Seeing Red in China just put up a great post highlighting “what life is really like for the average Chinese person that has yet to fully reap the rewards of China’s rapid development.” They break down the monthly expenses of a 20-year-old college student in Nanjing who is currently fulfilling a mandatory unpaid internship for her final semester.
Her average expenditures total around 1800RMB per month, and the money comes from her parents, who live in her village outside the city:
She eats 2 baozi for breakfast, a lousy meal in the hospital dining hall for lunch, and cold noodles with a piece of fruit for dinner. This costs her about 20rmb per day. She says she wishes she could cut back her spending on food, but worries about her health if she started skipping meals. I worry about her health as it stands. She told me that her father spends just 1rmb for lunch, I worry even more about his health.
Her time in the office is usually spent studying for upcoming tests. She will try to pass 7 of them this year, which would qualify her for a slightly better degree. For this chance she will spend about 500rmb on materials and testing fees.
She told me that she misses her friends and family dearly, which is obvious from the amount of time she spends texting each day. Her mobile phone bill is about 65rmb per month, but she says this is one convenience she couldn’t survive without.
Something to think about the next time we complain about… pretty much anything.
Read the full post on Seeing Red in China here.