Last Updated on September 21, 2021 by Ellen
Time for the Earth Vagabonds budget breakdown — even during a pandemic. Below are the tallies for our May 2020 expenses.
A travel pause in May 2020 (and April and half of March) wasn’t what we had planned, but it was easy to enjoy ourselves in the semi-rural area where we are staying. No malls, no retail chains. Roadside fish and produce stands. Ocean. Hills. Sunshine. Rain. Stars and stars and stars.
May 2020 expenses
-$341 rent* -$187 groceries -$187 gifts/tips - $90 beer/soda/snacks - $70 supplies - $44 restaurants - $42 health - $11 local travel ------------------------ $972 total *The rental expense is for Tedly and me. Mom Diane pays her rent.
That total of $972 we spent on May 2020 expenses includes:
- more than double gifts/tips from April
- beer (the liquor ban is over)
- post-breast cancer medication (more to come from Manila in June)
Our health category varies with meds and doctor’s appointments as needed. My next oncologist visit likely won’t be until October or later.
The “local travel” category is for trikes. Those are motorcycles with side cars for passengers – the Filipino version of a cab.
The grocery category money was spent all in the local community at fresh fish stands, produce markets, family-run stores. There are no supermarket chains here.
“Supplies” included a few things to help make our lives easier, such as: phone data to talk to our families back home; WD-40 for Tedly’s bike; facial sunblock (always expensive!); laundry soap; supplies for my shell project.
Missing, lacking categories
Obviously, the “travel” category is missing. That is where airfare, long-distance train and bus tickets usually go, as well as visas. These costs may well be considerable going forward.
I have friends who – as I write this – are on their way home to the California from Costa Rica. It’s in the same hemisphere, and yet it’s costing them $6,500 to get home!
The “excursion” category also is missing. That’s where fun stuff used to go – like the cost of a side trip to the Gigantes Islands in March right before the lockdown. While we seek out “authentic” travel adventures on a slow travel schedule, we also want to experience tourist hot spots. After all, they are usually “hot” for good reason!
We miss the travel and excursion categories. We retired early to travel and see the world. And yet, the Universe has us here for a reason, and so we are making the best of this travel pause.
Prior to the pandemic, we spent more money at restaurants. During the lockdowns, we ordered in from the Hangout Beach Resort – where our rental apartment is located. Going forward, this category may expand now that restrictions have eased.
The inevitable day eventually will come when we need to leave the Philippines. There are far fewer flights at much higher costs. And with America in chaos, who knows what will happen – or where we will go. We will be ready for those rainy days that may come our way and adjust our sails.
In the meantime, I’ll enjoy one day at a time in our pandemic paradise at the Hangout Beach Resort in Malay, Aklan, Panay, Philippines.
Thanks for reading, “May 2020 expenses during COVID-19 travel pause.”
You might also like:
- Last tourists to see Gigantes Islands before Philippine lockdown
- How the Hangout Beach Resort became our pandemic bunker
- Plan your next trip with the Earth Vagabonds COVID-19 section
Earth Vagabonds advocate for travel when international borders reopen.