Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

Monthly Expenses – February 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. 

You now 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. As a matter of fact, I owe the government $1500 for health care insurance in 2016 (and a lot of taxes!), because our income was a bit higher than anticipated. 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 (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 mention in my year report.

Here is an overview of our expenses in February. It is a much higher than normal month, because we bought two sets of plane tickets for each of us. The first leg will be to Boston the end of April, from where we will both fly to Belgium for a month on May 20th. On the way back through Boston, we just have a short layover, before continuing on to San Francisco. Fuel costs are relatively high due to our return trip from Southern California. The good news is that we signed up for a fancy credit card, which gives us 100,000 points, if we spend $4000 in three months. We are doing our best to make that (high for us) number, and the flights - relatively cheap for what they offer - happily help. 🙂

February 2017 Overview:

Travel (flights from California to New England and Belgium):


Credit Card fee:

Dining out:

Car (fuel: $70; tolls: $10):


Health insurance Liesbet:


Health and Fitness:

Charity (Best Friends):























$ 2650


  1. So, without the airplane tickets, you guys are right on track — impressive!

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

    • Yep, about $1000 a month. It is quite ironic, though, since we are on such a budget throughout our lives and habits, but need to get up to $4000 in another two months and only have the plane tickets towards it right now… We are wracking our brain about how to do this, without going overboard on futilities. Who ever has a problem spending money, right? Well, I know a few things that would make me happy, and I am hoping to find an affordable weekend away to Barcelona or so while we are in Belgium and which we can book from here. 🙂

  2. Yay – a trip back home! I bet your friends and family are really looking forward to seeing you guys.

    • If they find out, they will. All depends whether they read my blog. 🙂 Family is very happy. I was very close to being in Belgium right now as well, but more about that tomorrow.

  3. Ah, flights are so much more reasonable from the States! Enjoy your trip home. I of course want to see photos.

    • If you book well ahead of time, yep! We usually don’t buy tickets three month prior, but it is beneficial. And, believe it or not, but, when Mark found flights in the morning, by afternoon, when we booked, they had already gone up $50 a pop (Air Canada :-)), so we searched for other flights. Of course, I did not mention our 9 hour layover in Iceland on the way there and 18 hours on the way back. We are still willing to suffer for the budget. 🙂

  4. Have a wonderful trip! Money well spent I would say. Your family and friends must be very excited at the prospect of having you visit.

    • I hope my friends and family will be excited about our visit, once they find out. 🙂 Unfortunately, the main person I go back home for, just passed away.

  5. You could buy a camper if you find one you like to get closer to the $4000. 🙂


    • Haha! Great idea, Jude. Not sure whether the private owner would take credit cards as part of the payment, though. 🙂 That being said, we are talking about a camper with someone right now. Not sure whether anything will come of it. His asking price is too high.

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