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Blog,  Money

Spending summary for 2020

So, this year wasn’t the best year for digital nomads nor tourists. However, we still managed to move around a little bit, and as always I tried to keep an eye on our expenses.

Due to the covid outbreak and lockdowns, we were forced to stay in one country for a very long time. At least much longer than we expected. That also meant we had to do our shopping mostly in a nearby shop and cook at home. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to look for the cheaper produce because local markets got closed. Although we did manage to go to a restaurant from time to time or get some of our favourite street food. It wasn’t that easy though, as many small restaurants got closed and never re-opened.

Luckily, Vietnam is quite a cheap country to live in for us so we still managed to save some money here and there. Also, keep in mind that we have never gone out of our way to save as much as possible. We do try to look for a better deal but often we’re too lazy to check every single shop to find the cheapest one.

We thought that the lack of tourists would make at least accommodation cheaper but it wasn’t the case. In fact, in many places prices went up. In addition, many hosts also required us to pay for our bills on top of the standard Airbnb price. We have never seen our electricity bill though, so we payed the amount asked without proof that’s what we’ve used. We know we use quite a lot of electricity though, so it is highly possible it was the actual price.

Everyone is different

Keep in mind everyone will have different expenses. We tend to look for a comfortable place with good wifi and laptop-friendly spaces. We try to get it as cheap as possible but we’re not afraid to pay a little extra for additional comfort like a separate bedroom for example, instead of a studio. Quite often we eat in small restaurants or order food online, but we also don’t mind cooking meals at home. Similarly, local city transport is still scary for us so we often use Grab/Uber/Taxi. We know we could save quite a lot of money by changing that, but we’re simply not brave enough for it yet. Maybe one day.

Spending summary by country

Country Start date End date No of days Total spending Daily average
Malaysia 1/1/2020 8/3/2020 68 2916.93 42.89
Vietnam 8/3/2020 31/12/2020 298 9777.54 32.81
Summary 366 12,694.47 34.68

Spending summary by category

CategoryTotal USD
Souvenirs/gifts including post fee73.81


I added bills like electricity and anything extra asked by our hosts to accommodation fee. Additionally, something to take into consideration is that sometimes it is difficult to read from the receipt what we bought because it’s in a foreign language. That means that if we were doing a big shop in a supermarket, groceries will be mixed with toiletries etc. It increases groceries category total but not by much really. Our only toiletries are toothpaste, soap, shampoo, some face cream from time to time.

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Wow those numbers look unreal!

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