• Thursday , 14 December 2017
Expense Report: Panama

Expense Report: Panama

We spent a total of $758.23 on living expenses and $2,472.52 for one-time expenses. We stayed 11-nights in Panama and rode 616 miles. Part of this expense report is also our 5-night trip on the Stahlratte Sailing Vessel – our crossing from Panama to Colombia. We camped 64% (7-nights), stayed in a hotel 36% (4-nights), and on the sailing trip 45% (5-nights) of the time.

Total – US$ Daily Average Percent of total
Living Expenses
Fuel 72.00 6.55 9.00
Grocery 221.45 20.13 29.00
Prepared Food 99.43 9.04 13.00
Camping 68.00 9.71 9.00
Hotel 120.00 30.00 16.00
Communications 11.70 1.06 2.00
Incidentals 165.65 15.06 22.00
Living subtotal $743.61 $74.36
One-time expenses
Border 34.00
Repairs/maintenance 1.75
Other 2,436.77
One-time subtotal $2,472.52
Average fuel price per gallon $4.12

Panama uses the US dollar as their currency. We use ATMs to retrieve our funds and we do not have ATM fees as they are reimbursed to us (Charles Schwab checking account).

The average daily spend was $68.93, which was above our goal of $65 ($32.50 per person). Remember this is for two people so if divided by two that is about $34.47/day/person. Incidental expenses were high because we re-stocked again on sunscreen and specialty mosquito repellent as well as some taxi rides. Also, when only in countries for shorter periods it can be harder to have the average expenses low if there are any high cost items purchased.

Our one-time expenses were for our border crossing (details available in border report), bolts for the bike, and our other items this month included some high cost purchases. We took advantage of the shops in Panama and bought some new clothes (jeans for us both and new shorts/shirts for Mike) that totaled $380.27. There are two sets of expenses for our 5-night trip on the Stahlratte sailing vessel: $1,960.50 for our passage (includes 4-nights on the ship, all food, and shipping agents in Panama and Colombia for all motorcycle paperwork and expenses except insurance in Colombia) and $96.00 for our accommodation and food on a Kuna Island for one-night ($25 per person) and the Kuna territory person/vehicle tax ($20 per person and $3 per bike) that had to be paid on the road to Carti where we loaded ourselves and motorcycles onto the Stahlratte.

Fuel consumption: these numbers are estimates, as we don’t track per motorcycle but a mixture of both. We purchased 25.52 gallons of fuel and drove 1,278 miles for both bikes. This means we have an average of 50 miles per gallon per bike. This is the type of fuel consumption that we generally expect so we think for one of the first times the gas pumps were actually calibrated correctly.

Miles driven: this is based on Zippy’s odometer and not the total miles of both bikes. Occasionally we ride two-up or Mike may take Donkey to do some errands and these additional miles are not accounted for. When providing miles per gallon averages this is an important caveat as we are not tracking both motorcycles odometers.
Living expenses

  • Fuel: petrol for two motorcycles and minor use of gas for our MSR camp stove
  • Grocery: food and incidentals purchased at grocery stores/markets/butcher that may include batteries, toiletries, etc. as well as food.
  • Prepared Food: meals purchased at restaurants, food stalls, or prepared food from local stores
  • Camp: camp ground fees
  • Hotel: hotel fee
  • Communications: local SIM cards, Skype credit, USB modems, recharging for minutes and data, internet cafes, etc.
  • Incidental: anything that doesn’t fit into other categories with notes made as to the actual expenses but anticipated as park fees, other fees, postcards, shopping, etc.

One-time expenses

  • Border: border fees for people, motorcycles, and pet as well as insurance required, and any other border expenses.
  • Parts/maintenance: anything purchased for the maintenance or repair of the motorcycles.
  • Other: gear replacement, excursions, and other one-time expenses.

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