13 Ways to Save Money in Korea!

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Are you traveling in Korea but on a tight budget? Whatever lifestyle you may have, saving money in Korea can be a cinch if you follow some of these simple tips! :D

 

1.) Use your brain and think!:

It’s hard, we know it :( but this is the best tip we can give to you. Living or travelling in Korea doesn’t have to be expensive. If you eat out at Outback Steakhouse everyday, or shop at Lotte Mall, then yes, it can get expensive. Seoul is only more expensive because it has a lot of expensive places to eat and shop from! Seoul isn’t really more expensive, just choose your destiny wisely.

 

 

2.) Cool it on the heat:

Wrap yourself in layers, long johns (aka thermal underwear), layered shirts, newspapers… whatever you can do! This is a bare minimum as some of the winter days can get really cold! Heating in Korea can get super expensive and you might get confused whether your next heating bill is the actual price or the staff’s phone number. Make sure to check out our article on how to survive the cold Korean winters!

 

 

3.) Learn to eat Korean food:

If you love eating out and constantly eating Western style foods, then you’re probably wasting money like no other. Korean food is down right cheap. Try to stay away from steaks, burgers, and delicious deserts. You can USUALLY get a super delicious meal for less than 5,000 won! Plus, Korean food is way healthier.

Random fact: did you know that Kimchi has cancer and other disease fighting properties?!

 

4.) Limit yourself on coffee and sweets:

Korea is well known for its cafes. If you are a coffee guy or gal, this one might be hard; however, you’d be surprised on how much money you can save by cutting down on those sweets. If you can’t, make your own coffee or just go out maybe once a week for coffee. Just remember, one coffee can be as much as a meal!

 

 

 

5.) Save money by buying yourself a Korean Rail (KR) Pass!:

If you’re in Korea, you are most definitely going to be traveling around the country. If you are traveling by rail, it can get very pricey. The KR pass allows you to travel an unlimited number of times for a certain amount of days, including all KTX express trains. More details here.

 

 

 

6.) Learn to say NO to alcohol!:

Drinking is a favorite past time and a big part of culture for both Koreans and foreigners. If you plan accordingly, you can save yourself a lot of money if you limit yourself to drinking only a few times a month! So before you go out and get wasted in Korea, leave your wallet at home on purpose – then you will have no choice but to say no!

 

 

7.) Shop smart (or smarter :P):

Okay, one reason you might come to Korea is because of the fashion. You can essentially get the same style of clothing from an ‘underground’ shopping center as opposed to buying clothes at a department store here in Korea. The best places to buy cheap clothing would be Dongdaemun market, Namdaemun market, Myeongdong and the cheapest; online – such as Gmarket (the Amazon.com of Korea).

 

 

8.) Coupon services:

Make sure to bookmark this super mega awesome coupon service website (this website will be back and running after February). Also, if you’re in Korea from January to February, Korea has an annual sale labeled as the, “Korea Grand Sale,” which is a sale that almost every store in Korea participates in (even the independent shops!).

About Eric Huh

6 comments

  1. 박팀

    Save on getting an internet connection at your apartment, tether your phone to your computer via wifi or USB and use that instead.

  2. Anna Ellis

    One can save a ton of money by simply taking the Express bus instead of the train. :D

    (For example, it costs me only 12200 KRW one way to Seoul from Jeonju instead of an upwards of 30,000 KRW for the train.)

  3. 14. Shop at traditional markets or farms instead of grocery stores for veggies and fruit. More organic, fresher, and cheaper!

    15. Know Korean and chat up (being friendly) the 아추머니 at a smaller place and you can get a better price.

    16. Use your newly found Korean knowledge to haggle.

    17. Make friends in Korea. It’s cheaper to split meals.

    18. Eat kimbap. That will fill you up and it is so cheap to buy it at a G24 or make at home. It’s a good breakfast

    19. Avoid anything targeting foreigners and/or tourists. They will usually be more expensive services/items.

    20. NEVER TAKE KTX! Take the bus. So much cheaper.

  4. Chris Sponagle

    How much would a gym membership cost you in the Seoul area? I’m sure there’s a wide range of prices but how much would a more low-budget option be?

  5. my lov jaejoong

  6. Tina

    may ask how much gms of gold is 1000 won?