Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

Monthly Expenses – July 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 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 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, almond 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 for cancer 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.

July was expensive (over $2000!), because of a big garage bill and long-distance travel from Arkansas to California. We had to buy a lot of diesel, but camped for free every night of that six-day journey. Owning a 12-year-old camper van incurs higher monthly expenses than a Toyota Prius, which we were fully aware of. This month's total hurts, but now Zesty is up to snuff and all the other maintenance, fixes and improvements are done ourselves, over time.

Swapping our Prius for an Airstream Westfalia camper van

July 2017 Overview:

Car (Zesty repairs: $780, CA smog test Prius: $38):


Fuel (gas: $22, diesel: $225):

Dining out (anniversary and other):

Household (equipping Zesty, the camper):


Health and Fitness (haircut L: $22, vitamins M: $24)

Health insurance Liesbet:


Drinking out:

Transportation (Uber + Lyft):

Computer (hosting):


Charity (Best Friends):























$ 2031


  1. It’s tough when you add up the numbers and realize what an expensive month it’s been, but I bet it’s worth it to pick Zesty up and get her into in good shape.

    • It will be worth it, Ellen. And, as Mark just said: “Spending about $1000 to get Zesty in good shape is a very different number than getting a sailboat in good shape after buying it.” 🙂 We haven’t forgotten about the “boat unit” measurement on Irie, where every amount (or unit) you spend equals about $1000! Glad that those days are over. 🙂

  2. Zesty looks like a great investment and hopefully she will keep rolling for many happy years to come :o) xxx

    • Thanks, Xenia. Not sure about the “investment” term, but it would be nice that he keeps his value, as all Westies seem to do. 🙂 Since we are very meticulous people, he will be in immaculate shape and we expect to get a good deal for him whenever we are done… many years from now.

  3. Understandable that with a purchase like Zesty comes the initial higher cost. Well worth it to ensure all is running safely as you begin your new chapter. Happy travels friends!

    • Thanks, Sue. Yes… we knew it would be a bit pricey in the beginning. August is not looking any better than July at the moment. But, you are right, safety comes first and… my husband is a very meticulous person, if you know what I mean. 🙂

  4. Glad Zesty is worth her weight and you’re having a good time with her. 🙂

    • We sure are enjoying our Zesty and are getting used to having him as a car to go grocery shopping and sightseeing. An expensive car that is. 🙂

  5. Victoria Marie Lees

    August 17, 2017 at 12:01

    A “relatively adventurous life,” Liesbet? You are very lucky in your adventures, my dear. More power and health to you both as you continue your adventurous life. Take care, my friend!

    • 🙂 Thanks, Victoria! Compared to our previous lifestyle of full-time sailing and RVing for over a decade, I had to call this current house and pet sitting lifestyle “relatively adventurous”, since we are usually settled in a real, comfortable house and in a convenient location. Life is less challenging than it used to be and we are enjoying every minute of it. Having somewhat of a routine and unlimited internet can be nice sometimes. 🙂

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