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is 400,000 won enough for a month?
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greyhound



Joined: 10 Jun 2016

PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:16 am    Post subject: is 400,000 won enough for a month? Reply with quote

I have just changed some pounds into won at Asda supermarket and I paid about £280 or so for 400,000 won. should this be enough to get by for a month in Korea? I am not intending to go on any fender benders or anything, not for the first month anyway. Just shopping and the odd drink here and there and maybe the odd meal out at an inexpensive restaurant.
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frankhenry



Joined: 13 Mar 2007

PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my first year in Korea the first month was one of the most expensive. That was over a decade ago. I spent around 600,000 won. It took some time to learn where I could buy the same food items for 20% to 30% less. There are the little things that come up also; tissue, toiletries, kitchen items,,,,, I could have made it on 400,000 or even 300,000 but remember that was some time ago. 400,000 is doable now. It will be a tight squeeze. Don't expect to be living large. Also, will you get paid after a month or will it be 5 or 6 weeks? These things matter.

I suggest 700,000 if you can manage it. If not, live tight. Ramen. Rice. Vegetables. Eggs.
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greyhound



Joined: 10 Jun 2016

PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope I get paid a month after starting or at the end of the month even if I start two weeks into the month. At least I'll have two week's pay then plus my 400,000. Yeh it will have to be rice and noodles with meat in a cheap restaurant with plastic seats and tables even. I just spent over £200 getting the visa. That was with going to the cheapest notary public I could find for £30. I got the CRC notarised for free by sending it back to the disclosure Scotland people and their governance officer signed it for free. Then the nForeign and commonwealth office apostilled both docs for £60 and it cost me £63 to send it 3 day delivery to Korea. Then the visa itself cost £138 plus commission for buying a postal order about £15 plus special delivery £12.

Thank god I don't have to pay rent. anyway, I hope to get by on 400,000. I can get by on £280 in the UK for a month just I think if I really have to.
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Aine1979



Joined: 20 Jan 2013
Location: Incheon

PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does your contract state what your pay date will be? A lot of hagwons I know pay their foreign teachers on 10th or 15th of the month - mine used to pay on the 10th, I started on 10th of the month and on the following pay day got pro-rated pay for the days I'd worked. But I've known a lot of people whose first month wasn't pro-rated and have worked 5/6 weeks before they got paid. Check with your employer.

You do need to consider things like utilities and maintenance bills - some hagwons pay them on your behalf and deduct it straight from your pay, whereas others leave you to pay them yourself. My first utility bill was due before my first pay date, but it was pro-rated and was reasonably low.

It might also be worth checking with your employer about who is going to pay for your medical and ARC, because you could be looking at anything up to 100k for the medical, and I think 30k for your ARC, which would make a huge dent in your money if you have to cover it.

Hopefully your job will be within walking distance of your accommodation, and so you won't have any transport costs. If it's kitted out with everything you need, and you don't have to spend money on anyrhing other than food and household cleaning supplies, you should be okay, but really you're only going to have 15k per day, so it could be quite tight.

The rate for changing sterling to won is the worst/best (depending which way you're changing your money) that I've seen in a long time. Before the Brexit referendum, 1mil won got you about £580. I changed 2mil yesterday for my trip home and got £1350.
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greyhound



Joined: 10 Jun 2016

PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that's not bad 2m won 1350gbp. My academy pay on the 3rd of the month so that's ok then. You have to pay utilities and telephone. I won't use the telephone then. get a mobile instead. It doesn't say who pays for the medical but I am assuming they will pay. I take it you had to buy your own ticket back home then? Don't they pay for another ticket if you renew a contract then?
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CentralCali



Joined: 17 May 2007

PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The law is you pay half of the medical and your employer pays half of the medical premium. A number of chains are infamous for not complying with this and other legal provisions, most notably by the use of the designation "independent contractor". Post your contract, removing employer/employee names, and you'll get a good run-down on what games, if any, your employer is playing. Note that if something isn't mentioned in the contract, an employer in Korea generally won't pay it even if it's required by law.
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Aine1979



Joined: 20 Jan 2013
Location: Incheon

PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You only have to pay for a phone if you take out a phone contract yourself, the same with cable and internet. There won't be a telephone in your accommodation. Yes, you do have to pay utilities, electricity, gas, water, and usually a maintenance fee. These can vary hugely from apartment to apartment - in my first apartment they were pretty low, but I have a much bigger (and nicer) apartment now, and the bills are a lot higher, but it does include car parking and gym membership. Some places bill each unit individually, others divide the charges out across all the apartments on the floor etc. You'll be able to find out more from your employer.

No, I didn't have to buy my own ticket, my hagwon paid for a round trip home and gave me extra paid vacation time - I negotiated this as part of my contract renewal. Things like that are down to your employer and your negotiating skills. Usually if you renew your contract, the return airfare you would have gotten is simply moved along to whenever you will actually leave. I will still get my airfare home when I (eventually) leave.

I wouldn't assume they'll pay for the medical - is there no mention of it in the contract? My contract specifically stated that the cost of the medical and ARC would be borne by the employee, so it was a nice surprise when my boss paid for it, all I had to pay for were some passport photos.

I'd send a polite email asking the employer in advance just to make sure. I'd also ask if you'll be getting pro-rated pay on 3rd August, or won't be paid until 3rd September. Just say you want to make sure you come with enough money to last you. Or ask your recruiter to contact the employer if you're not in contact with them directly.
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Aine1979



Joined: 20 Jan 2013
Location: Incheon

PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CentralCali wrote:
The law is you pay half of the medical and your employer pays half of the medical premium. A number of chains are infamous for not complying with this and other legal provisions, most notably by the use of the designation "independent contractor". Post your contract, removing employer/employee names, and you'll get a good run-down on what games, if any, your employer is playing. Note that if something isn't mentioned in the contract, an employer in Korea generally won't pay it even if it's required by law.


Is this the law regarding your medical for getting your ARC, that the employee pays half and the employer pays half? Or is it just the law for health insurance?
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ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do NOT exchange won outside of Korea (buying or selling). The rate sucks.

You received 1428 won per quid.
The cash rate to exchange pounds to won in Korea is receiving 1470 won per pound.
The base rate is 1500won/pound.

Bring pounds or Euros (too bad the pound tanked after the vote) and exchange when you land.

.
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CentralCali



Joined: 17 May 2007

PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ttompatz wrote:
too bad the pound tanked after the vote


The OP cannot complain about the GBP losing value; after all, he supports Brexit.
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CentralCali



Joined: 17 May 2007

PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 8:56 pm    Post subject: