saving money

Find a Job Teaching English in Korea Through the Red Dragon Diaries

Three years have come and gone. I’m still here in Korea, and my time here has been filled with so many events and happenings, I can’t even begin to recall them.

One thing is for sure though, I started this blog while I was sitting in my dorm room for orientation and somehow I kept it going this long. I also made a bunch of videos on YouTube. If there’s one thing that the blog and YouTube channel did is they brought in many questions and comments from prospective teachers about how they too could get started teaching abroad in a country like South Korea.

How to Stretch Your Won and Save Money While Living in Seoul


Recently, I quit my job as an English teacher and decided to study Korean full-time as a university student.  I had forgotten what it was like to live without a steady income and it didn't take me long to realize that my habits of frivolous spending had to come to an end. For good.

You see, when you live in Seoul, especially if you're teaching English, it's easy to throw around money and not even realize you're spending it.  Between nights out bar hopping in Hongdae, dinners at upscale restaurants in Itaewon, daily morning coffee at Starbucks, and shopping dates on Garuso-gil, it's not difficult to blow half of one's salary in just a few weeks.  Of course, since most English teachers do not pay rent or car insurance or any other "grown up" bills that they would otherwise pay in their home countries, saving money isn't much of a challenge, either.

Sending Money Home with Wire Transfers

It's come time for me to finally send money back home.  I've been procrastinating the task for quite some time, but I decided to just get it over with.  Not knowing where to start, I went to the administrative office of my school and asked for some direction.  I usually go to them for things like this since they are responsible for making withdrawals from my account for lunch and just overall dealing with the Busan Office of Education.  They also speak English very well!

Saving Money Tips: TBS eFM Radio Interview

The great people at TBS eFM "This Morning" show in Seoul had contacted me about money saving tips for foreigners living in Korea.  They had found my blog post about the same topic and wanted to talk about it more ON AIR for their foreign listeners.

How Much Can You SAVE Teaching in Korea?

Through my YouTube channel, I receive many questions about the financial side of teaching English in Korea.  Many people look briefly at the benefits package and wonder if the numbers will allow one to "get by" or even save some money.  I even wondered the same thing myself when I started the whole process.  Now I've been in Korea for over a year and a half and I can say with confidence that you will be pleasantly surprised.

In this vlog, I break down the "average" teachers income and monthly expenditures and how it all comes out in the end - including bonuses and all.  EPIK is possibly one of the best English programs in the world by any standard, and they show that they want to take care of their teachers.

Have a look.  Heeeeeere's the video!

Gmarket Finds!

As I mentioned before, I LOVE Gmarket! I was never at all an internet shopper before I came to Korea, but wow- now I definitely am! I would even say that Gmarket is one of my favourite things about Korea, haha!

This page will list products I’ve found on Gmarket that I use, or I think are a good price.

Income and Expenses of an ESL Teacher in South Korea

Before I came to Korea, I always wondered what the real financial situation would be like.  I heard varying stories, but by and large I always heard that people could live cheaply and save some money.  Now that I'm closing out my first year I can actually speak to what income and expenses for the average ESL teacher will be like.  I also made a 2 part video on my Youtube Channel that also breaks down the basics of what my own personal finances are like.

Your Income:

Life in Korea: living cheaply to save won

Author’s note: ‘Life in Korea’ posts are written with the newer expats among us in mind. If you have a more experienced view to offer, comments are wide open.

Life in Korea doesn’t have to be expensive – in fact, people can live quite cheaply thanks to a good salary and a low cost of living. Think about it: your three biggest expenses back home (for most) were your apartment, your car, and your food. Here in Dae Han Min Guk, your apartment is (probably) free, your car is public transportation, and your food is probably a lot cheaper than at home. Of the two million Korean won (or more) you make every month, there’s no reason why you can’t save up to half of your salary with a little bit of discipline and forethought.


5 Tips for Making it to Your First Paycheck

Your First Month’s Finances

pig on hand

You read all about the great money you can making teaching in Korea. But you arrive only to find yourself scraping the bottom of your savings account (and countless bowls of ramen) during your first month. But why this ironic dilemma? South Korean employers pay only once per month–usually on the 10th. To make matters worse, they usually won’t give you a partial paycheck if you start work before the 10th; rather, they’ll roll it into your next month’s pay. Add to this the time it takes to register for an Alien Registration Card and bank account, and you’re looking at about a month and a half from when you arrive in Korea to when you first get paid!

How Much Money Can I Save Teaching in Korea?

People who come to Korea to teach English tend to be serious about saving money and/or paying off debt.  And for good reason: Korea offers the most opportunities to make a lot and live on a little of any country hiring English teachers.  So how much exactly can you expect to save?

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