Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Right before I left to study abroad, I started a series about how to make all your study abroad dreams happen, which you can find here. To continue with that trend, I thought a post on budgeting would be useful; I know it is something that was hard for me to do because most blogs don't mention it very much.

First, I am going to explain what my financial plan was before I left and then I will explain actually prices in Rome! 

After saving up all the money I made over the summer, I decided I would simply take money out for traveling and then divide up the rest evenly per week. Before I list any numbers, I just want to say that I had no idea how to actually budget for Rome so my plan may not work for everyone. 

Travel: $700 (plus my prepaid excursions with my program)

Food and Spend:
Monthly- $550 (411 euro)
Weekly-$137 ( 102 euro)
Daily-$19 (14 euro)

So there it is, those are the numbers I gave myself without really knowing if they were too much, too little, or just right. 

With all that in mind, I am now going to list some general prices of meals and items here in Rome.

Eating Out:

Breakfast (pastry, coffee, and fruit)- 3 euro
Lunch (slice of plain pizza and suppli)- 3 euro
Dinner (pasta with water, bread, and a small dessert)- 13 euro  
Gelato- around a euro a scoop 

Now all of those are average prices but the prices can vary a bit. If you want speciality pizza like shrimp and lettuce it will be around 5 euro for a large slice, if you want meat for dinner you are going to have to pay around 15 euro or higher, and if you want wine for dinner add about a 2 euro to your dinner price. 

Also, I would always suggest to look around before you buy anything. Steer clear of the restaurants and gelaterias near monuments because they know tourists will pay more than the food is worth. 

Eating In:

I wasn't sure the best way to list prices for eating in so I thought I would just list some items I bought at the grocery store and market yesterday. 

At the store:
Salami (around 25 slices)- 2 euro
Pasta- .65 euro cents 
Yogurt (2 cups)- .55 euro cents
Cream cheese- 2.50 euro
Wine- 2 euro
Spaghetti sauce- .50 euro cents
Chicken (enough for two people)- 3 euro 

At the open-air market:
Strawberries- 2.50 euro
Clementines- 1.50 per kilo
Apples- 1.50 per kilo 
Tomatos- 1.50 per kilo 
Actually most fruits and veggies are 1.50-2.50 per kilo 

Also, for people who are studying, moving, or staying abroad for a long period of time I would suggest looking around your place for different grocery stores. Just within walking distance of my apartment there are two chain grocery stores, a speciality store, an open-air market, butchers, and bread stores. Once a week, I go to both grocery stores (to compare prices), the open-air market, and then I go to one of the bread shops to get my bread for the week. 

I hope all this information helps other students wanting to study abroad! Also, if there is anything I left out and you are interested in knowing just comment below! 

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