The following represent the costs incurred between December 29th and February 28th.
Each entry represents a fill-up. Everything has been rounded off to 2 decimal places, volume has been converted to gallons and prices reflect the current exchange rate on XE.com. Most of Central America is pretty expensive, while Ecuador is gasoline heaven. The average octane used was 90, the least 87 and the most 95. Octane ratings vary wildly from country to country.
I’ve roughly calculated the total mileage to the border with Peru from New York (border crossing was March 2nd) and the Volvo has been getting 25MPG on average (not bad for a 5 cyl. car).
The following numbers are a rough estimate, since most of the food, entertainment, and misc expenses were paid in cash (taken from the ATM withdrawals). The chart below shows only what was charged to a debit/credit card. I tried not to use a debit/credit card as much as possible because of all the additional charges. For ATM withdrawals, I used a Charles Schwab Checking debit card, which reimburses all your foreign fees. It’s free to get and most importantly, it’s a VISA, the most commonly used card in Central and South America. It’s saved me a considerable amount of money already.
The month of January shows high expenses in lodging (esp. since I was hosted most of the time in the States) and car, most of which ($515) was paid to a Volvo dealer in Austin, to replace a gasket, change oil and update the engine software. Most of the other car expenses were buying extra things like lightbulbs, oil, windshield wipers, etc at Autozone, both in the States and in Mexico.
February has lower expenses across the board, especially when you consider $1200 of the total went to shipping the car to Colombia. Car expenses consisted of an oil change and new front brake pads at the Volvo dealership in Medellin, and the purchase of extra oil (5W20 – hard to find) at a gas station.