Although many people choose to teach English abroad for the adventure, to experience a new culture, or to simply leave behind the daily 9 to 5 grind, the financial side of making the move is hard to ignore. While most teachers will have no trouble earning enough to afford a comfortable day to day lifestyle, many teachers actually need to find a job that allows them to save some of their income to pay off student loans or to fund future travel etc.
How much can I save while teaching English in Europe?
Although Europe is often the number one choice for many TEFL qualified teachers, it is not an easy place to save money. In teaching hotspots such as France, Italy and Spain, you can certainly earn enough to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle that includes nights out and some amount of travel. However, you should not expect to be able to save much of your income as the cost of living is generally high and the average salaries are relatively low.
How much can I save while teaching English in Latin America?
Latin America is also popular with many teachers due to the amazing natural wonders on offer and the many opportunities for adventure. However, while the cost of living is typically quite low across the region, the average salaries are also quite low. As in Europe, you can expect to live comfortably while teaching English in Latin America, but you should not expect to be able to save a great deal of your earnings.
How much can I save while teaching English in Asia?
Asia is home to more English teaching jobs than any other region and it is one of the best places to save a good amount of cash. Several countries routinely offer very high wages and the cost of living is generally low in comparison to Europe and North America. Also, it is not always necessary to have previous teaching experience to land a well paid teaching job. In some countries it is common for first time teachers to earn a high salary straight after completing their TEFL training. Another big bonus of teaching in this region is that many jobs also include return airfares and free accommodation which makes a huge difference to your savings potential.
As a rough guide, most teachers can expect to save somewhere in the region of 30% to 50% of their income while teaching in many parts of Asia. A typical monthly saving would be around $500 to $800 in Japan, $500 to $1,000 in China, and $800 to $1,000 in South Korea. Other countries in the region where more modest savings of between $200 and $500 per month are possible include Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
How much can I save while teaching English in the Middle East?
The Middle East is famously home to some of the best paid jobs in the TEFL world. Salaries for qualified teachers are very high in many countries across the region and the cost of living is relatively low. It is also common for jobs to include paid airfares, free accommodation, and an end of contract bonus. In this environment there is huge potential for teachers to save considerable amounts of cash over the duration of a one year contract. In countries such as Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the U.A.E., your potential savings could amount to around $1,000 to $2,000 per month. It is worth noting however, that the majority of employers will only take on teachers who have a degree and at least one year of teaching experience.
What can I do to maximise my saving power?
There are a few things you can do to make your income stretch that much further and to increase your chances of saving. The most important thing is having an internationally recognized TEFL qualification as it opens up a wider range of jobs and most of the best employers will insist on their potential teachers having one. Many teachers also supplement their main income by taking on a few private students in their spare time. This is common practice in all regions and can really make a difference to how much you can save every month.
If your job does not include free or subsidized housing, rent is likely to be your biggest expense. In order to reduce this issue, many teachers choose to share an apartment with other teachers or rent a room in the home of a local family. How and where you shop is another area where big savings can be made. If you buy your groceries in local markets rather than expensive supermarkets, you can reduce your outgoings considerably. The same is true of where you spend your leisure time. By hanging out in places aimed at tourists or expats you will end up paying way more for a night out than if you frequent areas that are popular with local people.