Can I live on this?

Hello everyone, I'm new to this forum and would like to ask people on their experiences in terms of the cost of living in Budapest. I have found many threads on the subject though opinions seem to vary wildly.

I am currently considering a job offer to teacher English in Budapest. The wage is 130,000 forint per month with a monthly travel pass included. This is for about 20-24 hours work a week (not including the time it takes to travel to the various different teaching locations).

Do you think I would be able to live on this? If so, how comfortably, and what sort of accommodation and lifestyle would I be able to have? I am thinking that if I teach private lessons this should bring in a slightly better income. Does anyone know the standard rate to charge per hour for private lessons in Budapest?

Apologies for the lengthy post, looking forward to hearing from people!

Mark :)

mgill87 :

I am currently considering a job offer to teacher English in Budapest. The wage is 130,000 forint per month with a monthly travel pass included. This is for about 20-24 hours work a week (not including the time it takes to travel to the various different teaching locations).

Mark :)

HUF 130K a month would hardly cover the rent of a decent apartment in Budapest. It seems risky to me to come here without having other work to cover your other expenses because without speaking Hungarian, there's not a lot of chance of a regular paying job. There's a lot of competition in the language market. Have you considered going somewhere else like Viet Nam, China or Korea?

Hi, thanks for the quick response! I don't particularly mind a flatshare/room rent rather than having an apartment to myself. I don't need to live the life of luxury but would like a decent standard life over there!

It's difficult to organise other work as the teaching job offered will vary from week to week. So really private lessons are probably my only other option, unless I have a consistent day off every week. I briefly considered teaching in Asia but think that for my first TEFL role I would prefer to avoid such a big culture shock! So teaching over there doesn't interest me greatly!

Hi, that salary is way too low. Here in Eger there are adverts up for private English lessons for as little as a few hundred forints an hour but some people charge as much as 3500 huf per hour (actually 45 minutes) and have plenty of work. The average seems to be 2000huf per hour (45 mins) for a native speaker. If students want a private lesson in a language school they can pay up to 6500huf per hour so going private can work out much cheaper.
And then there's the issue of tax. Is your 130,000huf gross or net? Either way, for those hours you ought to be looking at at least 150,000 after tax. But like I said, that's Eger, I don't know about Budapest. I'd expect higher wages but also a lot more competition.
Regards and good luck,

Hi Paul,

The 130,000 is after tax (sorry forgot to mention that earlier). And I have a free monthly travel pass each month which will obviously save some money. I would have thought that if do a few private lessons a week for 2-3,000 an hour, then that should be enough. I suppose it depends on a persons lifestyle, how often they want to go out etc!

I haven't had any other job offers there yet so I am tempted to accept. I have been told that I could do as little as 10-15 hours a week and still get the same monthly wage. (Says so in my contract). 24 hours a week is about the maximum, it depends on the amount of clients. The company is called SELTI Hungary, don't know if anyone knows anything about them?

Cheers :)

130.000 HUF for a 10-15 hours/week job is not bad here, in Hungary. With private lessons your earnings can be enough. If you don't mind sharing a flat, you will be able to save money.
Why is it better to teach here than in England?:)

Thanks for the response Szano79 :)
I'm not sure if in general it is better to teach in Hungary than England. But the three main reasons for me personally are:

1. Many jobs in England require the CELTA as well as experience - I am newly qualified with TEFL.
2. I've wanted to move abroad for some time now so it would be great to have a new experience.
3. Budapest looks very nice, and I've heard a lot of nice things about the city!

I think I will take the risk and see how I get on. You're right about flatsharing. I think if I find a decent flat and rent a room in it, I should be more comfortable. I only need a small room anyway :)

The salary is great for the number of hours but be aware of how long it takes to prepare lessons, then get to the designated place of work and then back again. 15 hours can quite easily turn into a full time job. I know, I already do it!!
Also try and make sure you'll be able to generate enough private work. There are a lot of potential customers in Budapest but also a lot of competition.

Thanks Paul :) I've accepted the job offer today and am now looking at renting a room in a flat-share. I'd prefer to be around people anyway - integrate as much as I can! :) Am looking forward to it! Though I hear it is rather cold at this time of the year!

Budapest doesn't get as cold as it does out here. Being a large city it doesn't get as much snow either. Early january last year I had to run a friend back to the airport. There was major snow everywhere, completely covered the motorway in several inches....and then we got to within 20 miles of Budapest and NOTHING!
Good luck with the job etc but remember, you've not been to Hungary until you've stepped outside Budapest ;)

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