Recently there’s a heated debate around the topic of the buying power of 3000 USD and 3000 RMB in USA and China. And how the results are related to the daily life of each nation’s citizens. Thus, I am here to analyze the difference of buying power between 3000 USD and 3000 RMB.
First of all, the situation here is actually more complicated than one might think, 3000 USD as of current translates to 20758.50 RMB on forex. Which is why just simply straight up comparing the two isn’t by any means fair. A fairer topic of discussion would be the difference of buying power between the average citizen of the two nations. However, criticizing the topic doesn’t mean I won’t give this topic a fair analyzes.
What would life look like with 3000 USD in America and 3000 RMB in China?
Well, first of all we need to settle on a city for comparison, America have 50 states while China have 23 provinces. The prices change dramatically between city to city, state to state, province to province. Thus, for the sake of fair comparison, we will compare Shang Hai to New York. Both are the cities with the most amount of GDP per capita with in their nation. However, once again for the sake of fairness a note had to be made here, Shang Hai have a significantly larger population, and a much lower GDP per capita.
To make the comparison, I will make a budget living plan for both NYC and Shang Hai. The living plan will include health care, telephone bill, rent, food, electricity & hydro, and transport. The budget won’t include furniture or clothing as they aren’t something which is bought monthly.
- Housing (1,100$): According to renthop.com (https://www.renthop.com/average-rent-in/new-york-city-ny
), the average 1 bed room rent ranges from 2650-3550dollamonth. According to rentcafe.com (https://www.rentcafe.com/average-rent-market-trends/us/ny/manhattan/
), the average rent over all reaches a astonishing 4,208 dollamonth. Thus, to make a functional housing plan requires a bit more thought put into it.
After a bit of searching, I am able to find a 1,100-dollar living space, the downside being having to live with 3 other roommates. (https://www.apartments.com/common-robinson-new-york-ny/5r6bl3n/
- Health care (500$): Unfortunately, I am denied access to the health care market place for New York city because of my non-New York IP. (https://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/
) However, individual researches tells us that the average new yorker spends a 6,335$ on health care annually. So averagely the health care spending per month would be roughly 500$.
- Transport (127$): A unlimited monthly metro card in New York is 127.00$. (https://www.tripsavvy.com/new-york-city-subways-and-buses-1612185#:~:text=New%20York%20City%20subway%20fares,fare%2C%20which%20is%20half%20price.
) However, it’s worth mentioning that the New York public transport system is know to be inefficient, dirty and overall problematic.
- Water & electricity (263.84$): So on average the newyorker spends 173.84$ on electricity (https://patch.com/new-york/larchmont/here-s-how-much-utilities-cost-new-york-residents
Combining data from NYC government (https://www1.nyc.gov/site/dep/pay-my-bills/how-we-bill-you.page
) and the average water usage of American house holds (http://www.keyportonline.com/content/4031/4050/4243/4371.aspx#:~:text=The%20average%20person%20uses%20from,2%2C430%20cubic%20feet%20per%20person.
), the average cost of water will be around 90$.
- Communication (75$): the average cell phone cost in New York is 75 dollar per month. (https://stefanieoconnell.com/much-need-live-new-york-city/#:~:text=Cell%20Phone%3A%20%2475%2Fmonth,be%20had%20in%20this%20category.
- Food (750$): food cost ranges person to person, epically considering America’s insanely high diabetic rate of 36%. (https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p0718-diabetes-report.html
) Thus the cost of food is mostly up to estimations. (https://green-mart.us/product-category/beverages-mixers/
) is a good place to start. After some calculation, if I were too cook myself, the average cost would be around 20$/day. While if I were to eat out all month, the price would in increased to 36$/day according to traveling websites. Thus, we take the average and get 25$ per day. 25X30 and we get 750$ spent on food.
The final cost would be 2815.84, which lefts us with 185 dollars for dealing with emergencies. We would be eating just fine. However, with this budget, one is stuck to living with 3 other roommates and having to use the terrible New York public transit every single day.
- Housing (1400$): Due to the large population base, we don’t have an exact number on the average rent. However, that won’t stop us from making a budgeted living plan by finding houses online for rental. (https://sh.zu.anjuke.com/fangyuan/1483960300806147?isauction=2&shangquan_id=22039&legoFeeUrl=https%3A%2F%2Flegoclick.58.com%2Fjump%3Ftarget%3DpZwY0ZnlsztdraOWUvYKuaYYrH0Yrjc3ridBnHDQsHELnWDVrHDvnidhPA76uWKWuW9YrjmKPH9dnWELnHDvP1EvPjEKTHDYrjnOPWT1njT3njmQPj0KP10knTDLP1TkTHD_nHTKn9DQPHb3njN3njnYrjT1THcKwbnVNDnVENGssXXMMSpcfzLMoufG9cM-BFxCCpWGCUNKnEDQTEDVnEDKnHcOPWbLPjnYn1ndPHNQrjbLP9DvTyGGmNI-rWDknjKxnHNknTDQTHc3m1EvuWNYsyNzPj0VPjDvPaYOuWbvsynkmyPhuHFBnHR6rEDQnWbvrH0Yn1E1Pj9dPHnknHDzTHDzrHmOP1E1PjnYnHTkPjEOnW9KTEDKTEDVTEDKpZwY0Znlszq1paOlIiO6UhGdpvN8mvqVsvu6UhIOIy78sLGJnHTzsk7jE1PjrDNvnBdDnYD1sNNknbDVwHEQPidDPNPanDnYP1RjPDDKP1T8P1D8nHTdsWEzTHTKnTDKnikQnE7exEDQnjT1P9DQnjTQPWmdTH7hm1TQuWbYsHTvrAmVPj93uBY3nAEYsHwWmW9YPjTzmhmzrEDKPTDKTHTKnBkQPjDQsjcznjnOTHDKUMR_UTDYP16BmyDOPHEYnWuBPWPb&lego_tid=1fc01f94-068f-488f-80d4-4cb84402bf29&from=Filter_2&hfilter=filterlist
) Here’s a very lovely house I’ve found for 1400, you get to not only live alone, but it also comes with your own kitchen and bathroom. And it’s also insanely close to the public transport system.
- Health Care (20$): The annual fee is around 250$ for health care in China.
- Transport (100$): Since the month pass got canaled, transport fee depends from person to person. Assuming we don’t work on the other side of the city, averagely 100$ would be spent per month.
- Water & electricity (200$): Judging from official numbers (https://www.sohu.com/a/296444679_667422
The cost would be around 200$ maximumly for a single person.
- Communication(38$): you can get a cell phone plan for 18$ (https://zhidao.baidu.com/question/1767039690840279060.html
) being generous we will go with the 38$ plan.
- Food (900$): Food cost in Shang Hai is a very hard number to measure. Assuming we are going full luxury, 900$ would get you covered for a month.
The total cost would end up around 2620$. With 380$ to spare. And not only do you get an entire apartment all to your self, you also get plenty of money left over to spend.
Now this comparison can be unfair due to the population of Shang Hai and New York, but it’s still astonishing how despite dollar being almost 7 times more valuable than yuan, yuan still holds just as much purchasing power in China. Not only do you get apartment all to yourself in Shang Hai (unlike newyork where you’ll end up with 3 room mates), you also save a lot more.
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