Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

Monthly Expenses – January 2018

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 breaking the bank. The less money you spend, the less you need to make. 🙂 That being said, Mark and I seem to manage one big expense a month for some reason, whether it is camper, 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 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.

Health insurance and costs are related to my health care as a permanent resident in the US. 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! For check-ups, we both return to the East Coast. I still pay a small quarterly fee in Belgium for health care (required to retain citizenship), which I mention in my year report.

We finally did it... We stayed under $1000. A good start for 2018. But, it was an unusual month. Most of January, Mark and I stayed in Newburyport, Massachusetts, instead of San Diego, California, to take care of his parents. So much for a warm winter! On a financial note, life is generally cheaper there (except for wine), our plane tickets were "bought" with miles, fuel and parking were paid for, and the grocery costs were shared.

January 2018 Overview:


Dining out:


Health insurance Liesbet:

Health & Fitness (haircut, vitamins + eye drops Liesbet):



Medical (co-pay eye doctor):

Transportation (bus from airport):


Charity (Best Friends):



















$ 715


  1. Wow! This is so impressive, Liesbet. So, will you now try for under $500? 🙂 Nice job!

    • If it would be just me, I would try (and succeed) on a budget of $500, Jill, but no way we would shoot for that for the two of us! Life would be even less fun! 🙂

  2. That is awesome! I really love the new cover shot of Westie too! We are being really cheap at the moment too….but I do miss access to Amazon Prime.

    • The interesting thing about the cover shot is that there are actually four different ones (or so) and they rotate through, so sometimes you see one and then another. I think… 🙂

      Good for you both to be cheap. That’s what happens when you are in the Bahamas and going through provisions instead of through your savings. And, don’t have Prime access. Our months in the Bahamas were the cheapest we ever had, surprisingly enough… (And I am talking about less than $500 a month -those were the days :-)). Enjoy!

  3. Wow, those are some low expenses! Two dollars in postage is almost unheard of.

    • We rarely send stuff by mail anymore, except for birthday cards to the nieces and nephews. This particular stamp was for sending 10 blog (“business”) cards to a sailing friend in Maylaysia. Unfortunately, she had to leave by boat before they arrived. So, $2 down the drain. 🙂

  4. I like your accounting – that speaks to my inner accounting heart. All the best to you and your family!

  5. That is a great month from an expense point, but it’s a shame the reason why you had to travel there 🙁

    • Yeah… the weeks we spent back east appear to be cheaper, but we’d rather remain west! 🙂 We just left expensive California, though, so (financial) things should improve.

  6. Hi Liesbet! VERY impressive for sure and an inspiration to all of us who like to be frugal. Thom and I don’t even come close. Luckily we live free and clear of all debt but our health insurance costs are larger than your entire monthly expenses. YIKES! I have no idea how families manage the cost (but that’s another topic.) Glad to hear you are ahead of your goal and am sure February will be great too. ~Kathy

  7. I echo what your other commenters have said: TERRIFIC! Obviously, you will never need credit counseling or debt consolidation services. 😀

  8. Great job! You’re clearly the budgeting queen. I need to take some pointers from you.

    • I really hope to focus some of my future blogs around budgeting and frugal living. But, when you try to stick to one post a week (it would take up too much precious time, otherwise) and keep having these mini-adventures, it is hard to cover all the topics I crave to report on!

  9. Despite the chaotic month, seems as though you two should treat yourself to something special with the great financial month! 🙂

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