Whitney pretty much covered our first day here in Dubrovnik, but I wanted to delve into some of the financial information for those of you who are interested.
Whitney and I worked really hard the last few months in New York to bring our savings up to a point where we felt we had enough for a nice cushion. Our goal is not to dip into our savings at all, though. We only want to spend what we make each month, so we are carefully tracking all of our expenses.
I had a hard time figuring out how much to budget each month, so I basically just pulled numbers from thin air: a thousand a month for housing, a thousand for food, and a thousand for everything else. So we have three thousand USD a month to live on, which is roughly what I will be making (I’ll write about this another time, but basically I have a couple of telecommute jobs from the U.S.).
Luckily, with the help of our new friend Maja who is Croatian, we were able to find our totally cute apartment in the Old Town of Dubrovnik, for $545/month, which is half of what we figured we’d spend. We have no idea how we got this place so cheaply; every other place we looked at was at least twice that price. And this place has everything we wanted: wifi, a workable kitchen, and a comfortable bed. Since we plan on being here for two months, we will be saving a grand on housing, which is awesome (and will hopefully allow us to take some short side trips). We plan on cooking most of our meals, and it looks like $250 a week for food will be doable. Yesterday we found the supermarket and stocked up a bit, and this weekend our landlord has offered to take us to the bigger supermarket in her car, so we’re doing pretty well with cooking for ourselves so far.
Here are some of our other expenses we’ve had in terms of getting over here:
- Less than $2000 combined for our airfare from Seattle to Dubrovnik. We took the red eye, but it was half the price of all other tickets.
- $13/month for unlimited calls anywhere in the world via Skype. I was also able to purchase a (646) area code number for maybe $5/month or something like that.
- $100/month combined for our health insurance (I’ll write more about this later, but basically this covers major medical in the case of emergency. The insurance carrier is Patriot International.).
- We did some research and found that the Internet bank Ally only charges a 1% fee for any card transactions from Europe so we opened an account and made them our primary bank. So far they have been very easy to work with.
I think that’s it for now. In my next blog posts, I’ll talk about what we did to get ready for this trip, and how this whole thing comes down to finding a job you can do remotely.