is 1 million won a lot in korea

Living in a new country can come with its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to understanding the local currency and cost of living. As an expat in South Korea, one of the most common questions I hear from fellow expats and tourists alike is whether 1 million won is a lot in Korea. In this article, I will explore the value of 1 million won in Korea and provide insights into the cost of living, expenses, and lifestyle that can be sustained with this amount of money.

The Value of 1 Million Won

1 million won may seem like a substantial amount of money at first glance, but it’s important to consider the exchange rate and purchasing power in Korea. As of the time of writing, 1 million South Korean won is equivalent to approximately 855 US dollars. While this may seem like a sizeable sum, it’s crucial to understand how far this amount can go in terms of covering daily expenses, rent, and leisure activities in Korea.

Cost of Living in Korea

South Korea’s cost of living can vary depending on the city, with Seoul being the most expensive and other cities being more affordable. Generally, housing, groceries, transportation, and healthcare are the primary expenses to consider when assessing the cost of living in Korea. While 1 million won can cover basic expenses for a month, it’s essential to budget carefully and prioritize necessities to avoid overspending.

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Expenses that 1 Million Won Can Cover

With 1 million won, an individual can cover the cost of rent in a shared apartment or studio in cities outside of Seoul. Additionally, groceries for a month and basic utilities such as electricity, water, and internet can be managed within this budget. Transportation expenses, including public transit and occasional taxi rides, can also be accommodated with this amount of money. However, discretionary spending on entertainment, dining out, and travel may be limited with 1 million won.

Comparing 1 Million Won in Korea to Other Countries

To put things into perspective, comparing the value of 1 million won in Korea to other countries can provide a clearer understanding of its purchasing power. In many Western countries, 1 million won may not stretch as far due to higher costs of living and currency exchange rates. However, in Southeast Asian countries or parts of Eastern Europe, 1 million won could be considered a substantial sum of money.


While 1 million won may not be a vast amount of money, it can cover essential expenses and provide a comfortable lifestyle for individuals living in South Korea. Understanding the purchasing power and cost of living is crucial for managing finances and making informed decisions about budgeting and spending. By budgeting wisely and prioritizing expenses, individuals can make the most of 1 million won and enjoy their time in this beautiful country.


1. Is 1 million won enough to live comfortably in Korea?

1 million won can cover basic expenses and provide a relatively comfortable lifestyle in Korea, especially outside of Seoul. However, discretionary spending may be limited with this budget.

2. Can 1 million won cover rent in Seoul?

While 1 million won can cover rent in shared accommodations or studios outside of Seoul, it may be challenging to find affordable housing within this budget in the heart of Seoul.

3. What are the primary expenses to consider when budgeting with 1 million won?

When budgeting with 1 million won, individuals should prioritize expenses such as rent, groceries, utilities, and transportation, while being mindful of discretionary spending on entertainment and dining out.

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4. How does the cost of living in Korea compare to other countries?

The cost of living in Korea can vary depending on the city, but generally falls within a mid-range compared to other countries. Western countries tend to have higher costs of living, while Southeast Asian countries and parts of Eastern Europe may offer more affordability.

5. What are some tips for managing finances with 1 million won in Korea?

To make the most of 1 million won in Korea, it’s essential to budget wisely, prioritize expenses, and be mindful of discretionary spending. Seeking out affordable leisure activities and dining options can also help stretch the budget further.