How much money do you spend on the skiing season? This is a question I often get after returning from my first season in Japan. At the same time, it is also one of the most difficult questions to answer because you can only give a personal answer based on your own experience.
Generally speaking, wages are not very high or consistent during a season and there will almost always be expenses for housing, food, transport and other activities. A bit like moving away from home, which is the reality. That being said, it can be possible to live out of your salary without having to use savings if you have a good overview of your budget. Again, it depends a lot on one’s lifestyle. But it is also possible to save some money during your season – although many choose to spend their entire salary while away. So how much money is spent on the season? The short answer is: quite a lot, but there are ways you can budget smartly 😉
All of us have completely different lifestyles which have a big impact on how much money you spend on your season. So start by asking yourself the question: do you live a luxurious lifestyle back at home, or do you have a more frugal approach? You can then ask yourself which country you would like to be an instructor in. It also depends on what country you are in, how many expenses there are and how high your salary is. For example, things like food, rent, leisure activities, drinks at bars, etc. are generally more expensive in Europe than in Asia.
I can tell you about my own experience. I was in Japan last winter and I’m probably the more frugal type. In Japan, the pay was really fine, at least for instructor standards, and we didn’t have many expenses at the resort. Many people told me that Japan is a very expensive country to live in, but this is not necessarily the case. Is Japan expensive compared to the rest of Asia? Yes, very. Compared to Denmark, however, it is relatively cheap. My salary was quite low, but my instructor accommodation was also included in my salary, which meant I really had few expenses. After buying all the food, drinking a single beer every now and then, and paying expenses for various activities, it meant I could save approx. 600 Euros altogether for every month that I worked full time. Most of all, it depends on how you live, and now that I was a little more frugal (some would call me stingy haha), I was able to save some money to travel around Asia for a month afterwards.
So, as mentioned before, it is easier to give an individual answer, but I have now tried to generalise it a bit; The first thing to remember is that you do not get rich from being a ski instructor.