Most teachers in Korea can pretty save between
$500 - $1000 a month in Korea. You can do this while still going on day trips, or even overnight trips out of town, on a regular basis. This is because your pay will be high, while your tax rate and general expenses are very low.
Money may be a key motivator to coming to Korea. If you are like I was living in Canada, it was payday to payday. That was even with both my wife and I having solid, well-paying jobs. Yet, it was still impossible for us to get ahead. There was always something coming up such as a renovation to our house, a car repair, or a needed item. All of these expenses are gone in Korea. Not only will your lodging be paid for, you will not be comparing yourself to people who have more than you. This will limit your feeling that you need something that someone else has.
You will earn at least 2,000,000 won a month on your contract.
You will receive a severance of one months pay at the end of your contract.
At some schools you can get overtime if you want. The pay depends on the contract. Most teachers teach private lessons on the side, but they are illegal, so please be careful. Never speak of these anywhere near your school. Also, never start a private until you've been in Korea for at least 3 months, so you learn the way things work.
Utilities Electricity, water, cable TV, land phone and Internet = 120,000 won/month.
Tax rate is only 3-5%.
Housing is provided by the school.
Transportation less than 50,000 won for the month.
Food: Some schools provide free food or very inexpensive cafeteria food. Shopping, Dining Out
Total fixed expenses = 400,000 won a month.
2,000,000 won (Income) - 400,000 won (Fixed expenses) = 1,600,000 won (Disposable Income)
1,600,000 won - 600,000 won (Entertainment) = 1,000,000 won/month savings!
Start up costs:
You should plan to bring around 300,000 - 500,000 KRW with you to Korea to tide you through until the first payday. Keep in mind that you won't have any rent or utilities to pay and that your main expenses will be food and transportation related. Your visa card and bank card should work with most major bank machines and visa/mastercard will be accepted at most stores. You can always take out money as needed, but be sure to speak to your bank and advise them about your move. If you don't, they might freeze your accounts due to suspicious activity!
Some schools may be able to offer a small advance to teachers once they arrive in Korea to help during the first few days. You can discuss this option with your school once you arrive in Korea.