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.

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.

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.

Financial Friday 24

Location: Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

Another week has passed already. It seems so short, and yet so long. But here we go….

Transportation

On Friday, a friend and I went to a restaurant across town to watch a world cup game. He didn’t feel like walking and called a cab. 10 minutes and a lot of him speaking to us in Russian (which neither of us understand), we arrived for the price of $1.15. Not bad; not bad at all.

Accommodation

So this is easy. Rent for this month comes out to $5.48 per day. It’s even paid in US Dollars so I don’t even have to convert it.

Food

Have I mentioned food here is cheap? It’s especially so since most days I’ve run down to a grocery store, and that’s constituted my ‘food’ spending for the day. On a related note, I’ve gotten a lot better at making oatmeal (porridge for UK types) taste good; learned how to not hard boil eggs; and have come up with the most delicious summer salad recipe ever invented. The produce here is so cheap, and mostly grown in people’s back yards or on real farms. I must eat all of it!

Other

Way too expensive travel insurance: $8.64 per day.

This no WiFi thing is not fun at all. I had to top up my data on: Friday, Saturday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. One of the days, my computer gobbled up 500MB downloading an update…arg! Blogger problems….

On Monday, I bought a pair of flip-flops: $4.11. The ones I’ve been using as shower shoes are getting pretty beat up, and I didn’t want to continue contributing to their wear and tear. Plus, they’re cheap.

Summary

Week 24
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Total
Travel 1.15 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.15
Lodging 5.67 5.67 5.67 5.67 5.67 5.67 5.67 39.69
Food 6.57 10.35 4.11 5.59 6.16 1.05 2.71 36.54
Other 23.64 23.64 8.64 12.75 23.64 23.64 8.64 124.59
Total 37.03 39.66 18.42 24.01 35.47 30.36 17.02 201.97

So, not quite as much as last week’s spending. It will go a lot lower when WiFi gets hooked up though. I could be saving so much money.

Until next week….

Financial Friday 23

Week 23 has come and gone, and it was quite eventful…or at least for me. So here comes the explaining.

Transportation

These are just getting around town expenses. Basically, whenever I’m tired of walking, I’ll hop on the metro. I did this once on Monday and twice on Wednesday. $0.20 per trip is far more affordable than anything in the US.

Accommodation

Friday and Saturday were at a hostel. I spent most of those days inside hiding from the heat. Did I mention it’s hit 40C (104F for my US readers) every day this week since Monday?

On Sunday, I moved into a house. You can read my previous blog post to see how that’s been going. Rent is $170 per month which comes out to $5.67 per day for this month (with it’s 31 days). I also payed a $170 security deposit. I didn’t include that as I figured it was a loan that I’d get back when I move out. If anyone else feels like including that, feel free. You know, in those little spreadsheets you keep of my expenses…. Oh wait, I’m the only one that does that.

Food

I spent Friday and Saturday finishing off the groceries I’d bought in previous trips. There isn’t any room for food in my backpack so anything I didn’t eat, was left at the hostel in the free food area. I love the free food area….

The rest of the week was a combination of eating out and buying groceries. We just got cookware on Thursday so I did a lot more eating out than I will in the future (I think). If all goes according to plan, my food bill will drop significantly. We’ll see next week.

Other

Far too expensive travel insurance: $8.64 per day.

So the new place doesn’t have WiFi hooked up yet. They claim it’ll be in on the 10th. I really hope it is because I’ve been burning through data. My current plan is meant as a little side data while I travel between WiFi spots; not for keeping me connected with the outside word. I’ve had to add more data on Friday, Monday and Wednesday this week at $25 per instance. Ouch!

On Tuesday, my roommate and I spit the cost of an HDMI cable ($2.87) and a chess set ($8.20). (Those numbers are my half; not the total). The cable we’re using to connect the TV with my computer for movies/television (aka YouTube/Netflix). And we both like chess so…you could call them entertainment expenses.

On Wednesday, I went to see a movie: $3.69. In the US, it’s hard to find a movie in theaters for under $10 so I think the price here is fantastic! For anyone that follows my Instagram feed, the movie was Sicario: Day of the Soldado. You see? You get even more information about my life if you follow this blog and my Instagram account…. You little voyeurs.

Summary

Week 23
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Total
Travel 0 0 0 0.2 0 0.4 0 0.6
Lodging 6.35 6.35 5.67 5.67 5.67 5.67 5.67 41.05
Food 0 0 10.08 6.49 6.11 7.8 5.18 35.66
Other 33.64 8.64 8.64 33.64 19.71 35.33 8.64 148.24
Total 39.99 14.99 24.39 46 31.49 49.2 19.49 225.55

So it’s significantly higher than last week which I attribute to the mobile data charges. I really want that WiFi. And this week also wrapped up the month of June so….

Jun 18
Week 19 Week 20 Week 21 Week 22 Week 23 Total
Travel 4.26 1.03 1.02 2.24 0 8.55
Lodging 70.09 55.96 46.01 44.45 12.7 229.21
Food 41.55 74.77 62.89 24.62 0 203.83
Other 100.07 116.81 60.48 93.58 42.28 413.22
Total 215.97 248.57 170.4 164.89 54.98 854.81

Hello, cheapest month yet! This is one more reason why I love this country so much. Are you a nomad? Looking for a cheap place to stay? Consider Georgia. Your wallet will thank you.

See you all next week for another financial report.