Definitely a more expensive month than we had planned. We had a string of bad luck with things going wrong, and then Ruth's tooth problems towards the end of the month to top it all off!
I know...many people will think that $1,860 CDN is not a bad month considering where we were and what we did. But still, we're about $500 higher than we should have been.
Let's take a look at the breakdown...
Gasoline: We had left Sherman with a fairly empty fuel tank and so at the beginning of the month one of the first things we did was to fill up the tank. We put in 192 litres at 13.22 pesos per litre. The approximate equivalent of $4.00 USD per gallon, or $1.08 CDN per litre. So that was $208 CDN right there.
Unlike much of the world, Mexico's gasoline price is regulated by the government. It was subsidized for many years, and I think back in 2006 they began to remove that subsidy. They increased the price from around 6.5 pesos per litre (which was abnormally cheap) to the current price of 13.4 pesos per litre, and they did it in very small monthly increments over that 8 year period. Now, with the world price of oil falling, Mexican gas prices are now expensive compared to Canada or the U.S.
Anyhow, there is nothing that we can do about it. Including the 500 pesos ($42.00 CDN) that we put in on the last day of the month, we spent $253 CDN on fuel in the month of December.
Propane: We filled up the propane tank in December as well. Total cost of $39.39 CDN. We'll fill it again in January before we leave Mexico. Propane is cheaper here than in the United States.
Groceries: We did a little better than expected in this category. Considering that Sherman's cupboards were bare when we arrived at the beginning of the month, we had a lot of stocking up to do. The total bill for the month was $361.54 CDN. That gives you a good idea of how much cheaper groceries are here than they are north of the border. January, we should be well under $300 for the month.
Alcohol: Again, we had to stock the shelves a little bit. We spent $167.62 CDN on booze for the month, which is a little higher than normal. We'll try and tone that down for January!
Miscellaneous: At $760, this category took a hard hit in December. The major expenses were Mexican motorhome insurance ($181), dentist and associated medication ($250), inverter and power supply ($80), internet access ($42), local transportation ($34), Christmas gifts, and a whole bunch of lower priced items. Yikes.
Entertainment: Well, we did seem to keep ourselves very well entertained in the month of December, but you wouldn't know it from the expenses. We spent $120.38 CDN, mostly related to meals out. We love eating out in Mexico. Inexpensive, and great food!
Motorhome: This category is for mechanical repairs and improvements. So, while a new inverter gets expensed into miscellaneous, a new brake line gets put here. So, including various fluids that we stocked up on, we spent $35.40. This category is going to be high in January and February as we are going to treat Sherman to some upgrades while in Arizona!
Overnight: As a self contained motorhome with its own source of electricity, we don't feel we should have to pay very much for overnight stays. We try to limit ourselves to an average of 100 pesos ($8.20 CDN) per night. We're usually pretty creative at finding suitable places to overnight without having to fork over typical RV park rates. Also, we've done some advertising here for some RV parks, and that's reflected in the fact that our expenses are quite low in this department. So, in the month of December, we spent $121.40 CDN.
Travel: While local travel is expensed under miscellaneous, travel between cities, or trains or airplanes, gets put here. Not much to report this time except our trip at the beginning of the month from Valle de Bravo to Toluca at $8.60 CDN.