Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Shkodra, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Hiking the Peaks of the Balkans, June 13-24!

Thursday, September 30, 2021

September Expenses - things are about to get much cheaper!

September was a little higher than expected. Mostly because of our plan to ship our bicycles and a few other things to Germany with us. But, we also did a lot more driving than we originally planned, and the fuel added up.

We spent a total of $3,338 CAD ($2,620 USD). Here's how it all broke down...

Note, the following figures are in $CAD...

Fuel: We must have driven back and forth to Ruth's dad's house about a dozen times. We're sure glad that's over with. And, we took the grandkids down to the Toronto Zoo. We spent a total of $319 in gasoline.

Groceries: Despite things being really expensive here, and not being able to shop for bargains the way we usually do, it was still a little less than I budgeted for. Our grocery bill for the month came in at $592. 

Meals out: Zero. We did eat out once, but the other party covered the bill!

Alcohol: We spent $193 for the month, which was more than planned. And it wasn't for very much booze! I bought an expensive ($48) bottle of bourbon to share with the guys on my weekend away, and a somewhat pricey bottle of wine to leave for our house sitting hosts. We'll be glad to get back to countries where alcohol isn't taxed so heavily.

Miscellaneous: $185. Mostly for some clothing. I bought a new shirt, and Ruth bought a new jacket. Both on sale, but good quality so hopefully they'll last a long time.

Entertainment: $123 for the cost of the zoo tickets.

Overnight: $534. That was $150 for my guys weekend away, and $384 for two nights just outside expensive Toronto for our zoo trip.

Travel: The most expensive part of the month of September is only happening today... our flight back to Germany. Including the fees for changing our flights and the extra luggage charges, it's costing $1,393. Yikes. But, we love our bikes and didn't want to go through the hassle of selling them in Canada and repurchasing something new over there. It's still a hassle to ship them, but we figured this was the better option.

So, that all adds up to $3,338 CAD ($2,620 USD).

It's been an expensive year so far. But things are about to get much cheaper! 

Our budget for the next six months is about $1,500 CAD ($1,180 USD) per month. And I wouldn't be surprised to see some of those months come in even less than that. 


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  1. Wow, you covered a lot of ground this month! Thanks for sharing your expenses as it'll give John and I some perspective and discussing what our retirement will look like. Cheers and again, safe travels

    1. We sure did and we felt like things never slowed down the whole time we were in Ottawa this visit. If it was doing stuff on my Dad's house or visiting with the grandkids, then it was just catching up on things at the house in Manotick and enjoying both Sidney and Enke. Hopefully next time we come to Ottawa it will be a much more relaxing trip. I wish we had time to see you both again, we had every intention of having you stop by the house one afternoon but it just never happened.

      We hope that you are able to find our expense reports helpful for your future retirement, we always say life doesn't have to be expensive, you just have to learn the many small ways to save because it all comes down to how you want to spend that money and how much fun you can still have on a smaller budget, at least that is the way it works for us. :-)

  2. Enjoy your time in Europe, don't be in a hurry to come back.

    1. We are definitely going to enjoy our time in Europe and we are in no hurry to come back. It really is only our family and friends that make us head back "home".

  3. I'd like to have my son take his bike back to Germany after he visits us in the US at Christmas. Would you mind sharing a little bit more about that process and how to do it. I think you said you packed your own bikes. What airline are you flying and what was the cost of checking the bikes?

    1. My brother helped us package the bikes up with Kevin watching on. He probably went a little overboard on it but at least we know that they should get shipped undamaged this way. We will show you a picture of what the bikes looked like when they were shipped once we pick the bikes up from the airport, so watch out for a post more or less showing the process of putting them back together. Your son's main thing is to find a box to ship them in and he might be able to get one for any bike shop that aren't needing it anymore. We know that the bike peddles need to be removed and the handle bars need to be loosened and turned sideways or removed all together and then everything packaged up in the box. Leave the top of the box untaped as we found that the people at the airport needed to inspect the bikes before shipping, at least they did for us. Also it is wise to check with the airline when booking your flight to make sure that they have room to take the bike and that the plane is big enough if he has to take a small connecting flight before or after the overseas flight, also check to make sure what the weight limit is for the bicycle. As for the price it will all depend on the airline, normally there is a surcharge for the bikes, in our case it was $50 CAD ($40 USD) each.

  4. Really glad you are able to take your bikes with you, as that means I'll be seeing more bike ride photos in the future! Safe travels across the pond and hope the reunion with Max is a good one.

    1. We are as well! We really missed having our bikes with us last winter and especially once we got into Germany and the Netherlands earlier in the summer. You will definitely be seeing some bicycling photos in our blog posts in the coming weeks, as long as the weather doesn't get too cold on us.


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