Calculating your budget

Elias Travel Planning Leave a Comment

Unless you already visited the countries you are going to travel, calculating is always somehow inaccurate. Everybody has different standards and interests, so all the information you find might not fit you. It’s probably more like creating a plan and sticking to that plan, rather than actually calculating.

That beeing said you still want a saving-goal or monthly maximum to not lose track completly. It’s actually not to hard nowadays since there is a lot of information out there already. The easy way is to just google “monthly costs for travelling country X”. Then you have the already mentioned problem of different standards though. The more time consuming way is to look up prices for hostels, food etc. and do some Excel. Like this you can be sure it fits your way of life. Below I created a step-by-step guide to do so.

  1. Write down all the countries you are going to travel (you should know them already if you followed my guide so far).
  2. By using cost-of-living calculators you can calculate a very accurate budget for yourself. There are cost-analyses for pretty much every country in the world. If you plan to do some extraordinary activities like diving you’ll have to do some extra google. Here are 2 online cost-of-living calculators: Numbeo and Eardex.
  3. After you got all your information let Excel do the math (or whatever program you might prefer).
  4. Especially in the first weeks of travelling you will spend some extra money, since you will do beginner mistakes and/or get ripped of. Therefore it makes sense to budget in 20% more for your first month and also 10% more for the rest of your trip. The worst thing that can happen to you is having to watch others enjoying life, while you need to stick to your (too) tight budget. If you don’t spend the extra percentage for just living it might be welcome if you feel like taking a day in a spa, for example.
  5. Depending on your situation you might have some extra current expenses like a car insurance, alimony or your mobile phone contract. Don’t forget to add them in your calculations aswell.
  6. You need some money after coming back home aswell. Depending on your situation you might need to overcome a few months until you have a new job. Calculating those costs is easy since you should know how much money you spend in your homecountry. You might consider staying with friends/family until you are back to everyday life.
  7. Now you should have a clear picture of how much money you’ll need. In case everything is way more expensive than you expected and reaching your saving-goal is a unworldly dream you might adjust your route another time.

Probably the best way to go is adjusting experience data to your way of life. A little example:

Someone says he spent 600 € travelling Thailand for a month. Accomodation was mostly dormitory, transportation with (overnight) bus and food mostly from street kitchens.

You prefer to stay in single rooms and like to take the train/plane sometimes aswell. Do a rough calculation of your extra costs and you might end up with a budget of 900 €.

This way you still have a quiet accurate budget, but don’t spend too much time calculating.

As always you are very welcome to leave additions/suggestions/opinions in the comments!

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