The cost of a month in Paris


The entry you’ve been waiting for!

I pieced together my spending paper trail from all my credit card and bank statements, and this is how I spent my money in France:

Whether or not that was too extravagant depends on how you look at it. I went into the trip without a budget or spending plan, which probably would have made a tremendous difference in the end cost, but ultimately I’m not bothered by the total. I’m really glad I didn’t backpack it, staying at hostels or couch-surfing (seriously. I met 2 guys that we’re doing that). My apartment was incredible, as was all the food, and so are the clothes I came home with, so I’m going to say the experience was worth every penny.

So some of the above is paid for, but the majority is not. I’ve thought about doing a huge transfer from my savings and wiping out the remaining balance, but making such a dent in my bank account makes me a little sick so instead I’m going to stick with my original plan and pay what I owe over the next 2-3 months (so it will be gone right before I have to start making payments on my student loans!)… so for the first time in nearly a year I’m carrying consumer debt! Yikes!

I did the math, and it makes sense monetarily, too. I transferred what I owe to my line of credit which has only a 6.75% interest rate which is lower than what a good majority of my investments have returned over the past year, so my money is better kept in savings & investments at this point. If this balance was on my credit card at 19.95% or whatever, heck yes I’d kill it in about five seconds flat, but thankfully I’m not in that position.

Just so we’re clear I’m totally 100% an advocate of saving up first for a big trip, not just randomly deciding to spend nearly $6,000 with very little thought or planning. What I did was insane, and I don’t recommend it. The fact that I have to make $800 debt payments for the next three months SUCKS but… well, I spent a month in Paris, and that was pretty damn cool.


  1. Justin

    With regards to you cellular phone usage over seas, did you just take your own phone with your current cellular plan? If traveling abroad for some time, I highly recommend grabbing either an international travel plan (not from any Canadian provider, but from an travel service provider like Cellular Abroad) or a pay-and-talk plan from a local provider (since you had a local address). Thanks to wonderful competition in Europe, these plans will grant you free incoming calls and SMS, including long distance calls/SMS from North America. Generally speaking, you could end up paying a less than what you already paid, but with extra perks from having a phone usable in France (my parents called me every single day when I was in Europe, having unlimited free incoming calls made a difference).

    And how did you find round-trip flights to Paris for just over $1000? I spend far too much time on travel sites and can rarely find find flights to London Heathrow for less than $1500. Seat-sale?

  2. From everything you have shared about your experience I would say it was worth every penny. Plus it is a small price to pay to rediscover yourself.

    Bet you wouldn’t trade the experience for anything in the world 🙂

  3. It is completely worth it. I know it’s a lot of money, but it is a wonderful experience. Ten or twenty years from now you won’t be able to remember exactly how much you spent (well maybe, I probably would) but you will never forget your wonderful experience.

  4. Laura @ no more spending

    I don’t think the cost is too bad at all, and totally worth it!

  5. Andrea

    @Justin; I’ve never paid more than $1000 on a ticket from Canada to Europe (London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt) and neither has my family.

    You need to put a good couple of hours into searching and it may take days or weeks waiting for the right fare but they exist, and when you’re flying from cities like Toronto, Montreal & Edmonton they are not that uncommon.

  6. That actually sounds reasonable. My aunt spent $15k for 2 weeks, so $30k in total for a month 😛