Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Spending Recap: October 29-November 4, 2012

Monday 29th
$1.91 (€1,50) Starbucks

Tuesday 30th – Istanbul, Turkey
$1.91 (€1,50) Starbucks
$4.45 (€3,50) transit to Stuttgart airport
$1.67 (3 TL) metro to downtown Istanbul
$5.58 (10 TL) taxi to hotel
$48.80 (87,50 TL) hotel – 3 nights

Wednesday 31st – Istanbul, Turkey
$6.70 (12 TL) breakfast
$19.05 (€15) silk pashmina at the Grand Bazaar
$5.02 (9 TL) lunch
$6.70 (12 TL) admission to Galata Tower
$2.79 (5 TL) baklava and tea
$5.02 (9 TL) beer
$13.95 (25 TL) dinner

Thursday 1st – Istanbul, Turkey
$0.56 (1 TL) magnet
$10.60 (19 TL) breakfast
$5.58 (10 TL) admission to Basilica Cistern
$1.67 (3 TL) transit
$6.98 (12,50 TL) Bosphorus boat tour
$3.35 (6 TL) lunch
$1.40 (2,50 TL) baklava
$11.16 (20 TL) dinner

Friday 2nd – Istanbul, Turkey
$2.79 (5 TL) breakfast
$1.67 (3 TL) transit
$4.46 (8 TL) Starbucks
$6.70 (12 TL) shuttle bus to airport
$8.37 (15 TL) lunch
$33.48 (60 TL) flight Istanbul-Kayseri
$12.70 (€10) shuttle bus to Goreme
$7.81 (14 TL) dinner

Saturday 3rd – Goreme, Turkey
$2.79 (5 TL) tip to hot air balloon crew
$7.81 (14 TL) lunch
$1.95 (3,50 TL) picture on a camel (yup)
$3.07 (5,50 TL) beer and snack
$30.69 (55 TL) Turkish bath
$5.58 (10 TL) dinner

Sunday 4th – Goreme, Turkey
$5.58 (10 TL) breakfast
$1.40 (2,50 TL) snacks and water
$2.54 (€2) tea in Pigeon Valley
$1.67 (3 TL) money to local man
$13.95 (25 TL) dinner

Total: – $319.86

If you noticed I was absent from Twitter over the last week, it’s because we were off exploring Turkey. After spending time in the bustling city of Istanbul, and hiking in the beautiful valleys of Cappadocia, I can safely say that I have fallen in love with the country. I wish we had a few weeks to explore the country (and head to the Mediterranean coast), but we’ll have to save that for a future trip. :)

I really, really enjoyed haggling at the Grand Bazaar. After getting over my initial intimidation, it was actually a lot of fun – even though Nic was way better at it than me. We were always able to get the shop keepers down about 50-75% off of their initial offer, and we realized that it’s like a sport to them. After a few particularly tough negotiations over a silk pashmina, including walking out of the store a few times, one shop keeper admitted that it was fun for him. His initial asking price for a scarf was about $70 (125 TL), and I eventually bought it for $19. I’ve seen similar ones selling around Europe and in high end stores in Canada for well over $100 each.

As a side note to the pashminas, the ones displayed outside shops are almost always fake. Despite being labeled “100% silk” they are often made of rayon or polyester or cotton. The real stuff is inside the stores.

Anyway, I’ll recap the entire trip in the next few days.

Author: Krystal Yee

I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.


  1. Michelle says:

    Extremely jealous that you were in Turkey!

  2. Catherine says:

    I’d love to go to Turkey! good job working your bartering skills and scoring the scarf!

  3. AverageJoe says:

    I’m most curious about the “$1.67 to “local man.” Are you a spy? ;-)

    • Krystal Yee says:

      We got a bit lost on a hike from one city to another… and we ran into a local man along our way. He walked us to the right trail, and we had tea with him at a random tea house (shack) located at the bottom of one of the valleys. To thank him for helping us, we gave him all the change that we had.

      Haha I didn’t know how else to write it down as an expense! :)

  4. Brittany says:

    I want to go to Turkey so bad! It’s going to happen in the next few years, though. Other trips happening first. :o)

  5. erik says:

    Greetings- I have a dilemma.- Your’e out living the life that was meant to be mine! Places like Istanbul and Taiwan are where I would like to be spending my time while doing blogs for a living. (Or whatever it is.) I’ve gotten close to the dream. Working and saving to then go abroad annually, but like you I only have a 2 yr certificate as well and certainly the 4 is the standard even to teach bloody english! Though I do have a TEFL.. I can imagine writing and chronicling, photographing etc. But getting paid for it in a world saturated with online content? Especially given the consumerism that seems to be so pervasive it’s been hard to crack into the imagination of people that even know me well.
    Amazing that your’e floating successfully in such a marketplace.
    Signed: still stranded brain-dead

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