When I wrote my May budget post on the cost of living in Ecuador, I shared it on the Ecaudor expats Facebook page and the comments made me chuckle.
“I CAN’T believe you spend US$3,000 a month to live. That’s extortionate!” one person wrote.
“The cost of living in Ecuador is much, much less than this… I don’t think you should take this post seriously,” said another.
I explained that perhaps Dave and I like more ‘expensive’ products from the supermarket like soya milk and almonds.
“Well it only costs me $300 a month to get by, but then again I milk my goat for milk and get my nuts from the tree in my garden (although they’re macadamias NOT almonds),” was someone’s response.
The great thing about the internet is that it can allow you to connect with all sorts. I thought it was amusing they were offended it costs me and Dave the ‘extortionate’ price of $3,000 a month when we think this is a great deal. I mean, in London we were paying that just on rent.
Costs are dependent on lifestyle
It goes without saying that you can spend as much as you like, dependent on your style of living and how much you earn.
There were a few times Dave and I would spend our entire London paychecks throughout the month and have nothing left to show of it four weeks later.
I’m sure even the richest of people often spend their money this way, thinking nothing of that private jet flight or elevator jacuzzi they have in the foyer of their home. (And yes, Steve Tyler does have a jacuzzi that goes up to his mansion’s top floor, so I do know they exist – I saw it on Cribs.)
The point is that everyone can live the life they like – relative to the amount they earn – spending it however they please. Why should we criticise the way others spend their money?
I’m open to taking budget tips from people, as this genuinely benefits my life. But to criticise someone’s spending? Should it really offend you if someone has a different monthly budget to you?
Anyway, the moderator of the Facebook group ended up taking the post down because the debate was getting too heated (and a little nasty) as people voiced their opinions on the ‘right’ way to spend your money.
Yet in my opinion there isn’t a ‘right’ way. There’s just your own way.
Spending in July
My haters on the Ecuador Expats page will be proud of me this month, as Dave and I only spent US$2,238.89 of our US$2,500 budget – yay, we were under budget!
Once again house sitting came helped us cut back on costs. Living without having to think about a rent or mortgage really gives us the freedom to spend on other things, like Spanish lessons.
We also seemed to eat out quite a bit in Cuenca in July because it was our last few weeks in the beautiful city and we wanted to visit all the restaurants we hadn’t yet had the chance to go to.
Looking back on our spending for the month of June, I’m quite surprised with both the transport and the alcohol. For starters – I thought we drank more! (And I guess I’m not counting the booze we bought when we went out for dinner, this was included in the ‘eating out’ section, so perhaps we did spend more on alcohol than what’s represented in the table below.)
I was surprised by the transport because the bus into town from our house sit was only .25 cents a pop and a cab fare around US$2.50 – US$3. So I guess these costs just added up more than we thought.
This month is getting expensive
We’re now in Colombia (and loving it! More posts to come on this gorgeous country soon) and it’s much more expensive than we anticipated.
Eating out costs similar to dining in the USA, which really wasn’t what we were expecting. Accommodation is more expensive too, although we did manage to find this amazing deal on Booking.com which is allowing us to live in a very fancy apartment on the beach for just US$30 per person a night.
We might be in for a rude shock during the rundown at the end of the month for our costs, but it’ll be interesting to see what it amounts too. I’ve revised our budget up to US$3,000 for the month as that seemed more realistic.
Please don’t judge me.
What do you spend each month
After my Facebook backlash recently, I’m really interested to find out how much you guys spend each month on living costs. Where do you live and how much does your lifestyle cost you?
I never really used to think about expenses all that much – I’d just spend our monthly pay check and live mostly day to day with a little bit of savings in my account.
But working for yourself changes that, and to put travelling into the equation results in us watching our finances much more closely. But thanks to our friends’ travel app Trail Wallet it’s actually a piece of cake to do this.
So go on, let us know – how much do you spend each month?
No judging, we promise!
|Public transport (buses and taxis)||106.67|
Other* Amenities for the house (gas and water), toilettries, getting zip put on to a handbag and shoes re-soled, medicine, beauty treatments, a trip to the day spa, new clothes and shoes, contact lenses, birthday gifts.
Apologies this post is so late. I got very caught up in Colombian life and very behind in posting blogs.