I just published my August expenses and I realized that this was my 12th month of posting my expenses so I figured I’d do a summary post to see where the money has gone. This information is from September 1, 2015 to August 31, 2016.

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Most expensive month:  September, 2015 – $1845.27

Least expensive month:  June, 2016 – $222.52

Breakdown by Category

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Transportation:  $2459.70 (avg $204.98)

Lodging: $3093.63 (avg $257.80)

Food & Entertainment: $4254.93 (avg $354.58)

Miscellaneous: $1814.98 (avg $151.25)

Destinations Visited

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In the last 12 months I visited 41 cities (several of them multiple times) and 19 countries.

The most amount of time was spent in England (4 months) and the least amount in Denmark (1 day)

  • Kiev, Ukraine
  • Lviv, Ukraine
  • Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Kaunas, Lithuania
  • Southampton, UK
  • Bath, UK
  • London, UK
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Apeldoorn, Netherlands
  • Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Kortenberg, Belgium
  • Alanya, Turkey
  • Salzburg, Austria
  • Dusseldorf, Germany
  • Seville, Spain
  • Tarifa, Spain
  • Malaga, Spain
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Bangkok, Thailand
  • Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Siem Reap, Cambodia
  • Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • Chau Doc, Vietnam
  • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Da Nang, Vietnam
  • Hoi An, Vietnam
  • Hue, Vietnam
  • Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Beijing, China
  • Nottingham, UK
  • York, UK
  • Bakewell, UK
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Helsingborg, Sweden
  • Gdansk, Poland
  • Warsaw, Poland
  • Wroclaw, Poland
  • Krakow, Poland
  • Budapest, Hungary
  • Belgrade, Serbia
  • Sarajevo, Bosnia

How I Keep My Expenses Low

People frequently ask me how I keep my expenses so low.  The biggest ways are:

  1. House Sitting.  I am an avid house sitter.  In these 12 months, I spent at least 6.5 months staying for free in other people’s houses.  This saves me a TON of money.  If I estimate my monthly lodging expenses as $500 a month without house sitting, this alone saved me $3500 over the course of a year.
  2. Cooking for myself.  I enjoy cooking and, in general, I try to follow a strict eating plan (as a result I’ve lost about 40 lbs in the last 12 months) so as much as possible I cook at home.  The exception to this is when I was in Asia and when I’m moving frequently and I just don’t have regular access to a kitchen.  Cooking at home saves heaps of money even given that my diet is meat heavy and therefore relatively expensive.  Cooking at home as probably saved at least a few thousand over the last 12 month, especially when I was in expensive places like England and the Netherlands.
  3. Rarely drinking.  While I can be a drinker (mmm…wine), drinking a lot generally doesn’t fit with my health or budgetary goals so I limit it – a lot.  And when I do drink, you can see the impact on my budget.

WHY do I Keep My Expenses Low

Simple – I’m a cheap ass.  I don’t see a reason to spend $3k when $1k will do me just fine.  I like a simple life. I have simple pleasures.  I don’t deprive myself.  I get to do and see the things I want to do and see.  But my day to day life is simple and I like it that way.  I do occasionally splurge but those splurges are generally on experiences, not renting a flashy pad.