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Another month, another travel budget recap. Here’s our full review of our November budget for 2017.
Trip Budget(s) vs Everyday Living Budget
A quick refresher on the two budget we cover in our monthly review.
Trip Budget: What we spent on a trip taken outside of our home city (currently Wellington, New Zealand). If you’re planning a trip in this same location, it should give you an idea of expected travel expenses.
Everyday Living Budget: What we spent to live in a certain location, including costs like rent, utilities, and food. This budget should give a good comparison for the cost of living in a specific location compared to living in the Midwestern United States.
November 2017 Trip Budgets
We took one trip in the month of November to Christchurch, New Zealand.
We came out $463.88 ahead compared to our budget.
- Where we splurged: Even though we came in under budget, we did spend money on some extra things for this trip. We took a shuttle bus for a day trip to Akaroa, which was about $80. The shuttle was much more relaxing than renting a car and probably about the same price when you factor in gas. Once we got there, we bought ourselves some New Zealand made wool items. I got a pair of gloves and Scott got socks – definitely a treat for us since we’re trying not to buy many souvenirs.
- Where we saved: We booked one of the cheapest airbnbs of our whole trip in Christchurch for just $40 a night. It even came with breakfast. However, this airbnb was quite a ways from downtown, so we did have to walk about a mile each day to get to any attractions. Scott and I agreed that we probably should have paid a bit more to be within walking distance of central Christchurch. Also, per usual, we were able to keep our food costs down. We did go out to eat a couple of times and had some fun experiences, but we mostly made dinners at our airbnb.
November Budget 2017: Everyday Living Costs
Our budget per day to live in Wellington, New Zealand = $63.25 per person.
In November, we lived in Wellington for 25 days, making our total everyday living budget for the month = $3,162.50.
- Where we splurged: Like last month, we’re over budget on rent. I knew this would happen due to my own booking mistake (which I also mentioned in our October recap). We also added a new category for miscellaneous expenses we did not budget for. In November, I bought a few skeins of yarn for a project, which I would say was a splurge and we also shipped a kids book back home for our niece and nephews. Shipping was quite a bit, so that’s falling under this category too.
- Where we saved: Again our utilities, groceries and transportation are all areas where we saved in November. We’ve noticed that the prices at Pak N Save, our closest grocery store, are a bit cheaper than where we were shopping before. We’re also still not buying the volume of groceries that we normally do at home since we’re not stocking a pantry. We’ve saved a ton on bus fare by walking or driving our airbnb hosts’ car. They have been extremely generous and let us use their extra car for the entire time we’re in Lyall Bay. It’s been incredibly convenient for running errands and taking little trips. We don’t even have to worry about gas since they fill up the car’s tank at work. Win for everyone!
Total Wellington November Budget Numbers for 2017
Trip + Everyday Living Budgets = $3,730.00
Actual Spend = $2,785.24
We had a large gap between the Wellington November budget and actual spending numbers. Only September was larger, spending 73%. For November, we spent 75% of our allocated budget and the variance between budgeted and actual spend is +$944.76.
I think moving a bit farther outside of Wellington into another suburb has helped us stay under budget. We’re still being extremely cautious with our spending, which will be worth it in the long run. I mean, even though we have the money should I really buy an ice cream cone every day (I REALLY want to, but I won’t ). We’ve also learned some good lessons this month on how far a cheap airbnb will get you and how we could change our priorities for future bookings.
For the first three months of our trip, we’re now at +$2,759.42 compared to our budget. The extra money we have left over we really help us as we’re working on trip plans for next year. It definitely takes a little weight off our shoulders when we aren’t earning as much income.
We’re happy to answer your questions about travel budgeting, the cost of living in New Zealand and more. Leave us a comment and we’ll get back to you!