Cost of Living in Korea

admin September 10, 2014 0

The cost of living in Korea depends on locations. Korea is not as costly as most European countries, America and Japan. One of the easiest ways of saving money is to work as an English teacher. Korea is a place where most things are cheap. However, eating out cost varies a lot and cost of living for a family as compared to that of an individual student also varies.


A great advantage for foreigners willing to teach English in Korea is cheap to almost free housing. One of the biggest issues of getting housing here is the upfront deposit which can be as high as 10 million won for a small studio apartment. The higher this deposit, the lower is the monthly rent. Jeonse is an alternative where one pays a huge deposit and thereafter need not pay rent. For those looking for a cheap option and also willing to hazard staying with strangers, one can look up listings for sub lets and shared rooms.

Relatively cheap housing can also be found in Itaewon area of Seoul, where a 3 bedroom home is available for a monthly rent of 900,000 won. A lot of rooms provided come with a flat maintenance charge, also known as gwalibi. This ranges between 40,000 won to 100,000 won for small homes to the more luxurious options. In Goshiwon four years ago, rent was about 200,000 to 300,000 for a small room with no food and hasukjip costs 300,000 to 500,000 won a month for a one room with food.


Prices at supermarkets for Milk are about 2500 won/litre, Eggs – 4000 won/dozen, shampoo – 6,000 won , toothpaste – 4000. Domestic beer (0.5 litre)  costs range between 2500-3500 as compared to imported (0.33 litre) 3300 to 6000.


Travelling cost for a student ranges between 50,000 to 100,000 a month. A typical bus ride costs about 1000 won/ ride, train a 1000 won/person for the first 10 Km. Taxi rides are pretty cheap and cost as low as 20,000 won from one end of the city to the other.


The usual monthly expenses for a bachelor student range 200,000 whereas for a family ranges about 500,000. Coke or Pepsi costs about 1100 to 2000 won for a 0.33 litre bottle and imported beer 3500 to 5000 won.


A very harsh cold hits Korea during the beginning and end of the year. This results in high heating bills. A heating bill ranges about 100,000 won in a low to mid area, however in case of slightly above average use, the bill could easily escalate to 200,000 won. Many people opt for a fan heater instead of the more expensive option of a boiler. A summer air conditioning bill for a one bedroom apartment is usually about 100,000 won.
Internet and Cable television charges for a month range to about 35,000 won a month. Internet cost per month is about 20,000 to 40,000 max. A typical contract for a smart phone costs a monthly 60,000 won. This can vary depending on the kind of plan selected. Visit to a doctor ranges 5000 to 10000 a month. Maintenance – Electricity, Water and Gas ranges about 100000 to 200000.


Meals at an inexpensive restaurant range 5000 to 8000; whereas a mid range two course meal ranges about 25K to 45K. A combo meal at McDonalds ranges 5500 to 7000.

As such eating out can be as low as 4000-8000 won if one sticks to Korean restaurants whereas beer in an eatery might cost 5000 won. Game centres charge about 500 won per game.

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