Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

Monthly Expenses – August 2016

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 and in comfort, 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. I read somewhere that "dining out" is meant to happen in fancy places. Not in this list! But, I do like the term "dining out" better than "eating out", so I'm keeping it. The health category covers medicines and Mark's vitamins and supplements. Utilities are always Skype-related, now that our internet is free and our phone costs are business-deductible.  You don't see health care costs, because Mark and I are eligible for free health care in the state of Massachusetts, since our income is  in the lowest bracket (for now). I still pay a small three-monthly fee in Belgium for health care (required to keep my citizenship), which I will report on at the end of the year.

Here is an overview of our expenses in August, which is long overdue. It appears that September is a month of "running out of time" and "trying to catch up". It is, indeed, super busy due to our trip to Acadia NP (more about that next week) and being back in Newburyport - our home base - for only a couple of weeks.  In August, we managed to stay under $1000 again. Unfortunately, in September and on-wards this is and will not be the case anymore. Without further ado, here is the break-down of my latest report:

August 2016 Overview:


Dining out (splurges!):

Clothing (hiking shoes Mark):


Miscellaneous (annual credit card fee):


Travel (2 nights of camping in Vermont):

Drinking out:


Utilities (Skype):

Car (fuel - drive to and in VT):




















$ 853


  1. As always, you guys do a good job of keeping costs down. Good hiking boots always cost a bit of money I’ve found, especially if you want them to last. Looking forward to hearing about Acadia NP.

    • Acadia was great! Mark actually ordered different boots first, but decided to go with a more expensive set (when they were on sale) that were Goretex (waterproof). We shouldn’t skimp on gear that we use a lot and that needs to last, I have learned.

  2. You guys were very frugal this month! I approve of the drinking out category! It’s fun to sit at the bar, have a drink and people watch for a while.

    • Drinking out is a fun activity, but drinking at home is much cheaper. I do love people watching and feel we should be doing things (like socializing) out more frequently. Maybe on the next house sit, where we will be able to walk to a bar. 🙂 You will see that category go up in November, I expect…

  3. A very frugal month. Always amazed by your monthly reports. Good hiking footwear is vital. Better to spend for long lasting items I think.

    • Agreed, Sue. In my younger years, I would save wherever I could, but decent gear makes all the difference! Stuff that is really needed in life benefits from being good quality. Since we don’t need much, we can afford investing in the things that matter.

  4. I need to work on our monthly grocery and gasoline expense. Your numbers are very impressive.

    • The grocery bill was extremely low, since we finished up a four month house sit and during those weeks, we try to eat all the food we have left, instead of coming up with certain meals and choosing our favorite snacks. When you have a truck, the gasoline/diesel expense will always be relatively high. Unless you stay in the same campground for a while. We sure notice the difference between our F-350 truck when traveling around in a truck camper and our little Prius now! 🙂

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