Spending Recap: March 11 – 17, 2018

Sunday (3/11)
₩12,500 – Brunch with a friend.
₩44,937 – Went to the market and bought some groceries. I bought apples, Jeju Mandarin oranges (5 for ₩10,000), 4 hallabong, almond milk (24 small cartons), coffee, and ingredients for dinner (beef bulgogi).
₩9,500 – Chicken night (split with a friend)

Monday (3/12)
₩4,500 – Like always, I picked up two triangle kimbap and Starbucks coffee from the convenience store.

Tuesday (3/13)
No Spend Day!!! 

Wednesday (3/14)
No Spend Day!!!

Thursday (3/15)
No Spend Day!!!

Friday (3/16)
₩9,750 – Had dinner with a friend.
₩22,160 – I bought diaper pads for Cooper since he still has accidents. He is improving, but he still suffers from submissive anxiety. I also bought a tray of 24 steamed eggs.

Saturday (3/17)
₩5,000 – Snacks for movies. I watched three movies at home: Ace Ventura Pet Detective, Clueless, and Bad Mothers.
₩20,500 – I planned to eat dinner home but I ended up eating Vietnamese food.

No Spend Days
Current: 7
Goal: 15

Weekly total: ₩139,847
Monthly total: ₩233,147


Spending Recap: March 4 – 10, 2018

Sunday (3/4)
₩25,000 – Visited my hair salon for my monthly haircut.
₩21,000 – Went to a shabu shabu restaurant with a friend. It was all-you-can-eat. I kind of regretted going there because the meat quality was quite poor. I paid an additional ₩6,000 for unlimited meat. I would’ve been content with the extensive vegetable menu which was ₩15,000).

Monday (3/5)
₩6,300 – Before going to work, I picked up two triangle kimbap, Starbucks coffee, and two boiled eggs from the convenience store (the company doesn’t provide breakfast on Monday so I need to eat).

Tuesday (3/6)
No Spend Day!!! 

Wednesday (3/7)
No Spend Day!!!

Thursday (3/8)
No Spend Day!!!

Friday (3/9)
₩11,000 – I was planning to cook my dinner when I got home from work, but my laziness got to me. Instead, I ordered take-out.

Saturday (3/10)
No Spend Day!!! – I’m currently doing the 31-Day Minimalist Challenge, so I spent a few hours cleaning my apartment. I got rid of 10 things and did some laundry and vacuuming. After that, I went on a mini hike with my two kids and had dinner at home.

I was able to have four No Spend Days this week! Let’s see if I can keep this up. My goal is to have 15 NS Days this month. Four down, eleven to go.

Weekly total: ₩63,300 
Monthly total: ₩104,300

Spending Recap: March 1 – 3, 2018

I decided to do a review of my spending at the end of every week, just to make sure I’m always focusing on my goal.

Prior week:

Thursday (3/1)
₩20,000 – Dinner sushi (overspent. I was too stuffed – not in a good way).

Friday (3/2)
₩21,000 – American style pizza is quite expensive in Seoul. I ordered 5 large slices of pizza and split it with a friend. Delivery fee was ₩6,500). 

Maddux Pizza – https://www.trazy.com/spot/2541/maddux-pizza-restaurant-cafe

Saturday (3/3)
No spend day!!! – I basically relaxed at home. Went on a mini hike with the dogs and then cooked dinner (fried rice with garlic shrimp).


March Monthly Goal

Can you believe it? It’s already March 2018! This year is flying by fast! This month will be better financially since I’ll be working non-stop this month. I’m scheduled to work over 200 hours, which means a higher paycheck. Many people will find the hours quite intensive, however, I love my job (I will talk about my job in a later post).

March 2018 Goals:

  1. Don’t use my credit cards. This is self-explanatory. The balance of my credit cards should decrease and not increase.
  2. Put $500 towards a home down payment. I’m planning to buy a residence once I return to the US. I’m not sure where I’m going to move to yet. However, I feel that I should have some money earmarked for the down payment.
  3. Lower my debt by $1000. Again this is self-explanatory. My goal is to have no debt by the end of the year. I plan to increase this in the future.
  4. Add $500 to my emergency fund. I started an emergency fund. Just in case something happens, I’d be able to access funds immediately.
  5. Finish the 31 Day Minimalism Challenge. So far I’m five days in. I’ve donated and got rid of 15 items in my home.

No Spending Day!

I’m going to get into the habit of having more “No Spending (NS) Days.” Currently, I have 3 NS Days a week: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. During these days, I don’t spend a dime.  My bank accounts are in total lockdown. No Starbucks coffee, no trips to the convenience store, and definitely no delivery food! I can probably save $80 a week by doing this.

It definitely helps that my company provides free meals during the work week (except for Monday breakfast and Friday dinner). I work and live in my company’s training center, so everything is provided, meals, coffee and snacks, and accommodation. The meals prepared are all nutritionist-approved, so I don’t have to worry about getting fat. I just have to worry about indulging myself to the unlimited side dishes and rice that the cafeteria serves.  Occasionally, I will buy some fruit (hallabongs or tangerines) and take it with me to work if I’m craving it.

This year, I made it a goal of mine to pay off all my credit card debt this year, so deciding to add two more No Spending Day this month will help me achieve it.

My living expenses in Korea

I really want to share how much my fixed expenses are in Korea.  My lifestyle is quite different from most expats here in Korea. Most expats here are either young, teachers or exchange students, who will stay here for one to two years max. Some come here to travel, party, or stalk their favorite K-pop celebrities. As for me, I’m a little bit older at 31 and not really into nightlife activities. I pretty much passed my “party” phase years ago. I would rather just hang out with a few friends at a restaurant or just relax at home. I’ve been here for more than six years so I’m pretty much settled here.

I’m estimating everything because I don’t really record all my transactions. Maybe I will start recording my expenses so that you can see how much I spend on a daily basis.

  • Food/groceries/coffee – ₩100,000~200,000
    • All my meals are provided at work from Monday to Friday, which means I can save a lot of money! However, I do splurge on the weekends.
  • Transportation – ₩20,000~₩30,000
    • I’m basically on a “business trip” every week. I usually stay at that location from Monday to Friday. My company provides a free shuttle to the location on Monday and then back to Seoul on Friday.
  • Rent – ₩500,000
    • The total rent is ₩900,000. This includes my maintenance fee and internet/cable. It’s a two bedroom apartment, so I’m renting out one of the rooms to a friend of mine.
  • Gas: ₩15,000~₩60,000
    • The amount depends on the season.
  • Electricity: ₩10,000~₩60,000
    • Again, the amount depends on the season.
  • Water – ₩7,500
    • I pay about ₩15,000 every other month.
  • Phone – ₩50,000
    • Unlimited data, no contract
    • I use an “old” Samsung Galaxy S7.
  • Pet food – ₩70,000
    • I have 2 rescue dogs. One miniature poodle named Teddy and a toy poodle named Cooper.
  • Entertainment/games/books – ₩50,000~₩100,000
    • I usually buy 1 book a month and go out with friends 2-3 times a month. I don’t watch movies in the theaters.
  • Haircut – ₩25,000
    • I get a haircut every month. This is a little expensive for a basic haircut, but I really my salon’s service.
  • Condo – ₩330,000
    • I bought a condo in the Philippines in October 2015. I’m currently paying the down payment. The condo will be completed later this year.


Focusing on my financials

I’ve decided to use this blog to record and outline my financial goals. I got really inspired by reading other financial blogs and seeing ordinary people succeed. For me, it’s good to have my financial profile out to the public – no more secrets (debt, income, savings plan, etc.). It makes me feel good that I’m actively working to improve my way of life. I’ll still create posts and answer questions about my life in Korea.

Brief information about me:

  • I live in Seoul, Korea
  • I’m a long-term resident (F-2-7 visa).
  • I have an MBA from a Korean university.
  • I’m working as a corporate trainer.
  • My annual salary is about ₩60,000,000 ($55,500 USD) before taxes.

My financial profile:

  • I have no student loans.
  • I have about $10,605 (USD) in credit card debt (interest rate is about 3%).
  • I have ₩30,797,091 ($28,459.11) in stocks.
  • I have about ₩4,500,000 ($4,158.52) in my checking account.
  • I have ₩15,000,000 ($13,860.58) deposited with my landlord. I will get this back once my housing contract ends (January 2019).