Sunday, January 25, 2009

Spending Report: Week 1

To keep me honest (to myself and to you guys) I'm maintaining a spending Diary.  I will try my best to record every euro cent I spend while I'm out here just to get an idea of cost of living.  This first week isn't great because I've got some bigger necessities and some tourism food (i.e. overpriced) under my belt.  I'd like to get the number way down to make some future out of town trips.

Overall: 201.23

Breakdown (let me know if the math is wrong, then I know I've done the spreadsheet wrong):

Necessity: 90.99
Restaurant: 45.25
Phone: 34.00
Groceries:  24.04
Misc. Food:  5.25
Transportation: 1.70

Necessity is things like my taxi ride, which was entirely necessary because no sane human could navigate the luggage I had on subway or bus and somehow make it to the area I live in.  Also included is a Duvet cover, not a cheap thing... but at least I didn't have to get the duvet as well.  Finally is an umbrella, who doesn't bring an umbrella to Brussels?

Restaurant is a range of things from smart to dumb.  My first night in
 town I had a wonderful dinner with a beer and coffee for 12 euro in my area of town.  Last night I went on a tourist night and paid 18 (should have been 12) for an OK meal.  I found a street packed with restaurants, and it seemed like the Red Light District of restaurants.  Men stood outside trying to sell you into their restaurant "come in, its only 12.50, 3 courses and a beer ON ME!"  I roamed around for a while and decided to go into one without talking to the door man only to realize at the end of the meal it was 18 euro unless you let them convince you to come in.  Dumb tourists...

My phone.  I have a whole post on my phone, but the overall price breaks down to a SIM card, an unlocking fee and a replacement charger.

Groceries... I have a whole post for this too.  I'd like to go to another store or two before I divulge the experiences.  I will say I've cooked a few meals for myself, and they have been wonderful.  More later.

Misc. Food is my general snack budget.  This is mostly waffles for the time being, but in next weeks I will include things like chocolate and frites.  Soon I will no longer be a tourist required to purchase waffles and chocolate, just frites so maybe that number will come down.

I should write a whole post about the Metro as well, so I'll save it for later.   That 1.70 is for a single trip, I am saving money next week through the purchase of a 10 trip pass.

Expect posts like this every Sunday recapping the previous weeks spending... we'll all watch my savings go down the tubes!

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