From August 2014 to April 2015, I spent 257 days in SE Asia. I traveled for about four of those months and lived in Chiang Mai for the other four.
Before I left I had roughly set a $50 a day budget which, after paying for airfare and travel insurance, left me with about $40 a day to spend in country.
SE Asia is a very inexpensive place to travel and after covering the basic expenses like food, lodging, transportation, and visas, and even a few extra major expenses like a TEFL course and some dental work, I was able to stay within my budget.
One way I kept my pre-trip expenses low was by resisting many urges to upgrade my electronics collection and by limiting my gear purchases to a new day pack and packing cubes (that I mostly paid for with gift cards, thanks friends).
I kept my in country expenses low by traveling more slowly, living in Chiang Mai, eating like a local, walking, taking local transportation, and forgoing tours for DIY entertainment. I decided not to keep track of every individual expense and instead passively tracked my spending with Mint.
So how much did this trip cost me? Just over $12,000 and thanks to Mint I have a quick little break down of my major expenses.