Money, Money, Money…A song and also real life!….

Every evening around dusk, before Frank and the Mrs. (to his left) go off into the bush to “make their noise,” announcing the beginning of the night, they stop by the veranda steps for birdseed which we happily provide for them.  Whatever is left is eaten by either the helmeted guinea fowl or, believe it or not, the warthogs.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Every night the bushbabies find their way to their little stand and gobble up the fruity yogurt we place there.  They often tip the cup, occasionally dropping it to the ground. Tom always picks it up and places it back on the stand for them.

Last night we paid the second big chunk of an installment for the upcoming Kenya tour in February. It’s an expensive tour, and we cringed over the price considering our budget constraints, especially when last night we paid well over ZAR 73,437 (US $5,000) for the second of three installments as required by the tour contract.

Elephants on the Crocodile River enjoying their day.

Last week after we returned from Zambia and Botswana, we paid rent for three upcoming months in Marloth Park, typical when living in rental holiday/vacation homes. Generally, with popular properties, long-term renters pay large sums at a time rather than paying monthly.

Most wildlife gravitates to the river for water, cooling off, and rich sources of nourishment.

When having a permanent home, one often doesn’t pay three, four, or five months in advance. Plus, when booking tours, vacations/holidays, it may be for only one or two trips a year.

For us, we have to pay so much in advance to secure plans for the future that it’s not surprising we cringe when having to lay out large sums of money well in advance of plans far down the road.

A hornbill and “Frank and the Mrs.” our resident francolins.

We use credit cards to pay for all of our expenses when we can’t use banking’s “bill pay” or send checks (which we consider an antiquated means of paying anyway in these high-tech times). We prefer not to use “bank transfers” for security reasons.  

Keeping track of all of these transactions requires a tremendous amount of diligence and record-keeping to maintain one’s sanity and sense of where we are financially at any given moment.

Two wildebeests, neither of them Wildebeest Willie, stopped by for treats with Tusker in the background and numerous helmeted guinea fowl who were hoping for a few pellets for themselves.

Every few months, we reviewed every upcoming dollar to be spent for current and future travels, referring to our comprehensive Excel spreadsheets of many pages. On top of that, we must keep diligent records for tax purposes.

In our old lives, once a month, we entered all our bills into our bank’s bill pay feature, never giving it much of a thought until the next month. In this life, we must constantly stay on top of our current and future expenses, deposits paid, balances due, and projected expenses for the future based on historical experience.

A mating pair of ostriches. The female is brown, while the males are predominantly black.

Need I say, this is a daunting task that those considering long-term world travel may not consider. When booking for the future, it’s imperative to consider the budget, above all other interests and desires.  

We don’t mean to sound like “tightwads,” but the future success of traveling the world is entirely predicated by careful financial planning and maintaining good health.  Both of these vital areas could easily “get away from us” if we weren’t a cautious as we’ve chosen to be.

Mom, Auntie, and Tiny Baby, who only months ago was the tiniest warthog we’d ever seen.

When living on a fixed income, one can easily imagine how disastrous it could be to find oneself living beyond their means and running money difficulties.  It would take away all of the joy and adventure of living this peculiar life on the move.

Wildebeest Willie stops by to check out the pellet action.

Instead, we carefully monitor all of our spending to ensure we stay within the confines of our budget.  Special purchases we may have once enjoyed are a thing of the past. 

Every financial move is calculated even to the point that we can’t dine out two or three times a week, nor can we flippantly select preferred rental cars or holiday rental homes.  Our most recent tiny, little car was ZAR 14,687 (US $1000) for three months (as mentioned in an earlier post).

Here again, Tusker is in the background awaiting an opportunity to get in on the pellet frenzy.  He visits several times a day while these or other zebras may stop by a few times a week.

And yes, we bounce around on these bumpy dirt roads more than ever in this recent car, but it doesn’t keep us from getting out to explore as we have all along.  

After we spent most of the morning updating and working on the “money, money, money” (click here for the Abba song), we’re excited to take off soon for another of those bumpy rides, always providing us with such pleasure to be a part of the magical world surrounding us here in the park.

This is our favorite warthog, Tusker.  He knows his name and turns around in one quick pivot when I call him.  It’s hysterical!  He’s charming to all of the other animals, politely waiting his turn.

For all of our readers/friends in the US, please have a safe and meaningful Labor Day weekend as you wind down the summer months.  Here in South Africa, we’re ramping us for spring to begin soon, on September 21st.

We’re worlds apart in the distance but close at hand in our hearts.  Happy day!


Photo from one year ago today, September 1, 2017:

One year ago, we reviewed September firsts throughout the years of our travels, including the above photo and caption here:  The day we arrived in Kenya on September 2, 2013, we were shocked to discover that there was no living room, no salon, no sofa, no chair nor a dining table and chairs on the interior of the house.  In other words, we spent three months living outdoors on this veranda with no screens, venomous insects on the floors, furniture, and walls, and excessive heat and humidity (no AC, no TV).  We adapted spending from 7 am to 11 pm outdoors every day for three months, less when we went on safari in the Masai Mara.  What a good learning experience this was!  By the time we reached South Africa after leaving Kenya, we had no interest in being indoors in the two air-conditioned living rooms in the Marloth Park house.  Again, we spent every day and night outdoors!  How quickly we humans can adapt! For the one-year-ago post, please click here.

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