Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Our Wazungu Monthly Living Expenses

Since we posted our friend Moris' monthly expenses recently, which is probably not atypical of what many of our Tanzanian neighbors live on, Diane and I thought that for comparison we would also post what our monthly expenses are.

The following list consists of amounts averaged over the first few months of 2010. There were a couple of large, one-time expenditures, including purchase of an inkjet printer. But it gives you the idea of how big the difference is.

Again, the currency symbol for the Tanzanian shilling is /= which is exchanging at about 1300/= to U.S. $1.

Groceries 186,000/=
Eating out 47,000/=
Transportation 18,000/=
Household & electricity 37,000/=
Health & medical 20,000/=
Stationery & postage 14,000/=
Books & newspapers 21,000/=
Clothes & haircuts 9,000/=
Church 6,000/=
Donations & gifts 29,000/=
Internet & computer 145,000/=
Domestic help 43,000/=
Cellphone 15,000/=
Recreation 1,000/=

Total 591,000/=

Moris currently does not have a contract so his list is for survival. I'm pretty sure that if he were generating more income he would also be spending quite a bit more. Nevertheless, at the moment our expenses are about nine times greater per month than his are.

On the other hand, our total is about equal to U.S. $450. That's only a bit beyond what we were paying just for groceries alone in San Francisco. -Earl

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