Budgets

Break downs and methods of money for travel

3 MONTHS IN SOUTH AMERICA

Booked some plane tickets in advance so there are small checkpoints. Surprised at the deals found using Google flights, specifically going from Mexico City to my friends wedding in Hawaii roundtrip. Giving myself a budget for this 9 week trip across South America, mini stop in Hawaii, and through Central America.

FLIGHTS + WEEKLY SPENDING *in USD 

$600 one way to Buenos Aires + $1400 transport

WEEK 1 $200 ATM Buenos Aires 
WEEK 2 $350 ATM Brazil
WEEK 3 $400 ATM Bolivia
WEEK 4 $250 ATM Peru
WEEK 5 $300 ATM Ecuador
WEEK 6 $250 ATM Colombia
WEEK 7 $300 ATM Hawaii/Mexico
WEEK 8 $350 ATM Costa Rica
WEEK 9 $300 ATM Cuba

GRAND TOTAL:  $5000

It is 2am. Packing the rest of my boxes for my fourth (and hopefully final) move in this city…Chinatown, NY has treated me so well – time to give Brooklyn one last try.

Items are slowly disappearing from the apartment as craigslist strangers quickly barter for my personalized items faster than I acquired them. My room is almost as bare as the white walls.

The unknown ebb of change may be scary, yet I cannot suppress the excitement I feel for moving forward in time. This city has be a a roller coaster of pain and thrills the past three years; I have lost some of the most important people in my life while living in this city, as well as diverged into an enormous career direction.

Year 1:
Inwood, Manhattan (3 nights)
*couchsurfing host who kindly gave me his recliner and forgot to let me in twice
Murry Hill, Manhattan (3 weeks)
*couchsurfing host who also went to school in Texas – SAINT!
Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn (3 months)
*craigslist tenant who took 3 months + security toward his bar (instead of rent) and got everyone evicted
Harlem, Manhattan (10 months)
*craigslist roommates who inevitably conned each other to leaving a “bed-bug infested” apartment

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Year 2:
Chinatown, Manhattan (2 years new roommate each lease renewal)
*craigslist roommate who held a grudge by pulling my hair upon her exit
*Texan friend of a friend who turned out to be a huge influence on me

Year 3:
Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn (7 months)
*sticking with my Texan friend because she was/is the best roommate I’ll ever have. *new roommate was a wealthy older client who owned a 4 story brownstone

2014:
850rent | 115subway | 100bills | 250fun | 150student loan | 400 savings |

2015:
1050rent | 100bills | 200fun | 100student loan | 450 savings |

2016:
1050rent | 100bills | 350fun | 200student loan | 250 savings |
750rent | 100bills | 300fun | 200student loan | 400 savings |

At this point I don’t really know what I’m saving for or where I want to go, but I know if I don’t leave this black-hole-of-a-beautiful city, I may never get the chance. First going to take a break in South America for some months.

Dear Asia,

It’s been less than a week away from your humid, sticky climates and I already miss your 20 BAHT pai thai’s (people this is under 70c!) and happy, yet aggressively sales-pitchy people… you treated me so well, allowing me to meet life-long friends along the way, and even surprised me by having those same friends send me off at the end of my trip.

You taught me that the world is small enough to meet a Dutch guy, say farewell as I head to another country, then two weeks later realize I’ve been travelling with his sister who has been talking about him the entire time (no it wasn’t a clear connection but a funny twist of fate!).

You showed me that souls can experience something incredibly tragic, and somehow move forward and make the most of their life with the things surrounding them. You helped me close certain doors of my past, and even opened new doors, telling me “it’s okay, trust me, step forward”.

Words, photos, numbers, drawings, songs and faces cannot describe everything you did for me in those six weeks, but as promised, below are some figures to describe how do-able this trip is and hopefully can help some other lost soul with a travel bug plan their next personal trip.

WEEK 1 $500 ATM singapore [200MYR, 7000BAHT, 1,600,000DONG] *Singapore has great rates so I purchased a small amount of everything ahead of time
WEEK 1 $250 ATM Malaysia [700MYR]
WEEK 2 $350 ATM Thailand [10,000BAHT]
WEEK 3 $150 flight from Phuket to Chiang Mai
WEEK 3 $450 ATM Chiang Mai [12,000BAHT]
WEEK 4 $100 ATM Laos [300,000KIP]
WEEK 4 $150 ATM Laos [520,000KIP]
WEEK 5 $200 ATM Cambodia [200USD/800RIEL]
WEEK 6 $2500 Thailand Hospital [115,000BAHT] OPTIONAL…
*********$91 not included costs***********
GRAND TOTAL: $2241 USD *not including optional laser eye surgery

I was skeptical about my small budget when I used 1200€ off my Euro card to pay for the rest of my eye surgery, however EVERYTHING fit perfectly and I managed to end my trip without struggling on canned beans.  Below are the rough figures recorded while in Europe for nine weeks.  With the help of couchsurfing, and staying off the tourist path, I was able to manage.

WEEK 1 335€ ATM Germany
WEEK 2 135€ ATM Prague
WEEK 3 205€ ATM Prague
WEEK 4 300€ ATM Vienna & 200€ ATM Budapest
WEEK 5 110€ Flight to Greece & 300€ ATM Greece
WEEK 6 150€ Flight to Rome & 300€ ATM Rome
WEEK 7  200€ ATM Florence
WEEK 8 75€ Flight to London & 100€ Munich
WEEK 9 50€ Train in London

*********40€ unincluded costs***********
GRAND TOTAL: 2500€

This kiwi boy opened my eyes to two simple, yet great recipes. These two recipes have sustained us for over six months of meals, spending less than $4 on each meal!!

CURRENT WEEKLY BUDGET 90rent | 15phone | 50food | 50fun | 150loan | 300savings

Now keep in mind these are recipes created from Wellington, New Zealand, which means kidney beans in a burrito are not as weird. One batch can last a five meals for two people, give or take your portions. Cook it all on a Sunday and prep/freeze into reusable take away containers.

Chicken Burritos

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts (boiled and shredded with a fork)
  • 3 packets of El Paso fajita seasoning
  • 3 cans of kidney beans
  • 3 cans of chopped/diced tomato
  • 1 capsicum (diced)
  • 1 red onion (diced)
  • 1 package (500 g) cremini mushrooms (diced)
  • wheat or spinach wraps
  • sliced avocado on top
  • scoop sour cream (optional)
  • chipotle sauce
1. Boiled the chicken in a large pot – after 15 minutes or until all white shred
2. Dice capsicum, onion and mushrooms into itty bitty pieces
3. Combine veggies and shredded chicken in large skillet for 5 minutes
4. Add kidney beans, and tomatoes STIR then seasoning STIR
5. Combine on a wrap and stick in a george foreman
6. Top with avocado slices,  scoop of sour cream and chipotle sauce
Basically what we have been living off for ten months now.  This routine has got me saving money & craving it time and again!

Malaysian Curry

  • Call our favorite curry restaurant and order 3-4 containers of JUST SAUCE **this is super cheating but we love this place and will continue to use this authentic stuff until we have to leave NZ**
  • 1 broccoli
  • 1 cauliflower
  • 4 potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 package of green beans
  • 1 package of spinach
  • 2-8 chicken breast depending on how much you love chicken (matt)
  1. super easy recipe where you throw sauce in a big pot and boiled chicken breast in another pot.
  2. cut all veg while chicken is cooking and keep curry sauce on a low heat
  3. chuck veg into curry pot and remove chicken once cooked
  4. shred chicken with two forks (or whatever cool tool you have that shreds chicken)
  5. stick chicken in pot for another 15ish min on low heat
  6. once all cooked scoop this yummy thick curry back into the containers in which you bought it in! *also used for chicken burrito containers.

This is more for my reference to remember how freaking cheap college and Texas in general was to live in. Rent was affordable, Austin was right up the road for wild weekends, and there was always something for free.
While the cost of College has gradually increased over the years, as it does, I was very fortunate to balance 2-3 jobs to help cut costs while I was in school. Time management was difficult the first year or two, however once I found that campus job I was able to focus more on my studies and even made deans list!

2008:
San Marcos Dorms (10 months)
*shared room in all female dorm
6500dorm fee | 60bills | 50gas | 100fun | 50 savings
2009:
San Marcos Apartments (11 months)
*OWN bedroom! 3 cool roommates
550rent | 60bills | 50gas | 100fun | 50 savings
2010:
San Marcos House (12 months)
*OWN bedroom! 2 fun roommates 700rent | 60bills | 50gas | 150fun | 100 savings
2011:
San Marcos Town home (10 months)
*shared 2 bedrooms with 5 girl 250rent | 60bills | 50gas | 150fun | 500 savings