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cost of living
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skichick



Joined: 10 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2003 6:04 pm    Post subject: cost of living Reply with quote

Hello
I'm writing from Canada, looking over a contract for a Korean school. Could anyone please give me a realistic run down on the living costs in Korea (Pusan specifically). The contract I'm currently looking at includes accomodation, but how much are things like utilities, food, local transport etc. just the basics be- as I will be trying to save. Any help greatly appreciated!
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Cabbit



Joined: 19 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2003 7:50 pm    Post subject: Re: cost of living Reply with quote

skichick wrote:
Hello
I'm writing from Canada, looking over a contract for a Korean school. Could anyone please give me a realistic run down on the living costs in Korea (Pusan specifically). The contract I'm currently looking at includes accomodation, but how much are things like utilities, food, local transport etc. just the basics be- as I will be trying to save. Any help greatly appreciated!

Hello
the cost of living in Korea is not high at all, you could save more than a million won a month and still live comfortably!!
utilities~that depends on your apartment, if you have internet etc... But if you look at 150 000 won a month maximum you will be fine. (gas, electricity are the 2 main ones)
Food~if you eat out, you can get good food from 5000-10000won If you eat in it all depends on what you buy, korean food here is not expensive but western food can be.
Transport~Trains and busses 600-800 won

I live in Korea with my husband and we could easily save at least a million a month on one wage.

I hope that helped Very Happy
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kricket



Joined: 25 Feb 2003
Location: The Land of Kimchi and OB Beer

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2003 8:15 pm    Post subject: Re: cost of living Reply with quote

Cabbit wrote:
skichick wrote:
Hello
I'm writing from Canada, looking over a contract for a Korean school. Could anyone please give me a realistic run down on the living costs in Korea (Pusan specifically). The contract I'm currently looking at includes accomodation, but how much are things like utilities, food, local transport etc. just the basics be- as I will be trying to save. Any help greatly appreciated!


the cost of living in Korea is not high at all, you could save more than a million won a month and still live comfortably!!


"comfortable living" on 2 mil a month??? I disagree. It's hard to save money in Korea and live a "comfortable" life. The cost of living is about the same as any major American city. Plus, Koreans "nickel and dime" you, charging small fees for everything. This adds up and when you look at your checking account statement at the end of the month there is usually very little remaining to save...

You can save money in Korea, but you will have to sacrifice and it won't be "comfortable" to say the least...
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kimcheeking
Guest




PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2003 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to disagree with Cricket. I have been here for 6 years and have managed to save about cdn$90,000. I don't teach privates and I live comfortably.

If you go out drinking every night and travel to different countries every 6 months you may not save much money. I go abroad once a year and enjoy my free time.

Korea is not expensive at all, the only expensive things are housing, gas (for a car), & hard liquor.
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Wishmaster



Joined: 06 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2003 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will also disagree with the statement. If you can't save money in Korea, you simply are a spendthrift. The cost of living here is damn cheap in comparison to home. First off, you don't pay any freakin' rent!! The food is much cheaper than any US grocery store and the transit system in Korea is solid. Again, it is all subjective here in Korea. If you are the kind of person that must drink and party every weekend, then that 2 million salary may seem miniscule. But, if you have an iota of intelligence, you learn to balance your life(ie not overspending and being conservative occasionally), you can save a great deal. I can save $1,000 a month US on a 2 million won salary. But I have balance. I don't drink high priced import alcohol and I don't go to any of the Itaewon bars. I travel nearly every weekend. My refrigerator is always stocket. I rent movies. I can afford to purchase things over the internet. Yet, I can still hit a grand a month and live a nice life here. The difference between myself and people that can't save from the 2 million is that I can afford a vacation AFTER I leave Korea and I'll be able to live for awhile back home while looking for a job. To those people that don't save here and party all the time, think of the long term ramifications. What will you have when you get on the airplane??????????
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justagirl



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Location: Cheonan/Portland

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2003 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Budget:


Send home (loans, savings, etc): 1,000,000

Food: 350,000

Bills in Korea: 125,000 (gas, water, electricity, phone)

Travel: 75,000

Entertainment, buying Stuff, etc: 350, 000


I probably don't have the best budget planning in the world, but I do manage to stick to it almost every month. I keep a small contingency fund and some money stuck aside for medical stuff. I feel like I spend a lot of money and I enjoy doing lots of things. Hope this gives you an idea!

ej
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Rand Al Thor



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: Locked in an epic struggle

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2003 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

justagirl wrote:
My Budget:
Food: 350,000


Do you eat out every meal? I spend less than 1/2 that on food.
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princess



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: soul of Asia

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2003 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only saved about 2000 dollars my second year in Korea. My first year,I saved 50 bucks in change because I hardly ever spend my change. I can't save a smuch as some people.because I like to cook alot at home and I like designer clothes and traveling. I am rewarding myself for growing up working class and not being able to enjoy the good life. Plus,I have to send money home for loans for a useless degree.
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W.T.Carl



Joined: 16 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2003 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I managed to sock away 10k US, eat out every night, vacation in Thailand over Chusok (remember to book your flight EARLY- May at the latest), travell a good bit around Korea ( that is when I managed to get some time off- which was rare), drink barrels of OB, loan 1.3 mil to a fellow teacher who was down on his luck( I still haven't seen any of this, but I know my karma is clean) and in general have a great time. It can be done. However, this was teaching around 40 classes a week, and COMPLETING my contract.
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justagirl



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Location: Cheonan/Portland

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2003 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In response to the comment about my food budget, I suppose it would have been better said to have put it this way: this is my max I'll spend every month in this part of my budget.

I just thought it'd be good to give a breakdown of costs, rather than say I save 10,000,000 a year and travel a lot.

Of course no one has to spend more than they want on anything. If you like eating ramen every day, you can save lots of money.

My first year, I budgeted 200,000 a month for food, but now I'm cooking for 2 people and I love going out for a nice meal in Seoul every month.

Dude. I'm actually defending my budget. How silly. Rolling Eyes
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Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2003 5:27 pm    Post subject: Re: cost of living Reply with quote

skichick wrote:
Hello
I'm writing from Canada, looking over a contract for a Korean school. Could anyone please give me a realistic run down on the living costs in Korea (Pusan specifically). The contract I'm currently looking at includes accomodation, but how much are things like utilities, food, local transport etc. just the basics be- as I will be trying to save. Any help greatly appreciated!


Eh, I'm not from Busan, but I doubt there's much that's terribly different from elsewhere.

Utilities-should be cheap, I got the newspaper, cable TV, water, heating, and paid taxes(shared some expenses with a roommate though) and it was usually under 200,000 won, or $160 U.S.
Food-Western food is expensive, and Korean food is mid-range. There's some cheap eats but it's usually not healthy. Still, my grocery bill(mostly Western food at home) was 40-50,000 won each week, about 200,000 won a month. I probably spent 100,000 won on lunches out, dinners with people, so on. Busan might be more expensive.
Local Transport-Very cheap. Busan has a basic subway system and should have a good bus system. Travel to other cities can be done by train, which is also a decent price. You can go from Seoul to Busan for about 35,000 won one-way. Busses usually run about 700 won on average. Similar with subways. I've never been in a taxi that ran over 15,000 won, and if you travel with others, it's hardly noticeable.
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thinker



Joined: 10 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2003 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

my eletric bill one month was 5,347 won! and every three months i'd pay 25,000 for water~

pack o'chicken breasts- 3000
1.5L coke- 900
cereal (honey combs)- 2700
fries 1.5kg(the most expensive item along with potatos)-6000
2 head sized watermelons-5000
crate of delicious madarin ornages- 6-8000
bread-1500
ja-jang-myon-2500 deleivered!
fried rice-3500 deleivered!
jampoong(seafood soup)-3000
coffee (expensive!) 10,000 for 500g fresh ground
handful of peppers- 1000
various handfuls of vegies in the market- 1000
apples and oranges out of season are quite expensive -1000 each!
bag o'flour-700
2kg of black rice-3000 (really nice aroma, actually purple)
new pair of cargo pants- 15-20,000
socks anywhere anytime-1000 a pair for poplar knock-offs
burger and fries at western rest. 10,000
milk 1L-900
eggs 10 for 1200 or less (these were refridgerated ones)
750ml beer at any small shop-1700
gum -30
variety of dry snacks-500
great food stand snacks and foods- 500-1000

yeah it's easy to save~i had a nice chunk left over, not even trying to save and thats after lots of impluse purchaces and a trip to china and je-ju
Wink
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2003 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First year here I ate out once a day and went out drinking 2 nights a week. I also traveled to Seoul about twice a month (lived in Wonju, which is 90 minutes away) and took a few other trips in Korea. My salary was 1.7 million but I also had a couple privates. Given all that, I was able to pay off $5,000 or so in debt and save another 5-$6,000. I wasn't a free spender but I wasn't as cheap as I could have been either.

Now I'm making 2.0 million, being cheap (for the most part) and saving around $1,000 a month. It all depends what your motivation is. If you want a big chunk of change saved up (or paid off if you have debts) you can do it more easily here than back home. You can also have a pretty nice life here and blow a lot of your money; it all depends on what you want.
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skichick



Joined: 10 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2003 11:47 am    Post subject: thank you Reply with quote

Thanks for the info!
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Pets wonderland



Joined: 09 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2003 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way.....don't underestimate the cost of phonecalls overseas if you have a cell phone. My phone bills used to give me a shock every month until I found a cheap phone card. Also, I find that I tend to spend a lot of money on friends because unlike the west, the concept of going 'dutch' isn't really the norm here. Since I seem to earn more than my Korean friends, I tend to pay for them a lot not to mention gifts for my relatives now and then....but don't let this stop you from making friends and having a good time Wink
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