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Managing a Camino budget

Barbara

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
Good morning
This isn't about How much or how to calculate how much. It's a method I use so as not to end up in a hole with no way of paying for the next day's needs, and I was just wondering what other people do.
I have a method that involves two pockets and a hiding place for a usually frozen debit card (or two, depending on how long a trip and the perceived chance of loss)
If you are interested, read on. If not then find a more interesting post.
Once I have worked out my likely needs for the total trip, including all lodging, entry fees, food, wine, intermediate transport and a small buffer then I divide by the number of days that I expect to be away. I then pour a stiff drink and recalculate. If it comes out to a similar total then I either re-think the minimum comfort level or decide to do something else or go somewhere else. This works for all trips, not only CS.

Day one I allow double the average budget because there will always be something I have forgotten to bring, however many spreadsheets I have made. In fact, I have rather given up on complex calculations and tend to round off everything to an easy number. Same with packing. Replace anything completely wrecked or lost in the bag I brought back, washed, and replaced in bag from last time.

Using some made-up numbers here, don't want you to know how cheap I am.

Let's say I reckon on sixty euros or local equivalent per day then for day one that's 120 euros. Day two and subsequent days that will be sixty euros per day. I put 120 euros in my right pocket and zip it shut. Small notes, equal to ten euros per note if possible. Another five to ten days worth (or enough days to get me to the next border with a change of currency if this is a smaller number of days) goes in my left pocket, or more likely money belt really well tucked away depending on my perceived safety levels and likely ease of finding an ATM. Frozen preloaded debit card and an emergency cash reserve really well hidden, and an expired or otherwise cancelled card with the ready use cash in right pocket.
Day one I can spend what I find in my right pocket. I probably will have a fair bit left at the end of the day. In the morning I transfer sixty (average calculated spend) from left to right. After five days of doing this, spending from the right, topping up the same amount every day I count what I have in my right pocket. If before doing the left to right move I have sixty euros I congratulate myself on extreme cleverness and continue until I need to get some more cash to top up the left pocket via the debit card. If I have more than sixty euros I have a treat or become a bit more generous with the donativo that day. If less I shrug my shoulders and carry on.

Once the left pocket is nearly empty it's time to raid an ATM. This might happen a day or two early if they are a bit thin on the ground. So far it has always worked. If for any reason I have an empty pocket on the right then there should be some on the left. If I simply used a card for convenience then next day I transfer less from left to right.

Simple, flexible.

Now I would like to hear what others do, as all systems can be improved. I haven't done a poll, but if you think that could be fun then feel free.
 
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Anhalter

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019 CF
I did not do too much budgeting. Before my trip, i roughly calculated my days needed, added a week, multiplied by i think 50€ and added a bit for safety's sake. I made sure to have that much on my credit card, which for me is the cheapest way to get money from ATMs or pay. As an added safety net, i have a credit line of about 1500€ on that card, so if all goes wrong, i wont starve.
Turns out, that was way more than needed. While on the rural parts, i stayed at albergues, ate pilgrims dinners, had lots of tortilla and coffee, drank the house wine and lots of water from fountains, wash by hand... i guess i did not break 35€ a day, but to be honest, i did not count. I just seen that my account did not empty as fast as i planned.
In the big cities, i did spend extra, mostly on Airbnbs and food. In the end, i had quite a sum left on my account.

In terms of carrying, i just made sure to have some cash, like 100-200€ in my wallet, which i carried in my pants like i do every day. No hidden money belts for me.
In my pack, i hid another 100€ as emergency cash, either if i lost my wallet or for some reason ran out of cash. Did not need it.
I also had a checking card placed somewhere else that is linked to another account, but i also did not need that.

In hindsight, i put to much effort in this. I am lucky enough to have people at home that are able to use Paypal, so even if i lose absolutely everything, it would take like 15 minutes to have some money wired to whatever pilgrim is walking next to me and have him get it out of his account.

In terms of budget, i am lucky enough to have a good ratio of income to spending which makes budgeting really easy. I know it's not as easy for most guys out there and people doing the camino on a tight budget do have my admiration.
 

Barbara

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
Yes, I think many pilgrims are stretching their budgets to the limit, especially those with a long flight beginning and end. I would find 35 € a day on the light side, unless cooking for myself.
 

evanlow

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances06
Primitivo07
Plata08
Norte12
Levante(14-15)
Vasco16
Mozarabe(16-17)
Madrid17
Portuguese18
I deal mostly with cash since the Caminos I walked are essentially in Spain, Portugal and Germany (yes, they are also very cash centric). That makes it easier to get a feel of the spending in one place than when the expenditure is from multiple source

For the cash I used to rely on ATMs in the past but due to what I feel is the uneven charges for some banks (just my feeling, I could be wrong) I tend to try and get a better rate before I start my Camino for all the cash I would need. As my later caminos are around 2 weeks that wouldn't be that much cash.

I tend to have them in 50 euros so it is easier to count and less bulk. Have them waterproof with small ziploc and move them from one pocket to the other one by one when needed noting how many 50s are left to get a gauge of my spending over the days.

No special treat or reward for me and so far it has been effective. Big ticket item I will use the card and that I will log it in on a notepad app on my phone. So at the end the end of my trip to Europe I would know how much I spend roughly but looking at the card spending and the remainder cash.

Nothing fancy.
 

Packinglight

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2014)
July-August 2019, Pamplona-Santiago
Good morning
This isn't about How much or how to calculate how much. It's a method I use so as not to end up in a hole with no way of paying for the next day's needs, and I was just wondering what other people do.
I have a method that involves two pockets and a hiding place for a usually frozen debit card (or two, depending on how long a trip and the perceived chance of loss)
If you are interested, read on. If not then find a more interesting post.
Once I have worked out my likely needs for the total trip, including all lodging, entry fees, food, wine, intermediate transport and a small buffer then I divide by the number of days that I expect to be away. I then pour a stiff drink and recalculate. If it comes out to a similar total then I either re-think the minimum comfort level or decide to do something else or go somewhere else. This works for all trips, not only CS.

Day one I allow double the average budget because there will always be something I have forgotten to bring, however many spreadsheets I have made. In fact, I have rather given up on complex calculations and tend to round off everything to an easy number. Same with packing. Replace anything completely wrecked or lost in the bag I brought back, washed, and replaced in bag from last time.

Using some made-up numbers here, don't want you to know how cheap I am.

Let's say I reckon on sixty euros or local equivalent per day then for day one that's 120 euros. Day two and subsequent days that will be sixty euros per day. I put 120 euros in my right pocket and zip it shut. Small notes, equal to ten euros per note if possible. Another five to ten days worth (or enough days to get me to the next border with a change of currency if this is a smaller number of days) goes in my left pocket, or more likely money belt really well tucked away depending on my perceived safety levels and likely ease of finding an ATM. Frozen preloaded debit card and an emergency cash reserve really well hidden, and an expired or otherwise cancelled card with the ready use cash in right pocket.
Day one I can spend what I find in my right pocket. I probably will have a fair bit left at the end of the day. In the morning I transfer sixty (average calculated spend) from left to right. After five days of doing this, spending from the right, topping up the same amount every day I count what I have in my right pocket. If before doing the left to right move I have sixty euros I congratulate myself on extreme cleverness and continue until I need to get some more cash to top up the left pocket via the debit card. If I have more than sixty euros I have a treat or become a bit more generous with the donativo that day. If less I shrug my shoulders and carry on.

Once the left pocket is nearly empty it's time to raid an ATM. This might happen a day or two early if they are a bit thin on the ground. So far it has always worked. If for any reason I have an empty pocket on the right then there should be some on the left. If I simply used a card for convenience then next day I transfer less from left to right.

Simple, flexible.

Now I would like to hear what others do, as all systems can be improved. I haven't done a poll, but if you think that could be fun then feel free.
I have used this system in the past, I learned it from traveling with my ex-husband in the ´90s and it's a great way to budget.
I walked the CF in 2019 and spent between 30-35/day without feeling like I was curtailing my spending. I stayed in albergues and usually ate the pilgrim's meals. I also consumed a lot of coffee and beer, again without particularly paying attention to costs. I tried to use washing machines when available, approximately every 3-4 days, and always found others who wanted to share a load. A large wash net was useful for keeping my items separate. The other days I hand-washed my clothes. Once I bought food to cook for myself but found in the end that the cost of the ingredients came to about the same or more than a pilgrim's menu, and I had to leave most of it in the albergue kitchen anyway, as it didn't fit in my pack or would have been more weight than I was willing to schlep the next day. I think this would be more economical if I were traveling with a partner rather than alone, but the last thing that interests me after arriving hot and sweaty is to hunt down food and then have to still make it. (I don't especially like cooking at the best of times)

I had a light crossbody bag that I wore in front of me, with a hidden pocket that housed my cash reserve and cards in a ziplock sandwich baggie. I usually would withdraw 300 or so, then take out 30 daily and put it in a tiny zippered pouch for that day's spending, which went in an outer pocket of my crossbody bag for easy access. I did get a hotel room in Burgos and Leon, as I took time in those cities as rest days.
 
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Roland49

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Hello fellow peregrina,

I flew from Hannover via Paris to Bayonne and brought 250€ with me, half in waistpack and half in rucksack (toiletries).
My guideline for my pilgrimage was as comfortable as I need and as cheap as it can be. I planned with 20€ per day, which I almost met. It was 23€ in average. I had to promise to my wife, that this journey will not cost much more than 1000€ which I had saved over the last months before my departure.
To withdraw money I brought a debit-card and a credit-card. The credit-card I used only for booking my flight back home.

I only drew 20€ bills, so the money per day will rely on this denomination ;-)
That is, IMHO, a good way to observe your budget.

First time I withdrew in Spain was at an ATM in Logroño, b/c I don't knew how much ATMs to find in the coming days. The next time I withdrew in Castrojeriz, the last time León. I used banks that are connected to my bank at home (Caja rural / Caixa) that offers a maximum of 1,70€ surcharge per withdrawal.

60€ per day per person is a very luxurious pilgrimage.

BC
Roland
 

Barbara

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
Hi Roland
I did say that wasn't the actual amount...But if you are staying in places that rely on donations, and eating an evening meal and breakfast, then you should be leaving enough to cover the food, heating, bed linen, unless you really can't afford to leave enough, plus some for those who are less fortunate than you. Which probably equates to at least 25 euros, plus your lunch, washing machine, à glass or two of wine. Also I use the same system for any sort of travel. But I'm the cheap person who toured China for 1330 euros for three weeks including a return flight from Paris. If you can afford expensive kit then you can afford to leave a bit extra.
 

Plataman

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances: (2009), (2013), Via de la Plata; (2016)
Good morning
This isn't about How much or how to calculate how much. It's a method I use so as not to end up in a hole with no way of paying for the next day's needs, and I was just wondering what other people do.
I have a method that involves two pockets and a hiding place for a usually frozen debit card (or two, depending on how long a trip and the perceived chance of loss)
If you are interested, read on. If not then find a more interesting post.
Once I have worked out my likely needs for the total trip, including all lodging, entry fees, food, wine, intermediate transport and a small buffer then I divide by the number of days that I expect to be away. I then pour a stiff drink and recalculate. If it comes out to a similar total then I either re-think the minimum comfort level or decide to do something else or go somewhere else. This works for all trips, not only CS.

Day one I allow double the average budget because there will always be something I have forgotten to bring, however many spreadsheets I have made. In fact, I have rather given up on complex calculations and tend to round off everything to an easy number. Same with packing. Replace anything completely wrecked or lost in the bag I brought back, washed, and replaced in bag from last time.

Using some made-up numbers here, don't want you to know how cheap I am.

Let's say I reckon on sixty euros or local equivalent per day then for day one that's 120 euros. Day two and subsequent days that will be sixty euros per day. I put 120 euros in my right pocket and zip it shut. Small notes, equal to ten euros per note if possible. Another five to ten days worth (or enough days to get me to the next border with a change of currency if this is a smaller number of days) goes in my left pocket, or more likely money belt really well tucked away depending on my perceived safety levels and likely ease of finding an ATM. Frozen preloaded debit card and an emergency cash reserve really well hidden, and an expired or otherwise cancelled card with the ready use cash in right pocket.
Day one I can spend what I find in my right pocket. I probably will have a fair bit left at the end of the day. In the morning I transfer sixty (average calculated spend) from left to right. After five days of doing this, spending from the right, topping up the same amount every day I count what I have in my right pocket. If before doing the left to right move I have sixty euros I congratulate myself on extreme cleverness and continue until I need to get some more cash to top up the left pocket via the debit card. If I have more than sixty euros I have a treat or become a bit more generous with the donativo that day. If less I shrug my shoulders and carry on.

Once the left pocket is nearly empty it's time to raid an ATM. This might happen a day or two early if they are a bit thin on the ground. So far it has always worked. If for any reason I have an empty pocket on the right then there should be some on the left. If I simply used a card for convenience then next day I transfer less from left to right.

Simple, flexible.

Now I would like to hear what others do, as all systems can be improved. I haven't done a poll, but if you think that could be fun then feel free.
That is an interesting technique, and if it works for you, that is what is important. I have found that following a simple rule of writing down each expenditure during the day has the effect of controlling the amount going out, while providing a good guide as to what the actual daily/weekly/monthly cost of the walk is. If there was a string of good allbergues then it was likely the daily outlay would be around 40 E per day. If the albergues were less than inviting, then a cheap hotel would suffice, and the daily outlay would jump to 60E. or thereabouts.
While it is tempting to be cheap, seems to me a Camino is a lifetime experience and one on which you should not shortchange yourself or your host country. We all have come across pilgrims who are complaining about a 2 or 3 euro difference in the cost of an albergue or plata del dia.....so wrapped up in saving a euro here or there they miss the real experience of the Camino.
On the practical side, like you I would carry 300 or 400e and top up at any town that had an ATM: on the VDLP you can go for days without coming across a bank or ATM in the small villages, so it is important to have cash on hand. Likewise, paying cash saves the local merchants money, as the credit card companies hammer the small businesses in Spain with very high fees on each sale. I carry a debit card for the ATMS, and two credit cards, one for use and one hidden away.
Whenever the Camino went through a city I would take a day off, find a good, cheap hotel, and become a tourist. Bottom line: spend what you need to spend to enjoy your time there....
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
For our first camino, my wife and I mostly stayed in municipal albergues, and ate pilgrim's meals each night. I kept a detailed log of our expenses and we spent 35 euros per person. For our second camino, we walked with my brother and his wife. We mostly stayed in quad rooms (two bunk beds) with private bath, and a few municipal albergues and a few private rooms, and again ate pilgrim's dinner each night. I kept an expense log and we averaged 50 euros per person. For our 2019 camino, we stayed in private rooms with private bath each night, and I didn't bother keeping records of spending - it was liberating to just enjoy the moment! Each time, I purchased 1,000 euros prior to our trip. I kept an eye on the balance, and when I got down to 100 or 200 euros, I went to an ATM and bought some more. This is particularly important when walking through larger towns, as some smaller towns don't have ATMs, and you can easily walk several days without finding one. For our 4th camino this fall, we won't bother keeping an expense log. Bob
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
I think my mind can’t handle systems, especially on a Camino. I try to keep it simple as possible and now it is really easy to know where there are ATM’s along the way as Gronze and Wisely will tell you which towns have cash machines. I am a budget pilgrim and can go on under 30E a day without a problem. I take out 400E to start. Put 150E and one cash card in one place hidden in the recesses of my bag. Put the othe card and credit card in my money belt that is always with me. When my money dips to 150-200 I replenish. That amount of money and my reserve allows me to go a week without a cash machine and that never happens. On the VDLP I will probably up the reserve a little. Easy as can be. On Camino I have enough problems remembering to take my underwear off the clothesline.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
What works well for one person, doesn't always work best for another. I can cherry pick something out of each post that I personally adhere to, but in general my overall goal is simplicity as much as is possible without forfeiting the security of my valuables.
 

Barbara

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
I think my mind can’t handle systems, especially on a Camino. I try to keep it simple as possible and now it is really easy to know where there are ATM’s along the way as Gronze and Wisely will tell you which towns have cash machines. I am a budget pilgrim and can go on under 30E a day without a problem. I take out 400E to start. Put 150E and one cash card in one place hidden in the recesses of my bag. Put the othe card and credit card in my money belt that is always with me. When my money dips to 150-200 I replenish. That amount of money and my reserve allows me to go a week without a cash machine and that never happens. On the VDLP I will probably up the reserve a little. Easy as can be. On Camino I have enough problems remembering to take my underwear off the clothesline.
Plus one for forgetting underwear!
 

tweekes

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Yes, I think many pilgrims are stretching their budgets to the limit, especially those with a long flight beginning and end. I would find 35 € a day on the light side, unless cooking for myself.
I have allotted about 50 Euros per day but if the prices have gone up during COVID, then I might need to adjust my budget. And I've given myself extra breathing room by setting aside more, just in case.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
I am privileged enough that I haven't had to budget so carefully and generally frugal enough that it hasn't come back to haunt me. I don't set and keep a daily budget when on Camino. I have found that the standard of living that I prefer on Camino (staying at a mix of municipal, parochial, and private albergues for the most part, with an occasional night in a hotel in a place where I am taking a rest day; eating pilgrim menus or menus del dia or chipping in to a communal meal; stops for cafe con leche and snacks; entrance fees to museums and cathedrals and donations in churches and at donativo stands; a few souvenirs, charity to those who ask for it, that sort of thing) is one that I can afford so I generally stick to that and don't worry too much about the details.

It's like with dieting. I've found that the most successful diets for me were ones where I generally modified my lifestyle (when I eat, average portion size) rather than the ones where I try and meticulously count the calories of everything I consume with some sort of target.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I am privileged enough that I haven't had to budget so carefully and generally frugal enough that it hasn't come back to haunt me. I don't set and keep a daily budget when on Camino. I have found that the standard of living that I prefer on Camino (staying at a mix of municipal, parochial, and private albergues for the most part, with an occasional night in a hotel in a place where I am taking a rest day; eating pilgrim menus or menus del dia or chipping in to a communal meal; stops for cafe con leche and snacks; entrance fees to museums and cathedrals and donations in churches and at donativo stands; a few souvenirs, charity to those who ask for it, that sort of thing) is one that I can afford so I generally stick to that and don't worry too much about the details.

It's like with dieting. I've found that the most successful diets for me were ones where I generally modified my lifestyle (when I eat, average portion size) rather than the ones where I try and meticulously count the calories of everything I consume with some sort of target.
I'm with you. The only things I keep track of (on a spreadsheet) are my daily distances, where I walked each day, and the cost of my lodging each night. I highlight the places I stayed that I particularly liked and why.
 
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MarkyD

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
Good morning
This isn't about How much or how to calculate how much. It's a method I use so as not to end up in a hole with no way of paying for the next day's needs, and I was just wondering what other people do.
I have a method that involves two pockets and a hiding place for a usually frozen debit card (or two, depending on how long a trip and the perceived chance of loss)
If you are interested, read on. If not then find a more interesting post.
Once I have worked out my likely needs for the total trip, including all lodging, entry fees, food, wine, intermediate transport and a small buffer then I divide by the number of days that I expect to be away. I then pour a stiff drink and recalculate. If it comes out to a similar total then I either re-think the minimum comfort level or decide to do something else or go somewhere else. This works for all trips, not only CS.

Day one I allow double the average budget because there will always be something I have forgotten to bring, however many spreadsheets I have made. In fact, I have rather given up on complex calculations and tend to round off everything to an easy number. Same with packing. Replace anything completely wrecked or lost in the bag I brought back, washed, and replaced in bag from last time.

Using some made-up numbers here, don't want you to know how cheap I am.

Let's say I reckon on sixty euros or local equivalent per day then for day one that's 120 euros. Day two and subsequent days that will be sixty euros per day. I put 120 euros in my right pocket and zip it shut. Small notes, equal to ten euros per note if possible. Another five to ten days worth (or enough days to get me to the next border with a change of currency if this is a smaller number of days) goes in my left pocket, or more likely money belt really well tucked away depending on my perceived safety levels and likely ease of finding an ATM. Frozen preloaded debit card and an emergency cash reserve really well hidden, and an expired or otherwise cancelled card with the ready use cash in right pocket.
Day one I can spend what I find in my right pocket. I probably will have a fair bit left at the end of the day. In the morning I transfer sixty (average calculated spend) from left to right. After five days of doing this, spending from the right, topping up the same amount every day I count what I have in my right pocket. If before doing the left to right move I have sixty euros I congratulate myself on extreme cleverness and continue until I need to get some more cash to top up the left pocket via the debit card. If I have more than sixty euros I have a treat or become a bit more generous with the donativo that day. If less I shrug my shoulders and carry on.

Once the left pocket is nearly empty it's time to raid an ATM. This might happen a day or two early if they are a bit thin on the ground. So far it has always worked. If for any reason I have an empty pocket on the right then there should be some on the left. If I simply used a card for convenience then next day I transfer less from left to right.

Simple, flexible.

Now I would like to hear what others do, as all systems can be improved. I haven't done a poll, but if you think that could be fun then feel free.

Good morning
This isn't about How much or how to calculate how much. It's a method I use so as not to end up in a hole with no way of paying for the next day's needs, and I was just wondering what other people do.
I have a method that involves two pockets and a hiding place for a usually frozen debit card (or two, depending on how long a trip and the perceived chance of loss)
If you are interested, read on. If not then find a more interesting post.
Once I have worked out my likely needs for the total trip, including all lodging, entry fees, food, wine, intermediate transport and a small buffer then I divide by the number of days that I expect to be away. I then pour a stiff drink and recalculate. If it comes out to a similar total then I either re-think the minimum comfort level or decide to do something else or go somewhere else. This works for all trips, not only CS.

Day one I allow double the average budget because there will always be something I have forgotten to bring, however many spreadsheets I have made. In fact, I have rather given up on complex calculations and tend to round off everything to an easy number. Same with packing. Replace anything completely wrecked or lost in the bag I brought back, washed, and replaced in bag from last time.

Using some made-up numbers here, don't want you to know how cheap I am.

Let's say I reckon on sixty euros or local equivalent per day then for day one that's 120 euros. Day two and subsequent days that will be sixty euros per day. I put 120 euros in my right pocket and zip it shut. Small notes, equal to ten euros per note if possible. Another five to ten days worth (or enough days to get me to the next border with a change of currency if this is a smaller number of days) goes in my left pocket, or more likely money belt really well tucked away depending on my perceived safety levels and likely ease of finding an ATM. Frozen preloaded debit card and an emergency cash reserve really well hidden, and an expired or otherwise cancelled card with the ready use cash in right pocket.
Day one I can spend what I find in my right pocket. I probably will have a fair bit left at the end of the day. In the morning I transfer sixty (average calculated spend) from left to right. After five days of doing this, spending from the right, topping up the same amount every day I count what I have in my right pocket. If before doing the left to right move I have sixty euros I congratulate myself on extreme cleverness and continue until I need to get some more cash to top up the left pocket via the debit card. If I have more than sixty euros I have a treat or become a bit more generous with the donativo that day. If less I shrug my shoulders and carry on.

Once the left pocket is nearly empty it's time to raid an ATM. This might happen a day or two early if they are a bit thin on the ground. So far it has always worked. If for any reason I have an empty pocket on the right then there should be some on the left. If I simply used a card for convenience then next day I transfer less from left to right.

Simple, flexible.

Now I would like to hear what others do, as all systems can be improved. I haven't done a poll, but if you think that could be fun then feel free.
Interesting to read the various approaches. I guess a lot depends on what budget one can afford to start with. How it's managed would depend on how easily, or not, the budget can be topped up.
In my limited experience on Caminos, I mainly met people who could afford the trip as well as daily costs and a few splashed the cash without too much counting going on. Obviously, there were others I met who were doing it all as cheap and as basic as possible, either for financial or other reasons.
I think the Camino is clearly a massive tourist attraction, in Spain especially, so this would imply that spending money is something that would be actively encouraged by Camino interest groups, particularly those who have invested their savings into running a Camino based business of some kind.
If one can easily afford to do a Camino then it makes sense to splash the cash, within reason of course. Supporting donativos generously and helping out some of the genuinely down and out pilgrims would surely be what most of us would happily do and not count the cost too much.
The left to right pocket thing, the money belt thing, the "secret" emergency cash/card thing are all matters of personal choice. Personally, the more pockets I have the more stuff goes in them, so maybe that's something I should about for next one. I usually had the belly bag for convenience access, so as not to remove rucksack frequently while walking.
I didn't ever carry more than about 150€ in cash, because ATMs are easy enough to find. I get the point about bank charges, but as I live in Spain then I can ususlly find ATMs that don't charge too much. To carry say 250€ to 500€ in cash is generally not a good idea, in my opinion. We can keep an eye on reserves and top up before it gets to potentially hitting zero, so having a "secret" emergency backstop does make sense, it's a good idea.
As a number comparison, for what it's worth, I averaged about 40€/day, although that included some additional high costs of buying new footwear and a couple of hotel stays on zero km days when my wife came up from Madrid to meet me. Apart from that it was mainly municipal albergues, some donativos, some private albergues and two nights staying with family: one in Ponferrada and one in Villafranca del Bierzo. I met a guy in 2018 who did the whole of CF on £600 a couple of years before. He told me it was almost exclusively by staying in donativos and communal cooking. Mind you that didn't include his travel costs from Dublin and return.
My guess is that post Covid-19, or even during Covid-19, pilgrimages are likely to be significantly more expensive and perhaps that is a good thing to help businesses and their dependent families recover some of the financial losses of 2020 and probably most 0f 2021 too. However, it's perhaps not in keeping with the "true spirit" of the Camino that it might become increasingly a reserve for those of us who have more disposable income, let alone the luxury of good health and the free time to do it all. Hopefully, a healthy balance will be struck, because a world without Camino pilgrimages would be a very sad world indeed.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I am privileged enough that I haven't had to budget so carefully and generally frugal enough that it hasn't come back to haunt me. I don't set and keep a daily budget when on Camino. I have found that the standard of living that I prefer on Camino (staying at a mix of municipal, parochial, and private albergues for the most part, with an occasional night in a hotel in a place where I am taking a rest day; eating pilgrim menus or menus del dia or chipping in to a communal meal; stops for cafe con leche and snacks; entrance fees to museums and cathedrals and donations in churches and at donativo stands; a few souvenirs, charity to those who ask for it, that sort of thing) is one that I can afford so I generally stick to that and don't worry too much about the details.

I'm with you. The only things I keep track of (on a spreadsheet) are my daily distances, where I walked each day, and the cost of my lodging each night. I highlight the places I stayed that I particularly liked and why.
I could have written either of the above replies.

I always keep two €50 notes in a secure emergency location - they don't factor into the following procedure.

For spending cash, I take about €300 in a mix of 50s and 20s. (An extra €100 to start, for those initial extras.) Then I keep an eye on the balance each day, breaking a 50 at a judicious time so I'm never stuck without small bills. When I'm down under 100, I make sure a bank machine is in my future within a couple of days. (I still have the emergency 100 in reserve as well.)

I am careful to put my cash away in the same places always, and access my reserves only in private. While walking, I keep about 2 days' expected costs in my daily cash location - an accessible pocket in my cross-body bag which is always attached to my body. If there is a biggish expense or hotel bill, I use a credit card in order to preserve the cash supply. (One credit card is in a fairly accessible spot; another is with the emergency cash.) Occasionally I keep some small change in a regular pants pocket - if lost or stolen, it is not a calamity and it is handy to have in a city for an ice cream, busker or even a beggar. However, I don't like to have cash spread out in too many locations - I don't feel in control then!

I manage my expenses the same as I do at home. I have a good idea of the necessary and expected costs, I have the reserves, and I'm not inclined to impetuous spending. At the end of the month or the trip, I check things over to make sure the accounts seem to balance correctly. I don't fuss about the bank charges, as I'm more interested in the convenience.
 

tweekes

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Interesting to read the various approaches. I guess a lot depends on what budget one can afford to start with. How it's managed would depend on how easily, or not, the budget can be topped up.
In my limited experience on Caminos, I mainly met people who could afford the trip as well as daily costs and a few splashed the cash without too much counting going on. Obviously, there were others I met who were doing it all as cheap and as basic as possible, either for financial or other reasons.
I think the Camino is clearly a massive tourist attraction, in Spain especially, so this would imply that spending money is something that would be actively encouraged by Camino interest groups, particularly those who have invested their savings into running a Camino based business of some kind.
If one can easily afford to do a Camino then it makes sense to splash the cash, within reason of course. Supporting donativos generously and helping out some of the genuinely down and out pilgrims would surely be what most of us would happily do and not count the cost too much.
The left to right pocket thing, the money belt thing, the "secret" emergency cash/card thing are all matters of personal choice. Personally, the more pockets I have the more stuff goes in them, so maybe that's something I should about for next one. I usually had the belly bag for convenience access, so as not to remove rucksack frequently while walking.
I didn't ever carry more than about 150€ in cash, because ATMs are easy enough to find. I get the point about bank charges, but as I live in Spain then I can ususlly find ATMs that don't charge too much. To carry say 250€ to 500€ in cash is generally not a good idea, in my opinion. We can keep an eye on reserves and top up before it gets to potentially hitting zero, so having a "secret" emergency backstop does make sense, it's a good idea.
As a number comparison, for what it's worth, I averaged about 40€/day, although that included some additional high costs of buying new footwear and a couple of hotel stays on zero km days when my wife came up from Madrid to meet me. Apart from that it was mainly municipal albergues, some donativos, some private albergues and two nights staying with family: one in Ponferrada and one in Villafranca del Bierzo. I met a guy in 2018 who did the whole of CF on £600 a couple of years before. He told me it was almost exclusively by staying in donativos and communal cooking. Mind you that didn't include his travel costs from Dublin and return.
My guess is that post Covid-19, or even during Covid-19, pilgrimages are likely to be significantly more expensive and perhaps that is a good thing to help businesses and their dependent families recover some of the financial losses of 2020 and probably most 0f 2021 too. However, it's perhaps not in keeping with the "true spirit" of the Camino that it might become increasingly a reserve for those of us who have more disposable income, let alone the luxury of good health and the free time to do it all. Hopefully, a healthy balance will be struck, because a world without Camino pilgrimages would be a very sad world indeed.
All in all, I think simple is best, especially (if) the inner focus of the walk is to strip things down to a pure form. The lighter the load (in all areas), the better. The Camino looks different to everyone, I suppose!
 

Anhalter

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019 CF
All in all, I think simple is best, especially (if) the inner focus of the walk is to strip things down to a pure form. The lighter the load (in all areas), the better. The Camino looks different to everyone, I suppose!

Sometimes i wonder if that is not hubris. I am able to afford "better" but enjoy living with "less". But always being able to go back to "better". The less fortunate don't have that option.
On the other hand, i feel i have the same right as the next person to do what makes me happy. And if its making me happy to stay at the municipal and have the pilgrims dinner, than thats fine.
Now there was some talk somewhere else, that you should not take cheap beds away from the poorer pilgrims and i can see some logic in that as well. As with most things, there is not just black and white but lots of grey.
 

tweekes

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Sometimes i wonder if that is not hubris. I am able to afford "better" but enjoy living with "less". But always being able to go back to "better". The less fortunate don't have that option.
On the other hand, i feel i have the same right as the next person to do what makes me happy. And if its making me happy to stay at the municipal and have the pilgrims dinner, than thats fine.
Now there was some talk somewhere else, that you should not take cheap beds away from the poorer pilgrims and i can see some logic in that as well. As with most things, there is not just black and white but lots of grey.
True. And my apologies, my comment was not meant to come across as arrogant or prideful. I haven't even walked the Camino yet! But I'm gaining a lot of insight from reading everyone's comments and experiences and I'm weighing out what I believe would work best for me. I really and truly will not know until I get there.
 
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Anhalter

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019 CF
True. And my apologies, my comment was not meant to come across as arrogant or prideful. I haven't even walked the Camino yet! But I'm gaining a lot of insight from reading everyone's comments and experiences and I'm weighing out what I believe would work best for me. I really and truly will not know until I get there.
Just wanted to make it clear i did not understand your comment as arrogant for one second.
Just wanted to add in my thoughts i had about the topic, since its kinda easy to forget about that aspect. Took me quite some thinking to get to that angle, and i don't claim that i have found the perfect answer.
 

tweekes

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Just wanted to make it clear i did not understand your comment as arrogant for one second.
Just wanted to add in my thoughts i had about the topic, since its kinda easy to forget about that aspect. Took me quite some thinking to get to that angle, and i don't claim that i have found the perfect answer.
Thank you. I'm really enjoying this site. There is wealth of information for us new members. When reading through everyone's comments, it makes me so excited for what is to come. I'm really praying that my dream to walk the CF will become a reality this year.
 

Barbara

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
Hello Tweekes, and welcome. I hope you get to walk soon and have a great Camino. All this stuff is just admin, but it's easier if you still have some beer vouchers to use on arrival... 😁
 

David61

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Frances (2020)
I budgeted very carefully. I changed £500 to Euros (oh the halcyon days of 2015 (I think) when the rate was 1.4+) Then took my debit card and two credit cards with limits more than I earn in a year. Thus I was enabled to do a "spiritual Camino" ( not really). Followed by a week in Catalonia and a tour of the WW1 battlefields of France, a visit to the Black Forest followed by a personal trip to Belsen. I did not look at any of my finances until I got home and there was definitely at least one "ouch"!
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Much of the above is beyond me. I am clearly fortunate as, within reason, a Camino costs me less per day than if I chose to walk, eat and sleep where I live.

With respect to carrying cash and valuables: I daily go about with £3-400 cash and a variety of credit cards in a single wallet, and don’t give it a moment’s thought. Other than the usual ‘you’re not in the countryside now’ precautions, Spain is certainly no more risky than the UK. When on Camino, though - I take much more care. It’s more the thought of my own carelessness than the prospect of criminality that causes me to act differently.

My sole piece of advice: adopt your ‘Camino’ routine for a couple of weeks before you go. If you intend wearing a waist pack, cross body bag, hidden wallet etc etc; start early. After a short while you start to instinctively realise when something’s missing.

25 years ago my wife, who never wears a waist bag except on holiday, detached hers in a shared taxi in Turkey because it was ‘uncomfortable’. She realised the second she stepped out of the taxi, telling me that it contained ( amongst other items) her passport.

I sprinted (those were the days ...) after the taxi and whilst I was overtaking a moped at a roundabout, on foot and wearing flip-flops, the rider asked me (by mime) if I would care for a lift. So now I’m on the back of a motorcycle ridden by someone I’ve never spoken to, wearing nothing in the way of protective clothing apart from a clean vest and underpants (my mother always insisted - in case I got run over, which was at this point becoming a near certainty).

I’ll fast forward. My new best friend got in front of the taxi and (at least in my mind) swerved in front and raised his hand to stop it. I opened the taxi door and retrieved Mrs HtD’s bag. At this point my wife hove into view, berating me for running off. I retired to an adjacent park bench before I passed out. There was a large tortoise there.

My wife has never since then had custody of her passport for the last 25 years.
 
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witsendwv

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2015)
Much of the above is beyond me. I am clearly fortunate as, within reason, a Camino costs me less per day than if I chose to walk, eat and sleep where I live.

With respect to carrying cash and valuables: I daily go about with £3-400 cash and a variety of credit cards in a single wallet, and don’t give it a moment’s thought. Other than the usual ‘you’re not in the countryside now’ precautions, Spain is certainly no more risky than the UK. When on Camino, though - I take much more care. It’s more the thought of my own carelessness than the prospect of criminality that causes me to act differently.

My sole piece of advice: adopt your ‘Camino’ routine for a couple of weeks before you go. If you intend wearing a waist pack, cross body bag, hidden wallet etc etc; start early. After a short while you start to instinctively realise when something’s missing.

25 years ago my wife, who never wears a waist bag except on holiday, detached hers in a shared taxi in Turkey because it was ‘uncomfortable’. She realised the second she stepped out of the taxi, telling me that it contained ( amongst other items) her passport.

I sprinted (those were the days ...) after the taxi and whilst I was overtaking a moped at a roundabout, on foot and wearing flip-flops, the rider asked me (by mime) if I would care for a lift. So now I’m on the back of a motorcycle ridden by someone I’ve never spoken to, wearing nothing in the way of protective clothing apart from a clean vest and underpants (my mother always insisted - in case I got run over, which was at this point becoming a near certainty).

I’ll fast forward. My new best friend got in front of the taxi and (at least in my mind) swerved in front and raised his hand to stop it. I opened the taxi door and retrieved Mrs HtD’s bag. At this point my wife hove into view, berating me for running off. I retired to an adjacent park bench before I passed out. There was a large tortoise there.

My wife has never since then had custody of her passport for the last 25 years.
That is why I have sewn security pockets inside the waistband of our walking pants for passports and cash. The only thing we have lost in a taxi was my husbands prescription sunglasses- why on earth he put them down on seat I still can't imagine. At least he still had his regular glasses. A trip to the rastro in Madrid got him some clip-ons before we started to walk, but he missed those glasses.
 

witsendwv

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2015)
I'm with you. The only things I keep track of (on a spreadsheet) are my daily distances, where I walked each day, and the cost of my lodging each night. I highlight the places I stayed that I particularly liked and why.
We try to bring Euros with us as my debit cards have foreign transaction fees on top of the currency conversion that can add up. Does anyone in the US know of a debit card that does not have transaction fees?
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
We try to bring Euros with us as my debit cards have foreign transaction fees on top of the currency conversion that can add up. Does anyone in the US know of a debit card that does not have transaction fees?
Charles Schwab reimburses all accrued fees. It's been great for traveling abroad!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
The revolution, for me, came when I started wearing a skirt with deep pockets, including a clever hidden pocket, with a zip that opened when pulled up (so the reverse of the usual). It would be very hard for anyone not wearing the skirt to open it easily. I put the most vulnerable things in the secret pocket and scatter cash and a daily use bank card (with a low cash withdrawal limit) in my other pockets. As they are all in the clothing I am wearing, I don't lose them.

PS - for Australians, ING also reimburses all ATM charges (provided you comply with a few rules like a minimum monthly deposit and a number of withdrawals). Other banks may also now do the same thing, but I have not investigated them all.
 
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witsendwv

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2015)
The revolution, for me, came when I started wearing a skirt with deep pockets, including a clever hidden pocket, with a zip that opened when pulled up (so the reverse of the usual). It would be very hard for anyone not wearing the skirt to open it easily. I put the most vulnerable things in the secret pocket and scatter cash and a daily use bank card (with a low cash withdrawal limit) in my other pockets. As they are all in the clothing I am wearing, I don't lose them.
We found pants for my husband with pockets that zipped open when pulled up and then inside is an internal zipper to a hidden pocket that has to be opened from the fly out towards the hip. The outside pocket is also secured with a button flap. Very hard to open, and if it were anyone but me I think he would notice. 🥰
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
My sole piece of advice: adopt your ‘Camino’ routine for a couple of weeks before you go. If you intend wearing a waist pack, cross body bag, hidden wallet etc etc; start early. After a short while you start to instinctively realise when something’s missing.
I almost always carry a small crossbody bag when I'm out and about, so I'm very used to having one on, and that's how I carry most of my valuables on the Camino. I do keep a backup credit and debit card, and some cash in a separate secure location.

Does anyone in the US know of a debit card that does not have transaction fees?
Yes, as @Camino Chrissy says the Charles Schwab debit card is fantastic. No minimum balance, no fees, and all ATM fees worldwide are refunded. I've used it as my travel account for years. I also like that it's completely separate from my other bank accounts.
Charles Schwab reimburses all accrued fees. It's been great for traveling abroad!
 

witsendwv

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2015)
I almost always carry a small crossbody bag when I'm out and about, so I'm very used to having one on, and that's how I carry most of my valuables on the Camino. I do keep a backup credit and debit card, and some cash in a separate secure location.


Yes, as @Camino Chrissy says the Charles Schwab debit card is fantastic. No minimum balance, no fees, and all ATM fees worldwide are refunded. I've used it as my travel account for years. I also like that it's completely separate from my other bank accounts.
Isn't there a difference between ATM fees and foreign transaction fees?? I have avoided using ours since I'm not sure about it. Does the Schwab reimburse out of network fees as well as not having the foreign transaction fees?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
But you will be able to travel eventually!
And when I am able to travel, I shall have more cash to spend than usual: two years worth. So I am planning on walking the Levante, from Valencia to Santiago with a delay to visit Romanesque architecture in Zamora. I shall have to plan carefully, so as not to overstay my welcome in Spain.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
the Charles Schwab debit card is fantastic. No minimum balance, no fees, and all ATM fees worldwide are refunded. I've used it as my travel account for years. I also like that it's completely separate from my other bank accounts.
Same here...the money is transferred into it for travel purposes only and kept separate from all other bank accounts...easy peasy.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Good morning
This isn't about How much or how to calculate how much. It's a method I use so as not to end up in a hole with no way of paying for the next day's needs, and I was just wondering what other people do.
I have a method that involves two pockets and a hiding place for a usually frozen debit card (or two, depending on how long a trip and the perceived chance of loss)
If you are interested, read on. If not then find a more interesting post.
Once I have worked out my likely needs for the total trip, including all lodging, entry fees, food, wine, intermediate transport and a small buffer then I divide by the number of days that I expect to be away. I then pour a stiff drink and recalculate. If it comes out to a similar total then I either re-think the minimum comfort level or decide to do something else or go somewhere else. This works for all trips, not only CS.

Day one I allow double the average budget because there will always be something I have forgotten to bring, however many spreadsheets I have made. In fact, I have rather given up on complex calculations and tend to round off everything to an easy number. Same with packing. Replace anything completely wrecked or lost in the bag I brought back, washed, and replaced in bag from last time.

Using some made-up numbers here, don't want you to know how cheap I am.

Let's say I reckon on sixty euros or local equivalent per day then for day one that's 120 euros. Day two and subsequent days that will be sixty euros per day. I put 120 euros in my right pocket and zip it shut. Small notes, equal to ten euros per note if possible. Another five to ten days worth (or enough days to get me to the next border with a change of currency if this is a smaller number of days) goes in my left pocket, or more likely money belt really well tucked away depending on my perceived safety levels and likely ease of finding an ATM. Frozen preloaded debit card and an emergency cash reserve really well hidden, and an expired or otherwise cancelled card with the ready use cash in right pocket.
Day one I can spend what I find in my right pocket. I probably will have a fair bit left at the end of the day. In the morning I transfer sixty (average calculated spend) from left to right. After five days of doing this, spending from the right, topping up the same amount every day I count what I have in my right pocket. If before doing the left to right move I have sixty euros I congratulate myself on extreme cleverness and continue until I need to get some more cash to top up the left pocket via the debit card. If I have more than sixty euros I have a treat or become a bit more generous with the donativo that day. If less I shrug my shoulders and carry on.

Once the left pocket is nearly empty it's time to raid an ATM. This might happen a day or two early if they are a bit thin on the ground. So far it has always worked. If for any reason I have an empty pocket on the right then there should be some on the left. If I simply used a card for convenience then next day I transfer less from left to right.

Simple, flexible.

Now I would like to hear what others do, as all systems can be improved. I haven't done a poll, but if you think that could be fun then feel free.

Interesting process but sounds a bit overly complicated........

I have a specified amount allocated to my pre paid debit cards in advance.
I check the account on my phone every few days to see if I'm roughly on budget.

I just make sure I have about 200 euros on me, most of the time. (or whatever figure will last 3-4 days)
I'll check the towns ahead for ATMs, and make sure I top up a couple of days before I'm due to run out.

I carry 2 credit cards as backup kept in different places.
I carry 2 pre loaded debit cards (Euro accounts) again kept in different places.
(with the euro account debit cards, I just top them up in the year or two pre camino when the exchange rates are good)

1 credit card, 1 debit card and maybe 40-50 euro are stashed in a safe place and never touched.

If accomodation or meal can be paid with euro debit card, I might do that, to save my cash.

I usually finish with just a couple of hundred euros left in the account.......
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Yes, as @Camino Chrissy says the Charles Schwab debit card is fantastic. No minimum balance, no fees, and all ATM fees worldwide are refunded. I've used it as my travel account for years. I also like that it's completely separate from my other bank accounts.

So they make their money on the exchange rates. Are the rates OK?
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
So they make their money on the exchange rates. Are the rates OK?
According to these articles, they don't charge a mark up in exchange rates.



 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
According to these articles, they don't charge a mark up in exchange rates.




I guess it depends on how you classify exchange rate markup?
All banks as far as I know, will offer exchange rates slightly worse than the 'published' exchange rate.

If indeed Schwab do not charge ATM fees, transaction fees and offer the 'published' exchange rates, then in fact they are operating that service as a non profit. I don't know them. Are they a non profit, or charity?

As an example, the Debit cards I use are Euro accounts. So the currency conversion takes place when I top up the card. The rates are not quite as good as 'published' rates. That's where they make their money.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
According to these articles, they don't charge a mark up in exchange rates.




I read the articles, and remain suspicious. A bank that doesn't make money? :rolleyes:
There is something not being revealed.
I see they use the Visa exchange rate of the day.
Which as a 'bank' rate is a bit below the published rate on sites like XE.
Maybe they have a deal to share in that 'markup' who knows?

But they are making their money somewhere.
Just not saying where.

All that aside, it looks like a really good service.

Though you are at the mercy of the exchange rate of the day.
If they had a Euro account version, you could top up the account when rates are favourable.
With a Euro debit card I have some comfort in knowing exactly how many Euros I have in my account.

We must have a banking / finance expert amongst the members here?
Tell us how Schwab make their money! :)
 
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Barbara

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
I use Revolut. Free and paid accounts, FX at the interbank rate and they make their money by having the use of your money, as its a prepaid debit card. The free account you pay ATM fees but not much, once you get over a certain amount. The not free card has other perks. Several currencies are available. If you pm me I can send you a link on which we will both make a little money, or just google it. Nice thing is that you can have more than one card and freeze, unfreeze or report stolen through the phone app, and recharge on the fly by bank transfer.
 

tjb1013

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2017)
Portugués (2019)
I have found that following a simple rule of writing down each expenditure during the day has the effect of controlling the amount going out, while providing a good guide as to what the actual daily/weekly/monthly cost of the walk is.

I have for *decades* mocked a close friend who kept a journal of his European trip spending to the penny (in those days, a penny was somewhat useful), but the reality is that understanding where money is going is the key to controlling it, if necessary. Otherwise you end up forgoing the delicious and rejuvenating third café con leche when it may be too much reliance on private rooms that is killing the budget. Just an example.

I'm neither a banking nor finance expert, but I would imagine that Schwab makes the bulk of their profit from brokerage accounts.

I’ve got the free Schwab account for travel and Schwab’s strategy worked: Overdraft check protection is only provided through auto withdrawals from the investment account (selling holdings if necessary). Since it is abhorrence of bank fees that brought me to Schwab in the first place, I put some money in the investment account to protect me from accidental overdrafts. Then - what do you know? - I invested some of it.

Schwab, like Vanguard, offers ridiculously low-cost index funds, so I don’t feel negatively manipulated. But manipulated nonetheless! 😀
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
My budget is €20-30 per day, depending on where I am.
It's been that for many years and has worked for me.
I take out €200-€300 at a time, put my €20 for the day into my zip purse, and tuck the rest away in my money safe. When the €20 is gone, it's gone.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
My budget is pretty much the same as @Anniesantiago 's. But it depends on the route. It was easy to keep to this budget on the Madrid and the Frances on my last pilgrimage, but would have been impossible on the Invierno, with few albergues and more expensive accommodation. Basically, I budget by eating very simply and choosing to stay in the better quality inexpensive accommodation. But I always have resources in the bank to call upon, if needed.
 

Mycroft

Active Member
I have used this system in the past, I learned it from traveling with my ex-husband in the ´90s and it's a great way to budget.
I walked the CF in 2019 and spent between 30-35/day without feeling like I was curtailing my spending. I stayed in albergues and usually ate the pilgrim's meals. I also consumed a lot of coffee and beer, again without particularly paying attention to costs. I tried to use washing machines when available, approximately every 3-4 days, and always found others who wanted to share a load. A large wash net was useful for keeping my items separate. The other days I hand-washed my clothes. Once I bought food to cook for myself but found in the end that the cost of the ingredients came to about the same or more than a pilgrim's menu, and I had to leave most of it in the albergue kitchen anyway, as it didn't fit in my pack or would have been more weight than I was willing to schlep the next day. I think this would be more economical if I were traveling with a partner rather than alone, but the last thing that interests me after arriving hot and sweaty is to hunt down food and then have to still make it. (I don't especially like cooking at the best of times)

I had a light crossbody bag that I wore in front of me, with a hidden pocket that housed my cash reserve and cards in a ziplock sandwich baggie. I usually would withdraw 300 or so, then take out 30 daily and put it in a tiny zippered pouch for that day's spending, which went in an outer pocket of my crossbody bag for easy access. I did get a hotel room in Burgos and Leon, as I took time in those cities as rest days.
I like your idea of a net bag to keep clothes separate when sharing a washing machine. I remember reading about (and forgetting!) using one, so now will need to be on the hunt for the right size to take next time.
As to cooking, fortunately I enjoy it. I've not been keen on eating out. On my last Camino (2019, Portugues Costal), I was fortunate at the end of the day to find supermarkets or groceries where I could buy a small bag of salad fixings, a piece or two of fruit, a roll, cheese, and/or some easily prepared entree. I used leftovers for the next day's breakfast or lunch. Whenever I found a good gelato shop, I got a chocolate fix.
Be well.
 
John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
like your idea of a net bag to keep clothes separate when sharing a washing machine.
I love using net bags in my backpack instead of waterproof sacks as I line my pack with a sturdy white trash compactor bag anyway. I use two net bags and buy them super cheap at Walmart. The beauty is that you can actually see the items you are looking for and the holes keep air out so they compress well.
 

Arn

Veteran Member
I look at 3 euros per kilometer traveled per day. My bank pays any ATM fees charged. I cut my vino costs by ensuring that at the evening meal, if the pilgrim at my table doesn't drink, I ask them to get the menu del Dia vino and I'll either drink it, or take it with me. After all, it's usually part of the total price.
Other than that I'll splurge every four or five days by staying in a hostel or pension. Net bags are a must. Used in the military as economic way of sorting bulk washings.
Buen "Vinotinto, please!" Camino
Arn
 

Michael; Camino-addicted

Take your time to enjoy a beautiful moment
Year of past OR future Camino
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino de Baztan
So far I have always calculated with 30 € per day and on average there was usually something left over.

Since I love to cook, I especially like to sleep in hostels where pilgrims can use the kitchen. If pilgrims can be found to cook with me, we do it, if not, I also like to go to the community dinner or even the pilgrim menu.

Since I carry a small spice mix and always have some recipes with me, whose ingredients you can get in any tienda, it works out very well. And it's a lot of fun.
Basically, I do not pay attention to every cent on vacation, but I have often experienced that cooking together with a glass of red wine was the start of a wonderful evening.

In this context, it is always very exciting to agree on a time to eat - because there is a wide range of time depending on the country of origin of the pilgrims. My experience: The more northern, the earlier.
If it gets really hard, I have to bridge the time with a second glass of red wine😇
 

sopranocorry

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CP 2019
Good morning
This isn't about How much or how to calculate how much. It's a method I use so as not to end up in a hole with no way of paying for the next day's needs, and I was just wondering what other people do.
I have a method that involves two pockets and a hiding place for a usually frozen debit card (or two, depending on how long a trip and the perceived chance of loss)
If you are interested, read on. If not then find a more interesting post.
Once I have worked out my likely needs for the total trip, including all lodging, entry fees, food, wine, intermediate transport and a small buffer then I divide by the number of days that I expect to be away. I then pour a stiff drink and recalculate. If it comes out to a similar total then I either re-think the minimum comfort level or decide to do something else or go somewhere else. This works for all trips, not only CS.

Day one I allow double the average budget because there will always be something I have forgotten to bring, however many spreadsheets I have made. In fact, I have rather given up on complex calculations and tend to round off everything to an easy number. Same with packing. Replace anything completely wrecked or lost in the bag I brought back, washed, and replaced in bag from last time.

Using some made-up numbers here, don't want you to know how cheap I am.

Let's say I reckon on sixty euros or local equivalent per day then for day one that's 120 euros. Day two and subsequent days that will be sixty euros per day. I put 120 euros in my right pocket and zip it shut. Small notes, equal to ten euros per note if possible. Another five to ten days worth (or enough days to get me to the next border with a change of currency if this is a smaller number of days) goes in my left pocket, or more likely money belt really well tucked away depending on my perceived safety levels and likely ease of finding an ATM. Frozen preloaded debit card and an emergency cash reserve really well hidden, and an expired or otherwise cancelled card with the ready use cash in right pocket.
Day one I can spend what I find in my right pocket. I probably will have a fair bit left at the end of the day. In the morning I transfer sixty (average calculated spend) from left to right. After five days of doing this, spending from the right, topping up the same amount every day I count what I have in my right pocket. If before doing the left to right move I have sixty euros I congratulate myself on extreme cleverness and continue until I need to get some more cash to top up the left pocket via the debit card. If I have more than sixty euros I have a treat or become a bit more generous with the donativo that day. If less I shrug my shoulders and carry on.

Once the left pocket is nearly empty it's time to raid an ATM. This might happen a day or two early if they are a bit thin on the ground. So far it has always worked. If for any reason I have an empty pocket on the right then there should be some on the left. If I simply used a card for convenience then next day I transfer less from left to right.

Simple, flexible.

Now I would like to hear what others do, as all systems can be improved. I haven't done a poll, but if you think that could be fun then feel free.
An interesting way of budgeting, but must work for you. Wonder what will happen if the zip breaks or your pants need washing. ... 😂
 
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John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.
Year of past OR future Camino
April (2020)
That is why I have sewn security pockets inside the waistband of our walking pants for passports and cash. The only thing we have lost in a taxi was my husbands prescription sunglasses- why on earth he put them down on seat I still can't imagine. At least he still had his regular glasses. A trip to the rastro in Madrid got him some clip-ons before we started to walk, but he missed those glasses.
great idea on sewing pockets inside your waistband. I will definitely do the same. Thanks for sharing. Fingers crossed for 2022!
 

Barbara

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
An interesting way of budgeting, but must work for you. Wonder what will happen if the zip breaks or your pants need washing. ... 😂
If the clothes need washing then the money gets moved.... I don't do money laundering 😁. If the zip breaks then I'll find a solution probably involving duck tape...
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
I love using net bags in my backpack instead of waterproof sacks as I line my pack with a sturdy white trash compactor bag anyway. I use two net bags and buy them super cheap at Walmart. The beauty is that you can actually see the items you are looking for and the holes keep air out so they compress well.
I'm curious how holes keep air out. Let air out, I can see. But how do they prevent its return?

I was using large ziplock bags in by backpack to separate items, changes of clothes, etc. That way I could actually see the items. I also told myself that, if bedbugs got into the pack or one set of clothes, they wouldn't be able to get elsewhere. If something went into the ziplock bag bedbug-free, I expected it to stay that way. I could compress the bag and push the air out and then seal the ziplock to maintain compression.

When I went to the shower, I would just take a ziplock bag of clean clothes with me to change into post-shower. That way I knew they would stay dry. Then I would take the dirty clothes to wash them and, when clean and dry, back into that ziplock they would go.

But I wasn't worried about keeping my laundry separated from someone else's in a washing machine, so the fact that I couldn't keep my clothes in the ziplocks while washing wasn't a concern.
 
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RRat

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
Good morning
This isn't about How much or how to calculate how much. It's a method I use so as not to end up in a hole with no way of paying for the next day's needs, and I was just wondering what other people do.
I have a method that involves two pockets and a hiding place for a usually frozen debit card (or two, depending on how long a trip and the perceived chance of loss)
If you are interested, read on. If not then find a more interesting post.
Once I have worked out my likely needs for the total trip, including all lodging, entry fees, food, wine, intermediate transport and a small buffer then I divide by the number of days that I expect to be away. I then pour a stiff drink and recalculate. If it comes out to a similar total then I either re-think the minimum comfort level or decide to do something else or go somewhere else. This works for all trips, not only CS.

Day one I allow double the average budget because there will always be something I have forgotten to bring, however many spreadsheets I have made. In fact, I have rather given up on complex calculations and tend to round off everything to an easy number. Same with packing. Replace anything completely wrecked or lost in the bag I brought back, washed, and replaced in bag from last time.

Using some made-up numbers here, don't want you to know how cheap I am.

Let's say I reckon on sixty euros or local equivalent per day then for day one that's 120 euros. Day two and subsequent days that will be sixty euros per day. I put 120 euros in my right pocket and zip it shut. Small notes, equal to ten euros per note if possible. Another five to ten days worth (or enough days to get me to the next border with a change of currency if this is a smaller number of days) goes in my left pocket, or more likely money belt really well tucked away depending on my perceived safety levels and likely ease of finding an ATM. Frozen preloaded debit card and an emergency cash reserve really well hidden, and an expired or otherwise cancelled card with the ready use cash in right pocket.
Day one I can spend what I find in my right pocket. I probably will have a fair bit left at the end of the day. In the morning I transfer sixty (average calculated spend) from left to right. After five days of doing this, spending from the right, topping up the same amount every day I count what I have in my right pocket. If before doing the left to right move I have sixty euros I congratulate myself on extreme cleverness and continue until I need to get some more cash to top up the left pocket via the debit card. If I have more than sixty euros I have a treat or become a bit more generous with the donativo that day. If less I shrug my shoulders and carry on.

Once the left pocket is nearly empty it's time to raid an ATM. This might happen a day or two early if they are a bit thin on the ground. So far it has always worked. If for any reason I have an empty pocket on the right then there should be some on the left. If I simply used a card for convenience then next day I transfer less from left to right.

Simple, flexible.

Now I would like to hear what others do, as all systems can be improved. I haven't done a poll, but if you think that could be fun then feel free.
€30 a day with an extra €100 for the first and €100 for the last day. You need the extra €100s at the beginning and end for things forgotten, transportation, and just splurging. Skip the second breakfast stop, the afternoon beer, etc and I could have done it for less than €30. Don't forget that you are not spending the money you woud have spent at home. I would easily spend €30 a day at home on Starbucks, lunch, and gas.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I think that she means that there is no need to make an effort to expel the air the same way that you do with a zip lock because the air flows freely in and out.
Exactly. I roll the two bags and stuff them down in my backpack. I converted to this easy system after two camino's using dry bags. The holes don't matter as everything goes in the trash compactor bag that lines my pack anyway. The only thing I use a big ziplock bag for is my lightweight sleeping bag. I roll it up, stuff it in, sit on it to expel air, then zip it shut before I stand up. At night I leave nothing outside my backpack and roll up the top of the compactor bag with a clip.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
@Robo for Australian ING customers the benefits are the same as Swab - all atm fees refunded (all - regardless of the type of atm) and the exchange rate is without any markup from the daily Visa exchange rate. For overseas travel it’s terrific. The conditions are that you make regular monthly deposits and withdrawals - so they are trying to encourage customers to make it their day-to-day account. That’s the banks reward.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
@Robo for Australian ING customers the benefits are the same as Swab - all atm fees refunded (all - regardless of the type of atm) and the exchange rate is without any markup from the daily Visa exchange rate. For overseas travel it’s terrific. The conditions are that you make regular monthly deposits and withdrawals - so they are trying to encourage customers to make it their day-to-day account. That’s the banks reward.
Does anyone know of a Canadian financial institution that does something similar?
 
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