Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

Monthly Expenses – October 2016

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 and in comfort, 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. I read somewhere that "dining out" is meant to happen in fancy places. Not in this list! But, I do like the term "dining out" better than "eating out", so I'm keeping it. The health category covers medicines and Mark's vitamins and supplements. Utilities are always Skype-related, now that our internet is free and our phone costs are business-deductible.  You don't see health care costs, because Mark and I are eligible for free health care in the state of Massachusetts, since our income is  in the lowest bracket (for now). I still pay a small three-monthly fee in Belgium for health care (required to keep my citizenship), which I will report on at the end of the year.

Here is an overview of our expenses in October, which are much higher than usual, because of our Annapolis Sailboat Show event and all the traveling we did.

October 2016 Overview:


Car (fuel:$210, inspection: $35, tolls:$10):

Travel (motels road trip and Tahoe):

Out-of-pocket business expenses Annapolis:

Dining out:

Drinking out:


Alcohol (wine and beer):

Health and Fitness (vitamins):

Computer (domain hosting):

Utilities (Skype):

Charity (Best Friends):

























$ 1546


  1. Even with so much travel and extra expenses, you guys are still pretty frugal!

    • I just wish that we would use some of our money for “fun” instead of just for getting places and maintaining “life”. Living frugally has its advantages, but disadvantages as well. For some reason, we rarely allow ourselves to spoil ourselves. I always say it is because we don’t make much money, but maybe it is a mental thing as well…

  2. Seeing your postage expense made me think about how I rarely mail anything, but when I do, I’m always surprised by how much stamps cost.

    • For some reason, we do mail things once in a while. Mostly because of the business, but also because I want to send some post cards or birthday cards to Belgium to the very old and very young members of my family. 🙂 This month’s expenses will have print costs as well, because the printer at our current house has no ink… That’s a new expense. 🙂

  3. It is with interest I read your comment Liesbet about not spoiling yourselves. If you were to indulge yourself what would it be? I’m headed for a massage shortly which is a self spoiler although I like to think of it as a way to keep me moving.
    Always interesting to read your monthly statement. Sending good wishes your way for November.

    • Thanks Sue! Not sure what I would do to indulge myself. All-you-can-eat Chinese, maybe? And then I would regret it, because my stomach will object and all my “dieting efforts” would be in vain! 🙂 I guess it is just not part of my personality (pathetic, probably, I know), but once in a while buying an ice cream or going out to dinner fits us and is a spoil enough. On the same topic… I have no idea what I want from Mark for my birthday. I feel like we have everything we need! Travel is my only passion and even with that, we are a bit burned out right now. See, it is easy to be frugal this way! 🙂 Enjoy your massage!

  4. I always find these posts extremely interesting. Thanks for being so candid. If you don’t mind me asking, why is your internet free? Is it because the home owners let you use theirs?

    • Usually the home owners pay for all the utilities at their house. Unless the house sitters are abusing the situation, of course. All of the places we house and pet sat have had WiFi throughout the house that we are welcome to use. They pay their monthly fees regardless. In areas where the internet is only accessible over cell data connection, this would not be the case. But, our main requirement doing these sits is that there is decent internet available for us to work. Other than that, we are low-maintenance. 🙂 And, in return for that, we take good care of their dogs, house and yard.

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