Hi, this is my first post so here goes…....
I have looked through the money boards and not found an answer to this question.
Me and my boyfriend are off to south east asia (Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Hong Kong).... on the 2nd Septemeber wooop! flights are booked, backpacks purchased and i am currently breaking in my walking shoes.
We will have saved £14,000 (this is the total after we paid for our flights etc) Now we have been really strict for the last 10 months with money which is why we have saved alot.
But what i want to know is how you stayed ontop of your budget while away, i dont want to be constantly counting the pennies everyday but i also dont want to wake up after 2 weeks with no money as we went wild.
We are planning on spending between £40 and £50 a day between us but cutting costs in low cost accomodation and some couch surfing thrown in.
Can anyone offer any advice on 1. how to manage money while away? 2. how often would you check you balance and 3.how much cash you would carry day to day? ( 3days worth or a weeks worth in case of shopping purchases or excusions?)
one way im planning on sorting my finances is ive got a prepaid cash card from sta.. it cost 20£ but u get £10 credit, i plan on using the internet once a week to skype home so whilst im on i was going to transfer a weeks worth of spends onto the card.. i have no reason to even take my bank card abroad with me.. just a credit card for emergencies!
the majority of your money is really for hong kong.. the other places are cheaper to live in than the uk.. ive calculated a monthly spend of £400 a month for the other countries youve listed.. give or take the amount of nights out!
£400 pounds is really not enough for SEAsia try £600 a month.
When I was abroad I had a weekly spending amount and just used to take that out every week, obviously some weeks you may go over it but just try and balance it by having a quieter week.
The fees can add up quickly, as you always have an atm fee and a bank transaction fee (unless you have extra money on a credit card) so if you are worried about these charges maybe take out two weeks worth of money at a time?
Also in Cambodia look out for Canadia atms as they dont charge a withdrawel fee!
Just thought I would share with you how me and my fiance have budgeted. We’ve been away for 11 and a half months, coming home in just over a week!!
We’ve been really boring and have tried to keep track of how much we’ve spent each day. We worked out a rough budget for each country (i.e. our daily budget in Australia was a LOT more than it has been in SE Asia!) and then worked out a daily budget from that. We kept track of what we were spending by typing it into our phone, and then every couple of days wrote it down in a little book and worked out how much under/over budget we are. Might not be for everyone but it really helped us stay on track and get to the end of the trip and not have to go home early!!
Our daily budget for SE Asia was around £40-50 per day for both of us and we’ve gone a little bit over so I think £50-60 would be more realistic. Having said that we have stayed in double rooms most nights, if we stayed in dorms it would have been a lot cheaper.
Hope this helps!
Thanks for advice, really helpful! Defiantly thinking of taking 2 weeks worth of money out and keeping a running budget in a little book! All getting very exciting now!
Have to agree with Laurab53 - we just finished a RTW 11 month trip and we carried a little notebook and wrote what we spent every single day - we had a netbook with us and i put it into an excel spreadsheet.
I had already pre-budgeted roughly what to spend in each country anyway but this made sure we stayed on track - stick your email if you want to see our spreadsheet :-)
We also used Caxton FX travelcards to avoid ATM fees this makes a huge differece - you can get an extra card when you apply too incase you loose one
Check out my blog entries at the bottom i put how much we spent roughly each day for accom and food in places
Got to agree, the boyfriend and I did the same thing- I had an A5 lined pad with me. It ended up falling apart and scruffy as hell but every time we moved to a new place (3days or whatever) I’d jot down what id spent there, then every couple weeks i could build quite a good picture of what we’d spent without sitting there counting every little detail every night. Plus it gives you something to do to pass the time on bus/train/boat journeys =)
Don’t get too stressed out by money or it’ll ruin the experience, just relax, have fun and be sensible!
A notepad is also handy to scribble stuff on. Ours is hilarious, email adds of people we met, addresses, questions, doodles, all sorts of random little bits from all over, it was really handy.
Are you just doing the countries you’ve listed above? How long are you going for? Couch surfing really shouldn’t be necessary considering a room can be a few pounds a night between you and you’ve got 7k each =)
I’ve been away with my boyfriend before for 10 months so feel free to message me any couple/ travel questions you may have =)
Oh and also- yeh, for asia £600 a month is realistic, then if you get under that it’s a bonus.
It’s probably quite bad but I was quite casual about how much cash I withdrew at any one time, sometimes taking £300 in one go just to save £3 in fees because it just didn’t really cross my mind how much I was carrying.
You’ll figure out a system that works best for you once on the road. In Thailand, I think you get charged 150bt (£3) everytime you take any money out an ATM, and that’ll be on top of whatever charges you get from your side. So it can easily be £5-10 each time you withdraw.
Again don’t get stressed over the details, you’ll soon brush off the worries once out there =)
Thanks for the cambodia ATM tip above, i’m still getting so confused about the whole ‘which currency do i need blabla’ and i’m going to be there in 6 weeks!
Email me that spreadsheet if you could mate!
I did nothing of the sort. I just spent when I needed to spend, and scrimped when I needed to scrimp.
When I realised my budget was going to fall short, a month’s volunteering sorted that, as it was basically living for free.
I remember we stayed in Canoa, Ecuador for 7 days. We were drinking cocktails from midday to midnight, staying in amazing beach huts, and eating 3 meals a day at the resort.
After 4 days they asked me to take a look at the bill as they were becoming “a little concerned”. With great trepidation I opened the bill to see that we owed $100 each for the four days. After laughing for a while, I ordered a round of double cocktails and we got back to our strenuous drinking schedule.
I’m not saying there’s not a need to keep an eye on your spending, but it should never be the core component of your trip.
I’d suggest people pm their email address rather than post it on the forum for every freak and spam spider to misuse.