Wednesday, April 21, 2010

bfg on budget 2010-2011

In many ways, this post is a sequel to my one on list making.

Fact is, I love spending money. I love buying people presents and have someone else wrap them. I adore spending money on rounds - be it of shots or books. I think its a healthy relationship the one I have with money... I want to make lots of it and spend even more!- am no Henry Potter.

So a budget for going to Japan is necessary. I can honestly see myself walking into a stationary store, see ChocoCat stuff and ship 1K worth of goodies back to my nephew for safekeeping until my return. Japanese Consulate recommends that this year JETs bring 2,700.00 Canadian dollars with them. Since we are only paid at the end of every month, for August we need to fend for ourselves.

The reality of the situation is that everything depends on your contract.

Though my income is guaranteed - all JETs are paid the same annual salary - each contract is unique. Some school offer positions with room, board and even transport to and from work. Other times, your rent is partially covered and/or you are asked by the city to teach at several schools. Sometimes you get zilch. So you may need 3K in the end or, as my thesis advisor keeps saying, get by with 1K "just fine" it all depends on the contract...

The Consulate mails out the contract at around mid-May so I will have a better idea of how much to bring. I am determined to save at least three thousand and with my tax cheque I should make my goal (yeah!). But it is quiet possible that I will use about a third of it. Granted, my supervisor told me the other night that "Japan is a book lovers paradise" so I am really going to have to contain myself.

It's not just that though. I am going to Japan people. J-A-P-A-N. And that means, I need to go dressed in style so yeah new clothes, a few new pairs of (walking and work) shoes. Definitely need cute rain-boots. Let us not forget the fact that I am going there to teach so the short skirts won't do - I will have to stock up on "professional" knee length. Being a giant, from their perspective, means my abilities to restock the wardrobe are dismal. So lots to purchase folks. Lots.

Hence, my budget.

Because, lets face it, I like to spend money remember. And if I don't walk in with a checklist composed away from tempting items which outlines what I am allowed to buy and how much I am allowed to spend, well things can get seriously out of hand. I can totally convince myself that PUKA slippers priced 40$ are a necessity for me to bring there. Really, I can.

In my defense, I am pretty good at keeping to budget. It's like a Convenant between Shopzilla-Nessa with Sergent-Nessa. But I am also very imaginative at reading the budget law in an imaginative way; a.k.a Law-&-Order-Nessa. Ex.: Guidebook is on my list. Now, it is singular but I am already shopping and it looks like I will be purchasing three (Tokyo, Kyoto and all of Japan). But while "window" shopping at lunch I saw Kyoto and Tokyo Moleskine City books that were just too sexy. they were calling my name, chanting that they were 20% off and I just HAD. To. HAVE. Them. And since "guidebook" in on the list and there is no specification of quantity and I am only slightly over budget...

They are really beautiful though.

Last night, A (the bf) and I passed by Future Shop. I wonder if I should wait to buy a net-book in Japan or if I should just get them here. Super prices and since A is insisting on purchasing an iPad and new laptop I am sure I can discount it - i wonder what are the bargaining techniques in JP?!

I am starting to feel like this blog post sounds like it comes from a Kinsella novel.


  1. go for the iPad! no question about that! :D

  2. If I were still in school I would invest in an iPad. But I need something that I can comfortably write my thesis on and portable. I am looking at the toshiba one I linked to above.

  3. Things will become much more clear once you get your placement and have a chance to talk with your predecessor. Some of the BOEs actually give the incoming JETs a sort of 'relocation bonus.' That means they hand you an envelope full of cash at your prefectural orientation.

    Depending on how inaka your placement is, you might find that your cost of living is very low. Mine is insanely low. But, you might also find yourself saddled with a few big expenses - my biggest expense was my car. I inherited it for free from my predecessor, but I still needed to pay for the mandatory inspection and insurance. The first two months will be the most expensive, because you'll need to get things like a cell phone, hanko, etc. It's always better to come with more money then you can always blow the extra money you don't end up needing on other things. In my case, that means Rilakkuma stuff. =P

    Japan is really an insane place for people who like shopping. ESPECIALLY for girls because, damn, those Japanese girls are fashionable. It takes a lot of work to keep up with them in the fashion department!