Back on budget for September 2020, finally

Beautiful sunset in the Philippines as Earth Vagabonds report they are back on budget.

Last Updated on June 3, 2023 by Ellen

Back on budget

Another month in pandemic paradise. Another month of travel expenses. Or in this case – travel pause expenses.

The good news: we are back on budget after several months of major overspending.

Of course, the global pandemic is the backdrop to all of this. It’s why we have now been in Malay, Aklan, Panay, Philippines for more than six months instead of moving on to new places as we prefer to do. 

The coronavirus crisis is also why we were over budget in June, July, and August. We deliberately spent extra funds to help needy Filipinos with food and employment and medical bills and other essentials.

But as early retired, slow budget travelers, we can’t go on indefinitely spending more than planned. We have to reign in the expenses.

Below is the breakdown for the month of September.

  • $569  personal gifts / contributions / tips
  • $444  housing
  • $240  donation matches
  • $166  restaurant / bar
  • $159  groceries
  • $154  health / medications (dental visits, post-breast cancer meds)
  • $119  supplies
  • $86    local travel
  • $85    take out food / beer
  • $35    clothing

$2,057 =  total September 2020 expenses for two people

Ati donation update

As you can see, gifts, contributions and donations to help needy Filipinos remain our largest expense.

But the ‘on budget’ total for September was mostly a natural result of a lull in the projects we have been sponsoring for the local indigenous Ati tribe.

We have finished the Ati hen house reconstruction project. The small business is up and running. 

Read: Ati eggs for sale!

Expenses are far lower as we wait for the area power company to now connect about 20 Ati homes that we prepared for electric service. 
After that, we plan to again increase our Ati match again as we improve the drinking water situation. 

All the Ati projects are being paid for with ‘donation matches’ combined with equal amounts from our generous overseas supporters.

Other notes

My mom, Diane, remains here with us and is contributing her share of rent and utilities and charitable donations, too. She does plan to head back home (Ohio) late this month.

We did make a few extra household purchases (supplies) in September to make our ongoing stay more comfortable.

We continue working with our U.S. management company to collect all rents due on our Cleveland, Ohio rental property after a hiccup last month. (We don’t factor the U.S. rent, or expenses, into these monthly breakdowns.)

Why we post these breakdowns

For five years we have been recording every cent we spend and making a mostly successful effort — except for Europe — to keep our total monthly costs around $2,000. 

Each month we post our result here on this blog so interested followers can see what it really costs to experience, live, and travel in other countries and cultures. 

As always, be thankful and generous, happy trails and more beer!

Life is NOW!

Thanks for reading, “Back on budget for September 2020, finally.”

Expense reports *not* pandemic related:

Yearly totals:

Is continuous slow travel on a budget your dream?

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