October Expense Totals


How did we do in October?

Each month I write a report of sorts, to show a bit of the bigger picture.  For a more detailed list of each spend, go to the stats page or click here.

Here are some totals for the month of October spanning 4 countries: UkraineLithuaniaPolandand The United Kingdom including Scotland and England.


Ok folks….I was nervous to tally up this month because I knew it was going to be way over our monthly budget.  There were a few contributing factors and we knew in advance it was unlikely we’d stay on budget.

For one,  we were trying to get some paid stays in at IHG properties for our Big Win promotion.  For another, Drew’s mom has joined us for the second half of this month which means we’re buying food for 3 instead of 2 and means we rented a car so that she could see more sites for her big trip.

Luckily, November will see our return to the states for Drew’s sister’s wedding.  Despite there being a wedding involved in that return home, we expect our expenses will be low while hanging out with family.

Ok, time to assess the damage… 🙂

October Total$2,170.93
Tourist Attraction Total$50.97
Food & Beverage Total$475.02
Land Transit Total$762.45
Air Transit Total$215.520 points
Accommodation total$579.6037,500 IHG
128,000 Club Carlson
5,000 Hilton HHonors


Photos of the month…

Stained glass window in St. Margaret’s Cathedral.
(Saint Margaret is one of Mary Ann’s distant relatives!)



InterContinental Warsaw


Ladybug on the door of St. Dunsten’s in Stepney


2 Comments on “October Expense Totals

  1. Hello Carrie! I have been enjoying reading your daily and monthly tallies. I also like to add up my trip expenses to see where the money goes. I wonder if you could give me some more detail on your food expenses. I notice that your monthly total for this month is $475. This works out to a daily average of less that $16 for two people. What do you guys eat? Obviously you are not eating in any restaurants. It would be great if you could let me know how you keep this expense so low. Thanks!

    • Great question! There are three contributing factors to our low food budget in October which also makes up our general strategy.
      1.) Thanks to pointbreaks we spent a long, two and a half week stretch in the InterContinental Kiev. Because Drew has royal ambassador status, we usually get lounge access on our InterContinental stays. (Free food!) Drew recently wrote an article for Frugal Travel Guy suggesting the different ways to get top tier status with the various hotel programs, since RA status is invite-only and therefore…not a “strategy” we can recommend per say.(Not to mention technically RA status doesn’t guarantee benefits on award stays!!!! So we have to negotiate sometimes.)

      2.) We also ended up staying in a Park Plaza (on points) that had a little kitchenette. I love places like this (StayBridge Suites (25,000 points) and CandleWood Suites (15,000 points) are IHG brands that often have kitchenettes too.) With a stove at our exposure, we can really do the cheap grocery thing. Spaghetti and soup, man.

      3.) We relied heavily on grocery stores and little sandwich shops whether we had the kitchenette or not.

      Combining free food from lounge access and cheap food with groceries, we were able to go out at least once or twice. The budget thing can be hard on foodies, but rest assured if you are budget focused 80% of the time, then you can relax and eat the local delicacies the other 20% of the time.

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