Closing Out the Books On January

Four no-spend days on the train helped our bottom line, but sadly not enough.

January should have been a very low-cost month for us, but it didn’t turn out that way. We had more no-spend days than any previous month, and yet our costs outside of those days turned out to be quite high, and as a result we ended the month over our daily spend limit by nearly $5.50/day, or a total of $170.50 for the month. That’s not a lot in the grand scheme of things, but it was still troubling for us.

Our short stay in Hong Kong is where we really got into trouble, spending-wise, because any way we sliced it, Hong Kong was an expensive city. We saved in some areas, but other things caught us way off guard, like the huge (and surprising) cost to get our laundry done at the hotel, for example. Our casual lunch out at Stanley (a sandwich, some fish & chips, and two iced teas) was nearly $60US. It cost us twice as much to eat at Hong Kong Disneyland than our admission, and so on. A few taxi rides didn’t help the bottom line either. We made up for some of that overage once we got to Australia, which we have found to be very affordable in comparison, and hoped we’d be able to come in just slightly above our goal of $50/day by the end of the month. Our purchase of two $50AU Opal cards and a few groceries yesterday dashed those hopes.

However, with our Opal cards and groceries now in hand we are off to a good start in February, and hopefully we can keep things under control for the rest of our time in Australia, and then in New Zealand and Japan, although we will be having to buy (expensive) gasoline for the car in New Zealand, and two spendy tickets to get into Tokyo from the airport. But otherwise we should be OK, and are keeping our fingers crossed.

I also discovered that along with tracking our daily spending averages, Brett has also been tracking our daily steps and miles walked. Yesterday, for example, we walked 5.3 miles, and Brett took 14,333 steps (around 16,000 for me). The amount surprised me, considering how hot it was. Good thing I got most of those steps in before I fell and broke my toe!

It’s time for a pedicure again too!

Late yesterday afternoon the front edge of my flip-flop caught on the edge of a step as we were entering the David Jones department store in downtown Sydney (looking for a moisturizer/sunscreen replacement), and down I went. I was otherwise OK, but knew fairly soon that I had broken something in my foot because the pain in my toes was at a whole different level. However, I could still walk and we made it back home and out to dinner last night. I decided not to go to the ER because I knew all that would happen was there would be an X-ray confirming the break, my toes would be taped together, I would be told to elevate and ice my foot, and we would get a bill (I have broken a toe before). Instead, we stopped at a pharmacy and bought some tape, I taped the toe myself, and am keeping my foot elevated and iced as much as possible, and it’s all feeling better today. Brett is out with my brother this morning touring a couple of museums while I rest my foot, but I will be ready to do some limited walking later today and we plan to go tour the opera house tomorrow morning before my brother has to head back up to his home in Queensland (where there has been heavy flooding).

We have four more full days in Sydney though before leaving for New Zealand, so we should have enough time to do and see everything we’d like before we go. I’m having a very nice reunion with my brother as well!


6 thoughts on “Closing Out the Books On January

    1. It actually looks a lot worse than it feels now, a good thing. Taping the toes, and keeping the foot iced and elevated have really made a difference. But it still was a very annoying thing to happen!


  1. I broke my toe in September (and ended up with a concussion also) so I totally understand! I have loved your pics of Australia!


    1. As I fell I saw myself face-planting into the marble flooring, but apparently was able to break my fall so that thankfully didn’t happen. I can’t imagine having a concussion on top of a broken toe. After a day of rest, and somewhat light walking today, my toe is getting better (or at least doesn’t hurt as much as it did).

      We are enjoying Australia so far and wish we could have more time here, especially to get up north to Queensland to visit my brother there and see where he’s lived for the past 40 years.


  2. It does look bad. Hope the pain is easing?

    I am planning to go via Hong Kong to Germany this year, but I’m a little worried that it will be a very expensive stopover and put a hole in our travel budget.


    1. We ate at places we knew would cost a bit more, but we didn’t realize it would be as bad as it was. We do know places that cost less and serve good food, and a few other tricks for saving money there and I can pass those along. Basically, we just weren’t as careful as we should have been (and don’t get your laundry done in the hotel!).

      My foot is better although it still hurts some. I did fine walking all the way from the Opera House to Potts Point via the Botanical Gardens, and have kept it elevated and iced since. It’s getting better every day!

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