Money, money, money

The first ever recording of my voice is me singing ‘Money, Money, Money‘.

It was 1977. My sisters played me ABBA.

Money was indeed the single biggest issue in preparing this trip.

I could deal with all the logistics – it was actually fun – but I needed a rough idea about how much money I’d need to save, if I did not want to get stranded somewhere along the way.

Well, it all depends on how you travel.

I read blogs from couples who managed to get around South America in six months for around $10.000 for both, staying in hostels with snoring guests.

Other places and travel styles mean serious $$$! The sky’s your limit.

I made a rough calculation on how much I could safe, and how fast. I contacted other travellers to ask them directly about how much they had spent. And extrapolated.

When I left, I was fairly sure I had stashed away enough to get me through those 18 months.

And being able to afford a nice room with wifi  in a nice area of town. And occasionally splash a little bit on a concert ticket, or a good glass of wine.

I knew, the biggest cost would be accommodation.

I mostly checked for rooms and average cost in a number of cities. I’m not a hotel type any more.

I looked at my savings and deducted the money I needed for fixed costs like plane tickets, health insurance etc.

Then I divided the rest by the number of days I planned to travel, and there was the sum I could spend per day in every city.

Depending on how much I had to spend on accommodation in every city, that left the money for day-to-day spending on groceries, going out, cultural activities, etc.

Spending2To keep my daily spending under control, I downloaded an app onto my smart phone, and entered everything I spent into different categories.

I knew some cities would be considerably more expensive, in others I’d manage to get by below my budget.

I knew I would not be able to afford many side trips, or weekend trips out of town in the countries I would visit.

But the idea of this trip was not to see the main attractions in each country and check ’em off my list, anyway. It was about living in those cities and really get to know them.

I owe thanks to the sites of fellow travel bloggers who published their budget or told me what they spent. It was invaluable advice to plan for my trip.

I kept track of the spending all along, analyzed it and published it under Budget.