It’s been over six years since I locked up my little Denver house for the last time, boarded a plane bound for Scotland, and started traveling the world full-time with my freelance business and my little dog.
One of the things that made me feel a little nervous before I left was this:
How much was it going to cost?
Would I be able to keep traveling or would it be too expensive in the end?
Since I’ve been on the road over six years, you probably know the answer. Full-time travel is a lot more affordable than you’d think. In fact, I spend less traveling around Europe than I did living in the States. And every time I go back to the States, I end up spending more.
The reason I know this isn’t just my gut or my sense of day-to-day costs. It’s because I actively track my spending every month. And I usually try to share them here with you, just in case you’re considering doing something similar.
Today, I’m sharing my budget for the first month I spent in Brasov, Romania:
|Entertainment & activities||$3.75||15.20|
|Luna (vet bills, supplies)||$97.15||393.89|
|Health & wellness||$165||668.99|
The above expenses are my spending and do not include my partner’s expenses. We split the rent 50-50 and lunch and dinner groceries 60-40 (while purchasing our own breakfast stuff and sometimes our own snack stuff separately). Luna is my responsibility, so these are her full bills and our health insurance and healthcare costs are totally separate as well.
For accommodation, as usual, we turned to Airbnb. Honestly, we’ve been trying to move away from Airbnb, as some of their new features and policies aren’t very user-friendly, but often they’re still the best or even only option for affordable, furnished, mid-term rentals.
This month, we found a great apartment on a ridge overlooking a castle. It was one of the priciest options in town, but in Romania even the pricy options are affordable by US standards.
International transportation includes the cost of transit (trains and ubers) from Prague to Brasov.
Local transportation was a series of uber rides to urgent vet visits and far-away shopping centers, a bus ride back from Rasnov fortress (I cycled there and bused back), and one bus ride up into the hills.
The eating out budget reflects a couple meals out per week, plus a lot of coffees/treats. I’ve been on a coffee kick here, so I’ve bought quite a few more than usual.
Our grocery bill includes fresh market purchases as well as grocery runs.
Supplies are things like toilet paper, soap, and lotion.
Luna the traveling pooch’s line item is food and vet visits. She had some pretty intense allergies, so this line item includes two check-ups and four different kinds of medications/supplements.
Health and wellness includes travel insurance. Not included above (but worth mentioning) is the dental care I dealt with in my second month in Romania. I’m happy to report that dental care here is very good and very affordable. My cleaning cost about $50 and two cavities ran me just over $100.
The other category above represents my half of our weekly cleaner fees.
As a final note: the above budget is our day-to-day living and exploring costs and does not include my business expenses and certain personal expenses like books, movie rentals, and replacing water bottles and clothes. I figure those things are too personal and variable to be helpful if you’re using these budgets to figure out your own trip costs, so I generally pull them out.
Want to see more nomad budgets? Check out this extensive piece with links to all my published budgets from the last six+ years.