Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Slochteren, Netherlands.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Papenburg, Germany.

Monday, December 2, 2013

November Expenses

First, I have to question the value to our readers of continuing to post our monthly expenses.

We started doing this during our full time motorhome days as a way to show people that you could live and travel throughout Canada, the U.S., and Mexico in an RV. And that it can be done for under $1,000 a month on average. And we did a pretty good job of proving that!

And for the last year and a half we haven't spent much time in the motorhome, but out of habit we continued to post our expenses. So now, we are working for a few months during the Canadian summer, and during the winter we are having some of our travels, accommodations, and activities sponsored by various companies. So what we spend in a month doesn't often relate to what somebody who tries to do the same activities or schedule might spend.

So if you want us to continue to post our outgoing expenses so that you can have a voyeuristic look into our life, then that's fine. We'll continue to do it. But I really don't see where the value to you is anymore. What do you think?

While you're thinking about it, here's how our month of November went...

Fuel: We drove 4,000 kms (2,480 miles) in Namibia! This was in a diesel powered truck, and diesel fuel here costs the equivalent of CAN$1.35 per litre (US$5.15 per gallon). We spent $510.86 on fuel for the month.

Groceries: For some reason, this was higher than we expected. We ate a lot of red meat, but red meat is much cheaper here. It's not that easy to get chicken though. Strange. Fruits and veggies are a bit more expensive though, so maybe that's what's adds up. Anyhow, we spent $428.63, which is not bad but we expected it would have been less.

Alcohol: Beer and wine is very reasonably priced in Namibia, and apparently we took advantage of that! Spent $139.42, and enjoyed every drop!

Miscellaneous: Not bad, all things considered. We spent $242.51. That included one last Canadian internet bill at $66, plus our first month of Namibian internet at $53 which included the hardware. And our NYC subway passes and some camping supplies and sunscreen and bbq charcoal. That kind of thing. It all adds up.

Entertainment: This was the killer. The Namibia National Parks are very expensive for foreigners. We spent $235 in park fees alone. And we had several meals out in NYC at the beginning of the month. We spent a total of $439 in this category.

Travel: $35 for trains to and from the airports in NYC.

So we spent a total of $1,795 for the month. Quite a bit more than we planned. December will be higher than planned as well, but we may never be back here again, so might as well do it right!


  1. I actually like to see how much things cost in various parts of the world. But I am budget oriented so maybe that's why. I don't think it matters that parts of your travels are sponsored - it like any 'free trip', nothing is really all free. Just my preference though!

  2. I think there is merit in something like this but maybe modified. As Steve has recently read back through our travel diaries he constantly comments on exchange rates and prices paid for various items in the different countries. When we arrive in a new country I always note the current exchange rate then the first time we buy things like beer, fuel I put the local rate and in brackets the sterling rate or in your case dollars so people immediately know in real terms what it cost. Maybe other readers will comment on which format works best from now on as I agree the overall monthly figures have become irrelevant.

  3. Sometimes fun to keep a record. The whole time we were in Europe, I wrote down just about every penny we spent. I might have missed a weekend away here and there, mostly because was would forget to keep track. But, I KNEW how much we went through on a weekly basis, since I could look at a number of weeks and do an average. Did the same thing the whole time we lived in Puerto Rico, but that was mostly since the Canadian dollar was so weak, and we were living on a Canadian salary put into our Canadian bank, from which we would draw US currency.
    I've started keeping tabs again after we moved home. Some sort of silly compulsion. I *just* like to know where the money goes, even though we're not big spenders by any stretch.
    I do think there's a great deal of value if you post your expenses. Too much information when it comes to finances is never a bad thing I think.

  4. Hi Kevin and Ruth:
    I've enjoyed following your budget; however, you're right that lots of your activities now don't relate to regular motor home living. I'm still in the throws of getting a workable budget in place for myself since I've essentially been 'full-timing.' I still haven't decided if this will be a permanent thing; so I have all the home expenses (and income from renters) to consider. Only time will tell. The one thing for sure is that I can't continue to travel all the time IF the house is not rented - or sold!

  5. Your change in lifestyle does change you living expenses, but is still interesting to see how it works out for you.

  6. I find value in it. Please keep posting expenses. It's interesting to me.

  7. Doug and I always appreciated seeing what things cost, especially in Mexico. It did help us sort things out a bit in the early planning days. While it was extremely useful in the beginning, your lifestyle has changed now. Like you said above, many of the activities are now sponsored so the actual costs versus what you are doing is not always relevant.

    We do not feel it necessary now to show. We believe people no longer need that peak into your lives. The old costs will always be on line and if they need to get a "baseline" they can always check back there.

    Sharing your lives as you do is already generous enough!!

  8. As with everything, some find it interesting others wont, so I feel you should do what makes you happy. who knows 5 years from now you may want to look back at expenses (or you may need info for your book :-) ) Everyones expenses are going to vary, traveling or not, ex: we soent 200.00 on groceries yesterday alone, we average about 100-125 a week, another family may spend half this.

  9. Your monthly expense report inspired me to keep track of my own expenses, so please keep doing it---you may inspire others to do the same. I personally spent $661 in November.

  10. I checked back just to see if you HAD posted the expenses! The fact that you have shared this diligently has been an inspiration for me. AND it is true that your lives have taken another turn, but it is still a Nomadic existence that is more the norm for the fellow gypsies who are drawn to read this blog. It is entirely up to you, but it is gratifying to know that you still managed to spend under $2,000 for the month. The fact that you have so much rich content has brought me back to your site - I haven't missed a blog-post since you arrived in Nambia - a country I had paid NO ATTENTION TO now has me anticipating an adventure one of these days. Keep up the good work!

  11. To me it's just as interesting to see how you are able to economize no matter what you are up to, or where in the world you are. It's inspiring to me and my wife. Your blog is not called 'RV Travel With Kevin & Ruth', so I have always assumed that it documented a lifestyle of all types of travel - and how you are able to get good deals, be thrifty on all kinds of purchases (including travel fares), use the notoriety of your blog to snag promotional gifts like hotel stays, etc - and live a full, rich life on not much money - is fascinating and showcases all kinds of great ideas, many of which I either now employ or intend to when they become germane.

  12. I'm good either way you want to do it. I find it interesting to see how much you spend on alcohol... ;c)

  13. have to be honest and say I don't see any comparative reason to do so...

  14. Maybe I'm odd man out but I like to see the numbers. It gives us an idea of what goes on in other places. Namibia is one of the three richest countries in Africa. We haven't seen much food either, and we are wondering what native foods you guys have tried and if they have any special dishes. And who knows, I am sure there is someone out there who would like to tour Africa in their rv. We had friends from Holland who did it.

  15. I do like your expense posts, they do make me think I can retire early and travel some of the places you have been. There are not many blogs out there that share this info and travel like you do so I really look forward to your posts. And like someone else said it does motivate me to keep track of my expenses.

    Thanks for taking the time to share your details : )


  16. Thank you for posting your expenses. Even though you haven't been RVing, you are still giving us an idea of the costs of travelling! Keep up the good work! Blessings, Lynn

  17. I'm good with whatever you do although I really enjoy seeing what things cost in your various versions of travel.


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