Out for a walk beside the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Heading to Nova Scotia around August 1st.

Sunday, July 7, 2024

June Expenses... more than double what we had planned!

Well, it's time to get this mess out of the way. I've been delaying telling you about our expenses for the month of June because there have been odd circumstances involved!

Our original budget for the month of June was $3,500 CAD ($2,565 USD). Which in hindsight, was a bit ambitious as it was. And then, on June 11th, we made the somewhat last minute decision to come back to Canada which of course would put us well over budget. And finally, we decided to buy this motorhome in London, Ontario. 

While the cost of the actual motorhome is a capital cost, there were a lot of expenses involved with just going down to get it. 

Then on top of that, we had flight problems with Wizz Air (I detailed that story here) and much of the cost won't be compensated.

So bottom line... we spent $7,267 CAD ($5,327 USD) for the month. 


That figure may or may not be final. We applied for compensation from Wizz Air due to our late flight, but they turned us down, citing "passenger handling reasons". What does that even mean?? It turns out that Wizz Air is horrendous for doing whatever it takes to make it as difficult as possible for you to get your compensation, including outright lying. Anyhow, we have passed the file onto one of the many flight compensation legal websites that will even go to court to get you your entitled compensation. They keep between 25% to 35% of the final amount received.

So, we may eventually get some credit back, but the girl there has already told us that although our claim is valid, Wizz Air will string it out right to the end. She said to expect to hear something within three months. In the meantime, I have done our expenses as if we are getting nothing back.

So, here's how it all broke down (the following figures are in $CAD)...

Fuel: We spent $496 on gasoline. That included our car rental in England at the beginning of the month, our car rental to get us from Toronto airport to London, Ontario, our new motorhome back to Ottawa, and our son's car back to Ottawa. (The motorhome and car both ended the month 3/4 full). Gasoline here in Ottawa is currently around $1.67 CAD per liter ($4.61 USD per US gallon).

Grocery: Total of $223. We ate out a fair bit, plus we had 11 days of meals included on the hiking trail. Those meals are included in the meals out category.

Our Peaks of the Balkans hiking package totaled €1,311 ($1,950 CAD) for the two of us. So I kind of broke that into thirds and allocated 1/3 each to the meals out, accommodation, and entertainment categories.

Meals out: Total of $1,092. That included some overpriced airport meals as we spent so much time in airports towards the end of the month. But, you gotta eat!

Alcohol: A little higher than expected, at $214. But, we enjoyed the end of the hiking day beers and wine at the guesthouses.

Miscellaneous: $413 total. $156 of this was a battery for our son's car that we have borrowed. $108 was to refill our keepgo cellular mifi. This is the emergency use WiFi data device that we use in many countries. Data is expensive, but we usually only fill it once a year. Also our new rain ponchos at $42 and the balance was just miscellaneous stuff. Oh, and I bought enough cheap cholesterol and blood pressure medication so that I hopefully won't have to buy any here in Canada!

Entertainment: $912 total. Mostly related to our hiking trip, but also a few drinks in British pubs at the beginning of the month!

Overnight: $1,211 total. Not bad, all things considered. That does NOT include the expensive Tirana airport hotel that we chose to stay at during our Wizz Air flight delay because... I received notification yesterday that they are going to pay the whole cost!

Travel: Including various car rentals, a total of $2,705! This last minute trip back to Canada has been an expensive endeavour. I mean, we knew it would be, but then when very little went according to plan, it became even more so. Hopefully we will get some credit back from the Wizz Air debacle, but best case scenario will be maybe $600 CAD. Certainly not enough to reimburse for the expenses and aggravation they caused. Oh well... it's part of travel!

Yikes. We're now averaging $4,038 CAD per month for the first six months of 2024. That's obviously not sustainable for us, but hopefully the worst is over. If we can bring that average down to $3,000 a month by the end of the year, we'll be okay.

July will be better. In fact, the next four months will be better, despite the fact that we are in very expensive Canada. Why...? Because we have a motorhome. Yes, the capital costs are there, but hopefully they will come back to us one day when we sell Igor. That will probably be a couple of years from now, but who knows. While we are not living in it yet, we will be starting August 1st. So, no more accommodation costs for the next three months after July ends. 

So... we have a budget of $2,700 CAD $1,980 USD) for the month of July. And we should be well under $2,000 a month for August, September, and October.

Nice price drop on the Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-1 6 Quart.

And in Canada...

This is the Solar Panel Kit that we bought for Igor. 

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