Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

Monthly Expenses – April 2017

Expenses - image

Every month, I post a report of our expenses to show that it is possible to live a comfortable, exciting and relatively adventurous life without being rich. Or even without owning/earning a lot of money. That being said, Mark and I seem to manage one big expense a month for some reason, whether it is car, plane, travel or computer-related. Luckily, we live totally rent-free, wherever we end up. 🙂

This report includes ALL of our expenses, in US$, for the two of us. Under groceries we incorporate all the food, produce and non-alcoholic drinks (100% orange juice, oat milk for Mark and organic 2% milk for me) predominantly bought in supermarkets. Toiletries belong in that category as well. Dining out means eating at a restaurant/event or purchasing take-out food. The health category covers non-prescription medicines and Mark's vitamins and supplements; medical contains prescription drugs and doctor's visits. Utilities are always Skype-related, since that is how we make phone calls. 

Health insurance and costs are related to my health care. Mark is still eligible for free health care in the state of Massachusetts as of today. If a non-emergency were to happen outside of that state, it will be expensive! Every six months, we have to fly or drive to the East Coast (where we are a this time) for check-ups. I still pay a small quarterly fee in Belgium for health care (required to keep my citizenship), which I mention in my year report.

Here is an overview of our expenses in April. We managed to stay under $1000, our loose goal, but car expenses were higher than usual, due to maintenance, extra sightseeing and paying up front for my MA driver's license. If I include the money we spent on Tax Day, our total would break all records in the "monthly expense history of Mark and Liesbet" (barring the cost of a sailboat or a camper). Because our income was a bit higher than expected last year (we are self-employed and don't know ahead of time how much money we will generate with sales of The Wirie), we ended up funding the US government much more than usual.

April 2017 Overview:

Car (repairs: $122; MA license: $115; fuel: $86; tolls: $20):


Dining out:

Travel (buses to/from airports in CA and MA, 1 checked bag):

Health insurance Liesbet:

Clothing (necklace for my oma's ashes):

Computer (hosting):

Health and Fitness:


Charity (Best Friends):

Entertainment (book):

Drinking out:





















$ 914


  1. I never know whether to feel impressed or depressed after reading your monthly expenses. Lol.

    • 🙂 I usually feel depressed when I post them and cannot fathom how on earth we can possibly spend US$1000 every month when living rent-free and being frugal in general. While we track everything, this still remains a mystery to me. Currently, we blame the high cost of living in California and the car maintenance. Living on the boat was cheaper… if you didn’t count the boat-related expenses, which we happily don’t have anymore, but still…

  2. A driver’s license in Massachusetts cost $115?? Wow!
    When I look at your expenses I get wishful. With my finances and debt I just can’t foresee being able to ever life like this. I’m envious though.

    • The debt-thing is a toughie and something I never had to deal with, being from Belgium and going to school there (and credit cards not being a part of my life then). It is a whole different conversation, but it totally boggles my mind how graduates in this country start their adult lives with so much debt! It is a sure way to keep the economy going and to refrain young people from a life less ordinary.

      The written exam costs $35, the road test $30 and the license $50. Yep… you better pass everything in the first try. (I did! Yay! :-))

  3. In some ways it sucks to pay more federal taxes than you anticipated, but in other ways it’s great as it means the business did well during the past year.

  4. It seems you are doing well. People, in general, spend way too much money for living expenses. Since we’ve retired, we’ve learned to live with a lot less and spend the extra on adventures!

    • Adventures create better memories than “stuff” in our opinion! Most people are also very spoiled, and life for them is all about ease and comfort, which adds up financially…

  5. You should share your secrets. Like how do you live rent-free wherever you go?

    Also, when I tried to hop on over to your blog, the link in your comment didn’t work and your profile was set as private. It took a little work to find your blog. I suggest making your Blogger profile public. 🙂

    • My husband and I have been house and pet sitting full-time for a year and a half, Chrys. We offer our services and love in exchange for a free place to live, ideally months at a time. The is more info about that when following the “rent-free” link, and I often write about this lifestyle in other blogs. I am hoping to share some “frugal” tips in the near future.

      Not sure why that link in my comment didn’t work. Annoying though for the comment returner. Sorry. I am looking into that “private” profile setting on Blogger, but it seems related to my Google account. My Google account profile says “public”. All very confusing. I’ll do some more searching. Thanks for pointing this out! WordPress seems to be easier than Blogger…

  6. I’m impressed! Especially at the low cost of food. Of course, I’m shopping for four, so I should figure out how much it would be for just the two of us.

    • Our grocery cost was extremely low the past month, since we wrapped up a house sit (which means eating everything that is left without replacing it – I love this process! :-)) and when moving into the in-laws’ house, the fridge was filled… The amount will certainly be higher for May!

  7. Yikes! Sorry about the taxes. That’s one thing that sucks about being self-employed…it’s like this anvil hovering over your head all year. At least it means you did well, which is great, but still, those unexpected bills aren’t fun. Been there!

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