Financial Friday 43

Location: Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

Week 43….

Transportation

This was very low. I only used the metro once: $0.19. The rest of the time, I walked which is very easy to do here.

Accommodation

Rent on my room for this month comes out to $5.67 per day.

Food

Nothing too crazy happened here. A good reference point for spending would be when I went out to eat with some friends last night. There were 4 of us, and we ordered: 20 ხინკალი (khinkali: dumplings with meat), 1 კაჭაპური (kachapouri: cheese and bread) in the მეგრელური (megrelian) style so it was kind of like a cheese pizza without the tomato sauce, some greens to go with everything, a salad, and a bottle of wine. Split 4 ways, we ended up spending $9.33 each. And we ate like kings! Less than $10 for a fancy meal? Yes please!

Other

Travel insurance: $8.64 per day.

VPN service: $0.13 per day.

Amazon Prime: $0.33 per day.

On Friday, I bought a book: $9.79. Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Oragan came recommended by a friend so I thought I’d check it out. I’ve been looking into nutrition and digestion a lot lately.

Summary

Week 43
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Total
Travel 0 0 0 0.19 0 0 0 0.19
Lodging 5.67 5.67 5.67 5.67 5.67 5.67 5.67 39.69
Food 5.06 6.01 0 14.31 5.49 0 15.75 46.62
Other 18.89 9.1 9.1 9.1 9.1 9.1 9.1 73.49
Total 29.62 20.78 14.77 29.27 20.26 14.77 30.52 159.99

So, another great week has come and gone. What will I spend next week? You’ll find out next Friday.

Financial Friday 42

Locations: Tbilisi, super small (population less than 100) village [Republic of Georgia]

Week 42, here we go….

Transportation

On Friday, Monday, and Tuesday, I used took the metro for $0.19 per ride.

On Saturday, some friends and I went to a tiny village 60 km west of თბილისი (Tbilisi). 5 of us got a taxi out there; my portion of which was $2.99. Not bad for an hour and a half ride.

Lodging

Rent for the month is $5.67.

On Monday, I paid the utility bill for electricity and water. My portion came out to $3.73.

Food

So…typical food bill. Of note is we bought groceries for our time at the village on Saturday and Sunday. Our bill came out to $9.33 per person for two days; and we weren’t cheap. We bought a lot of the pricier food, and a good deal of alcohol. Have I mentioned I love საქართველო (Georgia)?

Other

Travel insurance: $8.64 per day.

VPN service: $0.13 per day.

Amazon Prime: $0.33 per day.

On Friday, I bought two books written by Alain de Botton (a modern philosopher). On Love: A Novel was $9.63. The Course of Love: A Novel was $12.83. These aren’t exactly the cheapest books, but I figure they’re well worth their price since they deal with philosophy. I think we could all use a little more philosophy in our lives.

Summary

Week 42
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Total
Travel 0.37 2.99 0 0.19 0.19 0 0 3.74
Lodging 5.67 5.67 5.67 9.4 5.67 5.67 5.67 43.42
Food 8.12 9.33 5 10 9.34 6.51 0 48.3
Other 31.56 9.1 9.1 9.1 9.1 9.1 9.1 86.16
Total 45.72 27.09 19.77 28.69 24.3 21.28 14.77 181.62

So there we go. Another decent week. My wallet is really loving this country. See you all next week.

Financial Friday 41

Location: Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

Week 41….

Transportation

Friday, Monday and Thursday are metro trips at $0.19 per trip.

On Sunday, I stayed out until the morning, and ended up taking a taxi home. The driver charged me 50% more than what the most expensive fare should have been (which is itself twice what a normal fare is). So I basically paid 3 times a normal rate. I was very annoyed.

Accommodation

The rate for this month is $5.67.

Food

I was actually pretty surprised. With all the debauchery on Sunday night, I figured I would have spent a lot more. What can I say? Georgia is cheap.

Other

Travel insurance: $8.64 per day.

VPN service: $0.13 per day.

Amazon Prime: $0.33 per day.

On Monday, my local phone carrier renewed my pay-as-you-go plan: $0.50.

Also on Monday, I forgot to pay the balance on one of my travel cards, and was slapped with a late fee of $25. Ouch! I need to set a reminder or something so that doesn’t happen again.

On Tuesday, I topped up my data for my local carrier: $11.64 for 15G of data. I’m not complaining….

On Wednesday, had a few bank statements printed: $1.49. More on that when I write part 2 of Banking in Georgia.

Summary

Week 41
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Total
Travel 0.19 0 2.61 0.19 0 0 0.37 3.36
Lodging 5.67 5.67 5.67 5.67 5.67 5.67 5.67 39.69
Food 8.08 3.69 12.04 8.58 8.58 5.06 3.62 49.65
Other 9.1 9.1 9.1 34.6 20.74 10.59 9.1 102.33
Total 23.04 18.46 29.42 49.04 34.99 21.32 18.76 195.03

So it wasn’t terrible, but it also wasn’t fantastic. I blame my own stupidity for forgetting my credit cards have payment dates. Next week should be better. Until then….

Financial Friday 40

Location: Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

Week 40….

Transportation

All transportation costs were metro trips ($0.19 a piece). It’s a bit high on Tuesday because I used my card to get an extra person in on our way to a restaurant. What, I have friends?!

Accommodation

The cost for October comes out to $5.48 per day while November is $5.67 per day. That extra day changes the cost slightly. Other than that, nothing really happened here.

Food

On Tuesday, I went with some new friends to a Yemeni restaurant. One of the people I was with was from there, and wanted to showcase his culinary culture. Unfortunately (according to him), the food wasn’t that good. I still thought it was fantastic, but…. That just makes me want to go to Yemen to see how awesome this food really is. Will it live up to the hype?

Other

Travel insurance: $8.64 per day.

VPN service: $0.13 per day.

Amazon Prime: $0.33 per day.

On Friday, I bought some jello: $0.50. I thought I could make fake blood out of the strawberry flavor, but I ended up not using it. One of my roommates had make-up that worked much better.

Also on Friday, I bought a pad of sticky notes: $3.34. I’ve been writing the Georgian names of objects on them, and attaching them to the appropriate surfaces. It’s been somewhat effective having to look at the words every time I want to use something.

Summary

Week 40
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Total
Travel 0 0 0 0.19 0.56 0 0.37 1.12
Lodging 5.48 5.48 5.48 5.48 5.48 5.48 5.67 38.55
Food 1.21 2.24 4.68 8.58 9.33 14.29 7.09 47.42
Other 12.94 9.1 9.1 9.1 9.1 9.1 9.1 67.54
Total 19.63 16.82 19.26 23.35 24.47 28.87 22.23 154.63

So this has been a pretty good week. And for the month….

Oct 18
Week 36 Week 37 Week 38 Week 39 Week 40 Total
Travel 1.36 5.79 1.79 3.59 0.75 13.28
Lodging 21.92 47.42 44.12 38.36 32.88 184.7
Food 26.98 51.5 34.19 44.2 40.33 197.2
Other 94.23 89.62 115.93 80.79 58.44 439.01
Total 144.49 194.33 196.03 166.94 132.4 834.19

This is fantastic! It’s not the least expensive month, but it’s certainly one of the better ones. See you all next week….

Financial Friday 39

Location: Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

Week 39….

Travel

There’s the normal metro trips: $0.19 each.

On Thursday, I took a couple taxi rides: $2.26. We went out to a couple bars, and came back to the house.

Accommodation

The rent for this month is $5.48 per day.

Food

Nothing’s too out of the ordinary here. These levels look about average.

Other

Travel insurance: $8.64 per day.

VPN service: $0.13 per day.

Amazon Prime: $0.33 per day.

On Thursday, I bought a robe as part of my Halloween costume: $15.09. It’s actually really nice. I’m convinced I couldn’t have gotten the same quality for that price in the US. Halloween’s going to be epic…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Summary

Week 39
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Total
Travel 0.38 0.19 0 0.19 0.19 0.38 2.26 3.59
Lodging 5.48 5.48 5.48 5.48 5.48 5.48 5.48 38.36
Food 11.21 0 5.08 7.55 11.21 6.68 2.47 44.2
Other 9.1 9.1 9.1 9.1 9.1 9.1 26.19 80.79
Total 26.17 14.77 19.66 22.32 25.98 21.64 36.4 166.94

So this was a good week…although somewhat boring as far as finances are concerned. See you all next week.

Financial Friday 38

Location: Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

Week 38 here we go.

Transportation

On every day except Saturday and Thursday, I took the metro once: $0.19. Or at least it counted as once. On Wednesday, I hopped on and off 3 times, but they were all close enough to each other that it only counted as once. I love the metro here.

On Sunday, some friends an I took a cab to a friend’s barbecue: $0.84.

Accommodation

The rent for this month comes out to $5.48 per day.

On Tuesday, I paid the combined utility bill (electricity, water, and pipe cleaning): $5.76 was my portion for last month. It’s gotten much lower now that we don’t have to run the air conditioner.

Food

Other than going a little overboard on Friday, this was pretty simple. I mostly bought groceries, and cooked myself. Lately, I’ve been trying to limit the amount of carbs I eat which is rather challenging in a country that lives off bread and cheese. I’ve been mostly successful.

Other

Travel insurance: $8.64 per day.

VPN service: $0.13 per day.

Amazon Prime: $0.33 per day.

On Friday, I topped up my data on my travel carrier: $15.00.

On Saturday, a book I pre-ordered came out: $10.69. It’s called Where is She: Travel to Trauma. Though it’s written by a traveler and that’s how it came to my attention, it’s about something that can and does happen globally.

On Monday, I topped up my data with my local carrier: $5.83.

On Wednesday, I got my teeth cleaned: $30.71. While this is significantly more expensive than last time, it’s still so much cheaper than what I would pay in the US. And I love the feeling of clean teeth.

Summary

Week 38
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Total
Travel 0.19 0 1.03 0.19 0.19 0.19 0 1.79
Lodging 5.48 5.48 5.48 5.48 11.24 5.48 5.48 44.12
Food 15.25 2.38 5.18 3.07 4.86 3.45 0 34.19
Other 14.1 19.79 9.1 14.93 9.1 39.81 9.1 115.93
Total 35.02 27.65 20.79 23.67 25.39 48.93 14.58 196.03

So yeah…still under $200 this week. So…winning! See you all next week.

Financial Friday 37

Locations: Lagodekhi, Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

Week 37 is over. Let’s see what my wallet’s been up to.

Transportation

On Friday, Sunday, Monday, and Thursday, my travel expenses can be explained by metro trips: $0.19 per trip. Most of them were for language exchanges, but Sunday’s was to see see a friend who left Georgia on Monday. You will be missed…until I see you again.

On Tuesday, a friend and I went to ლაგოდეხი (Lagodehki). The travel expense is from catching a mini-bus after we’d made it most of the way out there. We went hiking in the mountains, but more on that in the ‘other’ section.

On Wednesday, we took a mini-bus back to თბილისი (Tbilisi): $2.70. And we took the metro from where the bus dropped us to the house. The mini-buses / large vans called ‘marshutkas’ by the locals are a cheap way to get around, but they can get rather crowded. This one was no exception as it started off all right, but a few people had to stand towards the end.

Accommodation

The rent on the house is $5.48 per day this month.

On Friday, I payed the gas bill. My portion came out to $1.35. Considering how much we use the kitchen, that’s really cheap.

On Tuesday, the hostel / guesthouse came out to $7.71. Two of us rented a 3 person room, and that’s what my half came to.

Food

On Sunday, I splurged a little for the goodbye party. I ordered trout at a restaurant, and was surprised to find they’d grilled a whole fish! It was delicious though. For reference, the aforementioned trout and a salad, and a glass of wine and some fries at a bar all came out to $11.57. I love it here.

Tuesday and Wednesday involved finding food in Lagodekhi so that’s why they’re a little higher. The food out there is even cheaper than Tbilisi! We ate pretty well.

Other

Travel insurance: $8.64 per day.

VPN service: $0.13 per day.

Amazon Prime: $0.33 per day.

On Friday, I bought a book: $5.87. It’s called ‘Any Way You Can’, and I expect it to teach me a lot about how my body processes energy. I also expect a rather large portion of it to be dedicated to talking about ketones. I’ve developed a mild fascination with the ‘keto’ thing so it should be an interesting read.

On Tuesday, a couple friends an I decided to take a ‘day trip’: $19.28. It included a tour of a wine bottling factory (as well as a lot of wine tasting), a trip to სიღნაღი (Sighnaghi) which is called the romance capital of Georgia, and a stop along the road to see how Georgian bread is made.

Right before the trip back to Tbilisi, it was about half way to Lagodekhi so a friend and I hopped off. It wasn’t easy convincing him to let us off at the main road to go hitchhiking. I think he figured it was an unreliable means of transportation. But we flagged down a truck driver who took us part of the way, and a mini-bus that finished it. If you’re willing to deal with unpredictable times, you can wait along bus routes, flag one down, and pay a fraction of the price for the whole ride.

Summary

Week 37
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Total
Travel 0.39 0 0.39 0.39 1.54 2.89 0.19 5.79
Lodging 6.83 5.48 5.48 5.48 13.19 5.48 5.48 47.42
Food 6.05 0.46 13.96 5.59 14.45 9.06 1.93 51.5
Other 14.97 9.1 9.1 9.1 29.15 9.1 9.1 89.62
Total 28.24 15.04 28.93 20.56 58.33 26.53 16.7 194.33

So, it was a little more expensive than just staying in Tbilisi, but I had a lot of fun. See you all next week.