Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

Monthly Expenses – December 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 1% 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 starting in 2017. Utilities are always Skype-related, since that is how we make phone calls. 

From now on, you will see health insurance and costs related to my health care, since we are not in the lowest income bracket anymore and I am not a US citizen. Mark is still eligible for free health care in the state of Massachusetts as of today. If something were to happen outside of that state (we are currently in California), it will be expensive for either of us! I still pay a small three-monthly fee in Belgium for health care (required to keep my citizenship), which I will report on in my year report.

Here is an overview of our expenses in December. We really thought we would manage spending less than $1000, despite the holiday season, but, our car needed some work! Thanks to our friends Sue and David from Travel Tales of Life, our eating out category is lower than it could have been. 🙂 Next week, I will post our expense report of the year 2016.

December 2016 Overview:

Car (repair brakes: $300, fuel: $28):



Dining out:


Entertainment (events):

Health insurance Liesbet:


Drinking out:


Charity (Best Friends):


















$ 1068


  1. Wow, that’s impressive, especially with Christmas. I wish we had the self-control to only spend $130 on gifts but then David wouldn’t get anything. 😉

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

    • Haha! I still remember that photo of your Christmas tree on the boat with the pile of gifts underneath! It’s just that we – really – don’t need anything. And, whatever we buy, we have to transport in our car everywhere we go! That’s restriction enough (and the thought that we’d rather save as much money as we can for our future roamings) to restrain ourselves. 🙂

  2. Hi, Liesbet – This is a very inspiring post! I am also impressed with your charity of choice! I just found out about Best Friends — it sounds like an amazing organization. Have you been there?

    • Many years ago, Mark and I read a non-fiction book about Best Friends, which really touched us. Once we “semi-settled” on land, we wanted to give some money to charity. Mark suggested Best Friends, which an awesome organization. It is not a lot, but we don’t make a lot, so anything is better than nothing. 🙂 We have not been there, but it is on our list, once we have a camper again. And, I have a sneaking suspicion we will not leave empty handed. 🙂

  3. I love that $0 for accommodation 🙂 yay for house sitting.

    • We have a feeling this year there will be some months where we will have to stay in motel rooms in between sits, which would change that $0… 🙁 We don’t have family in the area, but there are some friends where we could potentially lay our heads a few nights.

  4. Wow! You are living “on the cheap!” Good for you guys! We have a guest room if you ever need to stay in Sacramento area in between gigs!

    • Thank you so much for the generous offer, Terri. We might take you up on that, maybe sooner than later (as in next week)! And, we would still love to meet you both, of course! 🙂

  5. As always Liesbet your monthly report inspires, especially in December and the Christmas scene. I am curious about dental expenses and how you manage that. It’s at top of mind for me these days as I’m in the midst of some
    Princely procedures.

    • I thought health care in Canada was pretty progressive and affordable, Sue. Sorry to hear about the dental procedures. It is probably not of much help, but Mark has Mass Health (state insurance in Massachusetts), which is free for him due to our low income and it includes his twice a year check-ups and emergencies in that state. He is skipping one of these check-ups, since we are in California now. He does have to pay for fillings and such. I have no dental insurance in the US and it is the only thing I still take care of on a yearly visit to Belgium in regards to my medical needs, whenever I go back.

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