$crilla, $pondulicks, and $imoleons

Professor Jared breaks it down (and yes, those are Whitney's glasses)

As you know, one of my goals for this blog is to document our finances so everyone knows how much you really need for two people to live (reasonably well) in Europe. I’m doing this partly to make sure that we are making at least as much as we are spending, of course, but also to see if our budget is reasonable or not (and if not, to adjust our budget as necessary).

So yesterday was the last day of the month, and by looking at our finances (we are meticulously recording every Croatian kuna we spend on a spreadsheet), I was able to get a handle what we spent last month by basically pro-rating what we spent versus what we made. We were only here for part of the month, nineteen days, basically a little over a half of the month.

Let me break down the numbers a bit:

Income: I made about $3800 last month. I pro-rated this amount so it would make sense against what we spent here in Croatia. So that pro-rated amount is about $2300.

Expenses: We lucked out on rent at $550/month. Pro-rated for nineteen days, it’s $334. Groceries (and by groceries, this included everything we spent at stores, basically) were $582. Entertainment (this is basically all the stuff we did as tourists including sightseeing, bars, coffees, etc.) was $545. Everything else (fixed expenses, incidentals, etc.) was $380.

Combined, we spent $1841 for 19 days in October. If you subtract that from the $2300 we made, you can see that we came out about $475 ahead. Not bad.

Our original budget was $3000/month: $1000 for rent, $1000 for food, and $1000 for everything else. We definitely came out ahead on rent, and as Whitney wrote the other day, we are spending about $28/day on food which comes out to about $870/month, so we are definitely ahead there. However, “everything else” was definitely more than $1000/month.

Here’s the takeaway for those of you bored reading the numbers: two people can definitely live in Europe for $3000/month (at least Croatia) if you do it like we are doing it and cook all your own meals and closely watch your expenses.

HOWEVER, what we are seeing is that to do anything else, like go on overnight visits to other cities and traveling from one country to the next (it will cost us about $800 to get from here to Nice, France, our next destination) blows that $3000/month out of water. We are looking to visit Kotor, Mostar, and the Plitvice Lakes National Park next month and that’s going to add about a grand to our expenses.

So the long and short of it is that I think a more reasonable budget to live on which takes both of those factors into account is something around $4000/month.

I hope this helps people who might be planning a trip like this. You can live on $3000/month as long as you stay in one place and don’t do much sightseeing apart from your home base. If you plan on doing some modest sightseeing to other cities, and plan on moving around from country to country, you need a budget closer to $4000/month.

Whitney would like me to add that she has a ton of good stuff to post from this weekend but she’s been a bit under the weather. Keep an eye out for a recap of our weekend in the next few days!

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2 responses

  1. Just found you guys through APW. Please keep us updated with the nitty gritty! I’m particularly interested in the finances because we’re contemplating taking a long honeymoon to travel the world (the difference between us and many other couples who do travel is that we don’t want to be location independent at this stage – we just want to take some time out to travel and come back to jobs, life, etc). And unlike many of those couples, we want to see expensive places – Europe, the US and some of South east Asia – rather than cheaper Asian and South American countries.

    • Welcome! Jared should have another post this week (or at the end of the week) on how things have shaped up for the last month. We are planning to do some more travel in the Southwest this summer, so there will be more to come even when we are back in the States.

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