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We’re back with more number crunching…here’s our full review of our Wellington October budget for 2017 review.
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 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.
October 2017 Trip Budgets
We took one trip in the month of October to Nelson, Abel Tasman National Park and Golden Bay, New Zealand.
We came out $254.12 behind compared to our budget.
- Where we splurged: We didn’t mean to splurge on our car rental…it just ended up that way. We had some miscommunication when booking, which led to additional insurance and daily expenses we weren’t expecting. Plus, gas was extremely expensive compared to what we’re used in the United States. Even though we only filled up once, the total for a tank of gas was over $80.We also paid over $200.00 for our Abel Tasman kayak tour, which is more than we typically spend on an excursion. However, we did budget for it and both agreed it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and worth the additional cost.
- Where we saved: Because of the circumstance with our car rental, we knew we had to save money in other categories. We didn’t go out to eat as much as we planned and tried to tighten our spending at the grocery store. We also concentrated on more free tourist options. In the end, we still went over budget but the gap wasn’t as wide as it could have been if we didn’t make sure to keep our spending in check.
October 2017 Everyday Living Budget
Our budget per day to live in Wellington, New Zealand = $63.25 per person
In October, we lived in Wellington for 20 days, making our total everyday living budget for the month = $2,530.00
Just like September, we’re ahead on our Everyday Living Budget by $421.63 for October.
- Where we splurged: Rent and entertainment categories are both over budget. The rental costs are not a surprise to me. When booking, I thought I had selected two rentals within our budget, but after booking realized I had spent more than we allocated. Regardless, I expect to see that line item over budget for next month too. We spent almost double on entertainment in October. At the beginning of the month, we made a list of places we wanted to visit within walking distance of our first Airbnb (which is about 15 minutes from downtown) before we moved to our second Airbnb (in a suburb of Wellington, about 40 minutes from downtown). For example, places like the Wellington Chocolate Factory, Garage Project Brewing, and Grill Meats Beer. Because of this, I believe our entertainment budget for all of Wellington was spent in October and we will come in under budget in November.
- Where we saved: As mentioned before, wifi and other utilities are included in Airbnb rentals. Perhaps we’ll roll those numbers in the rent budget in the future. We also continue to spend far less on groceries than we estimated. We are still very picky when it comes to spending on high-cost items like produce and meat (we try to only get things on sale), but we have become a little more relaxed when grocery shopping. It will be interesting to see where we land in November since our second Airbnb is located near a budget grocery store called Pak-N-Sav.
Total Wellington October Budget Numbers for 2017
Trip + Everyday Living Budgets = $4,680.00
Actual Spend = $4,512.49
Our Wellington October budget and actual spending numbers were much closer this month. We spent 96% of our allocated budget and variance between budgeted and actual spend is +$167.51.
I’m happy to see that we’re ahead again this month, even with a $500 unexpected expense for our Nelson car rental. I knew that we had budgeted conservatively, so it’s nice to see the wiggle room we added in pay off.
For the first two months of our trip, we’re now at +$1,814.66 compared to our budget. This is great news as we move forward and start making some bookings for Spring 2018.
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!