Finance

Money on My Mind: Saving Money While Traveling | Annie

February was a good month! I spent a lot of time with family over Chinese New Year, eating at home and playing mahjong. I even won some money! The rest of the month was pretty uneventful until the end of the month when I went on a long weekend trip down south to Chiayi and Tainan. Posts about those cities will come out soon! In the meantime, take a look at my expenses this month and share some things I did to save money on my travels.

Here are my expenses for February:

Category Amount (TWD) Notes
Food & Dining $623
Auto & Transport $470 gas and scooter maintenance
Bills $499 phone bill
Groceries $1,524
Clothes $350
Health & Fitness $467 Spin class, badminton court
Personal $100
Entertainment $1,370 Bouldering, lottery ticket
Vacation $1,325 Food, hostels, museum tickets, parking
Total $6,728 ($218 USD)

Reflections

One of my bigger expenses went to my long weekend trip down south.

  • I saved money on accommodations using Booking.com’s “refer a friend” program. Both parties can earn $400 NTD (about $12 USD) for referring a friend using their unique link. For example, if I use my friend’s referral link, she and I will both get $400 each after I check out and vice versa.
  • We visited places that were on the outskirts of the city by car and then walked everywhere else. That way we saved on gas and didn’t have to waste time looking for parking.
  • We were lucky enough to find street parking on the first night which is usually cheaper than parking overnight in a garage. On the second night, we found a random spot behind a building under construction where other cars were also parked. Technically we were not supposed to park there but in Taiwan, you can take a gamble. Your car may or may not get towed. If it were me, I wouldn’t take that risk but since it wasn’t my car…*shrugs*
  • Besides lodging, I spent the most on food which I’m okay with because I got to eat good food. We ate mostly at street vendors which is significantly cheaper than eating at sit down restaurants.

I created new budget categories to better reflect my spending.

  • I added the entertainment category after my last post but after looking over my expenses, I wanted to change them around again so they were clearer and more specific. For shopping, I split it into two categories: clothes and personal. I wanted to separate these two so I could really see how much I was spending on both.

I want to cut down even more on how much I spend eating out for the next month.

  • My mom is flying back to Bangkok for a month so this means I’ll be buying groceries and cooking my own food. This will also help me start eating healthier since my diet hasn’t been the best lately.
  • Cutting down on eating out will also allow me to save up for my future travels.
  • Side note: my groceries expense was higher this month because I spent it all on ingredients I use to bake cakes that are sold at my aunt’s shop. I guess you could call it a side project I do to make some pocket money.

xo
Annie

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