View on Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania last February.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Reuniting with Max in Germany on October 1st.

Monday, February 1, 2021

January Expenses - Ouch

Back in December when we were trying to figure out where to go next, the Tanzania option had one big negative. It would be the most expensive option.

And so while we knew that in advance, it's still difficult for a couple of normally frugal travelers to watch the numbers add up! But, it's only money, and you can't take it with you. Not really much point in having it if you don't spend it. Within reason, of course.

And, of course it's not a regular occurrence. We know that once we get into our motorhome in Germany our monthly expenses will go way down. (Other than the original cost of the motorhome, of course!)

I kind of figured we would probably spend $15,000 CAD ($11,750 USD) over the first three months of the year between January and March, and Ruth thought it would be more. As usual, we now think she will end up being more correct than me!

We spent a total of $6,526 CAD ($5,113 USD) for the month of January. 

A chameleon on a branch outside our apartment.

View from our apartment.

Everything is very green!

Here's how it all broke down. Note, the following figures are all in $CAD.

Gasoline: We spent $57 on gasoline for the last part or our rental car deal while in Turkey up until January 18th.

Groceries: Very low expenses in this category because 1) we were trying to use up everything we bought while in Turkey and 2) groceries are pretty cheap here in Tanzania if you eat like the locals and 3) our nightly accommodation deal with Justin sort of included food and 4) we had almost four days worth of meals included in our Mt. Meru trip.. So we spent a total of $172 for the month.

Meals out: We didn't eat out at all in Turkey, and we have eaten five lunches out since being in Tanzania. Total cost $60.

Alcohol: We haven't been drinking that much, and booze is relatively cheap here in Tanzania. A half liter bottle of Kilimanjaro beer costs 2,000 shillings ($1.10 CAD, $0.87 USD) and a good size bottle of the local 35% hooch, called K-Vant costs 9,000 shillings ($4.95 CAD, $3.90 USD), also keeping in mind that we had an alcohol expense for the first part of the month in Turkey.. We spent a total of $101 for the month

Miscellaneous: We had a bit of a surprise when we returned the car rental in Turkey. Due to my at fault accident against another rental car, they were charged loss of use for that car, and the insurance doesn't cover it. So we were out of pocket another $537 for that. In the future, I will only rent cars where I can use my credit card to pay for it. Yes, we got a good deal originally, but we would have been better off going to a more expensive place where I could have used the Visa to pay. That's the risk I took, and it didn't pay off this time. Other major expenses for the month was our travel medical insurance at $255 and our eye glasses at $264. I haven't even used mine yet! Total for the month was $1,187.

Entertainment: This is where we included our big Mt. Meru expense of $2,950. Other than that, we paid for some ruins and waterfalls entrance fees while in Turkey at the beginning of the month. Total for the month was $2,974.

Overnight: Not bad. Total of $611. 

Travel: This is where we record any transportation related expenses. The final car rental bill up until the 19th came to $220. Our flight on Turkish airways between Dalaman and Istanbul was $24 each, and our flight between Istanbul and Kilimanjaro was $484 each. Then our Tanzanian tourist visas were $64 each. Total came to $1,364.

So, at $6,526 CAD ($5,113 USD) it was an expensive month, but not entirely unexpected.

February will also be an expensive month. Kilimanjaro alone will be over $5,000 CAD. And if we decide to do any kind of camping or walking safari, that will also be expensive.

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20 comments:

  1. January and July are always by far my most expensive months in the year.

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    1. I can't say that we ever paid any attention to that. I know when we were working at the campground for five summers, July was always a low month for us.

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  2. Thanks for listing your expenses in real time.
    Be Safe and Enjoy the next climb.

    It's about time.

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    1. You are welcome! We like to show people what life on the road costs, even when we have expensive months. Hopefully we can keep our costs down to a more manageable level once we get settle in our new motorhome at the end of March, fingers crossed of course.

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  3. Where did you include your eye surgery or was that last month? For all you did in January, that sounds reasonable and you are doing things you've always wanted to. You'd regret it if you didnt climb Meru and Kili (I think).

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    1. Both of our eye surgeries were done in December so they were both expensed in December.

      Yes, we did do a lot in January but it still feels quite high to us but as you say we are doing things and they are things that we have wanted to do for a very long time, so really we are complaining at all it just feels odd to be spending this kind of money. We have spent so much time being frugal to save money for times like this that it is just weird to be spending it, lol!

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  4. Just imagine the pictures, stories, memories and experience y'all gained and in turn, shared with us. I'd say you got your money's worth and the rest of us benefited as well. Thanks!

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    1. Yes, when you look at all that the money spent on it was definitely worth the amazing experiences that we have had and that we have shared with all of you. :-)

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  5. Nothing better than blowing money on something fun!

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  6. But the experiences you'll be having are priceless!!

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  7. With all you accomplished I think your expenses are really low. Way to go.

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    Replies
    1. This is probably true but for us it seems really high, however we have enjoyed all the experiences that came with that price tag. :-)

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  8. As we say in Mexico, "no gastaron el dinero en chucharias", no wasted on knick knacks. Money well spent I say. Remember, the snows of Kilimanjaro! :)

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    1. No, it certainly wasn't spent on "knick knacks"! The experiences that we got from the money we spent this past month will last us a lifetime, we don't regret it, that is for sure but we will have to work to keep our expenses down after we return from Kilimanjaro.

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  9. Yes- we are somewhat at that point- spending twice as much as usual for several months to prepare for a two stage move and when you are frugal, and we are, it may be necessary and not as much fun as yours, but one has to keep reminding oneself of the plan- which is great. Best of luck on Kili! And Dewit seems so true-- all you did- expenses are just A-OK.

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    1. That often happens in life, when something big happens and you have to fork out more money than expected but eventually it all seems to even itself out somewhere down the road. Good luck on your move, we hope that it all goes well for you.

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  10. Just catching up on your wonderful trip! Great to see you out making the most of this difficult year.
    Steve and I have always found bucket list items to be more expensive than our usual activities. That's why they're called bucket lists! Do them once before you kick the bucket ;D
    Excellent choice ��

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    1. So glad that you are enjoying our adventures.

      You are totally right with your remark about "bucket list" items being more expensive, we never really thought of it that way but it is true! And sometimes you just have to go for it, especially if the timing is right! :-)

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