Monday, November 20, 2006

Breaking 100K

Before anyone thinks I'm getting rich, that's yen, not dollars. ;-) Every month around the 20th, I have to file a report about the number of hours I taught so I can get paid. This is the first month where I've made around 100,000 yen. This represents about 1/3 of a full income for most teachers in Japan so it's not like it's a huge amount of money. In fact, it doesn't even cover our rent but it's pretty good as a means of padding my husband's income.

I've actually been relatively lucky that this was such a good month because my higher income has been balanced out by greater than usual expenses. Both my husband and I needed clothes. We avoid buying new clothes for as long as possible but winter is (finally) coming on and it was clear my tatty sweater wasn't going to see me through any longer. My husband also got new glasses so, between those and the clothes, we spent about 50% of my "salary" already.

Foreigners in Japan who find themselves in need of clothes and who either prefer not to buy expensive Japanese clothes or find that the sizes or designs don't fit them well might want to consider buying from mail order via Land's End. Their prices are reasonable, especially compared to Japanese prices for decent quality business clothes, and they carry a wide variety of sizes and nearly any type of clothing you might need short of evening gowns and club wear. They also don't gouge on shipping and send items quite fast. The only thing you have to be careful about is buying shoes from them because, for some reason, shoes are subject to customs taxes. Other types of clothing are not. I'm guessing it may have something to do with goods made of leather but I'm not sure.

I never expected to be able to gather enough private students to make this much. Things just happened to go my way this month. I got a temporary student who took 3 extra lessons. My student who schedules "as needed" happened to come three times when she usually comes once a month.

The outlook for next month is far less rosy as at least 2 of my regular students have cancelled most of their lessons and I expect that more will cancel as we go into the holiday season. The last few weeks of December are a big time for students to go abroad, it seems. So, you can see why making 100,000 yen would be a blog-worthy event for me. ;-) It doubt it'll come around again.

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