Peyto Lake, Alberta.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ruth is in Calgary, and Kevin is in Jasper, Alberta, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Nova Scotia on August 17th.

Friday, January 1, 2021

December Expenses - Yikes! And 2020 financial review...

Well at first glance, it looks like we had a really expensive month. In fact, our most expensive month ever.

We spent a total of $8,847 CAD ($6,943 USD).

However, a more detailed look reveals that it wasn't too bad. A big chunk of that expense was to have our eye surgery done. And we consider that an investment, not an expense. (I will talk a little more about that another day.) So we could remove $6,097 CAD ($4,785 USD) right there.

That leaves December expenses at $2,750 CAD ($2,160 USD). And if it weren't for that car accident, our expenses would actually have been a little lower than the budget called for!

Let's have a look at the breakdown. (The following figures are all in Canadian dollars)...

Fuel: We only filled up the rental car twice, and the second time was just before month end so we are starting January with pretty much a full tank. We spent $85 on gasoline for the month.

Groceries: A little more expensive in December. We spent a total of $340, compared to $292 in November. But, the fridge is pretty full going into January!

Meals out: We only ate out once during the month at a cost of $14.

Alcohol: We've really cut back. I only buy four half liter bottles of beer per week, and we usually go a couple of nights per week with no alcohol at all. The other nights we have a couple of small glasses of wine. But, alcohol here is almost as expensive as it is in Canada. So we still spent $125.

Miscellaneous: We spent $313, but of course this is also the category that technically includes our eye surgery. Other than the eye surgery, the biggest chunk of this was travel emergency medical insurance. Then there was also a little for cellular access. That was about it though.

Entertainment: We only spent $18 in December, and it was all getting into ruins sites here in Turkey.

Overnight: We stayed in places longer, which meant we were able to negotiate better prices. Our total for the month was $628 which turns out to be an average of $20.25 per night.

Travel: Just our rental car expenses. The monthly cost was $357, but of course my boo-boo added on another $870 for a total of $1,227.

Yes, we did also buy some flight tickets for our trip to Tanzania in January, and our return to Europe in March. But those won't be expensed until the month they actually happen.

If we include the eye surgery, December was our most expensive month ever, at $8,847 CAD ($6,943 USD).

Let's have a look at the full year...

In total for 2020 (and including the eye surgery), we spent $32,370 CAD ($25,400 USD).

However, even including the eye surgery, 2020 as a whole was not our most expensive year ever. That prize belongs to 2018 when we spent $35,000!

Our month to month totals for 2020.

Breaking down the averages probably gives you a better idea though.

If we remove the one time expense of the eye surgery, it looks something like this...

Average monthly expenses for 2020.

Our monthly average (without the eye surgery) for 2020 came to $2,189 CAD ($1,718 USD).

Not bad.

When we used to spend a whole year traveling and living in our motorhome in North America, we used to average out to between $1,300 to $1,600 per month. I expect that we will be able to do that again traveling and living in our motorhome in Europe as well, not including the capital cost of the motorhome of course. The difference with having a motorhome in Europe is going to be the probably twice yearly trips back to Canada to visit.

Looking forward to 2021, we are going to start off by spending even more money. January and February will both be expensive months as we are going to be in Tanzania doing some mountain hiking and safaris!

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And in Canada...


  1. I agree your eyes are an investment. Nice to see you are still keeping your costs downs.
    Wishing you both a Safe, Healthy and Happy New Year.

    It's about time.

    1. We are always trying to keep our costs down, that will never change! :-)

      Thank you and we wish you both the best for 2021.

  2. I am amazed that you do all that you do on that amount!! and in another country right now. I clicked through your Amazon link and bought a frying pan a few days ago, so hopefully those pennies will help. :)


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