Financial Update - 9 Months of Travel

by Jason -- July 15, 2010

With just about 2 months left until we head back home, I thought this would be a good time to do a financial update and let you know where we stand.

For those who don’t know, we saved $50,000 for our planned year-long trip. We initially thought we would need around $125 per day. However, it only took us a few weeks to realize that this was far beyond what we actually needed. We quickly recalculated and then automated our financial setup so as to alleviate any concerns about overspending our budget.

Here’s a quick update of where we currently stand.

The key line is the blue one. How much money do we have left? We’ve spent just about 50% of our planned $50,000. Overall, this is great, as we’re now about 75% through the trip. The $25,000 also already includes our plane tickets home, as well as quite a few non-travel related items.

Next, let’s look at the budget by country:

We’re currently in our second stint in South Korea, and the cost is averaging just about the same as our first stint here.

The most amazing country on that list is Japan. In only 7 days we managed to spend over $1,800. My favorite stat of the trip is the fact that we spent nearly 40 days in Vietnam and spent $1,800 and in only 7 days, spent the same amount in Japan.

Regardless of Japan, we’re still averaging less than $75 per day. On an annual basis, that’s about $27,000 for 2 people and only $13,700 per person. That amount continues to amaze me. Who would’ve thought one could travel for an entire year for about $13,700?

Overall, the good news is that we’re doing better than our initial plan. The bad news is we’ve already planned on traveling more when we arrive back to the states. So the money will continue to dwindle. It will be interesting to compare our costs once we’re back.

On the first sheet, you may have noticed the “Revenue” line item. Unfortunately, nearly all of this money is from this year’s tax returns. However, there is $100 in the revenue bucket that is attributed to our first advertisement sold on this blog. It was an exciting time to see our first money earned since leaving cube-land roll into our Paypal account.

As always, if you’re really interested, you’re more than welcome to download my entire trip finances spreadsheet. It contains all of this information in far more detail. It can be downloaded here.

Image credit: dolphinsdock

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10 Responses to “Financial Update - 9 Months of Travel”

  1. Wow!!1 Thats great!!! :) -2 months till I see your wonderful faces :)

  2. Hi Jason - love the financial breakouts! It is amazing and inspiring. Cheers - k

  3. Definitely a Jason post :) I’m glad you were able to manage your expenses so well.

  4. Wow! It makes me sick to my stomach how expensive Japan was. Comparing the cost of 7 days in Japan to 39 days in Vietnam is a real eye opener.

  5. Wow that’s great, that gives me a good idea what to budget for my trip next year.

    Thanks for sharing…

  6. Holly — It’ll be here before you know it!

    Krista — Thank you, I hope you’re doing well!

    Carmen — Haha…what can I say? I use to do this Excel stuff 8+ hours a day :-)

    Jennie — Vietnam is a pretty awesome place. But I’m glad we got to Japan, it’s certainly a unique place as well.

    Nick — Thanks for visiting. Good luck with planning your trip, let us know if you have any other questions.


  7. I am really impressed with the amount you have spent. I guess I figured it would be a lot more for the length of your trip.

    Can I ask why Japan cost so much? We are looking to go for 4-7 days and I am starting to think 7 days may be a budget buster. If you don’t mind me asking, did you stay in hostels or hotels? What was the biggest expense there? I was hoping for 100 dollars per day for both of us ($50 each) but it looks like I may be out of touch with the prices there.

  8. Jenneil,

    Yeah, we definitely thought our expenses would be far higher as well, it’s rather crazy how low it’s been. And it could definitely be done for cheaper too — more couchsurfing, less eating out — things like that would definitely make the trip less expensive.

    As for Japan, one of the main costs for us was transportation. Taking the ferry there was almost $100 each. And then the rail pass for only 1-week was about $300 each. If you take those 2 things out, you’re looking at about $150 for 2, or $75 per person. I think that’s a reasonable amount to plan for. But that would mean only seeing 1 city. The rail in Japan is great, but it’s incredibly expensive. If you just stayed in Tokyo, let’s say, stayed at a hostel (about $25-$35 per person per night), ate at cheaper noodle houses, then you might be able to do it for less. We stayed in shared dorm rooms each night, $50 per night for 2, but we didn’t go to Tokyo, it’s more expensive there.


  9. Thanks for the detailed response! I think we will likely stick to Tokyo this time around. Sounds like 150 per day would be the reasonable target then. Again. thanks.

  10. [...] (US$75/day). Jason Demant and Sharon Duckworth left their Silicon Valley jobs in 2009 to pursue a Life After Cubes. They saved US$50,000 for a year-long trip, initially thinking they would require ~US$125/day to [...]

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