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Balancing the Global Budget: Ghana

We haven’t done a budget update since Shawna and I left Morocco, so it is time to give a quick big picture summary, as well as a little more detail of where we spent the last six weeks of 2011 – Ghana!

Shawna blows the whistle on spending!

As you know by now, our goal is to see whether we can indeed travel the world together for around $100/day. We started off in the UK and Western Europe, likely the most expensive region of the world, at least in terms of places we plan on visiting. But as we have been travelling, we have been slowly dropping our daily average spend.

I should note, that the one thing we are not counting at this point is any international flights. I know this may seem bizarre, but before we left we decided to keep this budget separate. So although flights are included in our Total $ Spent, they are not included in our Daily Average.

Also, these posts are about how much it costs us to travel the world. We have discovered that we are not super-tight budget backpackers, it just isn’t our things. I would label us as middle of the road travellers. We don’t mind spending a little extra money on things we love to do. Thrifty, but not cheap.

Young girl selling at the Tamale market

Here is a look at our Ghanaian numbers:

Dollar to Cedi Conversion

$1 CDN = 1.66 Ghanaian Cedis
1€ = 2.16 Cedis

Ghana Spending

Total # of Days – 45
Total Dollars Spent (CDN) – $2,781.55
Daily Average (CDN) – $61.81 (or 48€)

Total Spending To Date

Total Dollars Spent (CDN) – $20,594.99
Daily Average (CDN) – $100.04 (or 77€)

The Lowdown

Well for the time being we have made it to our daily goal of $100/day!!! Thanks Ghana!

However the one thing that still skews these numbers was my motorbike accident. This (doctor bills and bike repairs combined) actually accounted for almost 9% of the money we spent in the country!

Additionally, Christmas was a time where we spoiled ourselves a little. Our private daily yoga lessons ran us 30GHC/day, we really stepped it up in terms of eating wherever we wanted, including a Christmas buffet running us 84GHC! But hey, it was Christmas, right?

How Much CAN it cost??

Accomodation - We were quite fortunate in Ghana as we stayed with Joseph, a good friend of ours while we were in Accra(his wife is the amazing lady who taught us to cook Red-Red!) Additionally, while volunteering in Tamale, we stayed in the home owned by Create Change, the charity we were volunteering for. However, when we were paying “regular prices” for our room, we were paying around 20-25 GHC/night.

Food - So here is the deal….if you can deal with eating Fu-fu or rice and beans for every meal in Ghana, you can eat from the food stalls for crazy cheap… think 1-2 GHC a meal, maybe less! However, short of the red-red mentioned above we were not huge fans of this diet and so we did tend to visit the western restaurants a little more often…the food was sometimes better, although the service never was. And of course this came at a price… 10-20 GHC would get you a dinner, depending on what you were after.

Drink - Small beers cost 2GHC, large beer costs 3GHC. The one thing that will save you a decent amount of money are the water sachets. You can drink out of these 500ml bags for $0.05, as opposed to buying a 1.5L bottle for 1-1.5GHC…that’s just smart hydration!

Clubbin' in Accra

So we have hit the mark, living quite well, travelling around the world on a budget of $100CDN! As we move towards Jordan, and then South East Asia, can we keep it up?

Have you spent time in Ghana? How does your spending compare? Let us know below.

The video below is one of a few young Ghanaian boys showing off their moves in front of the camera. How can you not love these kids? Enjoy!

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6 Responses to “Balancing the Global Budget: Ghana”

  1. Ashley Lenzen January 13, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

    Congrats on reaching your budget goal!!! Mike and I love following your adventures!
    Ashley Lenzen recently posted..How 6 Months of Travel Have Changed Me

    • Skott January 14, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

      Right back atchya! Thanks for saying ‘hi’, Ash….Happy Diving! I haven’t done that in over a decade….I can only imagine what a time you two are having there…

  2. Collette January 14, 2012 at 1:57 am #

    Congratulations! I even skipped ahead to see if you guys had hit $100 yet! I think you should be able to stick to that for the next bit. The next places you are going are pretty affordable I think.

    • Skott January 14, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

      I am thinking we might hit a slight bump in the road here in Jordan, but you are right…it will be tough (I hope) to go over that number in South East Asia!

  3. Erica January 18, 2012 at 2:42 am #

    We actually don’t count travel in our budget either – I mean, that would be painful at our $50 a day.
    Erica recently posted..Episode 15 – Lanterns in Medellin, Colombia

    • Skott January 21, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

      Unless you are crossing the ocean in a canoe, I don’t think you would be able to keep under $50/day and still count international travel. We count taxis, buses, trains, and camels, but like you guys, we decided that by excluding international flights, we at least have a reasonable chance at sticking to our budget.

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