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How much money did you bring with you?
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greasypeanut



Joined: 28 Apr 2009
Location: songtan

PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i was given $2000 from my parents Very Happy plus what i have in my bofa account...prolly amounts to something like $2050 haha
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molotovwars



Joined: 17 May 2009

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking I'd bring around $1500 in cash with other money available on my debit card, but I am trying to figure out if I should exchange my money into won ahead of time?

What is the best way to go about it as far as exchange rates? I found topics about sending money home from Korea, but not about exchanging money before I go to Korea. Should I exchange at home in the US or in Korea? Maybe I'll get like $500 exchanged ahead of time and then exchange another $1000 in Korea at a better rate?
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thoreau



Joined: 21 Jun 2009

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

molotovwars wrote:
I was thinking I'd bring around $1500 in cash with other money available on my debit card, but I am trying to figure out if I should exchange my money into won ahead of time?

What is the best way to go about it as far as exchange rates? I found topics about sending money home from Korea, but not about exchanging money before I go to Korea. Should I exchange at home in the US or in Korea? Maybe I'll get like $500 exchanged ahead of time and then exchange another $1000 in Korea at a better rate?


Just exchange it at the airport when you arrive.
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Chambertin



Joined: 07 Jun 2009
Location: Gunsan

PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I exchanged at the airport in Incheon. Not a bad way.

Inside the magic glass doors saves you a few pennies. Outside there are more counters, but not as good as of a rate.

Amazingly the local banks in Korea are very friendly to exchange rates, as good as or better than the Airport. That was news to me.

US side for exchanging currency is terrible wherever you go. Unless you regularly exchange millions with the major bank.

My final advice is to exchange some at the airport before you leave customs then trade the rest with a larger bank locally. They get to see your face at the local bank that you will likely do business with, you get the few bucks you need to survive and not so much you go crazy your first few days.

Then again, it may be best to go with the most recent advice from a person who joined long ago and posted recently. That I am not.
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rickig



Joined: 14 Oct 2008
Location: Soon to be anyang

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I came here with 300 USD because when I was coming they charged me 300 dollars for my heavy luggage. Soo that lasted a bit then Monday I was given my settlement allowance. I was very excited but that lasted me till payday when I was reimbursed. Also I had some money transferred 150 i think from my American account. But by the time it came i had my paycheck sooo it didn't matter.
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mlh53059



Joined: 15 Jul 2009
Location: Busan

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I came here with 500 dollars American and it has lasted me until now (almost a month) - I get paid this upcoming Friday and I still have a little left over. I have gone out to the bars around here 3 times in this last month and have gone sightseeing a few times. The buses are cheap, and so are taxis at least in Gyeongju (an hour outside of Busan). The food is even cheaper depending on what you order and so is the booze. I'd say one could live off 500 dollars here starting out - but you just have to be conscious of your money. I'm not even talking about a budget for every little thing you plan on buying - just no big purchases the first month you are here until you get a feel for how much things really are. I would bring the average of what most people say that have spent here in a month with what the lowest people say they can live off of here. Like I said, I lived off 500 dollars comfortably.
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carpenocturne



Joined: 25 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 1:11 am    Post subject: thanks! Reply with quote

Great advice all around! I'll definitely bring $1k just to be safe. What kinds of Korean cuisine will be easiest on the wallet?
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chonga



Joined: 15 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Believe or not I am getting by with $100 USD for my first month.

How? Well they gave me an envelope with 300k won in it the minute I got off the plane. That lasted a good 2 weeks to buy essentials and food. Then got another 150k won at the end of the week as my salary as it was almost the end of the month when i arrived. So then I had 1.3m won put into my bank account the following week. All of this along with my $100 USD I converted is a good bit for my first month.

So depending on what day of the month you arrive and what you get up front it can be easy
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jdunca12



Joined: 06 Oct 2009

PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am actually going to be selling my desktop and car here in the U.S. to get me by for the first month there. This will allow me to pickup a laptop once I get there.
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chonga



Joined: 15 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jdunca12 wrote:
I am actually going to be selling my desktop and car here in the U.S. to get me by for the first month there. This will allow me to pickup a laptop once I get there.


Hey you may want to buy a laptop back in the states.

My laptop now that I purchased off of newegg for $659 is $1.3m won here in Korea..... almost double
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jdunca12



Joined: 06 Oct 2009

PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chonga wrote:
jdunca12 wrote:
I am actually going to be selling my desktop and car here in the U.S. to get me by for the first month there. This will allow me to pickup a laptop once I get there.


Hey you may want to buy a laptop back in the states.

My laptop now that I purchased off of newegg for $659 is $1.3m won here in Korea..... almost double


Thanks for the heads up, I guess I'll have to stop by BestBuy.
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marina_ballerina



Joined: 19 Jul 2009
Location: Nowon, S. Korea

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I brought $1000 USD, which was pretty comfortable, and allowed me to make all the mistakes that newcomers will.
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onlyinkorea87



Joined: 16 Feb 2010
Location: Gimhae

PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Same, I brought 1,000USD. But it went very quick. I also had to buy a ton of necessities like food and bedding which is quite costly. During the first two/three weeks I drank up some of the remaining money choosing to go out almost every night. So be wary of bar hopping too much--you'll be out of money in no time. Everyone I knew that came with the same amount as me were hopping to get their first severance allowance of 300,000 to hold them over until real pay checks arrived..just be wise about spending habits.

It's also very possible to save a good amount of money if you don't have loans/bills to pay back home. My first paycheck along with my 1.3mil allowance I got a laptop (LG Mini Icecream, 730,000 won) and a guitar (Se Jong, came with a tuner/amp connection, a hard case, soft case, picks, strings and strap for 470,000 won) on the same day. The next day I bought a digital camera (Samsung 255,000 won). So it's possible to live reasonably and pay bills back home if you have them.
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irishcailin



Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Location: Wandering aimlessly around La Festa!

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ive been her 1 month and still havent ARC yet.
Luckily for me im living off my Sister who is married here.
Ker-ching!
Though im sure she will want to be re-imbursed someday!
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AsiaESLbound



Joined: 07 Jan 2010
Location: Truck Stop Missouri

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I already spent $600 in less than a week. There are initial costs and you can't bank on getting that 300,000 won settlement allowance as stated in your contract. I'm having problems there as they don't want to pay and giving excuses such as new finance system preventing payment.
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