Thursday, October 1, 2009

Money Situation

Two days ago I went through all of my bank accounts and the money that will be coming to me over the next year and made a budget.

I soon as I'd done it I regretted it! The news wasn't good... It looks like I can spend Y9,187 (about £60) every week I'm here and go home with nothing left. Actually, worse than nothing, because that amount includes my student overdraft, so I'd be returning with -£1,250. Not good!

I wanted to spend this year doing everything I could, and enjoying Japan to the full, but with money restrictions I won't be able to. This means I'll definitely have to get a job, and work quite a bit to fund myself! As I might not be able to work before I go back to University next year in the UK I can't afford to go back with less than nothing.

I think one of the reasons I'm going to have trouble is because of the awful exchange rate between the yen and the pound. Last year the pound was worth Y200, and sometimes even Y220, which was great! But since the world plummeted into recession, the rate is now about £1=Y150. It's probably the worst year I could have come to Japan! Because, no matter what Japanese people say, I don't think they're suffering like the West. Their currency is still one of the strongest in the world, like the pound used to be!

It makes living here much more expensive. I used to just divide everything by 200 to get the price in pounds, but now I have to do that, and then add a quarter back on, which is quite depressing!

Ahh well, I'll try to find a job (probably teaching English, maybe privately or at Gaba again if they're hiring) and start earning some yen. Time to tighten the purse strings!


Jamie said...


Do private teaching. I'm sure theres somewhere at ICU you could do your lessons or something. You'd have better pay, better hours and better flexibility =]. If Gaba can charge 9,000 yen a class, i'm sure you can get away with charging 3,000 or even 4,500. If you need help getting students/keeping track of stuff, let me know and i'll help you out =]

Random question (sorry!) but how much japanese did you know when you started with gaba last time you were in Japan? Just i'm thinking of going over and self-funding and i'm curious as to how much japanese you need to know to be able to get by actually teaching english?

Thanks, and i hope you're having a great time @ ICU =]

Miles said...

Hey Jamie!

Thank you for your comment! : ) Private teaching is definitely more appealing, pay-wise and atmosphere-wise too. I might have to start advertising myself!

In answer to your question, I hardly spoke any Japanese last time I started at Gaba. I could barely string a sentence together, and the only time I used Japanese in lessons was to help out with random bits of vocabulary that I happened to know. In general, all you need is English. Does that help?

When are you thinking of coming to Japan? Do you want to stay in Tokyo or somewhere else?

Thank you very much for your kind offer - I'll keep it in mind! :D


Jamie said...

Well i'll be graduating in june so i think i'm going to pull some money out of my overdraft and clear my head in Japan for a while =]

I'm not sure if i want to be in Tokyo/Osaka/Kyoto to be honest! I want somewhere which is somewhat western purely so i don't feel lonely and lost!

Thanks for the advice, it helps a lot knowing i might be able to get by with limited Japanese knowledge!

Good luck finding students, if you get stuck for ideas, let me know and i'll help you brainstorm and get creative with it =]

Miles said...

Thank you very much!

Sounds like a good plan you've got there! I can definitely recommend Tokyo, and Kyoto would be amazing to live in, but I've never been to Osaka so I can't comment! Although I think it would be quite similar to Tokyo, except slightly smaller.

Good luck with the planning!

Elika said...

Hey! I randomly found your blog, maybe a month ago. Since then, I've been reading it everyday as a novel. However, today I decided to skip to the latest postings. I think I saw you at Harajuku today! If so, how random, huh? Sometimes when I go through an existential crIsis, your postings have a way of letting me get through the day and remain upbeat! Muchas gracias!

Miles said...

Hi Elika!

Awwh, I'm so happy my blog has helped! That makes it worthwhile! :)

Ahh, I haven't been to Harajuku for a few weeks! Maybe I have a twin who's randomly wandering around Tokyo!

Thank you for reading! :D