Part 2:The Here and Now: Where we are now with our finances and how we’ll continue to afford to travel
We’ll we made it overseas, and are living in the here in now. We don’t know at any given time where we are going to be living in the next week, month, or year. This is partly due to the fact, that we truly want to live like the wind is blowing us to the places we are suppose to land, but also, we can only “land” where money allows us.
We started off this adventure with roughly $5000 to our name, NOT including the roughly $2400 we could spend on our credit card.
We have one credit card with a $3500 limit ($1,100 of which was already spent) but we would prefer not to use it. This has worked out whether we want it to or not, as most places ONLY accept cash in their local currency. The credit card is mostly reserved for emergencies and flights.
I documented some expenses we experienced over the course of our travels. I, however, failed to write out all the amounts; I guess I thought I would miraculously remember what things would cost…
None documented expenses:
[Note: This was just the first four days of travels in Kuta, Bali, Indonesia.]
- Food at Tai Pei, Taiwan Airport (Pork Dumplings and Bubble Tea)
- Visas into Indonesia
- Hotel in Kuta
- Refreshments while waiting to get hotel
- Sim Cards
- 1st Night Dinner (Fried Noodles and Beers)
- Surf Board Rental
- Bottle Water at the beach
- Motorbike Rental
- Lunch (Fried Rice, 2 Chocolate Milk Shakes, and Fried Bean Card)
- 2nd Night Dinner (Shared a Pizza and large beer)
- 3rd Night Dinner (With Paulus, Stef, and Araya)
- Groceries (Exotic Fruit, Red Bull, Guinness, extension cable etc)
- Groceries (Box of bottled water, Mango Candies, Sweet Cheese bread, fruit, etc.)
- Lunch: (Shared a Chicken curry, Fanta, and shake)
- Misc. (Laundry Detergent, Cheetos, and Chocolate Straws)
- Fancy night on the town (Mai Tai, Water, Ravioli, Pizza, Taxi)
- Girls Learn to Surf camp
- Taxi from Kuta
- Slow Boat to Lembongan
- Etc. Etc.
These are just a few examples of how we’ve spent our money (some are just average prices), and to give you an idea of how things cost.
[Note: We were shocked to find the hostels/hotels in Indonesia were so expensive because we were unknowingly traveling in high season...they are cheap for America, but we were hoping to spend around $10/day!]
- Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia Bungalow (No A/C, No internet, no warm water, but fun experience.): $17.56/night x 4 nights = $70.24
- Ubud, Bali, Indonesia Bungalow (No A/C, good internet, warm water, free amazing breakfast, friendly staff) : $17.56/night x 14 nights = $245.84
- Average price of a plate of food in Ubud: $2.36 (we shared a plate of food)
- A Large bottle of water in Ubud: $.41
- A bushel of bananas in Ubud: $2.36
- An Ice Cream cone in Ubud: $.88
- Fresh Squeezed Juice in Kuta (Avocado with chocolate sauce is the BEST): $.56
- Average Hotel in Kuta (A/C, internet, warm water, pool, free breakfast, sometimes television): $32.77/Night – during High Season
- A 24 person Dorm style Hostel in Singapore (Smelt like stinky boys, shared room/bathroom, good internet, cold a/c): $30/night
- A large Bottle of Water in Singapore: $.82-$1.22
- Entry into Singapore Zoo (Included Night Safari as well): $36.66/per person
- Pint of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream in Singapore: $12.18 – Yikes, no thanks!
- Hotel in Malaysia (No A/C, Shared Bathroom, internet, Great staff): $12/night x 3 nights: $36
- Apartment for a month in Chiang Mia Thailand (A/C, small kitchen, t.v. with American Movie channels, Roof-top pool, fitness center, Walking distance to famous Night Market) : $295.16 + electric/water
- A western style hamburger,fries and pepsi in Thailand: $4.92
- A large Bottle of water in Thailand (1.5L): $.49
- Refilling 4 large bottles of water: $.10
- Antibiotics and Pain pills for UTI in Thailand: $1.50
- Groceries to last a week+: $38.84
- Our idea of a good priced plate of yummy food: $1.00/per person
- Splurging on a plate of food: $2.50/per person
- 4 large bags of fresh fruit and veggies (on average): $6.00
- Jar of peanut butter (on average): $5.00
- Bag of ground coffee (on average): $5.00
- My favorite fresh salad: $2.00
- A bushel of bananas: $1.00 – $1.50
- A fresh juice: $.50
Well, now that you’ve got a good idea of what things cost, now’s the time to write the honest part of this post, “How much money we have and how we’ll afford to keep traveling!”
How much Money we have:
- We currently have $695.16 to our name as of October 14th, 2011
- We have a guaranteed $600 coming in ever month from Chais’s website business “Control Yours.” I also make on average $500 a month teaching English via Skype.
Our Monthly Expenses:
- $800+ Overseas expenses (includes: rent,food,water,travel, etc.)
In the U.S of A:
- Student Loans: $190
- Doctor Bills (from surgeries): $300
- Storage Unit: $34
- Pet Care: $50
- Life Insurance: $74.12
- Auto/Home Insurance: $120
Total Monthly expenses: $1578
[Notes: We should have our medical expenses paid off soon as my settlement from a car accident a year ago should be coming through. This settlement money will also pay off our credit card (it was eaten up by Chais' medical expenses), give us a cushion, and even some money for investing (gold, silver, etc.)]
We are slightly concerned about money (some months we make less than we spend), BUT we have confidence that we can make it work, just like we did back home.
Here are some ways we can make money while we’re overseas:
- Teach English: I do that now and make $10 USD/hour (Note: the Per capita income for Thailand (2010 prelim.) is $4,716 or $13.10 per day.)
- Make Affiliate websites
- Work on a farm in New Zealand or Australia – we are considering getting a New Zealand one year work visa
- Make Money off our blog- yes, this one that you are reading right now!
- Become an Au Pair a.k.a an international nanny
There are SEVERAL ways to make money overseas, if you aren’t afraid to be a little adventurous or object to not lay out at the beach/pool, but rather, bunker down in your hotel/hostel/apartment for a few days to get work done!
That’s the low-down or the gritty side of traveling overseas and NOT being wealthy. We are determined people…determined to make our dreams come true, determined to make a living, and determined to secure our future. Yes, we’ve hit bottom A LOT, but the only way to go is up AND the best part is…
…we get to climb up TOGETHER!
There will be a day when traveling will be more luxurious, but until then I love eating the least expensive thing on the menu, staying in a shared 24 bed smelly dorm-style hostel, and not buying souvenirs… ALL so I can go to the NEXT place.
Here’s to traveling with little, but gaining much,
Please comment below: How do you save money so you CAN travel? How do you save money WHILE traveling?