Oops guys. I accidentally broke my bank in Iceland. I’m a little bit ashamed… I prepared SO hard for this NOT to happen, and I pride myself on being the queen of budgeting at home, but yet I managed to literally (not literally) shit out my savings in 7 days. How. Did. I. Manage. This???
I mean, not that I’m complaining. Iceland was phenomenal, and after just 6 nights there I’m pretty decided on heading back, maybe even to work and live.
Because one myth should be debunked. I’m going to stick my neck out and speak my mind right now – Iceland is NOT that expensive. Sure, did I spent £15 on a burger one night? Yep. Did I end up paying £5.80 for a pint drank outside happy hour? Sure. Did I pay almost £8 to get into the MOST pointless and overpriced museum in the whole world? That I did. (Side note: don’t go the penis museum)
But hear me out: On average, I spent about £4.50 for every pint I drank (£3.50 at happy hour), which is about the same price as it is in and around London. I mean, not quite on a par with the £1 beers you can get in other areas of Europe, but as a student living in Brighton, this didn’t hit me quite so hard.
In the supermarket, I gathered up some supplies to make a week’s worth of soup. I got me some carrots, tinned tomatoes and mushrooms. I also picked up 8 packs of noodles for extra carbs, soy milk for my porridge that I cannily packed with me, apples, a pack of bread rolls and ‘cronions’ because I heard they were amazing (Verdict: 6/10) and it cost me about £11. I mean maybe I could have got it cheaper somewhere else in Europe, but it’s not exactly the astronomical prices I was being told to expect!
But anyway, I digress. In fact, I’m kind of digging myself a hole. How then, did I manage to blow pretty much my entire savings account in one week? Hint: I’m an asshole with no self control.
- I didn’t learn about tax-free shopping until it was too late.
Not completely true, but I bought 2 pairs of Icelandic wool socks and a hat from Ice Wear all separately, then discovered that I could get it tax free, so I planned on returning and buying them again together when I next could. The next day, I went to Vik, home of Icelandic wool items, and thinking it would be so much cooler to get gifts closer to the source, I bought everything again.
Now when I went back to return the first items… I found they only did store credit. Yep. So I was out close to £50 that I had planned to spend on food, so I decided to spend the extra £15 and get a blanket (tax-free… at least I learned something)
- I gave myself food poisoning with my ‘soup’
How???? HOW??? DID?? I???? MANAGE THIS??? I ate a portion of my soup I so carefully packed away into the hostel fridge, and the next day I was so ill. After that I was so afraid to try cooking and storing food again, I just ate out. Not even £2.50 hotdogs, like £20 meals. Oops.
- I just kept drinking coffee
This was so unnecessary, but I’m such a coffee house whore. I absolutely love sitting inside cosy coffee shops on cold days with a latte in hand, and boy does Reykjavik know how to put together a kaffihaus… It’s an addiction. It will hit mid-afternoon and I’ll be far from the hostel that I don’t want to go back to anyway, and I’ve just stumbled across a cute looking cafe that I just HAVE to try. Hint: lattes taste pretty much the same anywhere you go. Will I EVER learn?
- I just kept eating everything
*Brings a packed lunch* *eats out anyway* Yep. I kept convincing myself I needed a hot meal when in actual fact I probably just needed a slap.
I mean looking back, I think I just blew all of my money on food and drinks. If it wasn’t for the blanket which I never intended to buy, I wouldn’t have spent much money on souvenirs and gifts at all. I’m pretty ashamed to be honest, you’d think after that I’d have thought “Oh, I should be more careful with money from now then” But no, that is apparently not how my brain works. It was more like “Oh, there’s a coffee shop. I could go for a latte right now. Oh look Icelandic donuts that sounds exciting. Yeah I definitely have the money to spend on this.” No Liz. No you don’t. Can someone explain to me how you adult?
PS. I promise to reveal nicely edited photos this week, I just thought it would be totally doable to go straight back to work within 5 hours of getting back AND start my essays as well. Oops. Student life!