I’m well and truly settled into the Bali lifestyle. We’ve been staying in Ubud which is hippyish, soulful and relaxed area of Bali. There’s a lot of greenery and it’s very lush. Although I’ve been here before and loved it, it is my partner’s first time and so far he’s really enjoying it. He can’t get over how cheap everything is here, and I am really excited to be earning a Western wage and spending in the East. I thought I’d do a rough break down of our costs so that you can better understand how much a holiday – or life – in Bali costs. How cheap is Bali? I think it’s pretty cheap…
Life is pretty cheap here for us as I have secured a lot of sponsored accommodation through my travel blog, which has been a big help. So far I have 1/3 of our time in Bali as sponsored. At the moment it is the peak of their tourist season so I have had a lot of hotels offer me stays… later in the year.
I will try to get a bit more of our trip sponsored as it does save a lot of money, but I also hate feeling like I’m “at work” all the time. Often the marketing managers of the hotels want to talk to you about things or want to double check a thousand times you’re happy and going to write good things about them. While it’s a small price to pay compared to the accommodation, I still don’t relax entirely. On the upside, the hotel we’re staying with at the moment has offered us a free massage today as well.
I would probably spend around $30-50 a night on accommodation here in Bali, but the places we have received as sponsored are more in the $100-150 price range, so we’ve been able to upgrade our travel experiene too.
Our hotel covers breakfast so we’re just usually out for lunch and dinner. Food prices vary considerably here, depending on what kind of food you want to eat. Local food is the cheapest, and you can get a plate of Nasi Goreng for around $1.50 in a restaurant. In most other western style restaurants, food runs at around $8-15 per person, including a drink or two. It’s not really bad. We’re spending about the same as what we would spend on groceries back home – or less – and we’re eating like kings.
As bad as it sounds, my favourite entertainment in this part of Bali is… massages. I LOVE massages. The past few months have been very high stress for me. I had a lot of family issues going on that were basically the worst, I also took care of my two tween sisters for 2 months in my tiny apartment. It was crazy. I carry a lot of my stress in my shoulders so I have been really indulging in massages here to help relax, unwind and destress. I got a 70 minute ‘royal’ massage which includes triggering tight muscles and then an oil massage for a whopping $7. For around the same price you can get a facial, a manicure or a pedicure. This is in a nice spa too, so you could always go cheaper.
Tonight we’re seeing a traditional dance and fire show which runs for around 90 mins and a lot of performers (I think at least 50, maybe 100) and it cost us $8.
Our transport costs at present are very low as the hotel offers free shuttles to the centre of Ubud. In general transport is very cheap. I have a driver that I used last time I was here and he is $55 USD for a full day’s transport. We will be using him tomorrow for a full day as we’re moving locations and have decided to turn it into a bit of a day trip.
So being on holiday in Bali, living like a queen with lots of non-essentials such as MASSAGES, costs me about half of what I would spend each week living at home. If we decided to base ourselves here long term, I think we could easily live off less than $1,000 a month and live very well. That means we could use on month’s income to pay for the entire year’s living expenses, and then save the rest!
1) Smash that elusive $20,000 barrier again: I’ve done it once so I know it’s possible, but I really want to get my income back up to this level again. I haven’t totalled up last month’s earnings, but I have a feeling it was less than June, so I want to get it back up there.
2) Start my Backpacker Tips project: I love backpacking, and while I am not really such a backpacker anymore, it is still something I am really passionate about. I want to build a site around traveling and backpacking… so I need to get started on this.
3) Be Crazy on the Emails: I really need to be more aggressive on the emails, follow up more and so on. This is the key to earning an outrageous wage for me. It’s not my favourite part of my job, but it is rewarding.
What do you have going on for the month of August? Do you have any goals you’re trying to achieve? Post them here and let’s keep each other accountable!