Our boondocking spot at dusk near Bridgeport, California.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Bishop, California.

Where are they going next? South, towards Death Valley National Park.

Friday, February 21, 2014

January Expenses

It only just occurred to me that we never posted our January expenses. I think we just had so much going on at the beginning of February, and then we've had poor (or non-existant!) internet a few times during the month.

January was again a little higher than normal for us, but when we break it all down we actually did okay. We spent a total of $2,054 in January.

Gasoline: We spent $225.25 in gasoline for our little 20 year old Ford Laser rental car. Not bad, especially when you consider that gasoline costs averaged $1.40 per litre ($5.30 per gallon).

Toll Roads: Minor detail, but we spent $3.82 on toll roads and toll bridges. There are actually quite a few toll roads in South Africa, but they're pretty cheap.

Groceries: At $299.97 little higher than we figured. But we had done a large shop ($73) right near the end of the month, so February should come in quite a bit cheaper.

Alcohol: $138.53. Pretty much on target.

Miscellaneous: Once again this category bites us in the hand. Including Ruth's $92 doctor visit to have her hand stitched up, we spent a total of $282.37 in this category. Our other major expense was internet at $94. We each have a "dongle" for cellular internet on our laptops, and we had to recharge them twice in January. It's looking like February will be quite a bit cheaper, providing Ruth stays away from sharp glass.

Entertainment: We spent $217.78 on entertainment, and this includes all meals out. There were no major items in this total, mostly lunches that we bought when we were out exploring Cape Town at the beginning of January. Hm. And $18.88 in ice cream? They make these delicious chocolate and almond covered ice cream bars here. We're kind of addicted.

Overnight: Thanks to our many couchsurfing hosts during the month of January (thank you!!), we ended up only paying for eight nights of accommodation. The total came to $288.46, or an average of $36.06 per night. Not bad.

Travel: At $597.77, this is what put our January total quite a bit higher than normal. Our car rental goes into this category. Averaged between two months, our car rental cost us $411.86 for the month. Plus, we had our 21 hour bus ride from Windhoek to Cape Town at $182.26.

So a total of $2,054. February is looking like it's going to be pretty close to the same. Good thing we're going back to work again in May! Oh, some interesting news to tell you about that as well. I'll get to it in the next post!


  1. My next door neighbor at the campground left today to host a Rv caravan in South Africa and I told him about you guys. He said safaris in Africa can cost $1,000 a day. I like the way you do it better!

    1. Yikes, I can't even imagine how it could possibly cost that much a day. We really enjoy doing things our way a lot better as well.

  2. Considering where you are, and what you've seen and done, I think you've done very well in terms of your expenses. Cudos!
    Have to say though, I haven't spent a dime on ice cream in several years.
    Too funny.

    1. We agree Bob, we have done quite well in terms of our expenses, especially if you look at what Randy above mentioned that some people pay for a safari per day!

  3. Soon back to work, save up and get ready for another adventure.

    1. Yep, but we still have a couple of months before that happens. :-)

  4. Look up "Frugal" in the dictionary and we'll see a link to your website. Well done!

  5. Hi Kevin/Ruth, just started to read your blog, inspiring (by the way, we also were last year at Graaf-Reinet and the valley of desolation, beautiful). Just wondering, as we are approaching 50 years of age, and want this lifestyle as well, what income do you generate, it seems you get partially paid for travel, or what do you mean that you sometimes work? Just curious how you generate some cashflow while being on the road all the time, thanks for a reply.

    1. Yes, we think this is a beautiful area as well. We have enjoyed our time here.

      We do generate some money from the blog in the form of advertising but unfortunately it's not enough to survive on. In the past we have worked during the summer and one winter back in Canada and we will be doing the same this summer as well. Actually Kevin talks about our job at a new campground in the very next post. We work from May 1st until the end of September. We have also learned to live fairly simple lives when we are traveling and don't mind making our on meals by staying in hostels or small self catering places to keep costs down.


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