As I always say, my budget is atypical; what you spend depends on your own preferences. However I add my own budget here as a guideline.
There are a lot of cheap or free things to do, but you do have to be disciplined, for example to always shop in the cheaper supermarkets and always resist the sparkling allure of the great coffee shops and the frozen yoghurt.
Plus you have to weigh up what is most important to spend your money on; it’s one thing to travel cheaply but there is no point to going anywhere if you then can’t do anything.
Draw up budget and stick to it is the advice I always give but I rarely seem to follow that advice myself. This last month has been no exception.
Accommodation £960 /US$1,255
32 nights in total, 4 nights in hotel in Perth, 28 night in an Airbnb in Fremantle.
I got a reasonable rate on an Airbnb apartment by booking for 4 weeks. I also saved money in Perth by booking a room without a window and without servicing.
It helped that I spent the month in one place. If you are moving around every few days expect to pay more.
If you are happy to stay in hostel dorm rooms then you can pay a lot less. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Old Fire Station hostel in Fremantle; they are currently offering a bed in a dorm room from AUS$24 (£13/US$17) a night, but this is sharing your space with a lot of people.
Transport: AUS$315 (approx £175/US$230)
I bought a transport card to use on buses and trains. It is slightly cheaper with the card but the card itself costs $10 (non-refundable), so really only worth doing if you are in town for a while. I haven’t worked it out but I probably barely break even, although it saves fussing around looking for exact change on buses, so worth it on that alone I think.
I ploughed around AUS$160 onto that card over the month and the rest of my transport costs include my bus to Bunbury and the odd Uber here and there.
Trips and Excursions £320/US$417
I took the ferry to both Rottnest and Penguin Islands, a bus trip to the Pinnacles desert, a couple of cinema tickets, a trip to the theatre, a guided walk, a brewery tour, a ticket for a live band, two different tours of Fremantle prison, a couple of art classes; oh you get the idea. I didn’t do an excessive amount but I did a fair bit.
The more you want to do the more you need to spend. Luckily if you enjoy hiking in National Parks or sitting on/walking along beaches then that is free, which balances it out.
Eating and drinking £440/US$573
Food and alcohol costs broadly the same as in London. It is probably marginally cheaper to eat out in Perth than it would be in London (although London has more special deals going, 2:1 offers and the like; maybe Perth does too but I just haven’t found them).
Tipping is not expected in Australia, which helps, although more and more I notice a little tips jar lurking by the till.
Supermarket food is expensive here, with most items costing slightly more than in the UK, depending what you buy.
Halfway through the month I switched to shopping in Aldi and Woolworths, which was significantly cheaper. I also started packing up food to take with me on days out (to save on my high cafe/restaurant spend). However I often forgot and I still spent far more than I intended on that kind of thing.
If I had done all this from the beginning then I’m sure this figure could have been a lot lower; I am confident that I can get this down next month by eating out less, cutting down (out?) colas and not visiting the frozen yoghurt shop every single day.
Phone credit £20/US$26, mostly for internet.
When I was indoors I took advantage of free unlimited internet. You need to check that is available; a lot of hotels or Airbnbs have a data limit. Internet access is relatively expensive in Australia.
My apartment came with a washing machine.
Books, music and Netflix £27/US$35
Travel Insurance: £69 per month
As always, I insured with Travel Nomads, since my travel is ongoing and I need a company that pays out whilst I am travelling rather than when I get ‘home’.
This makes a total of £2,011, approx US$2,619 or AUS$3,625
I actually spent a bit more than that; I needed to buy something warm and fleecy to get me through the surprisingly cold nights, and there has been the odd frivolous/unnecessary purchase (notably a new tattoo, a manicure and some camera bits and bobs) here and there.
So that’s it for September. I am coming back to Fremantle in November, however the next item on my agenda is a road trip. I have hired a car for a few weeks and devised a little trip, taking in a small corner in the south of Western Australia.