Lion Temple Guardian

Lion Temple Guardian in Penghu

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, we experienced them all this month

After a few months of laying low in Taipei, we left town to attend a wedding and also ventured out to the islands of Penghu for a quick getaway.

On the home front, we hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for 25 with a whole cartload of savory Costco treats.  We also added a Snoogle!  A giant pillow designed for pregnant women, but which I am totally stealing at the first opportunity

Travel, gifts, and holiday food caused a short term surge in total spending.  Full details below

2014 Nov expenses

  • Housing – We rent a great 1-bedroom apartment in the heart of Taipei, Taiwan. Rent is ~$1,400 a month.  In addition, I’ve amortized the brokerage fee of 1/2 months rent (~$55)
  • Healthcare – Winnie visited the dentist again this month, with a co-pay of $5.  We had no other healthcare related expenses (Baby expenses are included in “Other”)
  • Transportation – We regularly ride free bikes around the city, along with buses, the subway, and taxis.  Cooler autumn temperatures make for some great bike riding.  We also ride Uber from time to time.  Give it a try with a free ride using this link

    We also had flights and a rental car in Penghu, and took a bullet train to attend a wedding (300+ km/hr)

  • Groceries – For Thanksgiving, we did a mega trip to Costco.  We also found a food importer with great prices, and loaded up on olives, bacon, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.  Total spending was $443
  • Dining Out – We dined out regularly this month, as is our norm.  While in Penghu, we enjoyed all of the fruits of the sea.  Total spent on food at restaurants, coffee shops, and pastry shops was $763 (~$13/person/day)
  • Alcohol – At the wedding, we needed something with greater alcohol content.  Bottle of Whiskey from 7-11:  $36
  • Entertainment – Winnie had 2 flute lessons this month, and we bought a couple books
  • Miscellaneous – Chinese classes, house cleaning, some herb bushes to put on the balcony, visa related fees, and more.  Full details in the table below
  • Other – We went to the Doctor once this month for a regular baby checkup (~$20), and had a full suite of genetic testing done.  Fortunately everything checked out as normal
DetailsNov 2014Notes
LocationTaiwanTaipei, Penghu
Housing$1,8371 bedroom apt: $1306
Amortized Broker Fee: $55
Hotel in Penghu (3 nights): $261
Hotel in Hsinchu (1 night): $151
Healthcare$5W dental check: $5
(copay for National Taiwan health plan)
Transportation$539Free public bikes
Typical bus ride: $0.50
Typical subway ride: $0.80
Typical taxi ride: $4
Taipei total: $98
RT Flight to Peng Hu (for 2): $251
Rental car (3 days): $127
Gasoline: $23
RT Bullet train to Hsinchu (for 2): $40
Groceries$454Includes food for Thanksgiving party
More cooking at home
Dining Out$763~$13/person/day
($25/person/day in Penghu)
Alcohol$36Bottle of whiskey to keep a wedding celebration going
Entertainment$134Flute lessons (x2): $49 per
Movie: Interstellar ($20)
Cookbook: $10
Ebook (Amazon Kindle): $7
Misc$1,515Education
Chinese class: $363

Wedding & Birthday gifts for friends: $344

Amortized housing: $149

Snoogle: $105
Kettlebell: $58

Clothes and Beauty
Lotion: $133 (!)
Winnie pregnancy clothing: $81
Shampoo: $17
W Hairstyle for wedding: $11
Total: $242

Legal (all visa related)
Fingerprints: $7
Shipping: $13
Criminal check: $65
Total: $85

Utilities & Home
Home cleaning (x3): $108
Cell phone bill: $20
Cable bill: -$13 (refund from landlord)
Total $115
Total$5,272$176/day
Other Expenses Atypical and Nonrecurring expenses
Baby genetic testing$686Full suite of DNA testing
Dr visits for pregnancy checkup$201 Dr visit
Total Other Expenses$705All Baby related
Total November Expenses$5,977

Aside from the trip to Penghu, overall expenses were similar to our average expenses in Taiwan.  It’s getting colder, and some warm clothing purchases will probably hit the books next month, but otherwise expenses should be similar

2014 Nov expenses avg

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