Before I left the country, a friend asked me if I laid out a budget sheet for my backpacking trip. I said “No” for the obvious reasons that 1) I have none and 2) this was an impromptu trip. Since I’ll be travelling to a familiar place, I never paid much attention about the budget. I know that living in Siem Reap wouldn’t cost me an arm and I have a place to stay in Bangkok for free. I was confident I could get by.
However, my friend still reminded me the importance of preparing a budget plan before embarking on this journey. Spending a year in Italy with barely any travel funds made my friend miss those travel opportunities like taking some flights to dubai when there were promo fares. She had to scrimp whatever’s left of her living expenses in order to survive Italy’s lifestyle. She doesn’t want the same thing to happen to me.
Travelling on a tight budget can sometimes spoil one’s travels but if you know how to control where your money goes, then you have nothing to worry.
Having travelled to different parts of the Philippines, either with a group or on my own, allowed me to develop this habit of writing down my expenses on a small journal.
And being an Excel geek, it wasn’t difficult for me to transfer the list in my laptop and continue documenting my expenses. For those who are not used to this added task when travelling, this may seem a waste of time. However, for someone like me who’ll be travelling for an indefinite period of time, I have to develop this new hobby of updating my budget sheet file. Aside from using the list on my future blog posts, it will allow me to identify the biggest chunk where my money’s going. This will be helpful in case I need to cut costs on certain expenses.
Time flies so fast when you travel. I barely realized that it has been a month since I set foot in Bangkok. A month after, I found myself wandering the streets of Siem Reap, Cambodia. Mindful of my budget, I created this budget sheet that will allow me to keep track of my expenses.
Looking at the graph, I could see that 38% of my funds all went to food and I guess that should just be right 😆 since keeping fit and healthy is my top priority in order to continue travelling. Tracking where I spend my money will greatly aid me on what items I need to avoid in order to allocate funds on more important expenses. Any traveller can apply this too. You just need to know what your priorities are. If I would want to live in a posh hotel, then I would cut on my food expenses to add more budget on my house. I could cut costs on transportation expenses and resort to walking. Then I could also stop spending on miscellaneous items like souvenirs, toiletries, etc.
Once you go on a long-term backpacking adventure, always be mindful of where your cash goes especially when you don’t have a lot to burn. It’s also best not get side-tracked with the whole travel adventure but to keep your focus on making sure cash flows in regularly too 😉 Creating your own budget sheet will allow you to customize your travel expenses while keeping track of where your money goes.