budget: £30 GBP / $46.5 USD per day
total budget: £900 / $1386
total spent: £523.5 / $806.2
avg. daily spend : £17.4 / $26.9
all costs are for two people in $USD and £GBP. Conversions correct at time of publication.
DAYS ON BUDGET: 3%
DAYS UNDER BUDGET: 80%
DAYS OVER BUDGET: 17%
where were we?
Santiago and Valparaiso
We've interviewed a number of travellers who house sit for various reasons. First and foremost, despite the various ancilliary benefits, is the opportunity to stop the clock on rent or accommodation costs whilst basing yourself in a new place. That, plus the opportunity to stop travelling and have a home for a while, were our key motivators.
Towards the end of August, we sat down at a cafe and decided that our £30/$46.5 daily travel budget couldn't really apply to our time in Santiago. After all, our accommodation and transport costs would be virtually zero plus we really wanted to claw back some of the money we'd spent in Peru and save some funds for the next six months of our Latin American adventure. So, we worked out that if we could cut our monthly expenditure to around £500/$770, we'd be on the right track.
As you can see above, we just about made it. In fact, if the local gym wasn't so damn fancy, we'd have been well under. We really enjoyed our time in Santiago but, even though we were there for six weeks, we were really in a bubble; most of our time was spent in the kitchen, working on the website or walking the dogs. We didn't spend too much time in the centre of the city and lacked the inclination to make it our own that much. Instead, we were happy being home bodies, making the most of having our own kitchen and eating and living well.
If you're a long-term budget traveller, then house sitting really is a fantastic option for having a short-term base and saving some cash for the next part of your journey.
£56.7 / $87 / $60,000 Chilean pesos
Given that we only spent money on three nights of accommodation, it's a surprise that it comprises 11.1% of our monthly budget. However, that's the cost of a basic double room in Chile. We could have taken a dorm for a little cheaper but we needed to ease ourselves back in to hostel living after so long out of it.
£49 / $75 / $51,700
Santiago is a pretty easy city to get around due to its developed bus and metro network. We walked everywhere when we were in our own neighbourhood but a journey into the centre cost about $700 pesos each.
The biggest transport expense came at the end of the month with a night bus south to Púcon but that did at least save us a night of accommodation costs.
£18 / $27.5 / $18,900
Perhaps because Emily's vegetarian, but mostly because we both love to cook at home and we've learned how just a few meals out can affect our monthly budget, we didn't actually sample the restaurants on offer in Santiago. If it wasn't for one pizza in the sunshine in the hip Bellavista district, then we could actually have titled this section 'Empanada Costs'.
EATING OUT: 3.5%
£168 / $258 / $177,770
Unsurprisingly our biggest outlay. We were fortunate that our house sit had a very well equipped kitchen (including a vitamix blender) so we made lists of all the dishes we missed from home and made them, repeatedly: lasagne, falafel, natural peanut butter, oatmeal raisin biscuits, soups, chilli.
We had a big supermarket a few blocks away and did a few big shops and economised by buying in bulk and buying supermarket brand goods rather than pricier versions. Unfortunately, being in a very developed part of the city, there wasn't a local market very close so we probably spent quite a bit more on fruit and veg than normal - it really is that much cheaper if you buy it on the streets.
£46.5 / $71 / $49,000
Copious amounts of wine were enjoyed during September. However, you may be interested to know that we actually preferred the cheaper stuff. We splurged on a few bottles but one of our favourites was actually '120' which came in 1.5 litre bottles for under £2.
Independence Day also saw us sampling several glasses of Chile's favourite drink (not the pisco sour!). 'Terremotos', or earthquakes, are highly alcoholic concoctions of cheap white wine, fernet, grenadine and pineapple ice-cream which, according to many Chilenos, will make you legless after three.
We both stopped at two-and-a-half each...
£119 / $182.5 / $125,800
So we were in a house sit and admittedly didn't do too much touristy stuff in Santiago - how the hell did we spend £119 on activities?
Well, it's because we've included our swanky gym memberships under this category. Other than that entry to the museums was free and it only cost us $3,000 each to enter one of the cheaper Independence Day parties in town.
£28 / $43 / $30,000
Emily had some bad news this month which meant a few tubs of fancy (and expensive) ice cream, plus a few coffees out when we needed a change of scenery.
SWEETS & TREATS: 5.5%
£29 / $44.5 / $30,690
The usual, but bought in bulk when found cheap! And a few nicer items. As we were in one place for most of the time, we could indulge in a few fancy body washes that wouldn't have the chance to explode in Andrew's bag, as witnessed in a Mexican bus station.
Also, Emily had a much needed haircut - her first in 18 months!
£0 / $0 / $0
Now, technically this is a lie.
Although no money came out of the joint travel and living fund, some of Emily's birthday money was spent on a few new items of clothing. As these were not ESSENTIAL purchases (Andrew's words, not Emily's) to our travels, and that they didn't technically come out of our big money pot we decided that they shouldn't be included.
£0 / $0 / $0
No major mishaps this month, except the odd kitchen related sliced finger.
MEDICAL EXPENSES: 0%
£0 / $0 / $0
One country, unsurprisingly, no crossing border costs.