Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

Monthly Expenses – March 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 (we are currently in California), it will be expensive for either of us! Every six months, we have to fly or drive to the East Coast for check-ups. 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 March. This month, the car brought us above $1000. The total could have been much higher, but our generous visitors,  my cousin Griet and her husband Wim (regulars on Irie as well) treated us to a wonderful weekend in Yosemite National Park, took us out to dinner and contributed towards wine, fuel and tolls. Thank you, guys!

March 2017 Overview:


Car (insurance: $313; property tax: $55; fuel: $20; tolls: $7):

Dining out:

Travel (National Park pass):

Drinking out:

Health insurance Liesbet:


Computer (software to file taxes):

Charity (Best Friends):


















$ 1261


  1. It’s amazing the two of you can live on so little. You’re the Queen of Budgeting!

    • I love the title! 🙂 We try to stay under $1000 a month, but that proves to be hard. On the upside, these months we had to spend a certain amount of money to qualify for a very advantageous credit card and we are right on track for that! 🙂

  2. Yes, you certainly can live on a small amount and do much with it. Depends on your priorities in life, I would rather have the opportunity to travel than the latest and greatest accessories. Only have one suitcase each 🙂

  3. Love Yosemite! What a great weekend escape 🙂

    • We did have a nice weekend. Certainly a treat, but too bad that Monday was a workday again and Mark did not get to enjoy that day’s excursion…

  4. The National Park Pass — a great investment. We’re very fortunate because David (who’s 17 years older than me), has a Senior Pass so we get into all the parks for free and pay half price for camping. It’s a great perk!

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

    • You are fortunate, Stephanie! That perk is awesome, especially the 50% off camping as well. Only recently did I learn (from Janis at Retirementally Challenged) that the Senior Pass is a lifelong arrangement and not a yearly one. I just hope that having this pass now will urge us to actually make (and have) the time to visit more parks. This will mostly depend on the house sits we “score”.

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