Posts categorized under ‘Money’

Cost of travel in Sri Lanka

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

For people interested in travelling to Sri Lanka and wonder how much it cost to travel in this country, here are some basic price examples for budget travel:

Double room (no single room exist usually):
800-1500 rupee per room (6-11 USD)

Food (lunch or dinner):
80-200 rupee per person (0,6-1,5 USD)

Mobile internet (SIM card + 1 GB data maximum 1 month use):
600 rupee (5 USD)

Bus/train (estimated):
40 rupee per hour (0,3 USD)

Remember that you can always bargain on the rooms, especially during the low season. The same goes for transport with taxi or tuk-tuk.

Str Lankan food (1)

Str Lankan food (2)

 

Money for survival VS money for wealth

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

While on Corn Islands (Las Islas del Maíz) in Nicaragua I stumbled upon a group of locals that go scuba diving to catch lobsters. They only go with fins, tank (for air) and regulator (makes the compressed air breathable) and without any knowledge whatsoever in scuba diving. Because they do not calculate how long time they can be in the water and in a regular day does 12 dives most, if not all of them, get decompression sickness. This is the most serious diving decease you can get and if you don’t die from it you can get chronical pain or other heavy problems.

So why do they choose not to pick only a few lobsters or catch just enough fish to eat for themselves and cover their everyday life expenses and live healthy, instead of killing themselves trying to get wealthy? This makes me think about people in “developed countries” where people do the same. Instead of working less to earn just enough money to survive while getting a lot of free time to live, most people choose to do more and more demanding work while getting less time over for “life”.

But what is “life”? For some people who find pleasure and excitement in their jobs it can be a good decision to work more, but for people wanting to spend time with friends or family or have other hobbies the work time should be minimized. Of course if your hobbies are expensive you need to find a balance to keep up with your lifestyle.

The conclusion? Try to find a balance that works best for you and remember that having free time can be an easier, healthier and more satisfying option than having a big salary.

Money for wealth

Money for survival

Cost of living in Cyprus

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

The cost of living in Cyprus is a bit more expensive than in most other countries in Europe, especially comparing to the southern countries. You can still live cheap in Cyprus if you have a car or are living near one of the big super markets, but in other case calculate with double the prices as below if you go shopping in small local stores. When a price range is written, the cheaper price is LIDL and the more expensive is Alphamega. All examples are from Limassol in south Cyprus.

STORE / SUPERMARKET (LIDL Cyprus & Alphamega)
1 liter juice 1-2 euro
1 liter milk 1,30 euro
1 liter local beer 1,80 euro
1,5 liter of wine 1,50 – 2 euro
1 liter rice 1,10 euro
0,5 kg pasta 45 cent – 1,35 euro
6 eggs 2-3 euro
Can of sardines or tunas 85 cent – 1,20 euro
1 fresh big bread 70 cent
1 kg yogurt 2 – 4,40 euro
1 kg bananas 1-2 euro
1 kg kiwi 2,20 euro
1 kg orange 1,20 euro
washing powder 2,60 euro
CAFE / PUB / RESTAURANT
Caffè Latte 3-4 euro
Draft beer (33 cl) 3,50 euro
Sallad 8-14 euro
Fast food Kebab 4 euro, Hamburger 4 euro
Lunch/dinner 6-12 euro for cheap lunch/dinner without drink
TRANSPORT IN/AROUND CYPRUS
Local bus 1 euro per trip (ticket can not be used when changing bus) or 2 euro for a day ticket.
Bus within the country Around 3-6 euro
Bus Larnaca airport to Limassol 8 euro
THE REST
Furnished apartment 450 euro/month + electricity & water (central)
Room in shared apartment 200-300 euro/month including electricity & water & internet (central)
Phone calls (MTN) 7 euro for a sim card with 2 euro to call for. 7-8 cent per minute, 2 cent per SMS and 20 free SMS included in every top up.
WIFI Open WIFI networks can be found on the street on some places. Cafés and restaurants commonly have free WIFI. There are also a few internet cafés with computers that you can rent. Internet in Hotels cost extra.

Alphamega Limassol Cyprus

Microlending – try it now for free!

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

I have earlier recommended Kiva as a microlending platform and right now they have a free trial where you get $25 for free to lend to whoever you want! Click the link below to try your first micro loan.

Kiva

Moshav & Kibbutz in Israel

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

While hitch hiking in Israel me and a friend got a ride by a guy who’s family are living in a moshav, and who were himself planning to live there in his near future. He invited us to visit the moshav and we ended up staying there for two days, living as a part of his family.

A moshav is a type of community or settlement with the members of the community owning their own farms, in comparison to the kibbutz where the community shares the farms. In a moshav the people get a specific amount of land for farming when they get married. Nowadays it is more difficult to find good farming land which have resulted in some of these farms have been placed in the no mans land between Israel and Jordan, thanks to a agreement between the two countries. The same agreement gives Jordan a bigger ownership of the Dead Sea which is getting smaller and smaller every year because of mistreatment by the salt companies.

In this specific moshav where we were staying, the Zofar moshav, 2 out of 3 people were workers from Thailand. These people work on the farm land but with no other integration in the community. They even live in specific areas of the moshav which is only for them. Walking around in the moshav you can hear the loud music and karaoke singing from these areas, and to walk there feels a bit like walking around in Thailand.

Besides the no integration part of the Thai people, the feeling of a moshav or kibbutz are of utopia. Everything is perfect, beautiful and calm. The relationships between the different families are close and only a few people or families have chosen(?) to be for themselves. The area around the moshav is amazing desert and perfect for walking, jogging or even taking the motorbike or quad out for a spin. Still, with the desert looking like it will never end you know in the back of your head that if you need to go to a town it is only some hour away.

Not only can a moshav be self sustainable and also sell what they produce, some of them are using solar power both for themselves and to sell the extra power they don’t use. This usually means a small initial investment that is already payed back within 5 years, and then 15 more years of around 2 000 euro per month earned per family for the power they sell to the power companies.

All in all a moshav is a very nice way of living and it seems that also the young people are interested in keeping this tradition alive, although sometimes with newer technologies and ideas.

Moshav
Zofar moshav

Agricultural worker
Farm worker

Family house
Family house with solar power

Family dinner
Family dinner with amazing food, wine & kippas (hats)

Farm dogs
Well trained dogs that do not enter into the houses

Cat and toy
Curious cat

Ping pong table
What is a sunny day without playing some ping pong?

Tea pot with palms
Tea and palms

Sheep fucking
Sheep’s having some fun

Family breakfast
Breakfast (Jachnun; dough with spicy tomato sause) with the neighbours

Dog upside down
Dog taking a rest upside down

Bird cage
Bird cage with tons of birds…

Hungry cat
…And one hungry cat outside

Lunch plate
Again food.. This time a quick lunch before hitting the road

Israeli desert
Beautiful desert with camels

Negev desert

Moshav farms
Farms in the distant

Moshav tomato farm
Tomato farm

Moshav paprika farm
Peppers farm

Earn money while traveling (new tip)

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Sometimes I find web sites that are so smart I wish I made them myself. Fiverr.com is one of those. On this web site, which actually have been online for about 2 years now, you can offer any [legal] job you want for 5 dollars (4 euro). Of this 5 dollars the web site will charge you 1 dollar to use their service. The jobs that are most common on the web site at the moment are creation of YouTube videos or songs, but there are also some really strange ones like to hire a Facebook girlfriend for a week.

So if you are artistic creating anything that doesn’t need shipping this is a really good way for you to earn money while traveling.

http://fiverr.com

Facebook girlfriend

Make money while traveling

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

One of the most common things I hear from travelers is that they wish they could make money while traveling, which will enable them to travel for longer periods of time. While I am running a web design company to be able to do this for myself, there are a lot of other things you can do:

Play music
If you are a musician you have probably already thought about this option, and if you are not it’s probably not that good of an idea =). Still, playing music on the streets is a good option in the summer as long as the police don’t hassle you.

Create art
This  is related to playing music in so many ways. You have probably already thought of this option, and the police thing is a real threat when you try to sell your artwork on the street. A good thing with the artwork is that if you like festivals this is the perfect place to sell your things. In most cases though you need to pay for a place to do this, but if you do some easy work for the festival it could be possible to get a place for free.

Teach English
A lot of people are talking about this being the best option, but still not so many people are doing it. The reason is that there are not so much request for the teachers, and you usually need a certificate that show your level of expertise, as well as to synchronize your travels to when the semester of the schools start.

Write articles
Either you can write articles for travel magazines or for local newspapers. If you don’t manage to find one of these to work for there are other options, like write articles for content web sites like the ones listed below:
http://www.associatedcontent.com
http://www.helium.com
http://www.blogit.com

Blog
It is possible to earn money on a blog, either by having ads or sponsored pages/articles. Remember that these will in most cases lower the quality of your web site, and it is also difficult to make enough money from this. The keyword here is content, to have as much of it as possible that people will find through the search engines. With a lot of unique content also comes a lot of visitors, which means more clicks on your ads or more value for advertisers on your web site. To earn money on your blog it’s best to own and create it yourself, which means a small initial cost but then nobody else can put ads on it or decide what you do with it.

Create Youtube videos
If you manage to create Youtube videos that gets millions of views you can become a partner with Youtube and start earning money from your videos. In avarage a Youtube partner earns $2.5 to $5 per 1000 views. Remember that if you are a partner you must own the rights to everything that you post, including the background music and pictures.
http://www.youtube.com/creators/partner.html

Work as an au pair
While this does not give you that much free time to explore, it can be a good option because usually it’s not that difficult to find these kind of jobs. If you are unlucky with the family, quickly change to another family if possible not to get stuck with horrible working hours and no freedom.

Work on a farm
Want to learn something while meeting new people and doing something good for the environment? Then volunteering on a farm is for you. This will get you free accommodation & food and sometimes even some pocket money.
http://www.wwoof.org         (organic farming, cost 15 euro/year)
http://www.workaway.info    (cost 22 euro/2 years)
http://www.helpx.net           (unknown price)

Work with telemarketing
Specially if you know several languages this could give you a really good income, which means that you don’t need to work all the time but can even travel between some of the places without working.

Write a PDF book
In case you have unique knowledge about something and are able to put it on paper, you can make a PDF book out of it and sell it online on your own web site or through a book shops web site, like Amazon. To start selling your eBook on Amazon, send a blank mail to edoc-inquiry@amazon.com and they will get back to you with details.

Freelance
If you are able to continue your current work skill while traveling this is of course an easy option for you. This can for example be online work like programming, design, copywriting or offline work like photographing, painting, tattooing and so on.

Stock photography & illustrations
If you are a photographer or illustrator but have problems finding companies that wants to buy your pictures, then you can start with stock photography instead. This works the way that you upload your pictures on a web site like the ones listed below. The visitors of the web site then get to buy your pictures very cheap and you will get a small percentage of this income. Needless to say, one keyword here is to upload as many pictures as possible, and within the categories that are most requested. These are for example people in business situations (shaking hands, using headsets and so on), sport pictures, pictures that represent money or internet, pictures of groups of people, buildings, holiday season pictures and pictures of food & drinks, fashion, medicine & hospitals. Remember that you need to have a signed standard contract with all the people on your pictures.
http://www.sxc.hu
http://www.istockphoto.com
http://www.gettyimages.com

Work in a hostel
If you like to meet other travelers and have a social job this is perfect for you. Usually it means that you first need to learn the local language, and have a normal level of English (which you should have if you are reading this). Either you can email a lot of hostels before arriving to your destination, or take a day or two to walk around to all the hostels in the city and present yourself. don’t expect a big income on this, but you should at least get free accommodation and some living cost money.

Write hostel reviews
Some web sites pay you to write hostel reviews. The problem with this is that the income almost doesn’t cover the cost of living in the hostel, but at least you will lower your costs if hostels is your way of travel. For example Hostelz.com pay $10 per review (350 words + pictures), but they don’t have all the hostels in their database so be sure to check first before you choose where to stay.

Recycle
Depending on where you have traveled you might have seen Roma people working with recycling. This might take a lot of time and not give so much money, but if you need money and have no other options here it is. Collect paper, metal or anything that you can find a lot of and that there is a local recycling station for. You will need some kind of carriage to collect on and for transportation. Best time to do this is early mornings or in the evening, depending on where you are. Be prepared for a lot of people looking strangely at you, but at least you are doing something good for the environment.

Conclusion
There are a lot of ways to earn money while traveling, much more then listen above. If you don’t want problem with the police, check local visa requirements and eventual licenses needed.

Make money while traveling

Roma people collecting paper

Egypt needs your money

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Everybody here in Egypt are hoping for the tourists to come back. The locals are trying to spread the message that Egypt are now safe to be in, but everywhere you hear the same story: that people are afraid of traveling to Egypt. The economic crisis is a fact, specially in the cities that are entirely built up from tourism and totally dependent of it.

It is now 4 months since the Egyptian revolution took place. In Dahab, like the rest of Egypt, there is no trace of unsecureness or problems. Not even when the events were at their peak in Cairo were it visible in the other Egyptian cities, where life continued as usual. Still, people outside Egypt have got the impression from media that Egypt is unsafe to travel to right now. Not even after that the foreign governments took away their warnings not to visit Egypt the tourists returned.

This, together with the earlier freak accident with the shark attacks here, have taken Egypt to a really deep economic crisis. Only you, the tourists, can help them back on track.

Revolution in Egypt

Price examples from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Here is my normal post about living costs, this time about Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The supermarket used this time was HiperDino but there are other cheap alternatives in Gran Canaria like Carrefour & Spar.

STORE / SUPERMARKET (HiperDino)
1,5 liter water bottle 40 cent
1,5 liter juice 86 cent
1 liter milk 1,12 euro
1 liter local beer 76 cent
1 liter of wine 80 cent
1 liter rice 75 cent
0,5 kg pasta 62 cent
6 eggs 1,10 euro
Can of sardines or tunas 60-80 cent
1 fresh big bread 40-50 cent
1 kg bananas (platanos) 1,80 euro
1 kg tomatoes 1,15 euro
1 kg apples 1,65 euro
1 kg orange 1,15 euro
5 kg potatoes 4,50 euro
washing powder 2-3 euro
CAFE / PUB / RESTAURANT
Espresso (café solo) 0,80 – 1,80 euro
Draft beer (33 cl) 0,80 – 1,30 euro in the cheap places
Lunch/dinner 6,50 for a 3 dinner course including drink, 4 euro for a kebab, 2,50 euro for a hamburger
Orange juice 2 euro
TRANSPORT IN/AROUND LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA
Local bus 1,20 euro per trip or 6,50 euro for 10 trips. Card can not be used when changing bus.
Bus within the island 1 – 10 euro, buses leaving every hour to once every day, and sometimes no direct bus
Bus airport to Las Palmas 2,85 euro
THE REST
Furnished apartment 500 euro/month + electricity & water (Las Canteras, beach/surf area)
Room in shared apartment 200-300 euro/month including electricity & water & internet(Las Canteras, beach/surf area)
Mobile internet 25-40 euro/month, depending on how long contract you want
WIFI Open WIFI networks can be found on the street on some places, like on Las Canteras (beach area). In cafés and restaurants it is common with free WIFI. There are also a number of internet cafés with computers that you can rent.

Price examples from Lisbon, Portugal

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

After about a month here in Portugal I have now collected these price examples for “normal” living costs:

STORE / SUPERMARKET (Pingo Doce)
1,5 liter water bottle 12 cent
1 liter juice 1 euro
1 liter milk 80 cent
1 liter local beer 75 cent
75 cl local wine 1 euro
Rice 70 cent
6 eggs 60 cent
1 fresh big bread 1-2 euro
1 kg bananas 99 cent
1 kg tomatoes 1,49 euro
1 kg apples 1,49 euro
1 kg carrots 49 cent
1 kg shrimps 9 euro
washing powder 3-6 euro
CAFE / PUB / RESTAURANT
Espresso 0,50 – 1 euro
Draft beer (33 cl) 90 cent and up
Lunch/dinner 5 – 10 euro (not including drink)
Orange juice 1½ – 2½ euro
TRANSPORT IN/AROUND LISBON
Local bus / metro 90 cent + 50 cent to buy a rechargeable card (Carris/Metropolitano, zone 1) or 1,50 euro in the bus
Local tram 90 cent + 50 cent to buy a rechargeable card (Carris, zone 1) or 2,50 euro in the tram
Ferries 0,90 – 1,85 euro + 50 cent to buy a rechargeable card
Train Lisbon to Cascais 1,80 euro + 50 cent to buy a rechargeable card (one way, with Comboios de Portugal)
Bus Lisbon to Porto 18 euro (one way, with Renex)
THE REST
Furnished apartment 450-600 euro/month + electricity & water
Room in shared apartment 150-350 euro/month including electricity & water
Mobile internet 1 euro/hour is the only option here for short-term-contracts, not including modem. All other options requires 12-24 months contract.
WIFI Open WIFI networks can be found on the street on some places. In cafés and restaurants it is not so common with WIFI. There are a lot of internet cafés with computers that you can rent for 1 euro per hour, plus a wireless internet (FON_ZON_FREE_INTERNET) in most places for the same price.

Price examples from Tarifa, Spain

Monday, November 29th, 2010

I have now been in Tarifa for a while and can report about the prices here. Keep in mind that it’s low season now, so if you travel here in high season (European summer) expect higher prices.

STORE / SUPERMARKET
150 cl water bottle 50 cent
500 cl water bottle 60 cent
12 eggs 1 euro
1 fresh bread 1,50 euro
1 liter juice 50 cent
1 liter milk 70 cent
4 liter local beer 6 euro
1 kg bananas 1 euro
1 kg potatos 1 euro
1 kg kiwi 1,40 euro
washing powder 3 euro
CAFE / PUB / RESTAURANT
Coffee 1,20 – 1,60 euro
Draft beer (33 cl) 1 euro
Tapa 80 cent – 1,20 euro
Fast food 2 – 9 euro
3 dinner course 6-9 euro (“dish of the day”)
THE REST
Furnished apartment 450 euro/month in rent
+ electricity & water
Mobile internet (Vodafone) 50 euro/month including USB-modem & card (1 GB fast, then slower speed)
WIFI Open WIFI networks on the street is difficult to find. There are a lot of cafés and restaurants with WIFI though. There is also one internet café with computers that you can rent.
Cinema 1 euro

Simpsons grocery store (Tarifa, Spain)

Pick pocketing

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Today I had two guys trying to steal my things in a local bus using the sandwich technique (pressing against you from each direction). This has happened to me a lot of times, in a lot of countries, but they never got away with it so far. Here are a few tips that will help you keep your belongings. A lot of the tips are common sense, but it’s still good to be reminded of them.

  • Don’t have valuables in a wide pocket or open handbag
  • If you have a backpack, have a lock on the pockets and keep it in front of you when you are waiting or are in a local transport
  • Same with a handbag keep it in front of you when you are not walking
  • If people are within a hands distance from you, keep your hands in the pockets (or where your valuables are)
  • Don’t think you can recognize a pick pocket; he can be a homeless guy or a guy in suit. At a carnival in India I caught one guy in suit and a business suitcase with his hand in my pocket, probably with a hidden compartment in his suitcase to easily stash away new things.
  • Pick pockets work both by themselves and in pair. In the later case, the accomplice usually stops in front of you with the intention that you walk into them, while the pick pocket are behind you stealing your things. Another common distraction is also when the accomplice ask you a question to distract you.
  • A common technique is that pick pockets hides their hands with a jacket or newspaper (in crowded places)
  • Be extra careful in places where you are more easily chosen in a crowd, for example if you are the only white face or the only one with shorts.

To minimize the eventual damage you can do this:

  • Have only the necessary valuables and money with you at all time
  • Use a cheap phone when you don’t need your fancy/work mobile phone
  • Don’t walk around with your passport, instead have a photo copy of it with you
  • Use several small size memory cards for your camera instead of a big one
  • Back up your pictures so at least you have them if your camera gets stolen

The most common place to steal from you is at tourist spots, local transports and in generally crowded places. This specially includes train stations, metro and busses.

Pick pocketing in metro

Prices in Mozambique (examples from Maputo)

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

After three days here in Mozambique I am ready to give some examples of the prices here, mostly for regular living costs like food and transportation:

50 cl water bottle (store) 30 cent
500 cl water bottle (store) 1 euro
Tea (restaurant) 40 cent
Bread 10 cent
Vegetables (street) 40 cent / kilo
Fast food 40 cent – 1 euro
Food in normal restaurant 1-4 euro
Food in expensive restaurant 6-8 euro
Minibus (chapa) 50 cent
Rickshaw (chopela) 1-2 euro
Taxi within the city 2-3 euro
Mobile phone card
store / street)
50 cent for the card, 1-20 euro for charging
Mobile internet (mcel) 5 euro/day (1 GB – called “unlimited bandwidth”)
16 euro/week (3 GB)
20 euro//month (1 GB)
27 euro/month (3 GB)
48 euro/month (10 GB – called “unlimited bandwidth”)
Prices above are excluded modem and mobile phone card

Microloans made easy – Kiva

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

For the last 10 years I have gave money to different kinds of charities. Some year ago I found Kiva (thanks to my mother), an organization which allows you to easily do microloans to a big part of the world where it is really needed.

The website gives you opportunity to browse through the database of people that need a loan. All these loans are for misfortuned people that wants to make their own income through starting an own business, instead of just getting money for the moment. Usually these people can’t go to a regular bank because they don’t have money to secure the loan, they have no credit record as they have never been employed before, or they are not able to fill in the paperwork as they are illiterate.

For each person in the database you will see their business idea and how much they want to loan. You don’t personally have to loan the whole amount to them, instead you put in as much money as you want and other persons do the same until the amount is collected.

When you have loaned out money you will get regular reports from Kiva about your loans and repayments. You are never guaranteed to get the money back, and you don’t earn any interest on these money. As you get your money back, you can relend them to other entrepreneurs, or you can select to withdraw them.

The minimum amount to get started is only $25, so you have no reason why not to do it! This is also a great long lasting present to give to someone.

www.kiva.org