Friday, February 7, 2014

JANUARY 2014 EXPENSES -- A COSTLY MONTH by Marilyn


CATEGORY
AMOUNT


Groceries/Household
289.60
Rent/Utilities
1,026.99
Transportation
69.27
Doctors/Dentist/Meds
261.40
Dogs
42.76
Entertainment
0.00
Trips*
$1,524.00
Workshop/Garden
53.26
Furniture/Fixtures
17.59
Misc.
0.00
January 2014 TOTAL
3284.87

When you set your budget goal at $2,000/month, and you spend nearly $3,300, should you 


a) reevaluate your budget

b) start eating on alternate days only

c) move to Nicaragua, or 

d) “forget” to list expenses that make you go over that budget (I think this is called either “Bernie Madoff accounting” or “The ENRON Way”)? 

What happened in January?

If we had considered our expenses as being ONLY what we’d spent for living life in Costa Rica, at $1,760.87 we’d be under our budget goal of $2,000/month. But in January (actually the end of December) we returned to the states and spent the New Year with our family and friends.

Until we get our Costa Rican residency, we will have to leave the country every 90 days, so our trip to Delaware was our first 90-day “visa run.” Going all the way back to the states only three months after we’d arrived in Costa Rica was not in our original planning.  We had purchased bus tickets to Nicaragua, but at the last minute we had to change airlines in October – because of the dogs – a long, cautionary tale that I will someday post.

And even though the trip cost nearly as much as the rest of our January expenses, the money we spent in January on airline tickets only includes the return flight to Costa Rica; the tickets from CR to Philly were rolled into our “getting here” expenses several months ago.

*VISA RUN to Delaware
Airline tickets back to Costa Rica
$916.00
SJO exit tax
58.00
Groceries/meals out
235.00
Shuttle to/from airport (in CR)
100.00
House Sitter
165.00
Misc.
50.00
January 2014 Visa Run TOTAL
$1,524.00
At least we have a good general idea of what it will cost us any time we decide to go back to the U.S. Our airline tickets were super expensive because we were traveling in the high season; we’ll know to pick a less popular time to go. Most likely the cost of our round-trip flight will be somewhere near these one-way tickets.




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