Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

Monthly Expenses – May 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.

Everything on the blog is a bit delayed this month, due to our travels and busy schedule. May and June are unusual spending months, partly because of this, and partly because of a new development I will report on later. Here is an overview of our normal expenses in May. Mark and I were located in Massachusetts for three weeks of the month, followed by ten days in Belgium/the Netherlands.  We passed the $1000 mark, because of our long weekend in Friesland (or our upcoming travel in the US). Driving an SUV around instead of our economical Prius raised our fuel budget. The price for all the plane tickets have been calculated in the expense reports of previous months.

May 2017 Overview:

European travel (long weekend in Friesland - 358 euros):

US travel (upcoming trip in July - train tickets):



Car (fuel $66, hospital parking $8):

Miscellaneous (House Carers membership):

Health insurance Liesbet:


Dining out:

Charity (Best Friends):





















$ 1287


  1. Now you have me curious about this new development 🙂

  2. You never cease to impress me with your monthly budget. I need to learn from you 😉 I too am VERY curious about your new development!

    • Spending less than the average person, or even traveler, is easy, since we never have to pay for accommodation and utilities. It also helps that we don’t care about gadgets and material goods much. 🙂 Another month and a half and the “secret” will be revealed.

  3. A new development. Train tickets. Are you guys coming to buy Cambria? 😉

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

    • You had me smile there, Stephanie! 🙂 While I would love meeting you both and riding up to Washington this summer, a sailboat is probably the last thing we are interested in right now. I think you are realizing more and more why, these days… Which I am very sorry to hear and read about! Just know that we totally understand what you guys are going through right now, and I truly hope you do not get into the state we were in by the time we left Irie (before she was sold!).

  4. Ooh, the new development sounds exciting! Even with your travel, you did a pretty good job staying on budget.

  5. That’s awesome. My hubby and I are planning to travel a great deal after the kids are all moved out, but until then, there’s just a few too many reasons to stick to one place.

    • Not having kids is one of the reasons we can keep up this lifestyle, Crystal. I’m sure you will enjoy your travels once those responsibilities have eased. Or, you can take your youngest ones with you at some point, in a few years – travel is the best education I have come across. 🙂

  6. You are quite the talent when it keeps to sticking with a budget Liesbet, Maybe you have to write a book about that? Food for thought. 🙂

    • It would probably make a good “how-to” book, but quite boring, if you ask me. I don’t have your sense of humor. 🙂 It is food for thought, though! Maybe a short e-book one day. “How to live an adventurous life on a budget.” With real-life experiences all over the place, literally and figuratively speaking. 🙂

      • You may be on to something there Liesbet. I think that would make an excellent book. How many people would like to live with travel adventures, which of course requires a good budget. Not everyone knows how to do that. You should seriously think about that. And , not every book has to be funny, especially if it’s a self help book. Think about it. 🙂

  7. Hi, Liesbet – I’m not sure how I missed this post. I am glad that I checked back. I greatly appreciate you posting your monthly expense reports. They are very inspiring — especially for retirees!

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