My retirement / full-time travel goal is to spend $1,000/month. But that has to average out over the year(s). So things like medical expenses, flights, and new gear all have to factor into that. So that means more like $800/month?? Let's even say I can spend $900/month; $30/day. That should be easy. And the longer I do this, the better I'll get at it and the less I'll spend.
Well I don't know if it's just me, but my first panic came when I was trying to find lodging for my 2 months in Costa Rica. I simply wanted 2 places for a month each. Now of course because it's longer term, I wanted something a bit more comfortable than a dorm bed. But the prices - I had a hard time finding something that would help keep me within budget! I ended up with one place that averaged $21/night and the other $15. Nice places where I have the entire house with a kitchen. See How to Search for Longer Term Budget Accommodation.
Now i'm in the middle of my 2 months and I'll just say it. I'm going to fail to meet my budget goal. Not by much, but still. There are a few things working for me on both sides of the fence here.
PROS: I have already made a contact in each of the towns I've stayed into trade lodging for website work. Win win. I always said I'd be open to doing that, but didn't really think I would want to. But I have to say that it really sounds like fun at the moment and I really like both of the people I would be working for.
I was able to find some amazing deals on very nice places to stay so did that help the budget? No necessarily, but for the money I got some very comfortable housing.
When all is said and done, I should only be a couple of hundred dollars over budget for this trip which isn't much considering I had over twice that stolen.
Update June 2020I now have been back in Costa Rica for about 5 months due to COVID-19 border closings. I have been settling into a routine and am enjoying staying in one place for a longer time. My budget it doing okay but I am still finding that there are times when I'd like to splurge more than I'm able. Like mani-pedi day with the girls or various boat trips or even going out to eat more (pre-COVID anyway).
Either way, I'm surprised and a little disappointed in myself that I'm even questioning my ability / desire to be able to stick to my retirement budget! It's what I'm all about. Honestly, I do think once I'm back in SE Asia, it will be much easier. Costa Rica can be pretty pricey.