Young Koreans are having an increasingly tough time making ends meet as the economic slowdown is exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak.
Even the lucky few who have managed to find work are tightening their purse strings.
One of the easiest ways to cut down on spending is to use smartphone apps that offer discounts or points that can be used as cash. Some apps help users to sell used products, while others conduct surveys for marketing purposes and award points that can be cashed in as gift coupons or vouchers at franchise or convenience stores.
Mobile payment platform Toss offers a walking-count function that give users W40 for every 10,000 steps they walk in a day in return for tracking their movements (US$1=W1,211). A staffer at Toss said, “As of December of last year, more than 16 million people had signed up, and more than half of them are in their 20s and 30s.”
Daangn Market, a marketplace for second-hand products, is rapidly gaining popularity among penny-pinching young people. The app helps subscribers to sell used products in their area, making it popular to young people who even worry about expenses for packaging and delivery.
As of October last year, the number of Daangn Market users totaled 3.31 million, surging 161 percent from a year earlier.
Kim Tae-gi at Dankook University said, “This is the sad state of young Koreans who are feeling the brunt of economic growth slowing to less than two percent.”
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