Financial Friday 76

Location: Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

Week 76 of travel. Let’s get to that financial breakdown….

Transportation

Zero.

Accommodation

The AirBnB is $6.67 per day.

Food

I’ve been cooking all week so this is pretty low. The more ‘expensive’ days are when I went to the grocery store while the cheaper ones are when I hit up a produce stand.

FYI, local vendors here are awesome. Unlike when I was in the Balkans, the people here charge the same price for everyone (even foreigners like myself). And the food tends to be better than from the store since the veggies came from someone’s garden.

Other

Travel insurance: $5.03 per day.

VPN: $0.26 per day.

Amazon Prime: $0.33 per day.

This blog: $0.31 per day.

Skype: $0.08 per day.

Chase Sapphire Reserve: $0.41 per day.

Pimsleur’s Russian: $0.71 per day.

On Sunday, I bought a ‘french press’ I’m using to make tea: $3.62. The best tea is made by placing tea leaves and hot water inside it. Seriously, the quality of tea that’s in bags is pretty bad. I’ll use them if I have to, but given a choice….

Summary

Week 76
CategoryFriSatSunMonTueWedThuTotal
Travel00000000
Lodging6.676.676.676.676.676.676.6746.69
Food6.4509.090.851.09014.5832.06
Other7.137.1310.757.137.137.137.1353.53
Total20.2513.826.5114.6514.8913.828.38132.28

Yeah so…. This has been another fantastic week. It’s kind of boring, but my wallet loves it! See you all next week….

Financial Friday 75

Location: Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

Week 75 of travel. Let’s get into it….

Transportation

On Saturday, I went to look at an AirBnB: $0.18. I used the metro to get there and back, but since the trips were so close together, it only charged me once. I love Georgia!

On Monday, I moved into an AirBnB. To get there, I took a taxi: $1.38. Since the friend I moved in with wasn’t awake at the check-in time, I then took the metro back to the hostel to pick him up: $0.18. When he woke up, we took another cab out to the AirBnB: $0.54 for my portion. And all the back and forth was only $2.10! Thanks Yandex (taxi app) and Georgia.

Accommodation

Friday to Sunday was at a hostel: $3.62 per night.

On Monday, I moved into an AirBnB with a friend: $6.67 per night. I typically find that hostels are better for solo travel while AirBnBs are better if there are a few people, and you’re going to be staying somewhere for a month or more.

Travel hack: If you stay in an AirBnB for more than 28 days, you can typically find substantial discounts. In the above mentioned instance, the stay was discounted 30% due to the length!

Food

I spent most of the week finishing off my groceries. Then on Wednesday, I went on that dreaded first shopping trip in a new place. The one where you buy all those miscellaneous things that last for a long time, but make your cooking so much nicer. Anyone that’s moved to a new place should know what I’m talking about.

Other

Travel insurance: $5.03 per day.

VPN: $0.26 per day.

Amazon Prime: $0.33 per day.

This blog: $0.31 per day.

Skype: $0.08 per day.

Chase Sapphire Reserve: $0.41 per day.

Pimsleur’s Russian: $0.71 per day.

On Wednesday, I renewed my pay-as-you-go, local phone contract: $0.36. I almost never call or text anyone, so that plan makes sense. It’s primarily there to enable me to buy mobile data which is also pretty cheap.

Also on Wednesday, I bought a cutting board: $3.47. The kitchen in the AirBnB has most things, but it was lacking one of those.

More on Wednesday, I bought 4 rolls of toilet paper: $1.88. Because…well…everyone poops, and I’m not in a hostel where they provide this for you. Also, there’s no bidet. I’m looking forward to trying one of those when I’m in a place people use them. It’ll probably be a while though….

Summary

Week 75
CategoryFriSatSunMonTueWedThuTotal
Travel00.1802.10002.28
Lodging3.623.623.626.676.676.676.6737.54
Food006.169.99019.75035.9
Other7.137.137.137.137.1312.847.1355.62
Total10.7510.9316.9125.8913.839.2613.8131.34

So this is pretty good. Also, the month of June ended so….

Jun 19
CategoryWeek 71Week 72Week 73Week 74Week 75Total
Travel3.620000.183.8
Lodging26.3925.9425.3425.3410.86113.87
Food31.3744.6128.4330.286.16140.85
Other60.4667.0750.9872.7521.39272.65
Total121.84137.62104.75128.3738.59531.17

This is fantastic! I’m pretty sure this is the least I’ve spent in a month since I started traveling 1.5 years ago. მიყვარს საქართველო (I love you Georgia)! It’s not just the money though. This place is all-around fantastic. If you’re looking for ideas on where to spend your next vacation, here you go. See you all next week….

Financial Friday 74

Location: Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

Week 74 of travel….

Transportation

Zero. Winning.

Accommodation

The hostel’s running a nice $3.62 per night.

Food

It’s pretty cheap…even when I go out.

Other

Travel insurance: $5.03 per day.

VPN: $0.26 per day.

Amazon Prime: $0.33 per day.

This blog: $0.31 per day.

Skype: $0.08 per day.

Chase Sapphire Reserve: $0.41 per day.

Pimsleur’s Russian: $0.71 per day.

On Saturday, I bought a game called The Expression Amrilato: $21.39. I don’t usually buy anime style games, but this one claims to teach the players Esperanto. Being the huge language nerd I am, I couldn’t resist. Will I learn Esperanto? Time will tell.

On Thursday, I actually left the hostel and went to the თბილისი (Tbilisi) Botanical Gardens: $1.45. The ridiculous 36C degree (97F) weather didn’t make it very pleasant, but it wasn’t too bad next to the waterfall. So…winning? Not really, but we’ll go with that.

Summary

Week 74
CategoryFriSatSunMonTueWedThuTotal
Travel00000000
Lodging3.623.623.623.623.623.623.6225.34
Food12.3210.65.4305.0709.1830.28
Other7.1328.527.137.137.137.138.5872.75
Total23.0742.7416.1810.7515.8210.7521.38128.37

So not too bad. On a side note: the protests continue, but they’ve been peaceful so it’s fine. It was just the first night that got crazy. For anyone wondering, Georgia is completely safe. It’s actually safer than most Western countries. So don’t believe any news you might hear saying otherwise. See you all next week….

Financial Friday 73

Location: Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

Week 73 on the road. Let’s see what that looks like financially.

Transportation

Zero. Staying in the same place has its benefits.

Accommodation

The hostel has seen people come and go, but I’ve had my bunk in my 6 person dorm all to myself for about half the time. Given the last day or two, I suspect it’s about to get really empty soon.

Food

Not much to say here. I’ve been mostly buying groceries, and cooking at the hostel.

Other

Travel insurance: $5.03 per day.

VPN: $0.26 per day.

Amazon Prime: $0.33 per day.

This blog: $0.31 per day.

Skype: $0.08 per day.

Chase Sapphire Reserve: $0.41 per day.

On Saturday, my Pimsleur subscription renewed. Up until Friday it was $0.69 per day. From Saturday onward, the different number of days changed it to $0.71 per day.

On Friday, I did laundry: $1.09.

Summary

Week 73
CategoryFriSatSunMonTueWedThuTotal
Travel00000000
Lodging3.623.623.623.623.623.623.6225.34
Food07.1705.5811.3504.3328.43
Other8.27.137.137.137.137.137.1350.98
Total11.8217.9210.7516.3322.110.7515.08104.75

Budget-wise, this has been a fantastic week. On a side note, things have gotten pretty crazy in თბილისი (Tbilisi) this last week. I’d like to stay here a bit longer, but if things get too crazy…. Anyway, see you all next week.

Financial Friday 72

Location: Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

It’s week 72 of travel, and I’m in the land of affordability. To demonstrate this….

Transportation

Zero. I’ve walked everywhere I need to go.

Accommodation

I extended my stay at the hostel I’m at this week. The price difference is due to currency fluctuations. It’s not a fancy hostel by any means, but it has everything I need so….

Food

There’s not much to say here. I’ve been mostly buying groceries though I have gone out once or twice.

Other

Travel insurance: $5.03 per day.

VPN: $0.26 per day.

Amazon Prime: $0.33 per day.

This blog: $0.31 per day.

Skype: $0.08 per day.

Chase Sapphire Reserve: $0.41 per day.

Pimsleur’s Russian: $0.69 per day.

On Saturday, I bought a game called This War of Mine: $5.34. It was on sale so of course I had to pick it up. I think I have a problem….

On Thursday, I finally got around to activating a data plan for my Georgian phone: $10.87. That’s for 20G. I’ve spent the last two weeks without mobile data, and I haven’t really missed it to be honest. At that rate though….

Summary

Week 72
CategoryFriSatSunMonTueWedThuTotal
Travel00000000
Lodging3.773.773.773.773.623.623.6225.94
Food14.49012.7501.8111.214.3544.61
Other7.1112.457.117.117.117.1117.9865.98
Total25.3716.2223.6310.8812.5421.9425.95136.53

So yeah…. Clearly, my wallet loves this place as much as I do. See you all next week….

Financial Friday 71

Location: Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

Week 71, and I’m in my favorite country. To demonstrate this….

Transportation

On Sunday, I took the metro to a friend’s going away party. There and back was $3.62.

Accommodation

The hostel is only $3.77 per night! I’m getting a deal, but there are also cheaper places I could stay. So…yeah, it’s super cheap.

Food

I’ve been too lazy to go out (it’s been pretty warm here) so the food expenses have been limited to buying groceries and cooking them. That makes it really cheap.

Other

Travel insurance: $5.03 per day.

VPN: $0.26 per day.

Amazon Prime: $0.33 per day.

This blog: $0.31 per day.

Skype: $0.08 per day.

Chase Sapphire Reserve: $0.41 per day.

Pimsleur’s Russian: $0.69 per day.

On Saturday, I bought a game called FTL: Faster Than Light: $10.69. It reminds me of video games in the 90s, but the game-play is pretty good.

Summary

Week 71
CategoryFriSatSunMonTueWedThuTotal
Travel003.6200003.62
Lodging3.773.773.773.773.773.773.7726.39
Food15.743.53.621.816.70031.37
Other7.1117.87.117.117.117.117.1160.46
Total26.6225.0718.1212.6917.5810.8810.88121.84

So yeah…. We can instantly see that Georgia is far cheaper than where I was before. This is one of the factors that make this my favorite country so far. We also said goodbye to the month of May so….

May 19
CategoryWeek 66Week 67Week 68Week 69Week 70Week 71Total
Travel08.2132.1260.5846.760147.67
Lodging28.7882.4770.977.4195.263.77358.59
Food8.3245.5437.7337.9555.1215.74200.4
Other44.2672.7171.7175.4950.97.11322.18
Total81.36208.93212.46251.43248.0426.621028.84

That’s not too bad. I blame the need to get back to Georgia on short notice for taking me above the one thousand dollar mark. But I’m here now so the next month or two should be amazing. See you all next week….

Financial Friday 70

Locations: Thessaloniki [Greece], Kutaisi, Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

Week 70 on the road. Let’s see how much my wallet likes me….

Transportation

On Tuesday, I took a plane from Θεσσαλονίκη (Thessaloniki) to ქუთაისი (Kutaisi). The price of the ticket was $70.47, but I used the points one of my travel cards to erase it. So…free! Sort of….

Also on Tuesday, there was an issue with the company I booked my flight with. They checked me in (which was nice; remembering to check in is a pain in the ass), but didn’t send me my boarding pass. That ended up costing me $39.22. Although…. I saw them weighing bags at the check-in counter. Since I ended up having to pay them more money, they didn’t bother to weigh my carry-on. I’m relatively sure it would be too heavy if they’d checked so…sort of winning?

More on Tuesday. I took a bus from the Kutaisi Airport to თბილისი (Tbilisi): $7.54. For a 4 hour bus ride, that’s pretty good. Yay Georgia!

Accommodation

Friday to Sunday were at the variable rate hostel so prices are all over the place.

On Monday, I stayed at my favorite hostel in Thessaloniki (Little Big House). The price was cheaper than the variable rate hostel despite being more crowded. Plus, the conditions of Little Big House are better so if you’re in Thessaloniki, and don’t mind walking up a hill….

Tuesday to Thursday were at a hostel in Tbilisi. There’s nothing like going from a [relatively] expensive place like Greece to a super affordable place like Georgia to demonstrate just how overrated the typical tourist destinations are.

Food

I went a little crazy on Saturday, and splurged; going to a restaurant, and getting appetizers, and drinks along with the meal.

On Tuesday, I went a little crazy in Georgia. I bought groceries (the initial expense being a bit more as you have to buy spices and what-not), and went out to eat. One would think that would have cost me more than Saturday, but…Georgia! I fucking love it here!

Other

Travel insurance: $5.03 per day.

VPN: $0.26 per day.

Amazon Prime: $0.33 per day.

This blog: $0.31 per day.

Skype: $0.08 per day.

Chase Sapphire Reserve: $0.41 per day.

Pimsleur’s Russian: $0.69 per day.

On Wednesday, I did laundry: $1.13. Again, Georgia.

Summary

Week 70
CategoryFriSatSunMonTueWedThuTotal
Travel000046.760046.76
Lodging21.8320.6722.3919.063.773.773.7795.26
Food4.4722.933.24016.368.12055.12
Other7.117.117.117.117.118.247.1150.9
Total33.4150.7132.7426.177420.1310.88248.04

So, that doesn’t look too bad due to [mostly] zeroing out the plane ticket. Going forward, I expect my expenses will drop considerably. See you all next week….