18 Nov 2019
Cost of living in South Korea
When moving to a new country, expats may worry about finance. The cost of living in South Korea is actually quite affordable for expats although this may vary from city to city. Living in Seoul will definitely be more expensive than in other cities, and a large proportion of the expenditure will go to housing and education.
Cost of accommodation
If your company arranges an apartment for you, you will need not to worry about the cost of accommodation. If not, you may need a bit more information about it. Firstly, if you want to live in districts like Gangnam or Hongdae, the rent will be costly when comparing to other districts far from the main districts. Secondly, you may need a real estate agent to search for an apartment, which may cost you around 10% of your rent. Thirdly, most of the landlord requires a deposit which will be returned when you move out. If you want to lower the apartment rent, you may ask for it by increasing the deposit. The amount of deposit and that of rent are negotiable in general.
Cost of Food
Dining out at Korean restaurants is inexpensive, generally, cost from 6 USD. However, if you would like to have western dishes, the price is higher with no doubt. Grocery shopping is also acceptable. For example, a carton of milk costs around 2 USD and a loaf of white bread costs you around 2.5 USD. Groceries tend to be cheaper in the local market than in the supermarket like Emart and Home Plus, but you can enjoy the free delivery if you purchase over a certain amount.
Cost of Transportation
In Seoul, you can take train or bus to almost all the places. The transportation network is sophisticated, and the fee is cheap. The basic train fare and bus far are around 1 USD. Owning a private car is also common in Korea.