Before I began traveling, my friend Dave asked me how much I planned to spend. "$10-$12,000 for the 9 months" I replied. He responded, "it would be interesting to track how much you spend and see if you hit that target".
I agree. It would be interesting. So, Dave, I'm taking you up on your challenge.
Today, I launched the KPIs page.
I hope this page is both informative for you, while helpful to me.
What do all the charts show?
In the beginning of this page is the Tallies section, where there are tallies of various items, such as days traveled, planes taken, and hostels stayed in.
Following Tallies, is Budget Metrics. This is where I get into the details of what I've been spending.
In the first row, I have high-level spending trends. The first box shows spent to date, which includes all planes and buses, even items that I've paid for but not yet used (in other words, pre-paids). This is the only chart that includes pre-paids. The second box shows how much of the $12,000 budget I've spent, vs. the percent of the trip I've completed (days traveled to date as a percent of total expected days of traveling). The final box shows my average cost per day to date, my overall budgeted daily cost, and the new average daily cost if I want to keep to the $12,000 budget. Unlike the Total Spent to Date chart, the Daily Spending chart (and all subsequent charts) shows only accrued costs - in other words, I have not included the plane ticket to Bali, which I have not yet used. Therefore, daily average spending should reflect a true daily rate.
The next row is pretty self-explanatory - it is cumulative costs by category, total and by day, (without pre-paids).
The next chart shows costs by category by place, to show the differences in spending and costs by city or country.
The final chart shows total daily spending (all categories combined) by place.
What is included in each category?
Food: This includes groceries, breakfast, and dining out. Since it includes dining, it includes some alcohol, which inflates the amount a bit.
Alcohol: This is when I just buy a drink at a bar or a bottle of wine at a store
Transportation: This category includes both intercity transportation - such as cabs and buses, AND transportation to get to a city - such as planes or buses. Because the $12,000 budget includes everything, I wanted transportation TO each city to be included in the daily rate. Consequently, if I stay in a country for a short period of time, and I fly to that country, the cost of the flight will be split up between days stayed in that country, and hence transportation per day might look higher than a city where I stay for a longer time.
Entertainment: Everything from scuba diving, to city tours, to caving.
Miscellaneous: All the stuff that doesn't fit into a standard category - calling cards, sunscreen, and laundry.
Lodging: Every time I'm not sleeping on the street (yet to happen...).
So how am I doing?
If I do end up travelling for 9 months, assuming my trip ends on May 31st, 2017, then I will have traveled for 287 days. Assuming a budget of $12,000, this yields a target average daily spending of $42. The first row indicates that I've already spend 32% of my budget, yet only completed 10% of the 287 days of my trip. Further, my daily average spending to date is $94 vs. the target of $42. So I'm spending over 2x my budget. In order to hit my original budget of $12,000, I'll need to reduce my daily average spending to $36 for the rest of the trip (258 days), and since I have 19 days left in New Zealand, assuming I continue spending $93/day in New Zealand, as I head to Asia, my new daily spending per day target will come down to $31 for the rest of the trip (239 days).
Just looking at these metrics would indicate I'm not doing too well! However, Australia and New Zealand are expensive. All my research and everyone I've spoken to indicates that Asia on average should be about 1/5th the overall price of Australia and New Zealand. For instance, multiple people have told me delicious street food costs the equivalent of $2 USD. That compares to at least $10 USD for a Subway sandwich in New Zealand. If this is true, I'll be under the new forecasted target of $31 average daily spending - by over 33% - to $19 per day. ($93 * 20% = $19)
However, things rarely go as planned, and 1/5th price change does not include transportation to these places, so the actual average daily spending will likely be higher than $19 per day, however I DO think I can get close to the $31/day.
Keep on checking the KPIs page to see how I am doing!
Also, I would love to hear your thoughts on how I did this analysis, or any questions / spending suggestions / new analysis you'd like to see.
Kia ora! (goodbye and be well and healthy, in Mauri)