Where is our money going?

I haven’t been blogging as frequently as Adam because I’m keeping a paper journal and expense log.  I record each cedi and pesewa spent in red ink, so I can keep track of where we need to work on our budget.  I’ve entered all the data into a spreadsheet, so I can see how many USD we’re spending a day, what percent of our expenses went to taxis in Accra, and what it’s really costing us to eat at “fancy” restaurants.  I’m sure this sounds a little obsessive and dull to some of you, but I think it’s interesting.  (I get it from my mom.  Hi Mom; I know you’re reading this one.)  I thought I’d share some of the numbers from week one with you, in case you think it’s interesting too.

We spent $354 total in our first week in Ghana.  Our biggest expense, at 28.5 percent of our spending, goes to lodging at guesthouses ($100.41 total, or $14.39 a night on average for the two of us).

The next big one is transportation.  We averaged $18.21 a day on taxis for the four days we were in Accra, but fortunately only $2.29 a day for the days we’ve spent in Cape Coast.  As Adam’s mentioned, our guesthouse was well out of Accra proper, so we spent a lot getting into the city, while in Cape Coast we primarily walk.

We brought some food with us in our luggage, so that’s been supplementing our diets while we find vegetarian dishes and the street carts that sell them.  We spent $58.36 on food and clean water our first week, or about $4.17 per person, per day.

I grouped the remaining expenses into four categories: toiletries ($20.36), internet/phone ($52.50), maps ($14.07), and gifts/tips ($19.00).  

Overall, we came out a little higher than we’d expected, but we have to take into account our “getting settled” expenses (e.g. a $43 HSDPA USB stick for internet that should last us a month, the maps, all the taxis in Accra, and a couple nights at an $18.50-a-night guest house).  We’re getting the hang of what’s reasonable for different things, and as we get more comfortable haggling and eating street food, I expect our costs will come down a bit.

Stay tuned for week two!

One Response to “Where is our money going?”

  1. Jeff Drew says:

    Hi, Just watched your you tube video.
    Like you I am passionate about killing measles. It is eradicable, has no known animal reservoir and is fragile in the environment. Due to its fragility, maintaining its efficacy during distribution is a problem and it needs to be maintained cold all the time. All too frequently ineffective doses are administered leaving children open to infection despite being vaccinated
    To this end I began looking at ways make the vaccine stable about 25 years ago. I succeeded a few years ago, and presented the results in Seattle to Gates foundation last summer. For some reason be it political or whatever they did not wish to pursue it.
    You have no idea how frustrating it is to have in your possession something which could start to eradicate this disease today (and by the way would probably cost less than 26c!) and stop totally preventable deaths.

    I am still waiting to get this thing out there………after all it took about 25 years to get it working I am not giving up on it that easily!!

    If at any point you would be interested in talking to see if there is anything we could do together to get this major project off the ground please let me know!!

    All the very best