When Jenny and I started travelling I had great visions of publishing a post every month to track our progress in terms of our spending targets. Unfortunately time has caught up on me and we are now 7 months into the trip. This however seemed like the most opportune moment to reflect on the past 6 months and to assess where we are in terms of our savings. So here I present the September 2019 Expense Summary.
Background – Budget
We spent the past few years working in corporate jobs in London, UK saving up for our once in a lifetime trip around the world (mainly Asia). We estimated that on average we would need around £80 (100 USD) each day between us. This should cover everything from flights, accommodation, food, fun and anything else at all. Eighty pounds may sound a lot to some, and little to others, but it is definitely quite tight once international transfers (flights, busses) are considered. On this budget we estimated that we could travel for almost exactly one year (we had about £30k saved up). So we quit our jobs, packed up our house and bought our flights to Sri Lanka. This was all back in March 2019.
£80 per day between us
Today – Summary
I am writing this at the end of October after having reviewed all the expenses for each month from March to September inclusive. In general I can say we are doing well. Our overall average spend is £66 (85 USD) per day or £13k total in this time (17k USD). We are therefore around 15% below our budget. Although this sounds excellent, there are a few things which have pushed our budget one way or the other which I will go into detail below.
Average daily spend: £66 (85 USD)
Large expenses (some quite unexpected)
When we left for our travels it never occurred to us that we might be walking up to one of the highest places on earth, Everest Base Camp. This was going to be one of our largest expenses of our trip, the flights alone to reach the starting point were £562 (700+ USD).
In addition to this, I had a very unfortunate circumstance of needing emergency dental care in Mumbai, once the dentist got started there was a lot more that needed to be done. I ended up spending £500 (650 USD) on dental care, this is much lower than the cost would have been in the UK, but still a very unexpected cost.
Also there were a few personal items: a swanky hotel, presents for our anniversary, a new hard drive and a new SD Card, these in total were: £310 (400 USD).
|Flights to Lukla (Everest Base Camp)||£562 / $700|
|Dental work in Mumbai||£500 / $650|
|Other personal expenses||£310 / $400|
|Total Expenses less one-off large expenses||£11.5k / $15k|
Taking these away from our total leaves total expenses of £11.5k which is more reasonable and works out at £59/day ($76/day)
When we planned our trip we budgeted to travel throughout Asia and end in Australia and/or New Zealand. We always knew therefore that to stick to our £80/day budget we would need to curb our spending in some places to allow for the much more expensive destinations down under. Luckily some of Asia is extremely cheap to travel including Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam and so we have been able to keep our expenses down there.
|Country||Days in Country||Total Spend (GBP)||Average per day (£)|
The table below gives a pretty holistic summary of what we spend, ideally I need to do further digging into the “other” category
|One off Expenses Total||1,372||1,756|
|Budgeted Expenses Total||11,582||14,825|
Conclusion of the September 2019 Expense Summary
In terms of sticking to our original budget of £80 / day we are doing pretty well, but we are yet to experience the costs of Australia and New Zealand. We are continuing to be as frugal as possible, but as we will be travelling through Singapore and the Philippines we are going to struggle. As it currently stands our budget should last us until our intended time frame of March 2020 and being optimistic we may have a little left over for some low-cost travels through Europe or USA in the summer of 2020.