At the Purcari Winery in the village of Purcari, Moldova. Photo taken December 7, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April Expenses

Well, it was an expensive one, so we're going to get April out of the way quickly so that we can concentrate on May!

We knew April would be higher than normal. Travel months always are. But we didn't really expect it to add up to this much.

We spent $2,134 for the month. Everything is justifiable, and everything was necessary. Not much in the way of discretionary expenses. Thankfully, the next five months will each be FAR lower than that. Here's how it all broke down...

Gasoline: When Ruth asked at the beginning of the month how much it would cost to drive the little blue car from the center of Mexico to the center of Saskatchewan, I had it sort of figured out to around $350 worth of fuel. How much did we spend? $352.37. Pretty close guess, I'd say! We drove about 4,500 kms (2,790 miles). I guess I could sit down and figure out our fuel mileage, but suffice to say the little blue car does pretty well in that department.

Toll Roads: I have to admit, I didn't think the tolls would have been this much. We spent $76.60 getting through Mexico to the U.S. border. Yes, we could have taken the free roads, but we had such a long drive ahead of us, I didn't want to extend it if I didn't have to. Discretionary? Somewhat, I suppose.

Groceries: It's not easy to plan meals or shop for bargains when you're basically living out of a car for three weeks. Plus, we stocked up on a few items that are cheaper in the U.S., and then when we got here we had to stock a kitchen basically from scratch. We spent $520.49 in groceries. But the fridge is fairly well stocked, so hopefully May will be cheaper. We're sort of figuring $400 a month in this department for the next five months.

Alcohol: A little below average, at $103.14. The next five months will be WELL below average as we are not going to participate in the game of Rape the Consumer that is played with the Canadian alcohol prices. $50 for a box of beer? I can't believe there hasn't been a revolt of some kind.

Miscellaneous: This is where it hurt. Just a whole lot of little things that came up. For example, reinstating the Canadian insurance on the little blue car. That was $150 or so. Kevin's new hiking boots at $99. The exhaust repair on the little blue car for $84. We finally had to pay for those stolen tourist permits when we exited Mexico. Another $50 there. In total, we spent $683.87. It just kept adding up.

Entertainment: Considering we were on the road for three weeks and bought quite a few meals out, we actually did pretty good here coming in at $154.86. Not bad.

Overnight: We spent $243.09 to stay a total of six nights in hotels and motels. Not bad at an average of about $40 a night. Oh, and a big THANK YOU goes out to all of our couchsurfing and blog reading hosts. It wasn't only that you helped us save money in this category. More importantly, we so much enjoyed meeting each and every one of you!

So that all adds up to $2,134. Like I said, the next five months will be much cheaper. We're figuring around $600 per month on average. Really, our only expenses are food, internet, gas, and car insurance.




16 comments:

  1. The gas total is incredibly low for the miles you traveled! How many people can say that they will only have 4 expenses this month? Now us! Grace (in Tucson)

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    1. It is nice to have a small fuel effiecent car. I don't think many people can say that but for those of us that do, it's a great feeling.

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  2. Rape the Consumer, ah yes, but think of the great healthcare system, no homeless or starving people. An idealic country where no one is left behind. Good thing you're not a smoker.

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    1. Haven't been to a country yet that has all that and I don't think we ever will see one like that.

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    2. Plenty of homeless and starving people in the Vancouver east side, sadly. It's not all that good.

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    3. Peter, I think Chris is aware that Canada, just like every other country has its social issues, I think he was saying with his tongue in his cheek. As I stated, I don't think anyone can find that perfect country, sad but true.

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  3. For beer, since you are going to be there 5 months, maybe give home brewing a try. You should be able to make some great craft beer type ales and save a buck or two over those prices. And with the cool weather, even lagers are possible.

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    1. Kevin has tried making his own beer at home and in a beer and wine making shop and he wasn't too thrilled with them. Nope, we have just decided to do without this summer. Probably better for us anyway.

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  4. Not too bad for expenses.
    At least in Ontario we can get discount beers for $29.95 a box 24 bottles still expensive but not like there.
    Enjoy the summer there.

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    1. Sorry George but Kevin can't bring himself to buy those discount beers. He just doesn't enjoy them, he would rather go without.

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  5. That averages out to about $71 a day - we think you did a great job on April's expenses!

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    1. When you think of it that way it doesn't sound so bad. We knew it was going to be a higher month and really there wasn't much that we could do to make it any lower. We'll do much better next month.

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  6. It could have been far more. You did good considering how far you travelled and I'm sure those hiking boots will come in handy this summer.

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    1. Having the little car made a huge difference, the motorhome would have been about $1000, just in gas. Kevin's hiking boots are already getting a workout. They double as his work boots.

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  7. Thank goodness your car is so good on gas. If you didn't do the toll roads you likely would have spent more on gas and possibly on somewhere to stay if you couldn't find a free couch. FYI since you have internet you can find all the Canadian flyers on smartcanucks.ca a few days before they are valid so you can plan your future grocery shops to take advantage of sales. I quit drinking wine as it was so expensive and now drink BC pear cider 2 litres for about $10. Cheers!

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    1. Kevin looks at the cost of the toll roads the same way. The stop and go over topes, and through the towns is harder on gas and it would have taken much longer. Sometimes you have to weigh you options.

      We already checked out the flyers for our shopping yesterday. We used to do the same thing when we were in Kingston, Ontario. I would also try to plan our meals around the products that were on sale.

      We also used to make our own wine when we had a house and when we were in one spot in Canada in the motorhome we would go to one of the wine making shops and make it there but even that is still expensive. Glad you are enjoying your BC pear cider, we had some pear cider in England last year and it is very good.

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