How Much to Budget for Living in China

So you want to come to China for an internship! But now you may be wondering, “How much money should I budget for daily life in China?”

The good news is, your money can go a long way in China. Many interns eat out for about 10-15 RMB per meal, and spend 60 RMB when they want to really splurge! Even drinks can be cheap, with beers and cocktails generally from 15-30 RMB. Some bars even sell Qingdao beer for as low as 5 RMB in efforts to draw in more customers. There is no sales tax in China, so the price you see is the price you pay. However, make sure to haggle down the price in market streets or small shops where haggling is accepted!

What is the RMB exchange rate?

For the current exchange rates, please see here.

1 GBP = 8.53 RMB
1 EURO = 7.44 RMB
1 USD = 6.89 RMB
**Exchange rates as of 21/03/2017

What kind of budget in China is right for me?

There are two main factors that may determine your kind of budget:

  • Accommodation Choice – Homestay families provide breakfast and dinner as already included in the programme package.
  • Individual Lifestyle – Your budget in China will vary depending on what transportation you decide to take, personal dining preferences, nightlife, and more.

Weekly/Monthly Budget Estimates

Below, we have put together some budget estimates of your expenses in daily life during your time with InternChina. In general, many interns live on a low budget and are still able to live quite well. For those looking to spend a little more, there are also medium and high budget estimates. See which budget is right for you!


Low Budget
 for those looking to save money while still having fun and trying new things:

low budget estimate table chart for life in china food transportation


Medium Budget
for those who go to the gym, eat more western food or spend more in other ways:

medium budget estimatetable chart for life in china food transportation


High Budget
for those who aren’t afraid to spend more on cocktail bars, taxis or foreign imports:

high budget estimate table chart for life in china food transportation

As you can see, you don’t need too much money in China to have a good time, while alternatively spending a bit more will make you feel like royalty. Be careful when you have a craving to buy a cup of Starbucks coffee (35 RMB) or the newest iPhone (7000 RMB), as not everything is cheaper in China. All in all, however, you should find that your monthly budget in China is significantly less than it is back at home!