Budget Update from Seoul

by Jason -- March 8, 2010

Sharon and I left our cubicles nearly 5 months ago and are currently residing in our 6th country of the trip. We’ve now entered a completely different phase of the trip, as we’ve settled down into an apartment in Seoul for the next few months. Now that our initial traveling portion of our trip is complete, I thought this would be as good as time as any to update you on our financial situation.

The quick summary is that things are going well. Below is a country breakdown of what we’ve spent so far. I’ve stripped some expenses and categorized them elsewhere to try and make things as comparable as possible. However, there are some shopping expenses in Thailand and “Mainland China #2″ that make those numbers slightly inflated.  In “Mainland China #2” we also had unusually high transportation costs due to a 24-hour train ride to Beijing and an overnight ferry to South Korea.

On an overall basis, we’re 38% through our year-long trip and have spent only 25% of our money. We continue to try and spend around $100 a day here in South Korea, which is far more difficult to do than it was in China or Southeast Asia.  Rent on our apartment, however, is a very reasonable $16 per day.  Factoring this into our expenses, we should be able to keep the overall budget.

If you’re curious as to where the “revenue” came from, I would love to tell you it’s from us working or this website, but unfortunately it’s essentially just Sharon’s and my own tax refund.

Finally, here are just a couple budget related thoughts:

  • While I’m glad we have an overall budget per day goal of around $100, it would have been wiser to set country targets instead. It would have been irresponsible to spend $100 per day in Southeast Asia, but is definitely reasonable to spend that much in South Korea. Setting the country targets could have been done only after a couple days in each country, or could have been done arbitrarily based on some sort of percentage.
  • While there are some expenses incurred which skew the data slightly, I believe the country order we show is accurate. The cheapest country we’ve visited was Vietnam followed by Cambodia, Thailand, and then China.
  • I was surprised to find Thailand being relatively expensive. Food, alcohol and even housing just wasn’t that cheap in the cities we visited. Perhaps we could have eaten at less expensive places, but I believe with the amount of tourists that visit, prices have been inflated.

If you’re interested in seeing all of the detail (or perhaps just REALLY bored at work), our Trip Finances spreadsheet is available for download.

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2 Responses to “Budget Update from Seoul”

  1. Excellent post. I tried to download the spreadsheet but it didn’t work. Could you either talk more about the China#2 portion, or email some details to me? I’m looking for the cost of the train tickets, hotel, food, etc. Thanks!

  2. […] This doesn’t add up to the $41, so the rest would be on other things: health insurance, flights to and from home, netbook, whatever. More detail on our budget and how we spend money by country. […]

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