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On a 15 km (9 mile) hike near Guanajuato, Mexico.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Bugamville RV Park near Guanajuato, Mexico.

Where are they going next? San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

January Expenses

Well, it was yet another higher than expected month. Although when I think about it, we really didn't know what to expect because we've never traveled this way in Mexico.

Because we make a contract income for leading the group, as part of the deal we are still responsible for paying our own fuel and toll fees. But some of those fuel and toll fees are expenses that we wouldn't have if we weren't leading the group because we don't travel the same way.

If we were on our own, we would have driven mostly free roads. Being with the caravan group, we travel on mostly toll roads... and we've never done that before so I don't think we quite realized how much that adds up.

And, we don't usually tour the entire country in three months. So our fuel costs are a lot higher on a monthly basis.

Let's have a look at the details...

Gasoline: Gasoline is now very expensive in Mexico, especially when you consider the average income. When we first began coming to Mexico, the price was around 7 pesos per liter. Now, it is around 17 pesos per liter. Sure, the Canadian dollar (CAD) has increased in value against the peso during that period, but not nearly enough to compensate. So the price per liter is now around the same as what we pay in Canada... $1.10 CAD per liter (about $3.60 USD per gallon).

We spent $870 CAD on fuel during the month of January. Yikes. (Keeping in mind that we probably lost $40 or so worth of fuel when we had that gas line leak).

2,650 kms (1,640 miles) driven in Mexico in January.

We drove 2,650 kms (1,640 miles) during the month of January. Far more than we normally would.

And much of that distance was on toll roads. We normally avoid the toll roads. Often, they aren't in the best of shape anyhow, and they are very expensive.

How expensive? Well that brings us to our next category.

Toll fees: We spent $303.50 on toll fees. Yikes again. 

Propane: We don't use very much propane. We're still on the same tankful that was filled up in Mission, Texas before we left. We spent $47.30 on propane, and that figure includes three of those little 1 lb Coleman disposable cylinders that we brought with us.

Grocery: Higher than expected, but this will average down over the next two months. We stocked up on some gluten free stuff, and Planters Mixed Nuts that I love. Total for the month was $393, which is not bad, but higher than what we normally spend in Mexico. February and March will be quite a bit lower.

Alcohol: At $202, again higher than normal but like the grocery department it should average down over the next two months. We stocked up on some wine before crossing the border. Wine is cheaper in the U.S. than it is in Mexico. Almost everything else (beer, scotch, tequila) is cheaper in Mexico.

Miscellaneous: Our new duvet cover and sheets ($158) are expensed here, so the month was a little high at $375. Other large expenses were our tourist visas ($71) and Mexico SIM card and cell charges ($42). Otherwise, not bad.

Entertainment: Very low, at $50. We would normally spend perhaps $100 a month in this category, but we have been out for a few meals and tours with the group, and part of our deal is that is covered for us. This is a benefit of the job, however it's sometimes touristy things that we wouldn't normally do on our own. 

Overnight: Our campground fees are covered while in Mexico. We spent $30 at the beginning of the month when it was so cold in Texas.

Motorhome: We spent $13 to repair Sherman's leaky fuel line.

So, total of $2,284. 

I am trying to reserve judgement until I see the final figures for the three month trip. But February and March will also be higher than normal because of fuel and toll fees. 



8 comments:

  1. If that figure is in U.S. dollars, you spent about as much as I spend for the month on average. Summer utility cost is high with A/C running 24/7 June through September.

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    1. No, I mentioned several times that it is Canadian dollars, since we are Canadian. You can subtract about 25% for USD equivalent.

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  2. Mexico is no longer cheap. Fuel costs especially have gone up a lot over the last few years. So have RV parks, some are charging in USD. The one in Paamul is the most expensive I have seen, at $50 US a night. Caravans use toll roads when possible, because it reduces the chances of having an accident considerably. Friends of mine just decided to take the free road (hwy80)from Guadalajara to Barra to save tolls. This is the highest accident prone hwy in Jalisco. They ended up getting creamed by a semi, doing thousands of dollars damage. So, the savings on the free road were not so great after all. The big problem in Mexico is that everything is Manana. Except when behind the wheel of a vehicle, LOL.

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    1. Mexico would still be cheap if we did it our way.

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    2. It all depends on how you travel & camp. Not everyone wants to rough it it & boondock. You can certainly do it on the cheap if you want to. You can't control fuel prices though.

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    3. That is exactly what we are saying! It can be done cheap, if that is how you want to travel. We don't consider the way we travel as roughing it in Mexico because we pretty much have the same amenities whether we are in a campground or dry camping/boondocking somewhere because we are rarely plugged into electricity because we don't trust it.

      As for the fuel, you are right you can't control the cost of it but you can control the distance that you travel. If we were doing this same route by ourselves we would never have traveled the distance than we have with the caravan this past month and less distance means lower costs on your fuel over the same time period.

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  3. Really appreciate the candid comments and summary of expenses......good to know the current “lay of the land”so to speak....hard to believe you covered so much mileage the past month! Keep on trucking and posting Kevin and Ruth!

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    1. You are welcome Lynette! We like to show everyone the whole picture, especially with a caravan because although the tour itself has been paid for you will still incur other expenses and it is good to know what those cost will amount up to. Don't get us wrong though, we are enjoying ourselves, it is just a little more expensive than if we had just come down to Mexico on our own and traveled the way we are accustomed to in the country.

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