Monday, November 5, 2012

The Expense of Travel: October

When it comes to saving money, house sitting is a close second to moving back in with your parents! The final numbers are in for October, and while it wasn't our most frugal month, it cost us a meager $747. The only surprising thing about this result is that we're spending as much here as we were in France. Our expectation was that South Africa would be a price break compared to Western Europe, but that hasn't turned out to be true in our case.

Last month, we spent $100 more on groceries than our monthly average in France. I guess the food here is more expensive (reports of us eating more are unconfirmed). I've started making pasta because it's priced like caviar in the stores. We've taken out a home equity loan on our house sit so that we can afford instant coffee. Decaf is out until one of the dogs sells, so I'm typing this twice as fast as usual. 

Now, I've been wondering for a while if we're really coming out ahead with house sitting. In other words, does the amount that we're saving in housing expenses offset the added cost of flying around every few months? After crunching the numbers, the answer is YES! Even though we paid for apartments and hotels between house sits and spent $4,600 on flights, we'll still save about $5,000 compared to our old cost of living. In fact, by the time we finish this house sit, we will have spent about $16,000 less than if we had stuck with our day jobs and lived in the townhouse! Based on this result, the next logical step would be to move in with our parents...

As always I present to you the graphical representation of our tabulated expenses to date.