Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Where's my money???

No, no, I'm not getting screwed by my hagwon. I'm getting screwed by the economy instead. When I signed on for this job last may, they offered me a salary of 2.1 million won/ month. On May 16th, which is more or less around the time that I signed my contract, that was worth $2,024 USD. So, for 12 months, I figured I'd be making about $24,000 USD. I figured if I could save half of that, I would be able to pay off the great majority of my student loans... And life was good.

Since May, as we all know... the US economy has gone from bad to worse. The Korean government had a huge portion of thier pension funds invested in Lehman Brothers... and we all know what happend to them. Since that day, the Won has been falling. Every morning I turn on my computer to and see the headline on the Korean Herald telling me that the Won is falling lower and lower.

My mom was here visiting me this week, and I figured it would be a good idea to send home money so I don't have to pay the transfer fee. Well, I took 700,000 won out of the bank.. .I though maybe I would loose $60.00 or so. I didn't bother to do the math... I knew it was bad. But when they handed me $560.00, I kind of wanted to cry. It would of course figure that the won would start tanking as soon as I got here.

That was yesterday, when the won was at a 77 month low. Today I opened the Korean Herald to see that today it is at a 10 year low. I suppose it's a good thing I did convert my money yesterday rather than today... That means that today, my salary that they will pay me on friday will be worth: 1,506.

Let's put that another way. $1,000 won, which we generally call a dollar (because it usually is about a dollar) equals only .72 cents today. Yesterday it was worth 0.78 cents and last week it was in the 0.80 range.

That's enough to make a grown woman cry.

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