January 2015 was our inaugural month as Nomad Newlyweds. We flew over to London, England in mid January and got established at our new house sit. We had a few expenses that were out of the ordinary, but nothing too dramatic. Let’s take a look at the numbers in the table below:
|Category||British Pound (£)||USD Equivalent|
|Phone (two months)||25||37.8|
I also looked at how much we are saving on accommodation costs each month. I researched a comparable house in the area we are house sitting and it rents for £600 a week. That works out to about $907 for the days in January that we were here. In addition, we do not pay for utilities or internet, which I estimate at around $83 based on Numbeo‘s cost of living calculator.
Amount Saved: $990
What We Did + Expense Analysis
January seemed like a whirl-wind of activity. Although I am writing this in early February, I can hardly remember back to the day we landed at Gatwick airport – seems like a lifetime ago. We spent a total of almost $400 for the 9 days we were here, which works out to be about $44 a day.
We did a lot of local travel around London, as well as an initial grocery run where we bought staples such as a bag of rice, olive oil, condiments and other once a month purchase items. That is the reason for the rather large grocery line item.
We also got our mobile phone connected to a pay-as-you go plan for a very reasonable $18.90 a month.
Transportation is high in London and we had to spend nearly $120 to get from the airport into town, money on a taxi to transport us and our luggage to our new house sit, and funds for our Oyster transit card. February should be much better in terms of spending on transportation.
What We Learned
One of the main things we learned is that there are many options when it comes to transportation in London. There is the Underground tube, an extensive bus network, and also an overground rail system that connects at various junction points. Our helpful house sit family member recommended we use an iPhone app called CityMapper (I am in the process of doing a review) to help us get from point A to point B. The app has actually saved us a lot of time and money by suggesting the quickest route at the best available price option (train, bus, or underground).
Food is expensive in London and we will be limiting our dine-out options! We both enjoy cooking, which is good because we need to fill in a few posts on the culinary portion of the blog.
Nomad Lifestyle Index
In my former life as an analyst I routinely dealt with numbers. I thought it would be fun to come up with a tracking index from month to month to show our life now vs life back home. I am naming it the Nomad Lifestyle Index (NLI). It is highly unscientific, open to interpretation, and has absolutely no value whatsoever except to satisfy my own analytical nature.
There is more to life than the cold numbers of your living expenses.The NLI is comprised of expenses such as rent (accommodation), food, entertainment, transportation, and all the usual living expenses that anyone would incur. However, I have also added in other weighted items to the index such as live-ability, physical security, stress level, and a happiness component. Since January was a short month, I will give the NLI a starting value of 100 as a baseline and calculate the first value as of the end of February.