Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

Monthly Expenses – June 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. 

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.

June was not the most usual month for us either, what with being in Belgium until June 19th, having a quick stop-over in Reykjavik, Iceland and a long journey back to the West Coast of the US, where we picked up this current three-week house sit the evening we arrived. You will not find any expenses from our remaining days in Belgium in this overview, because my wonderful parents took care of all the grocery shopping, fuel and train rides, and, because I sold enough of my belongings (my African drum - sad to see it go - being the biggest provider) to pay for our other, modest, expenses. The cost of our vacation in Budapest is included, but, the hotel was "paid" with miles.  The flights were part of last month's report. Our biggest expense category for June 2017 was no doubt travel, followed by a hefty grocery bill when we arrived in Oakland, California.

June 2017 Overview:

Travel (Budapest $200, bus transfers $175, baggage fee $25):


Household (tools, compost bucket, SS water bottle):

Health and Fitness (vitamins Mark):

Dining out:

Health insurance Liesbet:

Medical (co-pay scan Liesbet):


Car (fuel)

Charity (Best Friends):





















$ 1143


  1. That’s impressive! We’re drowning in our budgetary sorrows over here thanks to the emergency haulout. Somehow, I think your month sounds like it was a lot more fun (and less expensive!).

    • Oh, Stephanie… I don’t know what to say. I’m so sorry you had to get hauled out again, totally unexpected. It truly sucks! I’m sure we had a much better, more fun and cheaper experience than you two – most people probably did. 🙁 I am cheering really loudly that Cambria will get sold fast and that everything will go according to plan from now on out!!! Can you hear me cheer??

  2. Travel is always worth it. Glad you still manage to do it, even on a micro-budget. It’s inspiring!

  3. My husband and I have starting talking about retirement and a desire to travel, but not the quick rush around craziness of two week vacations – much more leisurely. So, the idea of house-sitting has come up more than once as a way we can make our dreams come true and afford it! I’m so glad to have found your blog (or found each other). 🙂 And you are so right – being rich in happiness has nothing to do with money.

  4. In this month you will be in US. So what would be an estimated budget you are planning for July 2017.

    • Hi Amber! Thanks for swinging by and commenting. We always try to stay under US$1000 a month for both of us, wherever we are. In some countries this is easier than in others. Actually, we find California to be too expensive for us and plan to house sit in other states, come fall.

  5. Wow…I never thought of this before. This report is so impressive. It sounds great that you too prefer non-alcoholic drinks 🙂 Overall, fantastic budgeting.

    • Thanks, Stephanie. Every month, there is a category that is higher than the others. Usually, groceries are what we spend most of our money on, during times that we don’t travel too much. When insurance policies are due, the car category is the highest!

  6. In reading the comments above it is interesting to hear that California is more expensive.Is that cost of groceries in particular? I would think with all of that fresh produce being grown right there it might be less expensive than being shipped.

    • California has very high taxes, which is reflected in alcohol, fuel and restaurant/grocery bills. Since we seem to be house sitting in desirable locations, like the Bay Area and Sonoma County, food items in all the stores are pretty high. We have found the best price/quality options out there (we first go to Grocery Outlet, then to Trader Joe’s, and only when needing something specific, do we add a “normal” grocery store like Safeway to the mix), but the tax on the receipts is high and the prices in these stores are also higher than, say, in Massachusetts. We figure we would spend $100-$200 less a month if we house sat in another state.

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