How the budget working for us so far?..Revealing numbers to share…

Toward the end of every stop in our travels, we’ve worked on the budget recalculating several factors:

1. The funds required until the end of our established bookings thus far. We will continue on from May 14, 2015, the date when our set bookings at this point will end. But for the purpose of the budget, our calculations end on that date. Once we book beyond that day, we will extend our calculations accordingly. Based on these calculations, we have 646 days remaining.

2.  Readjust future expenses, according to realities we’ve continued to experience. For example, the cost of food, car rental, actual travel costs, etc.  Estimates were used until we actually “booked that flight” or “paid for that excursion.”

3.  Based on the above figures, I calculate a monthly and daily total incorporating those fixed expenses:  insurance for personal property, health insurance, MiFi rental, clothing replacement, personal effects, and a monthly/daily total without these fixed expenses to illustrate what the travel portion is actually costing.

When we began this process these estimates were based on an amount of money we were willing to shell out each month, the same amount we would have been willing to spend we had a nice condo in a warm climate along with the associated living expenses, leaving enough money out of our monthly income for savings, unexpected expenses, and emergencies. 

The goal was simple in our minds.  Only spend as much money per month/per year to avoid worrying about money, a goal most of us have all of our lives.  It’s ironic that for us, it took retiring to achieve that goal. 

After a lifetime of “stuff” we came to realize how easily we could live without car payments, house payments, property taxes, maintenance, boats, cable TV, outrageous insurance bills, and on and on. 

At this point, much to our delight, we are holding our own, maintaining the budget as we’d planned, preventing any surprises. Of course, we realize, we don’t “spend” much money beyond our living expenses, by our choice to avoid stress, a state of being on which we place a high premium.

Today, our intent is to share with you our average costs to date, from the day we left Minnesota on October 31, 2012, until our current bookings end on May 14, 2015.  As we book into the future beyond 2015, we will continue to share these expenses in US$, best represented by the following:

1.  Average daily expense:  $158.71
2.  Average monthly expense: $4827.43
3.  Average daily fixed expense: $19.60
4.  Average monthly fixed expense:  $596.17
5.  Our average total including fixed expenses, living and travel expenses: $5423.60

These numbers may be surprising to some and expected by others. Often, there is a perception that one must be “wealthy” to travel the world. No, not the case. But, one must be frugal, staying within a tight budget if they are not wealthy. Those that are outrageously wealthy must stay “home” to manage their assets, taking occasional vacations.  It is only the circumstances that we’ve engineered in our lives to be able to do this. For this, we are grateful.

Why share these numbers?  For us, if there is one person or one couple that may benefit by knowing these possibilities, that ultimately may inspire them to live their dream, whether its travel or not, then we’ll happily share. If that is YOU, feel free to email us privately or post comments with any questions you may have. 

We don’t have all of the answers but after over nine months of living on the road, we feel confident that we’re beginning to have a handle on it.

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