Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cost of Living Comparing Clams as in Croods

On Monday, I met with Andy Kim, my best gyeopo friend.

We talked about many things since it was quite unbelievable we were able to meet up in Seoul if at all. Well that's another story.

One thing we got going was cost of living. To simplify it all, we thought in terms of Croods, or life as a caveman would think of. It's not about converting or not-converting the currencies, but thinking in terms of absolute number of nominal clams given or earned in a month as a basic time frame.

On low to mid average, one could earn about 1 500 000 won to 2 000 000 won per month, lowest minimum hourly wage is 5120 won per hour. That gives the lowest ranked convenience store clerk a total of 800 000 won per month. Simplifying to clams (ie. removing the thousand zeros since most items are quote within that scope), we have 1500 to 2000 clams.

Looking at Malaysia, perhaps a low to mid average job, one could earn 1500 ringgit to 2000 ringgit. So given that now we are looking at a absolute value of clams, it would be 1500 to 2000 clams. As well. Same. Similar.

Now comparing daily apples and oranges, durians and bananas:
In Seoul city:
Transport: 2 clams (1 to go, 1 to return)
Per month transport: 30 x 2 = 60 clams
bibimbap 5 clams
donkatsu 6 clams
Burger King Meal 4 clams

Cheap food:
kimbap 1.5 clams (from Kimbap Chunguk or even convenience stores)
dosirak boxed meal 2.8 clams to 4.5 clams

Per month food: 300-450 clams

700 clams for room in a shared apartment

In KL city:
Transport: more than 10 clams (usually would need at least 2 transfers there's virtually no direct bus to residential, thus the most common usage is using car) By car, that would add to a pretty hefty bill of at least 10 clams per day. If one were to live at the subway station, it's must higher rental.

Per month transport: 300 clams minimum

mixed rice 6 clams
donkatsu 15 clams
Burger King Meal 6 clams (the special Grilled Chicken set, else other sets are close to 10 clams)

Cheap food:
nasi lemak kosong 1.5 clams

Per month food: 300-450 clams

700 clams for a full one-room apartment

End of the month, due to the cost of transportation, it is likely the low average Seoulite will still have more clams left than in KL city. Just from the basis of transportation, there is a difference of at least 240 clams and generally more, since car loan and petrol would easily be over 600-1000 clams per month.

Seoulite possible savings: 2000-700-450-60
= 790 clams

KL-lite possible savings: 2000-700-450-300
= 550 clams

Now extrapolate the minimum monthly possible savings to a year.
Seoulite = 790 x 12 = 9480 clams
KL = 550 x 12 = 6600 clams

Now finally execute a conversion function of KRW value to ringgit 3 to 1.
Seoulite =  28440
KL =  6600

That's a ratio factor of 4.3.

In the middle of city central, the price is still same or even lower than Bukit Bintang for common food.


In SEOUL: You can have your ice cream, choose the colour of the cone and eat them without it melting
- philosophically speaking.
TTMIK - Talk TO Me In Korean segment on Cost of Living In Korea.

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