Closing Out the Books For May

Two dozen bagels to get Brett through the summer are now in the freezer.

I don’t even want to think about what we spent in May.

We left Japan with a daily spending average of $51.03, but we are ending the month in Oregon with a daily spending average of $74.46 – YIKES! I knew it was going to be bad, but not this bad.

What did we spend all that money on? Food! Lots and lots and lots of food. We had to feed YaYu while she was here and got a few things for her that she’ll need in Japan and, because we won’t have a car this summer, we did a couple of big shops at Costco when we did have a car – one when we first arrived, and another this past week. We also stocked up at Trader Joe’s and Winco, and we bought a few things at Target. Our cupboards, fridge and freezer are stuffed full, and we now have enough laundry supplies, toilet paper and paper towels to get us through the summer (the house came with supplies to get us started thankfully). Our Oregon spending also includes a Brita pitcher and filters which we will store when we leave, our TriMet passes, and the car rental to take YaYu to the airport.

All of this hopefully means that our monthly averages for the rest of the summer will be well below average. We will be paying admission for a few activities, making a couple of trips to Trader Joe’s, and visiting the OHSU farmer’s market every week for fresh produce, but between the two of us this summer I think we will be able to keep our spending to minimum (clothing and other travel supplies come out of a different fund). Fingers crossed!


10 thoughts on “Closing Out the Books For May

  1. When you stock up, it feels expensive but on the long run I am sure you will feel differently. I am thinking your daily average will be under what you spent in Japan. Recently, I am making plans for my upcoming vacation in the US and working on a budget. Your posts have been very inspiring.


    1. This is so what we are hoping. We have a LOT of food and other supplies on hand now, so future shopping trips for the rest of the summer should stay small. In Japan we were constantly shopping.

      When are you coming to the U.S.?


      1. I am coming late October. Hopefully, in good time to see the changing leaves in New England. I was going to ask you how you came up with USD 50 per day as your travel budget. If you do not mind sharing what did that include? And what other budget categories you had?


      2. We have two set bills every month: my student loan payment and our phone plane. After those were subtracted from our net income we set a maximum amount that we were willing to pay for “rent” each month as well as an amount for transportation (planes or trains to get to our destinations). After those were subtracted we looked at what was left over and came up with $50 day ($1500 or $1550 per month) for all our other needs on the road: food, local transportation (including rental cars), admission tickets, etc. We paid for a lot of our transportation and lodging up front before we ever left Hawaii which gave us a good cushion.

        New England in the late fall should be beautiful!!

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    1. Bagels are an occasional thing here, but a nice, chewy one that’s perfectly toasted, and slathered with some cream cheese (with chives, preferably) then YUM! Otherwise, I don’t care all that much for them. Brett has one a couple of times a week – he likes them toasted with some peanut butter. One of our family’s Christmas traditions is bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon for breakfast!

      Our accommodations come out of a different fund. The daily spending is for food, transportation, activities and such. We’ve had two car rentals this month, and we also had to pay for our taxi ride to the train station in Tokyo ($$) and then the train ride out to Narita Airport. Those bumped up our average, and we bought a LOT of (mostly non-perishable) food and also wine.

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  2. May was awful for us, too, on the spending side. It’s the month of several semi-annual payments and we had a few home repairs I didn’t anticipate, as well as having to buy tires (!!) in Canada while visiting. Nothing like a flat tire on a long weekend. Ha! Really hoping the rest of the summer stays problem free on the $$ front.

    A good bagel can’t be beat, especially with schmears. I don’t eat them often anymore, but once in a while, they really hit the spot.


    1. OK, I would rather have overspent on food, etc. than all the things you had happen – yikes! My fingers are crossed for you, that nothing else happens this summer (or for many more months, if ever).

      The secret to a good bagel, IMO, is that it needs to be nice and chewy, with a good yeasty taste. No fluffy bagesl for me, and no weird flavors (they’re interesting once, but that’s it). Winco here makes very good bagels – I especially like their multigrain ones (their onion ones are good too).

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  3. Love your pictures of Portland. I have never been there but hope to go visit when I retire.


    1. Thanks, Cindy! I will be posting more – Brett and I are planning to get out and be more like tourists and visit various places around town (minus the eating out, although we probably will do that a couple of times). This week we’re going to ride the aerial tram and visit the Chinese garden, both easy to access by public transportation from our apartment.


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