Out for a bike ride on the Natchez Trace Parkway near Ackerman, Mississippi. Photo taken yesterday!
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Madison, Mississippi... just north of Jackson.

Where are they going next? Rocky Springs Campground on the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

May Expenses

Well, I had to go back into our 10 years of budget history to see the most we ever spent on groceries in a month. Because we certainly broke that record last month!

We remain convinced that it will even itself out over the next four months (yes, we are 1/5 of the way through our time here already!), or at least we're hoping that it will.

Other than the grocery bill, we didn't spend very much money. We blew through a total of $1,124, and while that doesn't sound like very much, it's about 25%  higher than we were expecting. And it's all because we need to eat!

When we had left here last fall, we had the motorhome with us and so we had pretty much emptied the cupboards and shelves here at the park and taken all of our supplies with us. But when we arrived here at the end of April, we flew back so we arrived to empty shelves and an empty fridge. It's amazing how much you spend just on basics to get things started.

Anyhow, here's how it all broke down... (these figures are in Canadian dollars. For U.S. dollar equivalent you can subtract about 25%)...

Gasoline: We put $50 worth of fuel in the little blue car. Gas prices in Saskatchewan have actually dropped a little since last year and are currently hovering around $1.00 CAD per litre (approx $2.85 USD per gallon).

Alcohol: Yes, we broke own and splurged on an overpriced bottle of wine to celebrate our anniversary. We spent $11.49.

Groceries: Yikes. We spent $929 on groceries during the month of May. (Our previous record was $765 in May 2014.) Now, there is a lot of food in the freezer. We stocked up on some good deals that will last for  a few months, so if we can get our average over the next four months down to around $550 a month, we'll be very happy with that. It's going to be tough though because food prices have definitely increased here compared to last year. Especially fruits and veggies. $1.50 for a single grapefruit? Seriously?

Miscellaneous: We have a couple of standard charges that show up every month while here. That's our $77.50 car insurance bill, and our $23.50 cellular bill. On top of that, we also bought a few things at the local thrift shop. Total for the month was $134.

And that's it. We did also spend $36 each for our flights back to Ottawa in September, but we'll expense the when the trip actually takes place.

So, a total of $1,124.

That should be much reduced in the next couple of months, although I'm keeping my eye open for a new laptop. This one works fine, but it was inexpensive when we bought it and the processor can't keep up with some of the new technology out there. As I said, I'm looking... we'll see if the right deal comes along!

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Wow, these drone copters are really coming down in price. This one is on deal of the day today...

Holy Stone F181 RC Quadcopter Drone with HD Camera




19 comments:

  1. The good part is you are receiving good pay. Visiting Canada was tough on a Mexican salary but we did it. I've said it several times, as a traveler in Canada, gasoline, LP, groceries and liquor will blow your budget. Canada is a very beautiful country and we hope to go back after saving up.

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    1. Yes, we are lucky for that but you also have to remember that our pay for 5 months of the year has to get us through a full 12 months of living so that brings our pay down a lot when it is averaged over 12 months. Yep, things are quite a bit more expensive here but we always seem to manage and we always eat well. :-)

      You coming up here on a Mexican budget is like us going to Iceland or any of the Scandinavian countries of our Canadian budget. It can be done but you really have to be careful how and where you spend your money and you may not be able to afford to stay as long as you might want to but it is so worth the effort.

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  2. OMG I can't imagine spending that much in one month on grocery. In my entire life I have never gone beyond $400.00 and that's with two kids! That's about $200 a week...yikes! Bon appetite!!

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    1. We also had never spent that much in one month before but when you have to buy everything that you need to stock the shelves, right from flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, to meat, veggies, fruit, cereal, milk, shampoo, conditioner, dish soap, laundry soap, etc and etc it all adds up, plus this is all in Canadian dollars which works out to $686.95 in US dollars. Also keep in mind that when you were feeding your family on $400 or less a month prices were way cheaper. When our kids were growing up we spent about $100 dollars a week as well. We also have to buy some items that are Gluten Free which adds to the budget, I do try to keep that to a minimum because I don't buy pre-made items, I always make my own cookies, muffins and even bread unless I can find nice GF bread that is under the $5 a loaf range. We do eat well and very healthy and this should all balance out over the next four months.

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  3. We kept track of groceries our first month back home in Canada and about $200+ more a month here. Costs are definitely on the rise in Canada. We just wont buy some things because of it.
    The One Income Dollar- www.oneincomedollar.com

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    1. We watch every penny we spend and always try to get the best price we can find and if some things are too expensive then we leave it and wait for another week and hope that it is on sale and then when something is on sale we stock up enough to try and get us through the rest of the summer. I am sure that this will even out over the next 4 months, at least we hope so. Costs have definitely gone up here in Canada!

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  4. Our May bill was $810 I should have mentioned CDN $$ for the month. We had gone to Minot, ND and stocked up on a few things though so that needs to be counted in- but will still be food we will eat.

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    1. So our May grocery bill doesn't seem so bad now because we had to start from scratch whereas you already had most of the basics. Anyways is it what it is and we all have to eat, it will be interesting to see what our total will be at the end of September.

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  5. I know we have to watch it sometimes but that's what I've worked my whole life for is not having to watch a budget or save like we have for 50 years, it's blow time and do whatever you want

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    1. I am glad that you are able to now enjoy life now after all those years and not have to worry so much about a budget but we are still working and don't have that luxury. We probably will always have to live our lives on a budget but we are ok with that because we always love to find good deal and we are loving our life as it is, we would rather being living this way then if we were still living in a house and both working "normal" jobs. :-)

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  6. We going restocking the kitchen one of the most expensive parts of traveling away from the RV for extended periods. Having said that, I've never been able to get the fabulous deals on flights you always seem to manage! $36 to fly to Ottawa!!!

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    1. Ah... but the $36 price of the flight was because we used a portion of our Air Canada credit note that we received from getting bumped at the end of April. So we still had to pay the taxes. Still, it was a decent deal at $202 one way...

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  7. Should have reviewed! *Find* not *going*

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  8. Replies
    1. You should move to Mexico! They are way, way cheaper there, you would get about 6 there for that price.

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  9. Like you said you have to eat, and replenish your staples and stock up the freezer, so considering todays prices not too bad at all. It will balanced out.

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    1. Not replenish our staples, we had no staples to start with! We are definitely stocking up the shelves and freezer though, we got some good deals on certain items and hopefully bought enough of those things to take us through the entire summer. We are sure hoping it will balance out, otherwise it is eating into our winter time travel budget.

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  10. We get this a lot with both our income (various residual income streams) and outgoings. If we were 'properly accounting' we'd use accruals and prepayments to correctly spread our costs across months, but we can't be bothered, so we use graphs to just eyeball how much we're spending over the months versus how much is coming in. Coupled with an eye on our cash emergency fund this keeps us informed. Your spend on supplies seems quite reasonable to me, our bills when we stocked up after Morocco and Norway were rather steep too, and we still had all the basics. Cheers, Jay (ourtour.co.uk)

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    1. Yes, you are correct about using accruals and/or prepayements to spread it out over the year but we generally just put things in as we pay them, even lump sums. We have found that we are in the general ballpark, year after year so we know that things eventually even themselves out over the year.

      We are curious as to what our next months grocery bill will be like, hopefully it will be much better than this one!

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