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How much money did you bring with you?
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merrilee



Joined: 13 May 2003
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2003 3:42 pm    Post subject: How much money did you bring with you? Reply with quote

I'm curious, because I've read several posts of people stating they brought $1,000+ dollars to Korea. This seems odd, considering a large number of teachers escape to Korea to get out of debt. Strange dichotomy.
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desultude



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Location: Dangling my toes in the Persian Gulf

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2003 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I brought $1000 +. I am so glad that I did. I saw my fellow teachers having to beg the administration to reimburse their air fare as fast as possible, because they had no money. They took it seriously and literally when they were told that they would be reimbursed "on arrival". We were reimbursed a month later. They were broke and had to borrow money from strangers ( fellow teachers they had never met before) to have food.

If you have a good job, and if you are paid on time, it will still be a while before payday. And the first month anywhere is the most expensive. You can bring only so much in 2 suitcases. You have to buy a lot of basics when you arrive.

And when your job turns out to be a disaster, you need money to get home, or someplace, as soon as possible. Leave your job, leave the country. That is the way it is.

Be prepared. Have enough for a return flight, for food, and for the possibility of some other sort of disaster (we are not living in the most politically stable situation.) I think that you should always have a stash (maybe $500 U.S.) of cash.

If you just cannot muster that kind of cash to bring (borrow it if possible) then save it as soon as possible. Never find yourself broke in a strange land!
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kylehawkins2000



Joined: 08 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2003 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Merrilee, Bringing a grand to Korea is nothing! How do you expect people to live for a month without any cash? I for one took around $1000 and spent it quite easily before pay day and had to borrow some money.

So a few days ago I got paid....and now I have $2500 in my pocket. A little calculation tells me that I'm $1500 ahead. Even if I had borrowed the $1000 in the first place.....well I still have money to save after I pay it off, to get by for another month, and to put some money in the bank.

It's easy to save money here, even if you start a grand in the hole.
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merrilee



Joined: 13 May 2003
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2003 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kyle-

Not to worry. I fully intend to have at least $1,000. I just find it hard to believe that this is the norm, since most people seem to start off in debt. You know? I was just curious. (Although honestly, I can't figure out what you spent $1,000 on in one month! I've relocated before with only a suitcase and survived on very little cash... but I'm guessing maybe that's just a lifestyle choice?? I don't know.)
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Blue Flower



Joined: 23 Feb 2003
Location: The realisation that I only have to endure two more weeks in this filthy, perverted, nasty place!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2003 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought that I would hardly need any money, being under the (wrong) impression that Korea was a really cheap place to live. If you live alone, like I do, then you don't have a roomate to tell you where to shop for cheaper food, so you pay more money for things, also, you just go through the cash like you wouldn't believe. New things to experience, new things to buy, different foods, etc. Also, you could have to wait a while for your first pay. When I got here, I was unfortunate to arrive at the beg of the pay month, and had to wait 5 weeks before I got my first pay. That was a long 5 weeks. So be prepared for anything. Also, i had to go to the doctors, was expensive, as no health insurance, etc.

I was lucky enough to be able to borrow the cash to survive here, from my folks. That is how I got here.
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Canuck



Joined: 05 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2003 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

400 bucks CANADIAN. I didnt get an apartment of my own for over a month, and had to live with my bosses' parents. Lucky for me I guess, because I spent nothing on food for my first month. Laid low for a month until pay day.
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bap



Joined: 10 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2003 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i brought about 200$ canadian.
it was a bad mistake but i had just finished school (a month earlier) and hadn't worked yet so i didn't have any money saved.
when i got here i thought everything was going to be set up for me so i'd only have to buy food and cigs (didn't happen). i was also under the impression that i'd get two days training when i got here and get paid for it immediately (this was in my contract). noooooo.
i spent my cash in the first two weeks, got no training so no extra money, had to buy things for my apartment (utensils, bowls, pots and pans, etc.)and in the end had to borrow another 200$ from my dad.
it sucked.
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crazylemongirl



Joined: 23 Mar 2003
Location: almost there...

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2003 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was fourtante that I had holiday pay owing from my last job and worked until the day before I left thus before I headed to airport I picked up my last cash pay which was about $1200USD which saw me through 7 weeks (I'm stingy as hell when I need to).

But my embarssing story is that I forgot to change my money so ended up having to sponge off my boss until the banks in my area opened (I arrived on a sat morning) Embarassed

However I 've had to send $2400USD back to NZ to cover my overdraft and credit card debt due to running up big bills buying stuff before I left.

Take as much money as possible.
CLG
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waterbaby



Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Location: Baking Gord a Cheescake pie

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2003 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blue Flower wrote:
I thought that I would hardly need any money, being under the (wrong) impression that Korea was a really cheap place to live. If you live alone, like I do, then you don't have a roomate to tell you where to shop for cheaper food, so you pay more money for things, also, you just go through the cash like you wouldn't believe.


I think Blue Flower makes a really good point here. If you don't have people to hold your hand when you first arrive, you'll find that you end up spending a lot of extra money because you don't know what is a good price for what, where the cheap supermarkets are etc.

I always get stung my first day or two in a new country when I don't have any experience there comparing prices. Aish! I HATE that!
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Circus Monkey



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: In my coconut tree

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2003 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Always make sure you have enough cash to get out of Dodge.

CM
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kylehawkins2000



Joined: 08 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2003 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I travelled to the South Coast for a long weekend joined a gym, and paid for a months worth of Korean classes. That ate up about $500. Other than that I guess I lived off of $500 or less. (Canadian).

I find the first month after relocating is usually the most expensive. I'm pretty frugal but I fully expected to spend a bit of cash on the things above when I arrived so I took enough money to cover my butt. It's always best to have a little extra anyways I figure.....you never know what might happen.
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eamo



Joined: 08 Mar 2003
Location: Shepherd's Bush, 1964.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2003 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know a middle-aged American lady who arrived in Korea to teach with 40 bucks!!!! She had a solid 5 weeks before pay-day!!!

I can spend 40usd within 2 hours in Hongdae.

Needless to say she was not what you would call a Mensa candidate and lasted 6 months.

Arrive with a minimum of 500usd because you will want to buy nick-nacks to get your apartment up to scratch.
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kimcheeking
Guest




PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2003 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I came with cdn$500 & two credit cards, back in '97, and a promise of my airfare reinbursed the first week. didn't get the airfare for month, on pay day.

I survived with my cash and a small loan from one of the teachers - could've used VISA but it's hard to buy groceries from the corner store with a VISA here.
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Stunted Wookie



Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Sound Studio

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2003 6:31 pm    Post subject: money Reply with quote

The first time I arrived in Korea I brought $60 CAD....really Embarassed
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itchy



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: Busan

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2003 2:35 pm    Post subject: Re: How much money did you bring with you? Reply with quote

***

Last edited by itchy on Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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