We are now almost half way thru our time away and I did a ’12 week’ summary
of where our money has gone last night.
For those planning similar trips this may interest you. For the rest of
you… as you were…
So far we have spent a total of $8749.00 or an average of $729.00 / week. If
we add in our mobile phone bills then it comes to more like $760.00, so my
initial budget figure of $800.00/wk was pretty accurate.
What has been interesting is how the money has been distributed. Our main
Food: $157.00/wk (Budget $200.00) We are pretty careful to buy smart in
towns and to ‘eat in’ as much as we can. I think that’s a pretty fair
figure. If we added wine then it would go up by about another $13.00, but we
budgeted wine under miscellaneous as its easier to hide there…
Fuel: $212.00/week (Budget $200.00) This is encouraging as the most
expensive stretches are now over. The days of paying $1.00/litre for LPG are
gone and even though 70c isn’t cheap it is a 30% saving.
Accommodation: $125/week (Budget $200.00) This is where we have saved heaps
as we have been fortunate enough to stay with friends and relatives as well
as doing our fair share of free or ‘independent’ / cheap camping. The next
stretch also looks pretty good as we have friends and family all the way
thru and that will be nice.
Miscellaneous: $219.00/wk (Budget $200.00) This includes doing fun stuff,
eating out, buying parts for the camper, books and basically anything that
doesn’t come into the first 3! We have spent very little on eating out and
we tend not to spend money on tours and things like that. We simply don’t
have the $$ these things require.
With 14 weeks to go I think we can do the home straight on another $8K
making a total of nearly $17K for the 6 months.
That is cheap living and I doubt we could live as cheap at home, but now we
will be trying to. It has really impressed on us how simple life can be if
we choose it to be so. Admittedly the variety of things to do decreases
markedly once you hit suburbia, but keeping on eye on costs has been a
valuable part of the journey.
We met a couple recently who have been traveling on the pension – $500.00/wk
and doing it ok. If you are prepared to live cheap and do some research on
the free / cheap campsites then it is very possible to have an inexpensive
I think most people see 6 months of travel as unattainable because ‘it costs
too much’, however reality would show that it can be done very cheaply and
still enjoyed thoroughly. The challenge is to find a job where you can be
given the flexibility and then to save $20K to make it happen.
Its far from impossible.
As an aside we will be taking a ‘mid trip’ break in 2 weeks time and staying
in a flash Gold coast apartment for 7 nights. I have been scrooging around
on eBay the the last few weeks putting in low bids on these apartments in
the hope of getting lucky. Last week I managed to win 7 nights for $700.00.
I imagine it’ll be a nice change, especially as the weather is getting
colder and colder…
If any folks planning a similar trip would like a copy of my excel
spreadsheet that I have been using for record keeping then let me know and
I’ll send it thru to you.