Financial Friday 29

Location: Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

Week 29 is done. Let’s see where I spent my money….

Transportation

On Saturday, I used my metro card for 4 of us. Why did I do that you ask? Well, 2 of them were only in town for 3 days so they didn’t have cards. The other one…he really should have one by now. He’s been here longer than I have! Anyway….

On Monday, I went out with the two previously mentioned non-metro card holders, and covered their rides: $0.61 for 3 of us. We also took a taxi across town because we were really tired of walking: $0.82 for just my portion. Little did we know we’d do far more walking, but at least we cut some of it out.

Accommodation

There’s the standard rent for the month: $5.48 per day.

On Sunday, I paid the utility bill: $28.71 for my portion. This included electricity, water, and cleaning the water pipes. The really expensive part was the electricity since it’s been ridiculously hot, and we’re trying to use a window unit to cool the house. Seriously Georgia, you’re like a modern country in so many ways, but when it comes to temperature control….

On Thursday, we had a cleaning person give everything a good scrubbing: $7.34 for my portion. It took her about 4 hours. Multiply what I payed times 5, and that’s what she got. So…really cheap.

Food

Nothing much to report here. On Sunday, I made a large grocery purchase.

On Thursday, I had to go out and find some food to be out of the cleaning lady’s way. I would have preferred to sleep during that time, but she did a really nice job on my room. I’m a little proud to say my room was not the worst place in the house. that honor goes to the kitchen. Such messy, messy people…myself included.

Other

Obligatory travel insurance: $8.64 per day.

On Sunday, I purchased The Handmaid’s Tale in Kindle format: $10.69. It was on sale, and I’ve heard a lot about it so I had to purchase it. It’ll be a while before I get to it, but….

Also on Sunday, I purchased a year’s subscription to a VPN service: $0.13 per day. Because internet security is a good thing. All those ‘free’ WiFi places I’ve been using…yeah, I really should encrypt that data. Not to mention, when we finally get WiFi at the house, I can stream TV over the internet!

On Thursday, I topped up my ‘travel’ carrier’s data plan: $25.00. We’ll see how long I want to maintain this before the price gets to me….

Summary

Week 29
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Total
Travel 0 0.82 0 1.43 0 0 0 2.25
Lodging 5.48 5.48 34.19 5.48 5.48 5.48 12.82 74.41
Food 0 5.33 8.33 4.9 3.71 3.93 7.54 33.74
Other 8.64 8.64 19.46 8.77 8.77 8.77 33.77 96.82
Total 14.12 20.27 61.98 20.58 17.96 18.18 54.13 207.22

So as you can see, it’s been a little more expensive than last week. A few bills hit that likely won’t be there next week. In any case, it’s still a good deal under budget so…win!

Catch you all next week.

A day in my life: Georgia edition

Date Time Coordinates: 12 Aug 2018 CE (Common Era), Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, Earth, Sol System.

I go to sleep around 0430 after a couple hours of reading A Clash of Kings (Book 2 in the A Song of Ice and Fire Series; or some know it by the name of the first book A Game of Thrones). I suppose it’s technically the day in question though really….

I awaken around 1300 and head for the bathroom. I reach for the toilet paper to clean up the mess I made of the porcelain, and am greeted with an empty roll. WTF?! There was half a roll there last night. What did my roommates do; eat it? This is particularly disturbing since I’m the one that bought that roll last week. Not that it’s that expensive; it’s just the principle. If you use the last of someone’s TP, you should replace it. It’s common courtesy, right?

I wander back to my room, and notice someone’s hung their laundry from my cloths line. That’s fine. I’m not using it at this particular moment, and I did hang it in a common area. As many times as the roommates have been subjected to my drying underwear, it’s only fair if someone else does the same. I grab my phones and head for the kitchen.

The Indian couple are making lunch. The kitchen’s not large enough for two people to use the stove at the same time so I figure out what I can do while they’re at it. Let’s see…grab cutting board, chop an apple, start the electric kettle making some hot water…. I finish a good deal before they’re done with the stove.

I’ll check my social feeds while I wait. Oh look, a picture of the girls we met yesterday at Bauhaus (a popular bar). When was this posted…oh, midnight. So that’s an hour after she DMed me to ask if I was there. I’d told her I could run down there and meet them, but she’d waved me off. Did she not want me there? Was she just trying to be considerate since they didn’t get there until an hour later, and it was latish? I’m putting way too much thought into this. It’s not like I want to date one of them or anything. They’re travelers, and will be somewhere else in a couple days.

Anyway, the Indian couple’s done with the stove so…time to finish making my oatmeal (or porridge for Brits). Now where’s the small pan? I can’t find it anywhere. Someone must have it in their room. I guess I’ll have to make it in a skillet. That’s a little more difficult, but…do what you have to do I guess.

Throw the sliced apples into the skillet, add oats when the water’s boiling, go for the butter, and…. Where’s my butter? There’s a specific place I leave it every time so I’ll know which one’s mine (because everyone’s bars look the same, and there are about 4 of them in there). The Swedish guy must have borrowed it. It’s cool, I told him he could use some if he desperately needed it, but now I don’t know which bar to use. I don’t want to use someone else’s, because…you know, rude. I send him a quick message explaining the situation. Maybe it won’t happen again. Though, who am I kidding? It probably will.

It’s rather annoying since I need the butter right now, but I guess I’ll just have to go without. Should I add the egg? It’s so much more work to stir it into the oats when they’re in a skillet. Fuck it; I’m already butter-less. What’s no egg going to hurt? I’m such a lazy bitch…. Except…. With no butter, the oats are sticking to the pan. Ugh, I want my oats lubed! Oh well, not the end of the world.

I sit down, enjoy my apple oats with tea, and continue browsing my social feeds without incident. And now I have to take a dump. Except someone used up all my toilet paper, and didn’t replace it. I guess my first stop is going to be to the grocery store a block down the street.

I hit up the grocery store, grab toilet paper and some other sundries while I’m there…. Oh, my typical cashier is working. I’ve developed something of a…I guess you could call it a working relationship with her? “Hello” she says (because she knows English is my primary language). “Hello, გამარჯობა” I respond (I’ve been attempting to learn some ქართული [Georgian]). She finishes bagging my things, I pay…. “მადლობა” I say. She says something as I walk out. She says the same thing every time, but I haven’t been able to figure out what it is. I know it’s something you say as someone’s leaving, but that could be several things. I’m pretty sure I’m not hearing all the sounds she makes when she says it, because I never get an appropriate translation from Google Translate when I punch in the Georgian sounds (in the Georgian script). Someday….

I get back and unpack the groceries. I put a roll of paper in the small bathroom, I go to place one in the large one…damn it! There’s water all over the floor (as usual). I’m pretty sure one of the roommates is used to the bathrooms where the whole room is a shower. I don’t know if it’s the Indians or the Georgian. In any case, this bathroom is not like that. There’s no drain in the floor, and there’s clearly a shower curtain. This bathroom is not supposed to look like a hurricane just came through, but since I’m too lazy to try explaining that…. Reason number 743,956,872,707 why I always wear flip-flops in the house.

Anyway, I take my dump now that I have toilet paper. Sweet, sweet comfort. And since I bought the paper, it’s not the cheap, sand-paper kind that makes your ass feel like it’s on fire after use.

Now it’s time to pay some bills. The combined electric and water bill arrived a couple days ago so let’s have a look. Hmm…this is much more expensive than the last one. I wonder what made it that way. I take the bill and head for the kiosk that’s half a block away. Georgians use these things for everything. They’re linked to the local banks, phone carriers, utility companies, car insurance providers, and I’m sure I’m missing something. These would be so amazing if they were everywhere, but alas, only in Georgia.

I go through the prompts, input the correct information, and…. Oh cool, it breaks it down and says what’s due for which part of the bill. Let’s see…water, normal…’cleaning’ (that must mean water line cleaning), normal…electric, ouch!

It seems most Georgians don’t believe in central temperature control systems. Only one of the rooms in the house has a wall unit so we’ve been using it to attempt to cool the whole house. It’s obviously far more than the system was meant to handle, but it can get the house (minus the kitchen with the gas burning stove) to a reasonable temperature. Since the highs have been over 30C (86F) every day of last month, and most of them have been over 35C (95F), we’ve been running the AC pretty much non-stop. While that makes the house a tolerable temperature (again, minus the previously mentioned kitchen), it also makes for a rather unpleasant electric bill. It’s a good thing it’s August and summer is on its death bed (at least for this year).

I pay the bill, divide it by 5, and send out the group message informing the other roommates of how much they owe me. They’re not going to be pleased, but it has to be done. At least splitting it between all of us brings the cost down to a reasonable level.

I return home, and the landlord starts group messaging us. “Good morning Happy Family. First full night at our beautiful home.” She has some funny ideas. While the last room was signed for last night, I don’t think any of us have seen the new guy yet, and I’m pretty sure he didn’t stay here last night. Also, the Indian couple will be moving out in a couple weeks at the latest. When that happens, we’ll be finding new ‘family’ members for their room.

She did manage to find us someone to clean the house. That’s fantastic since everyone staying here has a different idea of what exactly ‘clean’ means. Yes, I will gladly pay a small fee for someone to make this place look presentable. There’s far too much “I didn’t make that mess so I’m not going to clean it” going around, and it’s resulted in the common areas accumulating a few not so pleasant patches.

I poke around on the internet a little to amuse myself. The WiFi we were promised over a month ago still hasn’t materialized so I have to tether my phone whenever I want to get online. So, no streaming videos, music, or other bandwidth intensive activities. Writing blog articles is fine though, and I start writing this one after a little while.

In the middle, I see a Snap come in. I have an 83 day streak with a friend in the States so we ‘have to’ send something to each other every day. I snap a quick picture of my computer screen with this article being written. Send it off, download the pic, go to Instagram to add it to my story….oh, wait.

That chick I talked about earlier in the article is following me on Instagram. Okay, I guess I won’t add that pic to my story. I hope she doesn’t look at my bio, find a link to my blog, and read this article. Well, if she does…. Hi! This is…umm…awkward…. Moving on….

A little later in the article writing, I’m interrupted by the ‘new guy’. Oh, hi! Nice to finally meet you. He wants to get the key to the yard so he can put his bicycle back there. You ride a bike; in Tbilisi? Brave man. This city was not designed for bikes, and the drivers sure as hell don’t respect them. Pedestrians are usually okay, but bikes…not so much. Anyway, the Swedish guy (who has the key) isn’t here so he has to take his bike through the house. I go back to writing this article. He interrupts me one more time to ask for the WiFi password. Sorry dude; no WiFi. Oh how I wish there was….

And that brings me to here. Like, literally right here where I’m writing these words right now! Queue The Twilight Zone theme music.

I’ll probably poke around online a bit more, maybe play some games, and do some more book reading before going to sleep tonight. For all practical purposes, though, the day’s pretty much over (or at least the entertaining parts).

I hope someone (other than me, of course) has been entertained by this. If not, well…. Comment down below about what you’d like me to write about. If it’s reasonable, you’ll have won yourself a brand new article written just for you! Anyway, time to do something unproductive. Later….

Financial Friday 28

Location: Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

Week 28, here we go….

Transportation

On Saturday, I rode the metro twice. So exciting right? And that’s it.

Accommodation

So there’s the pretty steady rent.

Also on Saturday, the gas bill (for the oven/stove) was due. After splitting 4 ways, it came to a whopping $1.31. Ah Georgia, how do I love thee; let me count the ways….

Food

Pretty standard. Buy groceries, cook groceries, don’t spend a lot of money on food. I did go out Saturday though so the bill was a little higher.

Other

Travel insurance: $8.64 per day.

On Saturday, I topped up my plan with my ‘travel’ carrier: $25. I’m sure I’ll be glad I have this once I start moving around again. For now though….

Also on Saturday, I bought a dog whistle off Amazon (because they seem to be impossible to find here): $9.98. Having it shipped to Georgia will probably cost more than the whistle, but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet. There are a couple dogs owned by neighbors that don’t care how loud they are. The idea is going to be to eventually train them to stop barking so much. If all goes well, the owners won’t know what happened.

On Monday, my Georgian phone plan came due: $0.41. It’s a pay-as-you-go plan that I’ll probably never use, but it’s there if I need it. What I do use is the additional data plan which is very affordable; I think I’ve mentioned it in a previous Financial Friday post.

Summary

Week 28
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Total
Travel 0 0.41 0 0 0 0 0 0.41
Lodging 5.48 6.79 5.48 5.48 5.48 5.48 5.48 39.67
Food 0 9.92 0 0 5.5 6.36 3.45 25.23
Other 8.64 43.62 8.64 9.05 8.64 8.64 8.64 95.87
Total 14.12 60.74 14.12 14.53 19.62 20.48 17.57 161.18

And that’s it. It’s been a relatively boring week, but also a cheap one. Write you all next Friday….

Financial Friday 27

Location: Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

Now, we say goodbye to July, and another week. Let’s see what I was up to, shall we?

Transportation

On Sunday and Monday, I took the metro. The prices are slightly different due to exchange rate variance. So cheap….

Accommodation

As you can see, this is a flat rate. It costs me the same every month, and August has the same number of days as July. So, no change.

Food

On Monday, I went out because the water was turned off. This happens occasionally when the city needs to clean the pipes (no, that’s not a euphemism). I don’t know how they keep the time down in the States when they do this, but here, it takes at least a few hours…which makes cooking rather difficult.

Tuesday, was barbecue day! Yours truly was on the grill for most of it, because the ‘American’ knows how to do this right? Well…I do in the States, but things are a little different here. Anyway, everything was pre-purchased to no food bill that day.

Other

Of course, travel insurance: $8.64 per day.

On Friday, we bought a ‘grill’ for the BBQ: $9.42 after splitting it 3 ways (because roommates). This is a very generous term for what was purchased. It’s basically a metal bucket with legs that’s about a foot across, half a foot wide, and sits a foot off the ground (at the top). So there was a lot of hunching over it to flip the meat.

The ‘grill’ didn’t come with a grating. We ended up buying one that was designed to be closed around meat, and held over a fire. We opened it and laid it across the top of the glorified bucket to turn it into an almost proper grill.

Also, the charcoal here is very weird. They’re basically blackened wood chips, and won’t stay lit without prompting from some sort of kindling or accelerant. Oh how I miss the round, pre-soaked coal in the States. Anyway, I included all this in the price.

What I didn’t include was the diesel we bought to get the stupid charcoal to burn: $1.97 after being split 2 ways. This is a must if you’re going to use what I guess the rest of the world would call ‘real’ charcoal. And now we have some left over for the next BBQ. Win…sort of.

For all my Instagram followers, I posted a few pictures of BBQ day. It turned out all right, but it was such a pain in the ass to set up, and get going. This is what happens when you try to bring your country’s food to place where they don’t do things like that.

On Thursday, Steam was having a sale on a couple games, and I couldn’t help myself: $19.49. I probably shouldn’t play so many games, but when it’s insanely hot outside, and I don’t want to sweat my ass off….

Summary

Week 27
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Total
Travel 0 0 0.2 0.21 0 0 0 0.41
Lodging 5.48 5.48 5.48 5.48 5.48 5.48 5.48 38.36
Food 4.69 3.28 0 11.73 0 5.87 0 25.57
Other 20.03 9.77 8.64 8.64 8.64 8.64 28.13 92.49
Total 30.2 18.53 14.32 26.06 14.12 19.99 33.61 156.83

As you can see, this week went back down to a normal price level for where I’m staying. At least, it’s normal for me; your average may vary.

And for the month of July….

Jul 18
Week 23 Week 24 Week 25 Week 26 Week 27 Total
Travel 0.6 1.15 0.63 1.42 0.41 4.21
Lodging 27.4 38.36 38.36 41.61 27.4 173.13
Food 35.66 36.54 36.1 31.1 19.7 159.1
Other 105.96 124.59 289.09 144.76 55.72 720.12
Total 169.62 200.64 364.18 218.89 103.23 1056.56

This is pretty good. It’s about $200 more than the month of June because that’s what having no WiFi in the house cost me. Constantly purchasing more data from my ‘travel’ carrier is not cheap. Fortunately, I’ve solved this problem now so August will probably be a lot lower.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little peak under my financial hood. See you all next week.

Banking in Georgia (Part 1)

Will there be a part 2? Maybe? Anyway, I’d been waiting to get all the information for you guys, but that may or may not happen so…. Here’s a little story about my experiences so far with banking in Georgia. Off we go….

Quick insert from future me: There will absolutely be a part 2. This topic ballooned into something far larger than I’d originally thought.

So first thing’s first, why open a bank account in Georgia of all places? Well…this is going to take some explaining….

What to look for in a bank and/or economy

You know how in the West, banks give you like 1% interest on their MMAs (Money Market Accounts) if you’re lucky? Well, good news: the whole world isn’t like that! There are so many places that offer reasonable interest rates (think better than the US before 2008). I’d heard Georgia was one of those places.

But you want more than just good interest rates. You also want something stable. This comes in several forms that I’ll briefly cover: bank stability, government financial stability, and inflation. And yes, I know some of those are the same thing, but examples below should clarify why I separated them.

You don’t want a situation where the bank plays it fast and loose with loans. Anyone that was paying attention in the US around around 2008 can tell you what happens then. It also didn’t help that around half the US economy was related in some way to housing. But I digress….

You also don’t want a situation like Cyprus in 2013. For those unfamiliar with the story, the government dealt with their financial crisis by simply confiscating a bunch of money. Banks are, frankly, an easy place for governments to get at your money. You have been warned.

Additionally, any place with an insanely high inflation rate should be considered very carefully. Everyone’s probably familiar with Zimbabwe, but it bears repeating. What good is a 100% interest rate when the inflation rate is 1,000%? At that point, you’re losing rather than saving money.

Quick side note: this is also why many people in the US are putting their money anywhere but in a bank. It’s contributed massively to the housing crisis, several stock market boom/bust cycles, and a general culture of spending over saving. If that thing you’re purchasing devalues at a lower rate than inflation, you’re winning. Or if the interest rate for a loan is lower than inflation, you’re winning there as well. This is not a situation anyone should want.

I’d heard Georgia was also a decent place as far as these factors went too. So…research time.

Do Georgian banks meet the criteria?

“So…about that government stability thing…. Wasn’t there a Russian and Georgian conflict in 2008?” Yes, there was. South Ossetia and Abkhazia didn’t want to be a part of Georgia. Both ‘countries’ gained the support of Russia during the war, and are now autonomous areas.

People have asked me whether Russia might just decide to invade Georgia, and take over the country. While there’s no question Russia could do that, I don’t think they will. Ostensibly, the reason Russia got involved in the last conflict was to free the two previously mentioned areas. Since they are now de facto autonomous, I don’t think there’s going to be another war. The two countries definitely don’t like each other, but that doesn’t impact the stability of the Georgian government.

All other signs I see point to a growing economy. Batumi is a sea-side resort town with a lot of fancy hotels, restaurants, casinos, and karaoke bars. Tourism (especially from Russians) will keep that place running for a long time.

Tbilisi is a recently modern city. Every time I walk around town, I find new places full of construction. Much of the city is still old and looks pre-Soviet, but that’s rapidly changing. The city is definitely financially stable.

And the countryside…. Small villages still exist everywhere, but they’re being increasingly propped up by a quickly growing tourist industry. While Russia has long seen Georgia as a tourist destination, the West is just now discovering it. The increasing number of tourists is bringing prosperity to the small villages as well, and will continue to do so (in my opinion) as more people figure out that when I say Georgia, I don’t mean Atlanta. (Insert favorite joke about geographically illiterate Americans).

Government financial stability: check.

So how about the banks? Are they stable? Well…I don’t know what it’s like where you’re from, but in the US, there’s a whole system devoted to determining if someone deserves credit. It might not be the best system in the world, but it’s developed and stable. There’s nothing like that here.

I’ve heard a lot of locals complain about not being able to get a mortgage, because the banks don’t trust them. It seems in order to get a loan, you have to rent a similar property for at least a year before the banks will even think about approving you.

So that Opera thing Western banks do…. (“You get a loan, you get a loan, everybody gets a loan)” Yeah, that doesn’t happen here.

Additionally, their services are pretty sweet. You know that NFC (Near Field Communication) technology that people go nuts about in the States? Yeah, they’ve had that here for a while. Just hold your card up to the reader, and…approved!

Bank Stability: check.

Inflation…. You know what? I’m not going to bore you with a bunch of numbers, and charts. If you like that sort of thing, a quick Google search will pull up all the information your happy little heart desires. I’m just going to tell you inflation is not a problem. See? Easy.

Inflation: check.

But, no…really…why?

So now that I’ve overloaded you with all that information, you’re probably saying to yourself: “That’s fantastic, Porcupous. Georgian banks are a decent place to stash my cash, but why…please, tell me why would I want to go through all that trouble?”

I could tell you it’s a great diversification strategy. You don’t want all your eggs in one government’s basket.

But the real kick in the pants? What if I told you that CD rates for holding US Dollars was between 5-6%? Or that if you wanted to hold Georgian Lari, rates are between 10-12%? Well, this is not fake news, that’s actually true. So if you’re a saver like me….well…you know…you could open a Georgian CD or something. You know, for the LOLs…. That’s what those cool kids say these days right?

Summary of part 1

So hopefully, this answered the ‘why’ question. Because this is ridiculously long already, I think I’m going to save my experiences for part 2. What I actually found here is not exactly what I was expecting.

So stay tuned. The next time I get a few hours to pound out 1000+ words, you too will be able to read about the pain, the agony…just kidding, it wasn’t that bad. Or was it?

Financial Friday 26

Location: Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

Week 26; that’s officially half a year! (Or at least it will be this week). Things were all over the place so…it’s time to do some spreadsheet explaining.

Transportation

On Saturday, I took the metro to a hostel I used to stay at to hang out with the manager: $0.20. While there, I met up with a friend, and we met someone else that was staying at the hostel (yay, new friends). We went out and showed her a little of the city; part of which involved taking the cable car up to the castle / ‘mother of Georgia’ statue: $1.02.

On Monday, I hit up the metro again, because…well…getting around is so much easier that way: $0.20.

Quick travel hack: If the metro car is full and you’re not in a hurry, just wait 5 minutes. Metros tend to go in waves, and the trains on either end of a busy one are usually pretty open.

Accommodation

You guys, I have a confession to make. The previously reported numbers for rent were based on a 30 day month. There are actually 31 days in July. So the new (though actually old, and should have been this for all of this month) number for rent is $5.67 per day. I blame that annoying Julius Caesar guy for this nonsense. He just had to make his month longer…. Jerk.

Also on Friday, I payed the utility bill. 2 months of payments (one of which was before we moved in) divided by 2 (because I had 1 roommate) came out to a whopping $3.28. That’s for water, gas, electricity, everything. I imagine the next bill will be a little higher, but next time it’ll be split 4 ways as more people moved in. I love this country!

Food

So yeah, I went a little crazy when we were showing the new friend the city. We went to a bar, and I spent ‘a lot’ (ok…a lot by Georgian standards) on a bottle of wine and food.

As you can see by a lot of the zero spending days, I spent most of the week preparing groceries I’d previously purchased. This is the reward for ‘settling in’ to a place.

Other

The obligatory travel insurance: $8.64 per day.

On Friday, my old roommate (before the others moved in) and I went out and bought a few things we needed for cooking: $13.10. The landlord provided a lot of things, but not all. They included things like a few pieces of tupperware, a garlic press, some other sundries I’m forgetting about….

Also on Friday, I bought the first 5 books in the Song of Ice and Fire series (or you may know them better by the title of the first book: A Game of Thrones): $42.79. Amazon then informed me that I had a $3.00 credit on certain books for the next couple days. So I bought a book called The Elven: $2.13 after the discount. Because cheap books are awesome!

On Sunday, I topped up the data on my ‘travel carrier’: $25.00. Why would I do that when I have a nice, cheap Georgian SIM now? Because my WhatsApp is still on my ‘travel phone’, and I’m scared to migrate it to my Georgian one. I’m sure everything would be fine if I did it, but…well…ok, it’s an irrational fear. Just let me have this one.

On Wednesday, my roommate bought a blender which was also a kitchen item that was sorely lacking. My half of that came out to $11.26. I’m pretty sure there’s no way we would have found a blender for double that price in the West. Thanks again, Georgia!

Summary

Week 26
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Total
Travel 0 1.22 0 0.2 0 0 0 1.42
Lodging 8.73 5.48 5.48 5.48 5.48 5.48 5.48 41.61
Food 4.34 18.45 4.95 0 0 3.36 0 31.1
Other 66.66 8.64 23.64 8.64 8.64 19.9 8.64 144.76
Total 79.73 33.79 34.07 14.32 14.12 28.74 14.12 218.89

So…not too bad. There were a couple large expenditures, but they were made up for by spending almost nothing on a few of the days. Seriously, less than $15.00 for 3 of the days? That’s insane!

Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s post. I’ll see you all next Friday for another installment of ‘where the fuck did I spend all my money’. Later….

Financial Friday 25

Location: Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

Week 25 is done! Let’s see where I spent all my money….

Transportation

This was limited to a few rides on the metro on Friday, Tuesday and Thursday. I’m told bus rides around the city are the same price as a ride on the metro. It’s so cheap.

Accommodation

This is pretty standard now that I’m staying in a house. We did get our first utility bill in the mail though so next week, I can throw that in as well.

Food

So you can clearly see I went out on Friday and Wednesday. The other days were either spent grocery shopping or not spending any money as I simply cooked what I’d bought earlier.

Other

The obligatory, overpriced travel insurance: $8.64 per day.

On Sunday and Wednesday I topped up my data with my ‘travel’ provider: $25 each time.

Being increasingly frustrated at the Greek carrier that locked my phone down, I decided to just purchase a new one on Tuesday: $175.46. I find it ironic that the new one is cheaper than the old one, and has a better camera. It’s a Huawei P9 lite mini if anyone’s curious.

On Wednesday, I used one of the kiosks all Georgians seem to use to top up my Georgian SIM / plan. There was a 4% charge for inserting cash into the machine: $0.83 on 50 lari. I then used the new balance to purchase 15G of mobile data: for 30 lari ($12.32)! This is an order of magnitude cheaper than what I get with my ‘travel’ provider. So the lesson here is: if you’re going to be in a place for a while, get a local SIM. Now I’m no so worried about the house not having WiFi.

Summary

Week 25
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Total
Travel 0.21 0 0 0 0.21 0 0.21 0.63
Lodging 5.67 5.67 5.67 5.67 5.67 5.67 5.67 39.69
Food 13.71 0 3.41 0 4.11 13.95 0.92 36.1
Other 8.64 8.64 23.64 8.64 184.1 46.79 8.64 289.09
Total 28.23 14.31 32.72 14.31 194.09 66.41 15.44 365.51

So, as we can see here, I went slightly over my $50 per day budget this week. I blame that entirely on the new phone. However, since the price of the entire phone and a new plan are less than 8 refills with the other carrier, and I get 30 times that data….

Or another way to look at it is 8 refills at my current data consumption rate was about 3 weeks (being generous). So after said 3 weeks, I’d save $200.00 on the next 3 weeks. And the data would almost last another 3 weeks after that before needing a refill. So yeah, totally worth it long-term.

Anyway, I hope you’ve all enjoyed checking under my financial hood. I’ll write you all next week.