How much money must I save for a month in SEA?!

I think the definite answer would be a lot. And with it comes certain sacrifices as well. Hmmm, maybe sacrifice is too harsh a word. How about deprivation? Do you think this works better? haha. Anyway, I guess it just means the same thing no matter which way I put it: Something’s gotta give.

Earn more = Spend less.

Live simply and frugally now = Have a freaking awesome time later.

Deprive myself of some luxuries and caprices for three months = Live an adventure of a lifetime for one.

Seems like my equations are correct. If and only if I can make it work that is. So, the first thing I would have to do now is to set my target.

HOW MUCH MONEY MUST I SAVE?!

My Passport and SEA currencies (PHP, SGD, RM, VND, KHR) plus USD in bills and coins

The guy from Flipnomad (sorry, I don’t know your name Sir!) told me that I can survive comfortably with just USD10-15 a day. This already includes food, drinks and accommodation. From my experience in my 4-day trip in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur (I’ll make a post about this one soon, as I had my moment with my Starbucks 2010 planner turned into a “memoir datebook” where I kept receipts, tickets and pictures from our trip), living on a $10-15 budget was impossible.

BUT, since he is a “seasoned” backpacker already, what he’s saying is probably true. If I would be more pa-sosyal than him, let’s say it would be $15-20 per day for me. Multiply that to 28 days and tada! I must have $420-560 ready. And this does not include all the souvenir items and does not cover the transportation yet. Well, I can’t compute for that now since I still don’t know which way I’m going and what transportation means I would be taking.

What is definite for now is that I already paid for my ticket from Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam to Manila via CebuPacific when they had a zero fare sale. It was already billed in the last credit card statement that I paid for. I bought it in dollars (as I did not take the conversion of payment offered by CebuPac since I thought their exchange rate was higher) and it cost me $43. But I still paid for it in peso (converted by EastWest) with a lower price than CebuPac’s conversion (so my conversion math was a bit right. hehe).

My latest CebuPacific flight to Cebu in January

And just last Sunday, I booked for my outbound flight from what I can refer to as “international budget airlines airport” DMIA (Diosdado Macapagal International Airport), in Clark to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (Sabah/Borneo Side). This one costs P1270 (P1150 for fare and all-in taxes and surcharges plus P120 convenience fee). It’s definitely a lot cheaper than the prevailing price for CebuPac’s go lite even if they had the P499 sale to KK as those hole-in-the-pocket surcharges, taxes and fees are still added.

By the way, my outbound ticket doesn’t have a baggage allowance (so byebye umbrella and tripod–maybe I’ll get it in KK!). I only purchased a 15kg luggage allowance  on my return flight (worth $9) since I’m expecting to collect a lot of stuff from the countries to be visited.

Anyway, back to the topic. I think I would be spending about $200-300 on souvenir stuff alone (blame me for being a hoarder. haha). And then, I’d probably be spending about $300-400 on intercity/inter-country transportation. Given this (and except for the tickets I have already paid for), I am already between, ho-my-God!! I should have anywhere between $920-1260 in three months if I want to make this happen!

Hmmm. Can I make it?! Let’s see. I already have $140 ($100 as leftover from Sg-KL trip and $20 each from Lola and Tita Mel for my birthday). So that’s a good start right?! Hehe. 🙂 And then I plan to buy $100 each payday from my bosses (since their salaries are in USD). If I can keep that up, I’d have $600 by the end of September plus the $140 I have now, that would be $740. And my mom said she bought $200 from a friend. If I can get enough peso to buy that, I would have $940. And I’m in the inner circle already! Yey!

But then again, this is if I can earn all of it. Hell. I shouldn’t be thinking IF. So forget that. I CAN EARN ALL OF IT. So help me God! 🙂

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