Money, money, money
My goal, this year, was to get by on $30/day (outside of my flights and insurance). I did really well for the first 5 or 6 months, and then things went downhill, or uphill…. or…. whatever direction — all I know is I spent more money!
Here is what I did not spend money on:
- Tourist restaurants – for the most part I avoided them, especially since the food was way better at the local places!
- Taxis – I just walked everywhere for the most part
- New clothes and shoes
- Laundry – I probably paid for laundry service no more than 10 times this past year. Ok, maybe 15. I got really good at washing my clothes in the shower (the trick? Wear your pants into the shower to wash them!)
- Gifts. Yes, I know that it would have been nice to bring back some good stuff for my family and friends – but when you are carrying everything on your back, you just do not want to add a whole lot more to the pile. Plus, I figure that my pictures will make for some really great gifts!
Here is what I did spend money on (which pushed my budget up, especially towards the end):
- Getting my own room in South America – hotels, and single rooms, are just more expensive in SA. And I did not use couch surfing much at all, which would have saved me plenty of money
- Buying books when I could not find a good exchange
- Cafes – I often (like most days) treated myself to coffee and some sort of cake/browning/sweet in the afternoons – this was also when I would write, journal and blog
- Street food – sure, cheaper than the tourist restaurants, but those $1 bags of fruit add up in Bangkok when you get 10 of them (but oh so damn good!)
- Big ticket tourst – Palaces and temples in Bangkok, Machu Picchu
- Buses (and one flight) in Argentina!
- Going out to eat versus cooking in – most hostels in South America had kitchens. I did not utilize them enough – but cooking for one seemed difficult
More couch surfing, less hotels
More cooking, fewer restaurants
But…. final tally…. NOT counting any flights….
I came in around …. drumroll please….. $28.50/day for the whole 8 months!