Author Topic: Nomadic Budgets  (Read 4315 times)

JoJo

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Re: Nomadic Budgets
« Reply #50 on: November 30, 2017, 06:19:18 PM »
Following.  My plan is to spend $100 per day once I retire - party of one.  But this includes everything - insurance, housing or car costs back home, etc. 

gerardc

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Re: Nomadic Budgets
« Reply #51 on: December 01, 2017, 10:01:28 PM »
That thread was great. Would love to hear about anyone travelling in Mexico or central/south America.

We can see budgets on theearthawaits.com, and people travelling in hostels usually report $15-50/day depending on location. So anywhere between $1000-3000/month for one person would be good. $1000 if you like riding the bus for 7 hours to go to another airport and save a few bucks; but I'd be more comfortable with $3000, especially long-term.

I don't believe in precise budgets, but I like to divide expenses in those categories:
A- Rent
B- Everything else / necessities: food, utilities, gym, amortized clothes, furniture and electronics, insurance, medication, tools, passport fees, a few restaurants (cuz you have to), etc.
C- Fun money: expeditions, tourism, bars, dining, hotels, trips/plane, etc.

I find this allows for a clear picture. Why?
- A depends mostly on location, is easy to research, and usually varies most with COL.
- B is relatively constant, wherever you are in the world (at first approximation), even before FIRE. You can easily determine your amount right now, e.g. total expenses from bank account - rent - estimate of fun money. Mine is B=$800/month.
- C is the most flexible -- it can be 0, to $500 (pretty good) to $1000 (good and frequent travel).

So I'm looking at 1 bedroom apartment in Miami South Beach A=~$1500/month. Plus my B=800, that leaves me $1000 in fun money for a total of $3300/month, or $1M stash at 4%. Sounds good.

But I could also do A=$350 for a furnished apt in Puerto Vallarta downtown, + B=$650 (squeezing things a bit and COL adjustment) + fun money C=0 (you can still have fun... for free... gulp), for a total of $1000/month. Not bad either. Can't fly home though.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 10:12:24 PM by gerardc »

flyingaway

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Re: Nomadic Budgets
« Reply #52 on: December 03, 2017, 09:57:36 PM »
I really like to have $200 a day to spend.

expatartist

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Re: Nomadic Budgets
« Reply #53 on: December 03, 2017, 11:24:50 PM »
Where am I going to meet the locals except at the local bars and restaurants? ;)  But seriously, I've never understood the jab about "getting to know the locals", I don't really meet local strangers right now, why would I assume I'm going to while slow traveling?  You mentioned later in the thread that you are expecting to retire and travel cheap--what are your plans for getting involved in the communities you will be visiting?

There's absolutely nothing wrong with not getting to know the locals. It's your trip, you can do whatever you want while you're on it.

However, to answer your question about where to meet locals, there's tons of stuff you can do while you're slow traveling if you've made a town or city your temporary home.

We've been on the road for almost 6 years now, slow traveling the world by motorcycle. We've pursued all of our interests and hobbies whenever we stop for a while. We took Spanish school in Mexico and when our language skills got good enough, we then joined a language exchange club in Guatemala with locals who wanted to practice their English. We'd meet up in coffee shops and we'd practice Spanish while our partner responded in English and we'd correct each other's grammar and improve our vocabularies. Best of all, it was free, except for the price of a coffee or two.


Practicing Spanish in Guatemala

Excellent post, EndlessJourney. What's most striking about your post is your attitude: focusing on what you can share with a place, rather than just what that place can give you.

EndlessJourney

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Re: Nomadic Budgets
« Reply #54 on: December 05, 2017, 07:01:42 AM »
Excellent post, EndlessJourney. What's most striking about your post is your attitude: focusing on what you can share with a place, rather than just what that place can give you.

Thanks, appreciate the kind words.
Gene ♦ Six Years on the Road ♦  http://www.RideDOT.com

EndlessJourney

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Re: Nomadic Budgets
« Reply #55 on: December 05, 2017, 07:24:24 AM »
That thread was great. Would love to hear about anyone travelling in Mexico or central/south America.

I don't believe in precise budgets, but I like to divide expenses in those categories:
A- Rent
B- Everything else / necessities: food, utilities, gym, amortized clothes, furniture and electronics, insurance, medication, tools, passport fees, a few restaurants (cuz you have to), etc.
C- Fun money: expeditions, tourism, bars, dining, hotels, trips/plane, etc.

What we've found is that although we set a rough budget per day (or per week or per month):

1) our lifestyle inevitably adapted to that budget
2) over time, the average spend can and will regress towards the allocated budget

Our budget in this case is an upper limit of $40 per person per day. In Northern Alaska and Norway, this was impossible to stick to - a campsite in Norway was $30/day. In northern Alaska, gas was close to $6/gallon and the distances to travel were vast. But whatever we blew in the far north (or Switzerland or Singapore), we made back in places like El Salvador, Cuba, Thailand.

Even in expensive places, we adapted - staying in a hostel or camping in the most highest COL areas. Eating lots of groceries and also spending less time in HCOL. Then in LCOL areas, we recouped the costs or if we'd done especially well, we lived like kings for awhile. Eat out a bit more often. If we needed to plan for an upcoming expense, maybe we'd stay in a hostel for a while so the money saved will afford us a cruise in the Galapagos Islands, or a ticket to attend a MotoGP race...

If you're tracking the spending, you can always course-correct and alter your lifestyle to fit the budget.

In many ways, the budget question seems to be like the arguments around 4% SWR. Some people treat that number like it's gospel: "You have to withdraw 4%. Nothing more, nothing less."

The reality is that nothing is ever set in stone. You don't have to spend the entire daily budget every day (just like you don't have to take out 4% SWR), and the flip-side is that if you do over-spend, you can always tighten your belt and claw it back at a later time.

I wouldn't let the budget control you too much. Barring catastrophic circumstances, you can always control the spend by altering your lifestyle. It depends on your willingness to balance out your comfort and the desire to see those far away, exotic places.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 02:23:51 PM by EndlessJourney »
Gene ♦ Six Years on the Road ♦  http://www.RideDOT.com

Hirondelle

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Re: Nomadic Budgets
« Reply #56 on: December 05, 2017, 10:19:41 AM »
EndlessJourney; I love your mindset and flexibility to adapt to the different areas you travel and think about it, without letting it control you too much.

Loved the photos and stories too btw :)

gerardc

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Re: Nomadic Budgets
« Reply #57 on: December 05, 2017, 05:41:28 PM »
If you're tracking the spending, you can always course-correct and alter your lifestyle to fit the budget.

You can track total spending simply by looking at bank statements, no need to tally up receipts endlessly about every little thing. We can call that tracking, but it's more mental tracking, and intuitive spending, and it's basically the same thing, with the same results, but simpler.

When you want to lose weight, do you use myfitnesspal to track calories from every single piece of food you had that day, and try to get to a target, or do you simply eat less, listen to your body, watch the scale after a week and adjust? It's roughly the same thing. If you can, intuitive eating is simpler, faster. But if you have trouble with willpower, or if you're trying to get to extreme low levels, formal tracking might help.