Living in Tokyo

How much can a single working person in Tokyo save a month?

How much can a single, young working person in Tokyo actually save a month?

Of course, the question of how much you can save depends primarily on how much you make and what your main non-discretionary expenses are.

Cost of Living in Tokyo for a Single Person

In a recent survey, SUUMO, a Japanese real estate website, found that the average single person (between the ages of 20 and 39) living by themselves in greater Tokyo had the following average monthly expenses:

  • Rent: ¥67,500 (600USD)
  • Utilities (gas, water, and electricity): ¥13,000
  • Internet and mobile phone expenses: ¥13,000
  • Food: ¥32,400
  • Total: ¥125,900 (1,119USD)

The reported averages were lower for people in their twenties, but we are only summarizing the overall numbers so we can get a ballpark figure. Your expenses may be a lot different. If so, we’d love to hear from you in the comment section below!

Taxes and Health Insurance

Also, the expenses mentioned above do not consider taxes and health insurance, which are non-discretionary expenses (to say the least!).

Your income tax rate, of course, depends on your income. The example below is for someone who makes a gross salary of ¥250,000 (2,222USD) a month.

With a monthly gross salary of ¥250,000, your take-home pay will be about ¥210,000.

Your employer will make mandatory deductions for social security, unemployment insurance, pension, and health insurance. You will also have to pay income tax.

The second year you are in Japan, you will also have to start paying local inhabitant tax (jyuminzei, 住民税), which will add about ¥13,500 to your tax bill, so your net pay will be about ¥197,000. The approximate deductions are:

  • Unemployment insurance: ¥1,000
  • Pension: ¥20,415
  • Health insurance: ¥12,181
  • Income Tax ¥5,270
  • ¥250,000 – (¥1,000 + ¥20,415 + ¥12,181 + ¥5,270) = ¥211,134

Now back to how much young people are saving!

How much do single working people save?

The data below is based on a survey of young people living in the greater Tokyo region (including Tokyo and the prefectures of Chiba, Saitama, and Kanagawa) and are tallied from valid responses received from 125 men and 125 women between the ages of 20 and 39 who live by themselves in rental housing.

  • People earning less than ¥2,500,000 (22,220USD) a year had the lowest average savings rate (by salary level), but still managed to save about 5% of their gross annual salary.
  • People earning between ¥5 million and ¥6 million yen had the highest average savings rate at between 11.8% to 14.0%.
  • People earning above ¥7 million a year had a savings rate of about 8.9%.

Average Savings Rates (As a % of Gross Salary) by Annual Income Level For 20 to 39 YO Singles Living in Greater Tokyo

Annual Salary in JPY Approximate Annual
Salary in USD
# of Responses Average Savings
Per Month in JPY
Approximate Savings Rate
(as % of Gross Annual Salary)
<2,500,000 < 22,220 47 9,700 4.66%
2,500,000 to <3,000,000 22,220 to < 26,661 33 26,000 10.4% to 12.5%
3,000,000 to <3,500,000 26,661 to < 31,105 39 30,000 10.3% to 12.0%
3,500,000 to <4,000,000 31,105 to < 35,548 28 29,000 8.7% to 9.9%
4,000,000 to <4,500,000 35,548 to < 39,991 28 36,300 8.7% to 10.9%
4,500,000 to <5,000,000 39,991 to < 44,436 21 43,200 10.6% to 11.5%
5,000,000 to <6,000,000 44,436 to < 53,323 28 58,200 11.8% to 14.0%
6,000,000 to <7,000,000 53,323 to < 62,210 15 61,300 10.7% to 12.3%
> 7,000,000 > 62,210 11 52,000 8.90%
Source: SUUMO. Survey period: March 9 to 17, 2017.

How much total savings do people have?

The survey also asked people how much total savings they had accumulated.

For the surveyed group as a whole, 40% answered that they had savings of less than 1 million yen. The next most frequent answer (at 11.2%) was between 1 million and 2 million yen.

Looking at total savings by income level:

  • People earning less than 3 million yen a year: The highest % of this group had savings of less than 1 million yen
  • People earning between 3 million and less than 3.5 million a year:  About 28.2% of this group had savings of less than 1 million yen a year; 25.6% of this group had savings of between 1 million and less than 2 million a year.
  • People earning between 5 million and less than 6 million yen: The highest % of this group (28.6%) had savings of between 5 million and less than 6 million yen.

Unsurprisingly, the results suggest that as people earned more money, they were able to add more to their net worth.

What do you think of these survey results? Please comment below.

You may also be interested in: Cost of Living in Japan

Top Photo: Marunouchi, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

Photo Credit: Takayuki Miki (三木貴幸) via Flicker