1 year of full-time travel, what have I spent?
Well, well, well. Here we are. 1 entire year of travel. I’m currently shacked up in a beautiful family home in the cozy Sydney suburb of Lane Cove, looking after yet another cat on my house sitting adventure around Australia. I set out with an aim to ‘sit’ in every state in the country, and Sydney is my last stop on this journey. We got there!
I’ve spent the last week reminiscing about everything that has happened over the previous 365 days. Scrolling through the spreadsheet, where I diligently record my finances, I realised I’d forgotten a bunch of different activities over the year. A lot has happened, alright! It’s easy to overlook some things, particularly when you’re constantly on the move.
I never intended on recording all of my spending, but I’m glad I did. This information has given me a revealing insight into how much I spend on travel, accommodation, food, living expenses and all of the other random purchases along the way.
So, what have I spent?
Flights = $2,145
Alright, bear with me, this gets a little crazy. Due to house sits being dotted around the country, the flight plan was all over the shop. I flew from Adelaide to Melbourne to Adelaide to Melbourne to Adelaide to Melbourne to Adelaide to Melbourne to Adelaide to Brisbane to Perth to Adelaide, then after a lengthy road trip through rural Australia, Melbourne to Hobart and finally to Sydney. A grand total of 13 flights, averaging $165 a pop.
Accommodation = $1,757.66
Mainly because nearly two-thirds of the year consisted of free house sits, these expenses stayed low. Extremely low. $33.80 a week, low. My other accommodation comprised of Airbnb’s, Hostels, Couch Surfing, camping sites and staying with friends and relatives.
Food = $7,326.16
Food (to a large extent alcohol) is easily my most extravagant expense; almost half of what I spent. As the year went by, and I figured out what I could burn compared to what I could earn, these spendings ballooned. I’m not sure if I’d put it down to laziness or ‘increased enjoyment’ but my takeaway expenses, which include beer, wine and merriment, were significantly higher ($4,116.66) than my market spending ($3,209.50).
Activities/Events = $165.83
This amount will understandably be much higher for most travellers. I stuck to free activities; trails, climbs, hikes, beaches, markets, galleries, museums and tours. I would expect most sightseers to splurge on traditionally expensive Australian tourist endeavours.
Public Transport = $1,386.73
Other than a month or so behind the wheel of my old rust-bucket car, and another few weeks driving hire cars around remote Australia, I used public transport. While cutting the car-driving convenience did sometimes add hours to simple trips, sacrificing this time slashed my overall expenses.
Miscellaneous = $2,843
This amount consists of everything else; even the things you don’t consider. Haircuts, deodorant, presents, petrol, shavers, shampoo, body wash and bathers all included.
Equalling = $15,624 AUD (or $42.80 AUD a day)
In a country as expensive as Australia, this is pretty good going. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Household Expenditure Survey, the average single person under the age of 35 spends $120.95 AUD a day, once you roll in the price of housing, fuel, food, transport etc. So, not bad at all. There are, however, a few specific non-travel related items that aren’t covered.
What’s not included in this tally?
- I caved and signed up for a Spotify account
- Health insurance
- Mobile phone and Adobe software bills (I have a continuing contra deal with a contracted place of work)
- A much-needed Chiropractor appointment
- Several months worth of gym membership
- A five-year-in-the-making dental check-up (this wasn’t pretty)
- Various camera accessories
- Travel Bootcamp Conference ticket
Do you know how much you spend in a week? Month? Year? No idea? You’re not the only one. I’d guess most people have little idea how they spend their money. This year was the first time I’d actively recorded my spending habits, and, I’ll be honest, it was a massive pain in the butt. But was it worth it? Absolutely. Am I going to do it for the second year? Mmmmeeeehhhh… we’ll see.