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"Don't tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you travelled."
The plan is to provide monthly budget updates so we can share with you all the excuses we tell each other as to why we have blown the budget out of the water! If you are confused about what budget I am talking about, you need to read the post about our budget for this year as we travel South America. If you're still confused, there is no hope for you.
June 2018 - By The Numbers
Avg. per Day: $30.36
As you can see, we were only over our budget of $19.50 per day by $10 (or 50% if you want to be negative about it). So are we concerned? Not really...
Looking at what we spent there is really only one area we could improve on and that would be going out to eat. At the same time, $70 of our restaurant budget was airport food en route to Ecuador. The rest was basically grabbing lunch with our friends once or twice a week on day trips to do sightseeing or to the nearest city an hour away to do our weekly grocery shopping. We have some ideas on how to keep this down moving forward so it isn't a huge concern. We're still learning and we like to explore new foods when we travel.
Groceries were also a big percentage. We buy a lot of fresh food and cook most of our meals so we weren't too surprised here either. After stocking up on essentials the first week (toilet paper, spices, rice, quinoa, etc) our grocery trips have been pretty cheap. Plus, we can get lots of our fruits and veggies from the fruit truck guy which saves us a lot of money.
The last big one was travel. This included our baggage fees and our $175 bus tickets to get from Ecuador to Peru, neither of which will happen very frequently. In early July we're taking three different buses over the course of about 26 hours of total drive time. This might seem high but when you consider you are getting an extremely nice bus seat that reclines into a bed for about $3/hr per person, it's not so bad. Full review on the bus ride coming soon!
So how are we going to recover from being 50% over budget at the end of month one? Looking out until the end of October (which is about as far as we have planned), it looks like we should be okay. Here is what we have coming up and why it doesn't look like all hope is lost.
July: We are spending a month with a Workaway host in Peru who will be providing a private room, hot shower, and three meals per day. Costs for July should be negligible.
August: Our research shows it's going to cost about $400 to get from Peru to Sucre, Bolivia (it's a long way!). We also decided we would really benefit from some Spanish schooling. Two weeks of classes, including a place to live, is about $700. At the end of August we will be heading to another Workaway with our friends at Etta Projects outside Santa Cruz, Bolivia. We will be there the remainder of August, September, and October. Once we arrive, our living costs will be near zero since they provide room and board. Our only costs should be my uncontrollable love and obsession for the Bolivian Salteña. Luckily, they are fairly inexpensive.
On November 1st, we will have been in South America for 150 days which means we will have budgeted ourselves to have spent $2,925 (150 days X $19.50). Our estimated costs up to this point are about $2,500 (Spanish school, travel, misc expenses, etc). With any luck (and maybe some discipline) we have a good chance of arriving at November on budget. If not, we will make more excuses then.
In the next few weeks we will be publishing a post about our packing and gear list for our trip as well as a full review of our first time ever using Workaway to volunteer with a family as a means to reduce travel costs.