Our regular readers know what we did all winter, but for the benefit of anybody new here, let me refresh your memories with the highlights...
- Flight from Regina to Ottawa and return.
- Drive the motorhome from Regina to Mexico.
- Flight from Mexico City to Colombia and return.
- Six weeks exploring Colombia.
- Three months exploring Mexico.
- Drive from Mexico to Los Angeles.
- Two weeks exploring Southern California.
- Drive from Los Angeles to Saskatchewan.
This was our most expensive winter yet, coming in at $14,500 CAD ($11,000 USD).
Averaged out over the 7 months, that's $2,071 CAD ($1,571 USD) per month.
Sherman, boondocking near Lewellen, Nebraska last October.
(Just to make things look less cluttered, the following figures are in Canadian dollars. For approximate U.S. dollar equivalent, you can subtract about 25%)
We spent $2,700 on gasoline. Yikes...and that was with the cheaper gas prices in the states. It cost $900 to drive down to Mexico, and then about $1,400 for the longer drive back through western Mexico and into southern California. We could have flown for a lot less money. But then that would have opened the door to a myriad of other expenses because we wouldn't have had the motorhome with us. And ultimately, we like RV travel!
Ruth, and "the most beautiful view in the world", near Guatapé, Colombia.
Toll roads are expensive in Mexico, and we spent $221 on total toll roads and bridge and tunnel fees over the winter. Most of that was on the drive from Mazatlan north to the border, which we will likely never do again.
Propane for the motorhome was $220. That may sound expensive to some of you, but we're hardly ever plugged in to electricity so Sherman's fridge and heating system run entirely on propane for the majority of the winter.
The tallest palm trees in the world at the beautiful Cocora Valley in Colombia.
We did good with groceries! Of course, it came with the added expense of eating out too many times, as detailed below. We spent a total of $2,100 on groceries...or an average of $300 a month. Not bad!
We spent $1,275 on booze, and at $182 per month that's definitely higher than normal. But a lot of the increase can be attributed to the terrible exchange rate with the U.S. dollar compared to the past.
Sherman, boondocking near Villa Victoria, Mexico.
The "miscellaneous" category is always a wildcard. The lowest month this winter was $81, and the highest was $860! We spent $2,400 in total, so the average over 7 months was $343 per month. That one expensive month was last October when it included our Mexico motorhome insurance for the winter as well as Colombian tourist visa fees for Canadians. We also spent a lot of money on accessing the internet over the winter... $550 in total, or $78.50 per month.
The "entertainment" category was also higher than normal. This is also where we expense any meals out, and we ate out more this winter than any other! Of course it also includes tourist attractions and any activities we do. But this year, it's mostly meals out, although we did a few special things in Colombia while we were there. We spent $1,720...an average of $245 per month.
In San Diego, California.
We did pretty well on our overnight expenses. This category includes any RV park fees, as well as hostels or hotels when we're traveling. We try to take advantage of any couchsurfing opportunities when we fly to other countries, and free camping and boondocking whenever possible when we're in the motorhome. We spent a total of $1,935 in total...or $276 per month.
We spent very little money on the motorhome over the winter. Considering we drove 8,000 miles with a 20 year old motorhome! We spent a total of $245 on minor repair and maintenence. Sherman is a good boy!
And the last category is travel. This is where we include any flights, trains, or destination buses. We spent a total of $1,544 for the two of us. This included six flights for the two of us, as well as all of our overland bus transportation while in Colombia.
So...a total of $2,071 CAD ($1,571 USD) per month. I'd say we saw an awfully lot of neat stuff for the same price that most people spend staying at home!
A great one day deal on a heavy duty Singer sewing machine. Considering it's normally only $166 to begin with, the sale price is pretty cheap!
SINGER 4423 Heavy Duty Extra-High Sewing Speed Sewing Machine with Metal Frame and Stainless Steel Bedplate
And in Canada, at Amazon.ca it's often tough to come across a decent deal. But today, there are two deals I want to highlight. First, if you've been looking for a good camera, this Nikon DSLR is a great deal...
And remember "The Bionic Woman"? You can buy the entire series on DVD for only $25...