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How much money did you bring with you?
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thebum



Joined: 09 Jan 2005
Location: North Korea

PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i brought 100,000 won (changed it in the usa) plus my visa check card and visa credit card (both from wells fargo)

then again, i'm not a teacher ^^
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Flash Ipanema



Joined: 29 Sep 2006
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to know, I use Wells Fargo too. Have you had problems using yours?

I have a Wells Fargo credit card attached to my checking account but I never use it (I only use a Bank of America Visa card for credit purchases). My check card has a Visa logo as well as Pulse, Star, Plus, Interlink and Instant Cash - it does NOT say Cirrus. Should this card work in Korea? I e-mailed my bank and they said it should, but I'm more interested in if it works in reality, not theory.
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peppero



Joined: 16 Nov 2005

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I brought 8,000 US. I guess I just like being sure. Smile
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thatwhitegirl



Joined: 31 Jan 2007
Location: ROK

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We changed up $1,000 US, and sure glad we did, as my wallet got stolen the day after we arrived, which had the credit cards and ATM debit cards. Good thing we had that cash changed up (and in a money belt somewhere else), cause otherwise we would have been SCREWED!!! We lost about 150,000 won and the cards. If we hadn't had that cash already....
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Lola



Joined: 17 Jun 2007

PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I brought $700CDN of cash with me and left another $600 in my Canadian bank account, which I could access with my Cirrus debit card at the K.E.B. international machine. I was in Korea for six weeks before my first payday and I was just at the end of that money then.

In terms of actual living, you can survive on very little, but my apartment was quite spartan and I had to buy a lot of stuff (drying rack, bookcase, dresser, pots and pans, plates) and I didn't know where the best deals were. Fortunately my coworkers, both Korean and foreign, lent me a bit of cash at the end when things were starting to look bleak.

As for going out, it seemed to be a general rule among the foreigners in my town that, when out for a night of eating and drinking, "You don't pay until you GET paid." People were very generous in that way, I found. Still, it's not something you should just assume is going to happen when you plan your initial budget!
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VanIslander



Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Location: Geoje, Hadong, Tongyeong,... now in a small coastal island town outside Gyeongsangnamdo!

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

about two or three hundred bucks

I knew I could ask for an advance after a week or two on the job

(the benefit of researching on the 'net and learning from others' past experiences)
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bettyspaghetti



Joined: 28 Apr 2008
Location: Seoul (Mokdong)

PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 11:49 am    Post subject: Where are the cheapest places to buy food? Reply with quote

I've read in this discussion people saying they didn't know about price comparisons when they arrived. So where are the cheapest places to buy food? I presume convenience stores will be the most expensive. I will be by a CostCo but I've never been to one here. I don't know what to expect. It looks like I won't get fully paid until 6 weeks after I start and I will have about $1000 US. Point me to the cheap food!
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ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 6:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Where are the cheapest places to buy food? Reply with quote

vanyalasagna wrote:
I've read in this discussion people saying they didn't know about price comparisons when they arrived. So where are the cheapest places to buy food? I presume convenience stores will be the most expensive. I will be by a CostCo but I've never been to one here. I don't know what to expect. It looks like I won't get fully paid until 6 weeks after I start and I will have about $1000 US. Point me to the cheap food!


Costco won't e cheaper in terms of the money spent because you have to buy larger sizes and bulk so you spend less per portion but MORE at the checkout than you would at a normal supermarket.

Fine the nearest home-plus, e-mart, kim's club or lotte-mart.

Learn to eat Korean food and things will be MUCH cheaper. Western style shopping and eating will cost you a small fortune.

.
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MSU Fan



Joined: 21 Feb 2008
Location: Lansing, MI

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I will be by a CostCo but I've never been to one here. I don't know what to expect. It looks like I won't get fully paid until 6 weeks after I start and I will have about $1000 US. Point me to the cheap food!


You should really talk with your school about getting some money sooner rather than later. I came to my school a few weeks after school started (red tape here is a b*tch), but they gave me $800 at the beginning of the month.

There are tons of places you can get food for cheap prices, but as others have said, places like E-Mart offer a better price for bulk products. It is sometimes difficult to find nacho cheese, but they have most other amenities and then some. E-mart stores feel so alive and I there seems to be an employee around every corner.

You can live off of $1,000 for 6 weeks, but you can't definitely spend it all fast if you try hard enough. I am not much of a drinker, but you can find some pretty great people at the bars here. Drinks aren't very expensive, but they add up quick after the first two beers. Try not to buy too many souvenirs, I was foolish enough doing that when I first got here. Anything you send home will be more than appreciated.
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mestuart



Joined: 24 Feb 2009

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flash Ipanema wrote:
Good to know, I use Wells Fargo too. Have you had problems using yours?

I have a Wells Fargo credit card attached to my checking account but I never use it (I only use a Bank of America Visa card for credit purchases). My check card has a Visa logo as well as Pulse, Star, Plus, Interlink and Instant Cash - it does NOT say Cirrus. Should this card work in Korea? I e-mailed my bank and they said it should, but I'm more interested in if it works in reality, not theory.


I use Wells Fargo also. Some people asked about "cash" vs. "credit" and I wasn't sure what the consensus was. I don't really want to take out a bunch of cash and convert it before I head over, but I also don't want to be stuck with nothing to eat and no way to use my check card.

I will be in Seoul for the first week and then working in Busan, so I'm assuming there will be a wide variety of stores and banks, but finding them and communicating what I need may be a different story.

Any advice on procedure would be helpful- how much should I bring in my wallet? Exchange in America or in Korea? Wells Fargo check card ok?

Thanks in advance. Cheers- Michael
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trish91198



Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Location: Jukjeon

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I brought $800USD and still have $400 of that a month later and haven't been paid yet. I've gone out every weekend, and totally enjoy myself.

-Buy food at home plus and other things at e-mart.
-Go out for local food rather than western restaurants...it's not only cheap, but very yummy...and I'm a picky eater. Or just cook at home.
-If your school offers you free lunch, take it.
-Learn to love soju...it's as cheap as a bottle of soda here. MUCH cheaper than beer, and you can mix it with just about anything to make it taste better!
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Robot_Teacher



Joined: 18 Feb 2009
Location: Robotting Around the World

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

$5,000. Enough to sink a small plastic battleship. Laughing
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zeldalee13



Joined: 08 Nov 2008
Location: Seoul, South Korea

PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should bring at least $1,000. Start up costs, even small ones, add up quickly.
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chonga



Joined: 15 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A little off topic but should I not have that much cash to take over, how would my American credit card work to hold me over the first few months?


Can I still use my American CitiCard as my primary and just link a Korean bank account to it to pay the bills?
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agoodmouse



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Location: Anyang

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

$2000.
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