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Another month, another travel budget recap. Here’s our full review of our December budget for 2017.
For those of you interested in a complete breakdown for our entire trip, you can access our budget tracking spreadsheet here. We spent a few hours redoing it in December and it’s made seeing our expenses at a glance super easy. Give us a shoutout in the comments if you like it!
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 (for December this was Wellington, New Zealand and Melbourne, Australia). 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.
December 2017 Trip Budgets
We took one trip in the month of December to Queenstown, New Zealand.
We came out $445.92 ahead compared to our budget.
- Where we splurged: I wouldn’t say we splurged on this trip, but we did come in over budget in two areas where we could have planned better. We booked our roundtrip flight to Queenstown less than a month from our departure date, so we did pay more than we wanted to (about $220 per person). On top of that, we also did a lot of driving on this trip and that meant we spent more money on gas than we were anticipating.
- Where we saved: Per usual, we were able to make up for extra expenses by making our own meals and not going out to eat. We had also thought about doing a couple more activities in Queenstown that we just didn’t get around to doing.
December Budget 2017: Everyday Living Costs
We split our time in December between two locations: Wellington, New Zealand and Melbourne, Australia.
- Wellington, NZ
- Our budget per day to live in Wellington = $42.17 per person.
- In December, we lived in Wellington for 15 days, making our every day living budget for this location = $1,265.00
- Melbourne, AUS
- Our budget per day to live in Melbourne = $48.26 per person.
- In December, we lived in Melbourne for 16 days, making our every day living budget for this location = $1,544.19
So, the combined numbers for both locations are reflected in the table below. You’ll notice we’ve also made some updates to our categories to simplify our tracking and included our one-way flight from Wellington to Melbourne.
We’re ahead (again!) on our December Budget for everyday living by $521.26.
- Where we splurged: Our transportation expenses have gone up significantly since arriving in Melbourne. We learned once we got here that our airbnb is about a half hour train ride from the city center, so we both got public transportation passes and loaded them up for several trips. Also, for the first time in three months, we both got haircuts – which accounts for about half of the expenses in our Misc category. Getting a haircut in a big city is expensive, even with all the research we did to find the cheapest ones possible.
- Where we saved: The budget we’ve set for rent in Melbourne was based off living closer to the city center, so we’ve been able to cut our actual costs in that category quite a bit. Similar to other months, we were also able to come in under budget with our groceries and eating out.
Total December Budget Numbers for 2017
Trip + Everyday Living Budgets = $5,584.19
Actual Spend = $4,634.91
We saved almost $1,000 compared to our budget for December. We spent 83% of our allocated budget and the variance between budgeted and actual spend is +$949.18.
For the first four months of our trip, we’re now at +$3,708.60 compared to our budget. We are working hard on Spring and Summer plans in Europe and I can already see how having that cushion is going to come in handy. We only have so much money for a very long list of countries. ?
If you want to see all the details, view our Google budget tracking spreadsheet.
We’re happy to answer your questions about travel budgeting, the cost of living in New Zealand and Australia and more. Leave us a comment and we’ll get back to you!