel, gifts, etc.) are not included.
  • Expenses are rounded to the nearest dollar. 
  • Expenses are displayed in the interviewee’s home currency.
  • In this interview, the home currency is New Taiwan Dollar (NT$).

For detailed explanations about which expenses are included (or not) as well as why I decided not to convert my interviewees’ expenses to CAD or USD, see my How Much Does it Cost to Live the FIRE Life intro post.

How much does it cost to live the FIRE life in Taipei, Taiwan?

1. Housing

ExpenseMonthly (NT$)Annual (NT$)
Rent18,000216,000
Property tax00
Strata/HOA fees
00
Home insurance00
Maintenance00
TOTAL18,000 216,000

2. Transportation

ExpenseMonthly (NT$)Annual (NT$)
Vehicle insurance00
Gas75900
Vehicle maintenance00
Bike maintenance50600
Parking and tolls00
Transit1,61519,380
TOTAL1,74020,880

3. Food

ExpenseMonthly (NT$)Annual (NT$)
Groceries5,14761,764
Eating out2,52530,300
TOTAL7,67292,064

4. Utilities and bills

ExpenseMonthly (NT$)Annual (NT$)
Natural gas1782,136
Electricity3864,632
Water1101,320
Garbage and recycling00
Internet4895,868
Home phone00
Cell phones3003,600
Streaming entertainment3053,660
TOTAL1,76821,216

5. Other essentials

ExpenseMonthly (NT$)Annual (NT$)
Life and disability insurance1,92423,088
Medical insurance2,25827,096
Out-of-pocket medical expenses3003,600
Clothing and footwear4004,800
TOTAL4,88258,584

Grand totals

ExpenseMonthly (NT$)Annual (NT$)
Housing18,000216,000
Transportation1,74020,880
Food7,67292,064
Utilities and bills1,76821,216
Other essentials4,88258,584
TOTAL34,062408,744

Important notes about the numbers (one more time)

  • Only essential expenses are included.
  • Discretionary expenses  (e.g. travel, gifts, etc.) are not included.
  • Expenses are rounded to the nearest dollar. 
  • Expenses are displayed in the interviewee’s home currency.
  • In this interview, the home currency is New Taiwan Dollar (NT$).

For detailed explanations about which expenses are included (or not) as well as why I decided not to convert my interviewees’ expenses to CAD or USD, see my How Much Does it Cost to Live the FIRE Life intro post.

Part 4: Other expenses

This is a special section that’s just for fun! It’s the place for my interviewees to mention any expenses that they’ve done a really good job of optimizing and/or just want to share. 

These expenses won’t be included in the totals (just to keep things as standardized as possible). I hope you find this section interesting and informative. Here’s an expense that Steve wanted to share:

Travel

One big expense we do have is traveling. We love having lots of fun traveling expenses. That means eating local food, seeing new attractions, and even scuba diving in many various places. 

We keep our expenses down through travel hacking. I use the Chase Sapphire Reserve to book travel, collect points, and use those points for free flights. Our airline miles help us to go to more places as well. 

My wife always says “we save to travel and be generous to others.” Our traveling is a fun activity we try to do. I think we have traveled to 19 countries and 6 continents together. 

One last thing is we try to be generous to others. We tithe at church, which is 10% of our take-home pay, and we also are generous to friends that come from overseas or have hosted us while we travel. We try to pay it forward. 

If we have forgotten about any of the other things we may spend money on. I wrote a post about Living in Taiwan Cheaply

Chrissy’s closing thoughts

Thanks to Steve for sharing his expenses and money-saving tips! I’m so impressed that he and his wife cook at home as much as they do, given the foodie culture and cheap food that’s prevalent in most Asian countries. My family and I would have a really hard time not eating out all our meals!

I think we can all agree that Steve and Sarah’s annual essential spending—around $18,500 CAD or $14,700 USD—is very low. They’ve done an incredible job of minimizing costs while still enjoying their lives as expats. Nice work, you two!

Taiwan is on our travel bucket list, so I really enjoyed this interview. I also dream about living the expat life, so it’s fun for me to read about people who are actually doing it. (The little tidbit about their garbage collection was very amusing! 😆

I hope you enjoyed Steve’s interview and that you learned a thing or two about expat life in Taipei, Taiwan. For more content from Steve, be sure to visit him on his blog, The Frugal Expat, or connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.

Share your thoughts

Were you surprised by Steve’s essential expenses? Are any of them significantly different from where you live? Share your thoughts in the comments, along with your own money saving tips!

Join the series!

I’d love for everyone to participate—whether you’re a blogger or not! The more FIRE seekers I can interview, the more useful the series will be. If you’re interested, I have three simple requirements:

  1. You’re at or pursuing FIRE (or FI).
  2. You track your expenses relatively accurately.
  3. You’re willing to share your expenses and money-saving tips.

That’s it! If you’re interested, fill in the form at this link or contact me.

AL lives with his wife in a suburb near Vancouver, where real estate prices are more affordable and property tax is cheaper… but does that translate into lower overall spending?

Ana lives in Kitchener, Ontario with her family of six (!) Learn how she and her family find creative ways to live the FIRE life—despite her larger-than-average house and household.

Visit the intro page to learn more about the what and why behind the series and access the complete list of interviews.

Support this blog

If you liked this article and want more content like this, please support this blog by sharing it! Not only does it help spread the FIRE, but it lets me know what content you find most useful. (Which encourages me to write more of it!) 

You can also support this blog by visiting my recommendations page and purchasing through the links. Note that not every link is an affiliate link—some are just favourite products and services that I want to share. 🙂

As always, however you show your support for this blog—THANK YOU!

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23 Comments

  • Reply
    Steven
    February 24, 2021 at 8:55 am

    I’m actually a (Canadian) expat who lives in Taipei, and I do life alongside this wonderful couple! I can totally confirm everything Steve has mentioned, in that Taipei can be done on the very cheap, while really not sacrificing much in way of Quality of Life. I have learned so much seeing them budget and live life fully, and have been implementing it in my own life.

    Excited to follow along with the rest of this series!

    • Reply
      Chrissy
      February 24, 2021 at 4:09 pm

      Hi Steven—how cool that you’re also an expat living in Taipei! It sounds like you and Steve both live amazing lives over there. I wish we’d been more adventurous earlier in life and tried expat life for a few years.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting! There will be more international interviews coming soon (in addition to Canadian and American ones)!

  • Reply
    Tawcan
    February 24, 2021 at 2:36 pm

    Very cool. It’s nice to see a real life spending number for Taiwan as we’ve been looking at geo-arbitrage (https://www.tawcan.com/live-off-dividends-geo-arbitrage/). I know Taiwan is cheap but it’s hard to gauge how much housing is. Are you living in central Taipei?

    • Reply
      Chrissy
      February 24, 2021 at 4:12 pm

      Hi Bob—I’ll be so jealous if you manage to make it happen, especially with your kids in tow. It was my dream to live abroad for a year when they were younger. It’s harder now, with my eldest halfway through Grade 10 and the youngest starting high school in September!

    • Reply
      Steve @ The Frugal Expat
      February 25, 2021 at 4:30 pm

      I live in the Western part of Taipei. Are you familiar with the city? I live by Minquan West Rd station on the Red line of the MRT. So that is close to Taipei Main Station, the Shuanglian market, and Mckay Hospital.

      It is super hard to gauge housing here. There is housing that is cheap and housing that is quite expensive. There is housing being marketed to foreigners that can be even more expensive.

      My wife and I use a site called 591. It is all in Mandarin, but that is where the locals post houses for rent. The tricky part is that the good houses will be off the market in a day or two. My house was already taken before we looked at it, and we were one out of 3-4 couples looking at it.

  • Reply
    Latestarterfire
    February 24, 2021 at 8:17 pm

    So interesting, Steve! Yes, Taiwan is on my bucket list too 🙂 I imagine that eating out can be done cheaply – so it’s interesting you prefer to cook at home. When I visit Hong Kong or Malaysia, I just want to eat out all the time!

    • Reply
      Chrissy
      February 24, 2021 at 8:28 pm

      Hi Latestarterfire—I’d be right there with you, eating out at all the restaurants! We cook almost all our meals here at home, but in Asia, restaurant food is so good and so inexpensive… it’s hard to resist. 😋

    • Reply
      Steve @ The Frugal Expat
      February 25, 2021 at 4:40 pm

      Hi Latestarterfire! Yes eating out is quite affordable. A ton of Taiwanese do not have kitchens. They do not need them because they can eat all 3 meals out. We prefer to cook food because it is fun, and it is much cheaper since my wife buys fresh vegetables at the market.

      Before we got married I ate out more often for dinner. I think I must have eaten dinner 5 times a week out. It was easier and still affordable.

  • Reply
    AnotherLoonie
    February 24, 2021 at 9:15 pm

    Holy smokes, those expenses are SO LOW. I’m literally salivating over here. With their current trajectory, Steve and his wife will hit FI in no time at all. I think we need to see more FI-oriented Canadians consider packing up and moving abroad for that sweet, sweet, frugal living!

    • Reply
      Chrissy
      February 25, 2021 at 3:52 pm

      Hi Another Loonie—your expenses are pretty darned low as well! Still, Steve and his wife take it to another level. Seeing numbers like his, it sure makes it tempting to move abroad. We very well could save more money that way!

  • Reply
    Maria @ Handful of Thoughts
    February 25, 2021 at 7:13 am

    Sounds like Steve and his wife are living quite the life in Taiwan. It’s always good to see a glimpse into what living in other places would be like.

    Similar to you Chrissy I have dreamed of living the expat life in the past. Not sure if we will ever end up doing it. But it’s always nice to live vicariously through others. Thanks for giving people a platform to share.

    • Reply
      Chrissy
      February 25, 2021 at 4:04 pm

      Hi Maria—being able to live vicariously through these interviews has been even more fun than expected! It helps to satisfy a little bit of that wanderlust that we can’t indulge in right now.

      As always, thanks for commenting and reading!

  • Reply
    Mr. Dreamer @ VibrantDreamer.com
    February 26, 2021 at 6:40 am

    Hi and Thank you, both! A great read but the currency confused me. I had to keep going back and forth converting NT to CAD to understand the numbers. Just a suggestion and you are doing a great job, Chrissy in putting out the details. Maybe there is a plugin or something to have automatic conversion to CAD or USD.

    Regarding the expenses, it doesn’t seem to be any lower than what I pay in Quebec but I understand they are living in one of the most expensive cities in Taiwan. I am planning to live abroad (Different country every year) for 6 months a year but will need to be somewhere cheaper than here but that’s for when I don’t need to work and kids are grown up don’t need mom and dad to take care of them (They are 9 and 6 years old now)

    • Reply
      Chrissy
      February 26, 2021 at 3:34 pm

      Hello again Mr. Dreamer—truth be told, I felt the same about not being able to see the cost in CAD or USD. I was SO close to inputting all the conversions into the post! But the thought of having to do that for each post, and the prospect of fluctuating exchange rates stopped me in my tracks! However, your suggestion to add a currency conversion plugin is brilliant! I’ll get to work on that… hopefully I can find a good one that’s simple and auto-updates.

      I am (again) very impressed by your low spending, and will suggest (again) that you join the series so we can learn from you! I hope you and we will be able to live out our dreams of living abroad one day. 😊

      • Mr. Dreamer @ VibrantDreamer.com
        March 4, 2021 at 8:46 pm

        Hello Chrissy, I am not sure but I didn’t see the notification for your reply (I did check the Notify Me). Anyway, Thank you for your consideration. It means a lot. And certainly. How does the interview work? Send me some details and we go from there. I am brand new to this world of relieving personal information (I don’t even post on FB and when I do, I delete everything out of privacy in a week or so, Cyber Security Freak I was called at work, haha).
        Anyway, check this out. If you like it, then I might have some value to add to your readers. https://vibrantdreamer.com/how-voip-phone-is-saving-us-thousands-of-dollars/

      • Chrissy
        March 4, 2021 at 10:02 pm

        Hi Mr. Dreamer—so sorry that you didn’t receive the notification. I’m not sure how to fix it, so I just hope it doesn’t happen again! (I hate blog tech issues. 🙄)

        You can fill out the application form here, then I’ll send you a doc and spreadsheet to fill out. No pressure, though, if you’re wary due to privacy issues!

        I love your VoIP article! I briefly considered a setup like yours as it’s SO cheap. Unfortunately, I’m not tech-savvy enough to set up a system like that. 🙁 However, your post makes it look doable, and the features are pretty fantastic… so I *may* reconsider. Thanks for sharing!

      • Mr. Dreamer @ VibrantDreamer.com
        March 5, 2021 at 10:00 am

        WooHoo. I got the notification for your reply 🙂 Yes, I am yet to get a full control over all my blog’s notification and subscriptions. Mailchimp is a whole new world to me but it is fun to learn and set up templates.

        Thank you. I filled out the form. I am glad you didn’t ask for personal information.

        I honestly love my VoIP. It is one of those things “Too good to be true” but it is really true. A bit of work initially but it will work like magic when set up. There are so many features and they keep adding new ones monthly. We barely call (Mostly use WhatsApp and FB Messenger) so the spending is minimal.

        As I mentioned on the VoIP, I’d love to help in the set up. Let me know if you’d like to get it going. There are other providers as well which makes it easier but more expensive and I never tested them so can’t really comment about how good they are.

        Thanks.

      • Chrissy
        March 6, 2021 at 7:28 pm

        Hi Mr. Dreamer—great, glad you got my reply! Thanks for sending in your application. I will get in touch with the interview questions soon!

        You’re very kind to offer help with setting up our VoIP. I will look into it further and will let you know if we decide to switch. 🙂

        I hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

  • Reply
    Graham @ Reverse the Crush
    February 28, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    Very cool interview! It’s so neat to see different costs around the world. Thanks for putting this together, Chrissy! I look forward to future interviews. 🙂

    • Reply
      Chrissy
      February 28, 2021 at 4:20 pm

      Hi Graham—thanks so much for following along. It’s been fun for me, and I’m glad to hear it’s also of interest to others. 🙂

  • Reply
    David @ Filled With Money
    March 1, 2021 at 6:04 pm

    I remember when I had I think an eight hour layover in Taipei to go from the U.S. to South Korea. I could not believe that food prices in the airport was like $8 USD equivalent. I was floored beyond disbelief. And that was the airport, I could not imagine actually living out in the city.

    Great post. It makes me want to consider going to Taipei for a couple of years and experience a new culture before going back into the corporate world. It’s hard to make a really big life changing choice like that.

    • Reply
      Chrissy
      March 1, 2021 at 7:23 pm

      Hi David—$8 USD for airport food is amazing… and I bet the taste and quality was top-notch too. It’s a huge change from Canada and the US, where regularly eating out costs a small fortune. When we visit Taiwan one day, we plan to eat out for every meal!

      I hear you about big life changes. It’s a lot easier when you’re young and single though! If you’re at that stage in life, it’s a good time to consider it.

    • Reply
      Steve @ The Frugal Expat
      March 1, 2021 at 11:04 pm

      Hey David,

      $8 in the city would be a pretty nice meal. I just paid that for the best Fish n chips in Taiwan on Saturday. Most food can be found between $2-5 USD. That food can be found while eating in a restaurant or even side stands. The food is plentiful.

      I hope you do consider to come to Taipei. It is a great place with many cultural events, great people, and it is very convenient. I personally love it. Big Life changes are hard, when borders open up you could even visit for 90 days on a tourist visa or even a few weeks. That way you can get a bit of a taste of Taiwan.

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