Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

Monthly Expenses – May 2016

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 and in comfort, wherever we end up. 🙂

This report includes ALL of our expenses, 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. Dining out means eating at a restaurant and/or take-out food. The health category covers medicines and Mark's vitamins and supplements. Utilities are always phone and Skype-related, now that our internet is free. 

We have added a new expense category in May: charity. From now on, we will donate $10 a month to the animal sanctuary Best Friends. And, maybe, one day we will even adopt one of their rescue dogs. We both read a book about this amazing no-kill sanctuary in Utah years ago and the stories of the animals and caretakers still have a place in our hearts.

Here is an overview of our expenses in May. The amount I spent in Belgium is relatively low, thanks to the hospitality and generosity of my parents. It includes 150 dollars worth of chocolate goods I brought back to the US. Yum!

May 2016 Overview:


Travel (three week stay in Belgium + chocolate):


Household (new tent for our camping adventures this summer):

Dining out:


Car - fuel (several long drives to Eastern Massachusetts):

Utilities (phone):

Drinking out:


















$ 1290


  1. Wow! That is very impressive. $325 for 3 weeks in Belgium? Its amazing to see how inexpensively you living an adventurous lifestyle! Definitely makes me think I should sit down and track what we spend more closely.

    • Only track when you really care what you are spending, Sue… It can be shocking or eye-opening. We still have “no idea” how on earth we can spend $1000 a month with free accommodation… We have always been frugal, though, and even if/when we will have more money, we will be careful how to spend it. I hate the fact of spending so much right now, without actually doing or traveling much. We spent less on our boat and truck camper at times! I thank my parents for the cheap stay in Belgium. Some years, they even chip in for the chocolate expense! Yes, I am lucky. 🙂

  2. I think you need a separate category just for chocolate. Or, maybe I do 🙂 What’s oat milk like? Sounds intriguing.

    • Mark is allergic to cow milk. He used to drink soy milk for a while, but since it has not been proven that this is healthy to drink in regards to cancer, he changed over to oat milk and just loves it. He takes it with his freshly made granola in the morning and in a fruit shake in the evening. He especially likes the creaminess of it. I like it better than soy milk as well, which I couldn’t even drink without lifting my lip! 🙂 Try it sometime!

      • I need to explore the oat milk idea too, having just changed to a vegan diet. Soy didn’t “feel” good, and now we read it may not BE good from a cancer much conflicting info out there!

        • Try the oat milk, Keith, you might be pleasantly surprised. And, apparently, oats represent goodness. Nothing bad to be found about it online. 🙂 You can find it in most grocery stores for about $2-$3 a quart/box near where the non-refrigerated soy milk is located. If you are interested in other foods that are good in fighting cancer, let me know, since Mark has done heaps of research and has come up with a list of things he really believes make a difference.

  3. A new tent? Any idea where you’ll be camping this summer?

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

    • Vermont state parks and forests (we are currently house sitting in Western Mass. close to the Vermont border) this summer and Acadia NP after Labor Day. 🙂

  4. Coming from Australia, I am surprised you have no (health?) insurance component in your expenses. Or do you pay them annually?

    • Hi Catherine. Good question. I have a Greencard and my husband is American. Since we are in the lowest income bracket (we work hard, but for ourselves, so pay is not great… :-(), we qualify for free health care in the US, my husband under Massachusetts health care and I under the Affordable Care Act (Obama care). I still pay a minimal fee for health care in Belgium as well, because that is required to remain a citizen, and it gives me the chance to see a doctor affordably when I visit my home country. This amount adds up to about 200 euros a year, which I did not include in my expenses (thanks for pointing this out, I forgot about it and will add it to the annual overview in December), since it is coming straight out of my savings account in Belgium.

  5. Ha ha. A girl tgat blows the budget by splurging on chocolate, is my kind of girl. Especially Belgian chocolate!

    Oat milk? Have not had that, I will keep an eye out for it. After habing cancer ten years ago I do my best to eat very limited amounts of dairy, soy, sugar and caffeine. Almond mylk and cashew mylk are delicious made fresh, but hard to fo while on the road of course.

    • Oops sorty for the typos!

    • I do hope the chocolate lasts a whole year, until I can stock up in the source country again, Peta! 🙂 Not a lot of people seem to be familiar with oat milk… You should try it one day and might be pleasantly surprised. We have cut the same “ingredients” out of our diet after my husband’s diagnose (except for the dairy in my case). We feel so much better. Unfortunately, too many food items have sugar added to them, for no reason at all! It turns grocery shopping into a longer event than necessary.

  6. Accommodation = $0 is certainly better than Boat Maintenance = infinity 😄

    • Haha! For sure, Lisa. We do have a hard time grasping the amount we still spend each month, without those boat expenses… I think the US does that to you, no matter how hard we try to refrain from temptations.

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