5 Ways to save Money in Korea
No doubt Korea is a cheap place to live and a place you can earn lots of money, however too often we seem to see our pay checks melt away. Check out our top five tips to stop the rot.
1. Eat Korean Food
All those little western food treats add up. Eating out at a Western restaurant will cost you in excess of 13,000 won. Even if you only do that twice a week it's still costing you a minimum of 104,000 won per month! If you must go out and eat then learn a little Korean and eat the local food, it will cost you less than half the price and taste better. We've all been more than slightly disappointed after ordering a burger and chips in Korea. Lets face it Korean's know how to cook Korean food a lot better than they do Western foods.
2. Eat locally, eat at Home
Even 5,000 won is expensive when you look at home little you can eat for if you cook yourself. This is especially true if you cook Korean food at home, if you're stuck for ideas see our page of tasty Korean recipes. Western goods like cheese and bagels can really start to add up. That tiny block of cheese you bought last week could have been three whole meals instead! Cooking with other people is not only social and fun but means that you have less waste and save even more. If this is not an option for you then cook in bulk and freeze food to eat during the week, you'll save time and money.
3. Shop at the Right Places
Local markets will always be cheaper than Lotte Mart and Homeplus for vegetables, meat and eggs. Plan ahead, buy dried foods in bulk and avoid going to the local 7/11 every day. Also check out online shopping for cheap food, iherb.com and emart are two of the best places to look, it also saves you carrying it.
4. Cut out Alcohol and Coffee
Sometimes we must point out the obvious; alcohol is expensive. Drinking less easier said than done for a lot of people but this is the single biggest factor that will make a difference to how much money you have to take home at the end of the year. A take out coffee a day will be costing you at least 120,000 won per month, enough said.
5. Get a Housing Allowance in your Contract
Many teachers agree a housing allowance and then find a cheap place and pocket the difference. This can be a pain if you don't have the key deposit up front as many schools are unwilling to pay this, but everything is negociable. This can be particually profitable if you live with your partner and you both teachers. See our section on negotiating your contract for tips on how to get this.