Expensively delicious in February

ยท by dusty

Rummy game with new friends.


We managed to play only a little bit of Rummy with some new friends we met on our Salt Flat tour. Even if these kids could afford to buy cards, there was nowhere in the area to buy them. So, they were super excited when we asked them to play with us. We ended up giving them the cards at the end of the game and they were so happy. They couldn’t believe it at first until we repeatedly said regalo (gift!) and their Dad acknowledged that it was OK.

Since we no longer had cards and repeatedly forgot to buy ourselves a new set, we didn’t play much Rummy, At the end of February I forgot to write down the score, but as of March 13th our scores were:

Wendy: 18360
Dusty: 18485


We went over budget in January and again in February. We actually did a little better last month than January, which is surprising because we knew that Chile and Argentina were going to be more expensive than the rest of the countries. We did manage to keep the food and transportation costs low, so that helped.

Here is the breakdown of what we spent:

Category Budget Actual Difference Notes
Transportation 300 255 45 buses and taxis
Rent 800 1291 (491) hostels and an apartment
Misc 225 341 (86) healthcare, clothes and gadgets
Activities 200 360 (160) lots of fun
Food 560 555 5 food and dining
Allowance 160 160 0 coffee and beer
TOTAL 2245 2962 (717)

Over budget by $717!!

Dusty Devouring Empanadas


We did well on the food budget in February. In Chile, we tried to save money by having meals such as tuna and crackers in our hotel room. Sometimes we would go out for a cheap hot dog. When we got our apartment in Mendoza, Argentina we were able to cook at home. Eggs and steak were super cheap and we ate a ton of it. It cost about $5 for Wendy and I to each eat a filet and split a bottle of wine!

Dusty Working at Table in DOT Suites


Rent was expensive in February. The cheapest hotel that we could find in Santiago was about $40/night. This is much higher than what we were paying in Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador. We stayed there for about 10 days and then headed over to Mendoza half-way through the month. There, we rented a fantastic studio apartment for a whopping $1500 a month. We allocated $750 towards February and $750 toward March. Unfortunately, that only leaves us $50 in our rent budget for the rest of March!

O-H-I-O on the Salt Flats.


The coolest activity we did in February, actually so far in South America, was the Salt Flats and BFE Bolivia trip which concluded with crossing over into Chile. It was about $300 for the both of us, but well worth the money!

After the Salt Flats tour, we calmed down for a little bit and did fewer activities. The ones we did do were less expensive, such as visiting the zoo in Santiago.

Dusty Recording Our Metro Fare


We went over a little bit in the Misc category again. These are just things you don’t plan for. Nothing special in February, just a Metro card and a couple fill-ups in Santiago. We also bought a set of clippers for Dusty and a hair straightener for Wendy. I guess we wanted to stop looking so Hippie as we found infrastructure again.

Old Bolivian Bus


Nothing too expensive in Transportation in February. We considered the whole Salt Flats trip an activity, so that cost isn’t counted here. Other than that we took a bunch of buses. In order to save in the transportation category, we took the most frustrating 23 hour bus ride from San Pedro de Atacama to Santiago instead of flying. We also took a mini-van from Santiago to Mendoza.

Next Month

Next month is not looking good for the bank account! As I said before we only have $50 left in our Rent budget to cover us the whole second half of the month. Not only that, we have a trip to the bottom of South America planned. Argentina is quite a large country and we have much ground to cover. I have a feeling we are going to go way over!

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