After a relaxing boat trip I’m back in noisy, smelly Dhaka and have baracaded myself into my hotel room. My goal for today is to order lots of room service and get all those things done that I didn’t have time for when I was volunteering. First on my agenda, an update on how much I’ve spent versus how much I’ve earned since leaving Canada for The Philippines back on January 10th, 2008.
I’ve decided to do this by looking directly at my bank and Paypal balances rather than at what I’ve earned. Money earned can sometimes take up to a month to get deposited so it makes things easier and probably more accurate to report what I’ve actually got at the moment instead of including money that I might not see for a while.
So here it is… drum roll… I’m in the black by $755!
In the three months I’ve been away I’ve earned $755 more than I’ve spent which is pretty wicked. My goal when I left was to spend around the same as I was earning so coming out ahead is a real boost.
I went on a bit of a spending frenzy in The Philippines, flying everywhere, boozing every night and doing some shopping. The thing that has saved me is the time I’ve spent in Bangladesh. In two months here I’ve spent about $600. This included spending nearly $200 in my first two days on a mobile phone and a relatively expensive guesthouse in Dhaka. PlusÂ I treated myself later on to a $210 trip through the Sunderbans National Park. Spending time volunteering in rural Bangladesh is very good for the budget, especially when food and accommodation are taken care of.
The true test will start when I hit Malaysia in a couple of days and get back on the backpacker trail. I wasn’t very good at setting a budget in The Phlippines but I’m going to attempt to stick to one from here on in. My earnings have fallen since January as well which is motivation to get to work and reel in my spending a bit.