Teaching abroad can be a fun and rewarding experience. You get to take part in a new culture, food, and lifestyle, all while helping others by teaching the English language to students abroad. With this opportunity, there are also added perks, including the chance to save a significant amount of money. Are you thinking about teaching in Korea and want to make the most out of your savings potential? Take a look below, for some helpful tips on how to save $10,000 teaching English in Korea.
Consider Taking a Rural Position
If you’re open to living somewhere other than Seoul, you may want to consider living rurally. This can make it easier to spend less because you won’t be as tempted by all of the shops and foreigner bars and restaurants. This can also give you more time to focus on other projects and hobbies. Many small towns in Korea are easily accessible to other cities, making it possible for you to travel for a fun weekend away.
Don’t assume that the only place to be is Seoul! There are many great small towns in Korea, where you can live a good life, make great friendships, and save money.
Take a Position with Provided Accommodation
Most teaching positions in South Korea include free accommodation or offer a set housing allowance. Make sure that you’re searching for opportunities that offer this perk! This can save a lot of money. In most situations, you will only have to pay for your utility costs, which leaves a lot of extra room for savings opportunities! Most utility costs (unless you have oil heat – which is rare!) are very low.
It’s important to note that some teaching jobs don’t include free housing – so be careful to look for positions that offer this.
Minimize Your Nights Out
Sure it’s fun to go out with friends and have a good time, but it can quickly add up if you do this all the time If you want to save more money, consider spending some time away from bars. There are other options to have fun, including fun evenings at home. In Korea, it’s even legal and quite common to drink outside of convenience stores, which can make for an inexpensive night.
If you’re looking to trim costs, you may want to only go out on the weekends or a few times a month. This can keep you from overspending and can also help to minimize hangovers—because who actually enjoys feeling like crap the next day?!
Take Advantage of Online Ordering
Online ordering is Korea is convenient and fast! In most cases, once I place an order online, I’m able to receive a countrywide package within 1-2 days! This service can make it easier to save money on your regular purchases. You can find many of the same things that you get at the grocery store online, and then you don’t have to lug it back to your house – this is a great option if you buy a lot of juices and water bottles.
This can also save money because you can find many harder-to-find items, which may normally require you to make a far trip to Seoul, or another city. iHerb.com, for example, is a great website to order your favorite foods and health products from home. These items are shipped from California at a low cost and often arrive to Korea within a week! This is what I used to stock up on all of my peanut butter! (OK, I have a problem!!)
Create a Monthly Savings Plan – And Stick to it!
It can be helpful to set a monthly savings plan so that you follow through with your intentions. Take some time to come up with an amount that you can comfortably save each month and set it aside on payday. Make sure that you leave enough wiggle room so that you don’t struggle to pay your bills and also make sure that you do allow yourself to have some fun money, as well. It’s important to still have some fun!
For me personally, I decided to set the equivalent of $1,000 USD aside on the months that I didn’t travel abroad. This ended up allowing me to save 8 months out of my 12 months contract, or $8,000. At the end of my first I contract, I was also entitled to $4,000 from my pension and severance pay, bringing my total savings to $12,000. It’s possible!
Yes, it’s possible to save and still travel during a year of teaching in South Korea. To keep up with your savings goal, it’s important that you travel smart! When possible, take advantage of travel within South Korea. Transportation by bus and subway is very inexpensive. You can also find affordable accommodation throughout the country.
If you do want to take advantage of the opportunity to travel overseas, make sure that you stick with a set plan. Before your trip, outline how much you’d like to spend. Use this goal as a guideline when choosing accommodation, transportation, and food and drinks. There are many wonderful and inexpensive places to visit! Even the more expensive places can be done if you travel smart!
A year contract teaching abroad can offer the opportunity of a lifetime – the chance to explore a new culture, travel within Korea and internationally, many new experiences, and the opportunity to save money! If you want to leave Korea with a good savings fund, follow the above tips so that you’re able to successfully save $10,000 teaching English in Korea.