View from the top of Old Man of Coniston hike in Lake District National Park, England.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Preston, Lancashire, England.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Wyke, West Yorkshire, England on May 29th!

Monday, April 1, 2019

March Expenses and 4 month Mexico Expense Review

Well, we just ended four full months in Mexico. So, a good time to go over our expenses with you for that period.

But first, let's start with the month of March itself. We had a good month financially. We spent a total of $1,461 CAD ($1,100 USD) for the month. But, I need to caution that does NOT include campground fees which were covered by the RV Caravan group that we ran.

Let's have a look at the breakdown. (All figures in Canadian dollars. Subtract about 25% for $USD equivalent).

Gasoline: We spent $434 on fuel for the month. That got us back to the Texas border, with less than 1/4 tank to go. The idea was to arrive at the border reasonable empty, and we did so. Gas is much cheaper in Texas!

Toll Roads: $22.55 on toll roads. For this entire trip, we tried to stay off the toll roads. More on that down below.

Propane: Nothing during the month of March. We are still working on the propane we bought February 9th!

Groceries: Only $212. But, we ate out a LOT. See "Entertainment".

Alcohol: A little high, at $188. But, we bought some bottles that are being sent back to Ontario and they are included in that. And, we won't be drinking in Australia to give our livers some recuperation! See...? You can justify anything you want. :-)

Miscellaneous: Pretty high, at $360. But, that's mostly because of new eye glasses for me (Kevin) that cost $230. Otherwise, this category was pretty average.

Entertainment: A little high, at $206. Other than the ATV tour we did, and a few smaller excursions, this is almost all lunches out. We LOVE eating out in Mexico!

Overnight: $37 at Lake Casa Blanca State Park. As I said earlier, our other camping fees while in Mexico were covered by the caravan. More on that below.

I charged out our Texas State Parks Pass to April's expenses since that is when it will be mostly used.

So, a total of $1,461 CAD ($1,100 USD) for the month.

Now, let's have a look at the entire four month trip... We spent $7,000 CAD during the four months. But, that includes a whole bunch of one time items, like a new camera, and new camp chairs and a few other things.

We drove 5,400 kms (3,350 miles) while in Mexico. We spent a total of $1,965 in fuel to do that. An average of $491 a month.

We tried to stay off the toll roads. But, you have to know when it makes sense to do so. The free roads usually offer a lot more scenery, and sometimes they are in better shape than the toll roads. Or, sometimes the toll road is in better shape than the free road! We are pretty experienced, but things do change year to year. Sometimes it's a guessing game, but if you guess the free road, at least if you're wrong you aren't paying the toll! We spent a total of $259 CAD over the four month period. Compare that to last year's Yucatan caravan when we spent $721 CAD over a three month period!

We spent $102 on propane during the four months. Often, we are not plugged in to electricity in Mexico, even while at an RV park. Many RV park electrical systems in Mexico are under powered, and we prefer the stability of our self contained battery and solar system.

Groceries... December was a heavier month due to stocking up of some gluten free product prior to crossing the border, but when it was all averaged out we spent $272 per month on groceries. Remember though, we eat out quite a bit in Mexico and that is reflected in our "Entertainment" expenses.

Alcohol... we admit it, we drink too much while in Mexico. I think we only missed one happy hour during the whole four months! But, what's life if not for doing the things you enjoy? Anyhow, it all comes at a price, and we averaged out to $188 a month for four months.

Miscellaneous was about normal. Our cell phone and internet bill averaged $35 a month. Laundry about $20 a month, but we do a lot of hand laundry while in Mexico. Stuff dries so quickly when it is hung up outside. And the rest was taxis and Uber and local buses etc.

Entertainment was mostly meals out... it worked out to about $175 a month.

Campgrounds are not included in this report, because they were all billed to the caravan expenses. However, the prices ranged from 200 pesos per night, to 500 pesos per night. I would say that a realistic average of campground prices is probably 300 pesos ($16 USD, $21 CAD) per night if you stay away from the more expensive coastal areas which includes just about anything on the coast north of Puerto Vallarta.

Motorhome expenses? We had NONE. Compared to last year, Sherman totally behaved himself this trip. Other than a few minor incidents that I was able to repair myself, he did not cost us any money! Way to go Sherman!

So, we've had a good start to the year financially. We are really curious to see how our Australia trip works out in this department. I have a feeling it will be cheaper than you think!

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  1. I think it's great that you only missed one happy hour! It suggests your willingness to personally engage your tour group. I suspect other tour operators are less "hands on" 😂

    1. We only missed one happy hour as a group, only because it was raining and there was nowhere to sit that was sheltered! We probably all still had a drink or two in our units though. ;-)

      Just about everyone loved our happy hours where we would discuss the happenings of the day, relive past ones, talk about what was going on in the near future for the caravan and what to expect, go over our route if we were traveling the next day or play LCR (Left, Center, Right) game. "Happy Hours" were an important part of the trip, whether you drink or not! :-)

  2. Expensive glasses. If you know your prescription and have a pair of spec that fit with the dimensions written in the side then try this company

    1. Way cheaper what good glasses would have cost us in either Canada or the USA.

      Kevin has bought cheap glasses before from two different online eyeglass companies and while they were ok, they also weren't great. His last pair did not work well enough for driving, computer use, reading and just regular day to day use (he has progressive glasses) so he was carrying around several different pairs of glasses plus sunglasses that weren't prescription ones. Now he only has to carry around the one pair and he finds these to be far superior to the others, plus they come with a sunglass lens that magnetically sticks to the frames and you can't even tell that they are separate piece. He is totally happy and feels he really got his money worth with these glasses. Thanks for the suggestion though. :-)


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