Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

Monthly Expenses – September 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 breaking the bank. The less money you spend, the less you need to make. 🙂 That being said, Mark and I seem to manage one big expense a month for some reason, whether it is camper, 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, almond 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 as a permanent resident in the US. 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! For check-ups, we both return to the East Coast. I still pay a small quarterly fee in Belgium for health care (required to keep my citizenship), which I mention in my year report.

Once again, we did not succeed to stay below $1000 in September. Our biggest expense category was - you guessed it -  Zesty the Westy. We were actually not doing too shabby, when Mark noticed a new top hatch come up for sale on eBay. He won the bid and bought the manual hatch (as a spare for our camper van) for $255. This a very reasonable price, knowing that an electric replacement (not our preference and that's why we worry ours, at 13 years old, might break any time) costs around US$1000 and needs to be shipped in from Europe. Now, the question is: where will we store this massive spare part without tripping over it?

Zesty at our current house sit in Colorado. The top hatch is that massive contraption, in the middle of the roof, above the side window and in front of the AC unit

September 2017 Overview:

Car (Zesty repairs & parts : $643, diesel: $106, parking: $2):


Dining out:

Health insurance Liesbet:


Computer (hosting):

Entertainment (cable car):

Clothing (3 pairs of sunglasses):

Household (camper items):

Charity (Best Friends):





















$ 1431


  1. Thanks for sharing this so simply!

  2. Good question! I hope you find a solution that doesn’t involve injury to either of you.

    • That’s a good point, Anabel. I hadn’t thought about injuries before, just about annoyances. 🙂 As long as we keep doing these house sits, there will be a garage, or storage area for our new hatch.

  3. Oh no, another hatch that could fail and only be replaced by expensive shipping from a foreign country – it sounds like Zesty wants to compete with boating, lol! What a great idea to snap up an ebay part at such a great price.

    • Very funny! 🙂 There have been times that I have been reminded of the boat, its work and some of my ex-captain’s frustration, but all in all, is is nothing like the boat. In regards to costs, wounds, effort, patience or time. So far, anyway. Well, Mark did have some bloody knuckles the other day, and some cursing has been heard. 🙂

  4. Still seems like you did a great job to me. You guys are phenomenal at keeping your costs down.

    • We are trying and once the camper has all the parts and “gadgets” to run well, maintain power… we should be doing better. We hope to get under $1000 one day, and keep it there!

  5. In spite of Zesty’s needs I would say you two are the best budgeters on the planet.

    • Thanks, Sue. We try. And, we would do really, really well… without the camper. 🙂 This month a lot of money is being spent on diesel. But, hey, it was the perfect way to visit some of Utah’s national parks!!

  6. I agree with Sue’s comment above. You and Mark are amazing budgeters! I greatly admire and respect your commitment to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.

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