Months before going to Guangzhou, China, I gathered information relating to daily life expenses that may incur in the whole Global Volunteer via online (travel blogs), project booklet the hosting entity gave me and past Guangzhou EPs information. As I joined this GV together with a few friends from the same sending entity, we actually discussed about the plans on travelling around besides attending to the GV programme. Thus, we manage to plan ahead and forecast the travel cost (mainly transportation, accommodation, entrance fee for certain tourist attraction).
As for the GV programme, I took the initiative to understand the whole programme, activities that I would be joining, places that I would be visiting and most importantly the project schedule. This helped alot for me to forecast the possible expenses and plan my budget. To be honest, it was really difficult to plan the budget as there were so many uncertainties and unsure about the schedule. Therefore, my advice is to just plan with whatever information you have, then set aside RM 1,000 – RM 2,000 (depending on the country you will be going) as an emergency fund.
During the 6 weeks of GV, I made my budget planning a daily routine where I recorded my daily expenses using mobile phone budget planning application and forecast the expenses which may incur on the next day by looking at the project schedule and information given by the OC team. One thing to bear in mind is that always take a look into your wallet condition before buying things or food as you will definitely come across with a lot of temptations.
All in all, in planning your budget before GV, transportation costs must be taken into more consideration as it will be your main expense category. However, this strongly depends on which country you are going to and the type of the GV programme you choose.
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