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Managing Finances: Cost of Living Insights for US Military in Pyeongtaek, South Korea


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Being stationed in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, presents unique financial considerations. Understanding the cost of living can help you manage your finances effectively and make the most of your time (and money) in South Korea.



Housing Options at Camp Humphreys


The Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA) covers rent and utility costs, with amounts varying based on rank, family status, and the KRW exchange rate. Command-sponsored families are allowed 50% of their normal weight allowance, while unaccompanied personnel get 25%, with government-provided appliances and furniture. If you bring dependents without command sponsorship, you won’t be entitled to OHA and may incur out-of-pocket expenses.

Type of Housing

Details

Army Family Housing (AFH)

Command-sponsored dependents are assigned AFH units first. On-post housing accommodates 40% of CSP; 60% reside off-post in private rental housing.

On-Post AFH

Three-, four-, or five-bedroom apartments. Duplexes and single-family units for O6 and above. Tower/apartment buildings for O5 and below. Fully furnished.

Senior Leader Quarters (SLQ)

For unaccompanied personnel E7 and above. Efficiency apartments with essential furnishings. No pets allowed.

Barracks

For E6 and below, configured as one-plus-one standard. No pets allowed.

Off-Post Housing

Available in various configurations. Built to American standards. Includes loaner furniture and essential appliances.

Groceries in Pyeongtaek


The cost of groceries in South Korea is generally lower than in the United States, although produce is often limited to what's in-season and meats can be more expensive.

Item

Avg. Price in USD

Avg. Price in KRW

Milk, 1 L

$2.02

2,600 KRW

Bread, 0.5 kg

$3.27

4,200 KRW

Eggs, x12

$2.98

3,800 KRW

Chicken Breast, 1 kg

$6.12

7,900 KRW

Apples, 1 kg

$6.14

7,900 KRW

Potatoes, 1 kg

$3.16

4,100 KRW

Eating Out in Pyeongtaek


Because dining out is an integral part of Korean culture, restaurants are often cheaper than in the US--especially considering there is no tip expected.

Item

Avg. Price in USD

Avg. Price in KRW

Breakfast/Lunch (For 1)

$6.43

8,000 KRW

Dinner (For 2)

$34.10

42,400 KRW

Fast Food (For 1)

$5.25

6,600 KRW

Beer (Restaurant/Bar)

$2.98

3,700 KRW

Coffee (Cafe)

$3.40

4,200 KRW

Soda (Restaurant)

$1.44

2,000 KRW

Cost of Transportation in Pyeongtaek


Transportation in Korea is fast, reliable, and affordable.

Transportation

Details

Avg. Price in USD

Avg. Price in KRW

Taxis

Base fare for the first 1.8 km. Additional cost of $0.08 per 104 meters or 25 seconds after.

$3.75

4,800 KRW

Buses to Seoul

Run every thirty minutes from Pyeongtaek Terminal. Travel time is about 50 to 60 minutes.

$4.70 - $6.10

6,100 - 7,900 KRW

City Buses

Flat rate with transfers allowed within 30 minutes (1 hour for late night transfers).

$1.15

1,500 KRW

Gasoline


Gasoline prices in Korea are around $4.30 per gallon (1,600 KRW per liter).


Phones and Mobile Costs


Internet and mobile phone costs in Korea are comparable to the US, with bundled packages available. A typical phone plan with calls and 10GB+ data costs around $53 (69,000 KRW).


Check out the main telecom providers and their (English) websites below.


KT | SK | LGU+


Save and Manage Money in Korea

Used Goods Markets: Take advantage of sites like Facebook MarketplaceCraigslistKarrot Market, and Beongaejangteo for great deals on used goods. Budgeting Apps: If you haven't already, now is a great time to start using personal finance budgeting apps like EveryDollar, Plum, or Fudget.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA)?

Will I need a car to get around in Pyeongtaek? 

Can I bring my own appliances to Korea?

How much should I budget for living in South Korea alone?

How much should I budget for living in South Korea with a family?


Managing your finances in South Korea involves understanding housing costs, dining expenses, transportation options, and more. By planning ahead and utilizing available resources, you can ensure a smooth and financially stable stay.


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