Budgeting & Goals- Month 1

When you are on the ground and planning a trip like this, you have to rely heavily on the internet & bloggers that have traveled to the areas you are planning. I mentioned earlier this week the importance of setting mini goals to get to the bigger picture. I am closing in on my first RTW goal of $1200 and I decided it was time to start saving for that first month abroad after I saved for my “start up costs”.  I am also truly thinking this is going to be a trip of approx 2-3 years & I am ready to start getting an idea of what I think it will cost.

As I am really just in the pre-stages (very very pre stages) I determined one of the things I like to do is plan (as it keeps me motivated) & look up things I might want to do while I am abroad. The other day I was going through one of my “I am NEVER going to get on this trip, stupid debt rants” when a co-worker (who is very much my work mom) told me that I should plan one month at a time to keep me motivated to go to a job I hate & not loose sight of my goal. See that is why she is my work momma she gives me great ideas.

So for kicks I made my “rough” itinerary of my first month on my trip to get an idea of what to save and budget. I was actually kinda shocked how cheap it really was (and I budgeted on the high end for everything).

So how did I come up with this budget?

Well I have always known that I would likely fly into Playa del Carmen, travel into San Ignacio and finish up my first month in Caye Caulker. I decided that I would likely spend a week in Playa Del Carmen, a week in San Ignacio and about two weeks in Caye Caulker. Why? Not sure, it has always just made sense to me to do it that way. I know that no matter what I would start my trip at the beach, being completely lazy, catching rays and drinking juice on the beach. So to me this is the perfect start to my trip. Granted I know these are very touristy but I am familiar enough with these three cities that in theory it should break me in, which is what I want.

Do I know the moment I step into Cancun International Airport this entire plan could go out the window??? Absolutely but it is still nice to have a rough plan.

So here is my rough budget/plan for my first month of travel.

Accommodation:

7 nights in Playa del Carmen @$60 per night = $420
7 nights in San Ignacio @$50 per night = $350
16 nights in Caye Caulker @$30 per night = $480

Total for accommodations= $1190

Whoa Jen??? how the hell did you come up with that number??? it is very high or to some of you very low 😉 well I decided that I would use airbnb medians to determine what the cost for a private room would cost. As I am planning on utilizing private rooms for my trip, I am way too light of a sleeper for dorms, I much rather budget on the high side than the low side. For example, when I researched Playa del Carmen I saw that a private room can cost $25 but it can also cost $100… so I rather just budget for the middle. I think it is better to be over budgeted vs under budgeted anyway.

Food budget- $450 for the month.

How did I come up with this? Well to be honest with you… I am not a big foodie, I do not eat meat & in Central America my favorite foods are beans, rice, fruits & veggies. Given that I often eat on far less here in the US per day I figured $15 per day is going to be my average food budget on this trip, as fortunately beans, rice, pastas and veggies are often cheap.

Extras-

Snorkeling trips 3 @ 75 $225
Green Iguana Conservation Tour @60
Cooking Classes- $50
Ziplining- $80
Caye Caulker Bike Rental- $60
Transportation Between Cities- $150

Totals $625

Again I am aiming high, one thing I have learned is, it is ALWAYS more expensive to book tours before you get somewhere vs once you arrive in the country. So these are simply prices I took from tripadvisor but again I rather aim high.  I am assuming I will want to snorkle a couple of times, I certainly know I want to check out the Green Iguana Conservatory, I want to take a cooking class, I will zipline and I will need to get to each location.

Maybe’s:

Scuba Certification in Caye Caulker $500– This is something I really hope I have BEFORE I go on my trip, but alas if I don’t Belize is where I will get certified.

So total budget target- $2265-2825 which is approx $75.50 per day slightly more if I consider the scuba course.

Realistically I am hoping to hit the target of $50-60 per day once I am traveling, that being said I am not too upset with this number considering that I will be able to do everything I want & get plenty of beach & hammock time. Also I do feel it is potentially over budgeted because I do feel I can get cheaper accommodations but I rather be safe.

Have you spent time in this cities?  What did you spend? What did you budget originally? Any help will be very much appreciated.

So once I hit my first savings goal (which will be this month, yay!) I can start saving for my first month.  It really is easier when you break it down piece by piece.

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