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….

Financial Friday 69

Locations: Belgrade [Serbia], Thessaloniki [Greece]

Week 69 on the road is done. A few very unexpected expenses came up so here we go….

Transportation

On Tuesday, I took a bus from Београд (Belgrade) to Θεσσαλονίκη (Thessaloniki): $60.58. Ouch! I hadn’t planned on returning to Ελλάδα (Greece) this soon, but it’s the cheapest way I could find to get back to საქართველო (Georgia). I hadn’t planned on going back to Georgia just yet either, but….

I discovered last Friday that someone had managed to steal my debit card information. They used it to make a few online purchases so I had to lock the card. Since that’s the way I was getting cash, I needed to find another way to pay for general living expenses. Greece accepts credit cards in far more instances than the rest of it’s Balkan neighbors so returning was a good idea from that standpoint as well. More on this fiasco in another post though. Back to expenses….

Accommodation

Friday to Monday were at a hostel in Belgrade. There’s a slight difference in price due to currency/exchange fluctuations. The hostel was almost empty, and I got a while 6 bed dorm to myself! Which was nice.

Tuesday night was spent on an overnight bus so no accommodation charge! Thought it did make me almost useless on Wednesday….

Wednesday and Thursday were spent at a hostel in Thessaloniki. This hostel is a little different and charge variable rates based on (I’m assuming) demand. Weirdoes….

Food

There isn’t much to say here. Food in Greece is more expensive (but better) than the other Balkan countries I visited.

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 Friday, the hostel did my laundry: $5.72. It was a bit expensive, but they dried (something I’m not used to) and folded it so I’m not complaining.

On Wednesday, I topped up my mobile data for Greece: $20.00 for 1G.

Summary

Week 69
CategoryFriSatSunMonTueWedThuTotal
Travel000060.580060.58
Lodging10.9510.6710.6710.67014.9319.5277.41
Food3.2412.7704.173.355.598.8337.95
Other12.837.117.117.117.1127.117.1175.49
Total27.0230.5517.7821.9571.0447.6335.46251.43

So, a little more expensive due to travel costs. Still though, it wasn’t terrible. See you all next week….

Financial Friday 68

Locations: Ohrid, Skopje [North Macedonia]; Belgrade [Serbia]

Week 68 of perpetual travel. Let’s get into it….

Transportation

On Friday, I took a bus from Охрид (Ohrid) to Скопје (Skopje): $8.74. Ohrid was chilly, but nice. It’s a peaceful town next to a huge lake. I highly recommend going if you’re in North Macedonia.

On Wednesday, I took a bus from Skopje to Београд (Belgrade): $23.38. In retrospect, I probably should have gone somewhere closer in Serbia. The 9 hour ride was a bit long, and involved changing buses in Ниш (Niš).

Accommodation

Friday to Tuesday were at the same hostel in Skopje. The differences in price are a result of exchange rate fluctuations, and what kind of deal I could get.

Travel tip: For those of us that are from the US, I highly recommend getting a Charles Schwab checking account. It’ll enable you to pull cash out of ATMs in the local currency at [almost always] the best rates. Additionally, they’ll refund any charges the banks said ATMs belong to add on.

Wednesday and Thursday were in a hostel in Belgrade: $10.95 per night. It appears to still be low season since there aren’t many guests here. I got a whole 6 bed dorm to myself! It also means I don’t have a lot of people to socialize with unless I go out though. So good and bad….

Food

There isn’t much to say here. I’ve been eating out every day since I wasn’t sure when I was going where, and didn’t want to leave a bunch of extra groceries behind. The plus side is once you’ve been somewhere for a while, you know where to get the cheapest good food.

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 Friday, my subscription to Pimsleur’s Russian course renewed. Since there are 31 days in May the price per day went from $0.71 to $0.69. Yay, long months!

On Saturday, I went to Водно (Vodno). It’s one of the mountains surrounding Skopje. The bus was free since it was a weekend. I did end up spending $1.82 for the cable car to the top. The view was spectacular though it was a bit windy so I’d recommend going on a warm day.

On Wednesday, I purchased data for my travel SIM for Serbia: $20.00. The rates here are far cheaper than North Macedonia. If I had a local SIM, they’d probably be about the same.

Summary

Week 68
CategoryFriSatSunMonTueWedThuTotal
Travel8.74000023.38032.12
Lodging9.659.839.839.839.8610.9510.9570.9
Food42.736.373.744.756.0410.137.73
Other7.138.957.137.137.1327.137.1171.71
Total29.5221.5123.3320.721.7467.528.16212.46

So there’s this week’s spending. See you all next week.