Money and Banking
How much is my salary?
*From July 1, 2012 the annual remuneration will change. This will only effect JETs arriving in 2012 and not those currently under contract with Sendai*
First year Sendai Hello World JETs will receive a base salary of ￥3,360,000 per year,￥280,000 per month. Second year participants will be paid ￥300,000per month, third year participants will be paid ￥325,000 per month, and fourth and fifth year participants will be paid ￥330,000 per month. After your health insurance, pension, rent, and school lunch deductions, you should net about ￥180-200,000 per month. You can arrange to have the money deposited in your bank account automatically, or you can receive it in cash, or a combination of both.
Please be aware that your first pay check is not until August 21st. You must bring some money to tide you over until then. A rough estimate of how much you'll need would be ￥200,000. Japan is reasonably expensive and you'll need that amount of money to cover food, nights out, things for your apartment, and a telephone.
For Sendai JETs employed prior to 2012, the monthly remuneration is ￥300,000 with an annual salary of ￥3,600,000.
Every month a premium for medical coverage is deducted from your salary. This is not optional. Upon every doctor's visit, you are responsible for the 30% portion which the insurance does not cover. All ALTs also have travel and accident insurance which covers them while they are traveling outside of Japan. The details of this coverage is in the health section of this website and will be discussed further at Sendai orientation. If possible, it would be a good idea to maintain some health insurance in your home country as well.
Your supervisor will help you open an account at either a bank or the post office. The banks and post offices are only open Monday to Friday (banks 10-3, post office banking 9-4). ATMs are open for limited times during the week (Mon-Sat 9am-7 pm; Sun 9am-5pm). 24 hour banking is a rarity in Japan but there is a 24 hour ATM in downtown Sendai that allows withdrawals but not deposits outside of normal business hours.
Sending Money Home
Some of you may be worried about making credit card or university loan payments from overseas. If you keep an account open in your home country, you will find it fairly easy to maintain a good credit rating and make your monthly payments on time. It is a good idea to give a close friend or relative authority to act on your behalf with your home country financial institute, just in case your institute requires some face-to-face contact. This is usually done by applying at the institute and signing a form or two. Bank transfers are available, but include a charge.
The post office offers a service whereby you can send international money-orders, (not to New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, Trinidad & Tobago, or Jamaica). It takes between 7-10 days for some countries and up to 30 days for others. See Japan Post for more information.
Shinsei Bank (GoRemit) offers a money transfer service where you can wire money to a bank account in ANY country via the ATM. Shinsei guarantees the money to be wired within 48 hours. Previously this was GoLloyds with Lloyd's Bank, but ownership changed. They function the exact same way and transfer cards still work as well.
Cash vs. Plastic
Japan is a cash society. You'll soon get used to carrying a lot of cash with you. Credit cards are gaining momentum for purchases, but the system is a little different in Japan, only select stores will accept your cards from home. You can get a cash advance on your credit card at post office ATMs (be aware that credit card companies usually charge higher interest on cash advances, compared to purchases). Be sure to bring your cards and PINs.
***We cannot emphasize enough the need for you to bring a sufficient amount of money to keep you financially afloat until your first payday (the 21st of every month). ￥200, 000 in cash and /or traveler's checks should be more than adequate.***