This time 12 months ago I had just told my old boss that I was leaving, my first ever house-sit was coming to an end, and I was preparing for a low-key 29th birthday party. One year later and I’ve been on the road for a full 6 months, I’m nearing the end of my eighth house-sit (including a grand total of 10 cats) in Canning Vale (WA), and I’m clinging to the remaining few days of my 20’s. Life moves quick.

After a month in Brisbane, failing miserably to get a tan, I have spent the last 70-odd days in Perth, waiting for the famous Western Australian warmth to ‘finally’ unveil itself. No luck as yet. As a result of the indoor-friendly weather, I felt myself slipping back into a domesticated lifestyle; not to mention a transformation into a crazy cat-man. While this isn’t a bad thing, my need to sustain a ‘steady home-life’ was not the reason I had that fateful conversation with my boss 12 months ago. I want to experience more!

On the plus side, staying settled in fewer spots around the country has made creating enduring relationships, with those travel savvy people I’ve had the fortune of stumbling into, easier. It comes as no surprise, however, that a fuller social calendar brings fluctuations to the budget. But what was the overall financial impact?

So, what have I spent?

More beer, wine and merriment have inflated the ‘Food’ budget, but less air travel has significantly trimmed the ‘Flights’ tally. Here’s where I currently sit over the last 3 months, as well as the total cost over 6 months.

Flights = $196.72 (Total = $1,522)

Who’d have thought that 1 flight, compared to 9 flights, would save over $1,300 in flight costs… well, alright, everybody. But it was a pleasant realisation when I tallied the updated figures.

Accommodation = $385 (Total = $964.94)

Thanks to house-sitting (and a couple of fantastic nights spent with my good friends William and Anita) I’ve only had to pay for accommodation for 12 nights out of the last 3 months. Crazy savings!

Food = $1880.28 (Total= $3294.89)

So here’s the spike. I’ve spent an additional $465.67 compared to the previous 3 months; bumping up my average food (and yes, alcohol) bill to $18 a day. I’m still amazed that I can be fed and ‘watered’ for such a low amount per day over a sustained period of time.

Activities/Events = $31.50 (Total = $33.50)

I’ve continued my hard line on paid activities, but I was lured into an AFL match at The Gabba, a delicious food festival just outside of Brisbane and entry to the beautiful Kalbarri National Park.

Public Transport = $297.49 (Total = $680.79)

Similarly to flights, my public transport bill has unsurprisingly dipped. Domestication and unruly weather kept me grounded for prolonged periods over the last 3 months.

Miscellaneous = $755 (Total = $1,054)

My already depleted wardrobe was in dire need of some items being upgraded. A new pair of jeans, running shorts and a beanie all made the replacement list. Also included in the overall tally are website and house-sitting registrations, the odd haircut and a petrol bill for the Kalbarri trip.

Equalling = $7,550 AUD for 6 months of travel (or $41.25 AUD a day)

I was pleasantly surprised to see my ‘average spend per day’ drop, compared to the previous 3 months. This was despite a sharp increase in both ‘Food’ and ‘Miscellaneous’. However, I have left a few non-specific ‘non-travel’ items off the list.

What’s not included in this tally?

  • A resurrected gym membership
  • Health insurance
  • Mobile phone bills (continuing contra deal with my contracted place of work)
  • A much-needed Chiropractor appointment

So, what do you think? Could you spend less? Should I be spending more? After 6 months of full-time travel, I am still not sure what I’m comfortable spending to keep my lifestyle sustainable. Do you have any tips? Feel free to share in the comments below!