Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Crunching the numbers - expenses so far

Eight days - it has taken me 8 days to get around to calculating our October expenses. Something about a whole stack of receipts kept me away. I mean we usually have less then 10 receipts in a month - so more then I can hold in my hand seemed very daunting.

But it had to be done and today was the day - it is our last day here in Brownfield - it has been 4 days of R & R in very nice warm temperatures. Today, however, is cool and windy - an indoor day.

To get myself in the mood I first set up to calculate the miles. We track ALL of our spending! I have a coil notebook that is never far from me - in it I write down everything from our fuel stops to notes on places to stay etc. Since leaving home I have kept a detailed list of the miles and fuel.

From our home in BC to Brownfield Texas we have traveled 3, 874 km or 2,407 miles. We have used up almost exactly 200 gallons of gas and have paid $712.00 to get here. What that means is that we spend approximately 30 cents to go 1 mile - we get 12 miles to the gallon. The numbers are ok - we can live with those - they are even a bit better then we thought - we were thinking that we were getting 10 miles to the gallon.

That done I moved on. Next to figure out how many miles we will do this trip and what it will cost. This is very important for us because as mentioned earlier we don't use credit. The money we have is the money we have - we can't go too far without making sure we can get back again. So - we have come 2407 miles. The only way I can determine the rest is using our maps and road atlas. Based on that I am predicting that we will do approximately twice what we have already done - so we need $1,400 more for fuel. This will take us to Mississippi and back and down into Mexico and back and then the trip home via Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Since in my mind I budgeted $3,000 for fuel we should be ok. Whew!

So, now to our October expenses. The grand total for the month was a HUGE $3,600.00 - OUCH! For us - living on around $20,000 a year this is a big number for one month! It almost makes us weak in the knees. Thankfully this is the only month in the year like this. Other then our normal expenses like food, gas, alcohol, and cigs we needed to pay for the following: medial insurance (6 months) $748.06, passports (incl. photos) $336.37, and for our truck to be fixed $700.00. October's total also included getting from there to here - so it includes the $712.00 on gas.

Other blogs post their expenses and we are going to do the same. It is good for all of us to see what things cost these days. We must now - for the next 6 months - stick very close to our absolute maximum budget for the month which is $1,000.00. I know that seems like a lot - but trust me - whether in Canada or the USA - money just doesn't go so far these days. That being said - as long as we choose our groceries carefully, don't pay for overnights, and only buy what we need, we should be ok.

I have noticed that groceries are a bit higher in the USA then last year. Although I can't quite say at the moment because we haven't really shopped in Utah and New Mexico before, plus we haven't shopped in Texas yet. In 2008 we found Texas to be much cheaper then say Arizona and California. Maybe down the road I will do some grocery cost comparisons.

Running like the Wind!

Anyway, after a busy morning of number crunching Cassia and I took to the wind and went for a walk. As we were getting Cassia dressed Derek was asking her if she can run as fast at the wind which she assured us she could. Funny to see - as she hit the ground from the trailer off she went with arms held high - flying as fast as the wind! cost? PRICELESS!

Playing ball with Roofous!

Today's Interesting Link: Since we are talking about spending and the need to be frugal - here is a link for our Canadian visitors - Simply Frugal - Helping you Save Money in Canada - they have a website and a facebook page. Lots of coupons, deals and tips on saving money.


  1. We also found that there has been some food inflation in the United States. Given that inflation is pretty much a given in their financial mess, we weren't surprised. Fortunately, Mexico's economy is doing fine!

    ...medical insurance (6 months) $748.06


  2. No I guess we can't be surprised! We are so torn about spending more time in Mexico.....wish we had our C Class now - it would be so much easier to do. So much cheaper in Mexico I know!

    Actually the $748 is for the 3 of us and is the cheapest by far - it is through BC's auto association - all the other estimates are around $1,200. That's yikes for sure!

  3. Hey, Teresa. Thank you for posting those financials. Teresa and I keep track of every penny we spend at the end of every month, too.

    Our budget is in the same ball park as yours. We try to live on less than $24K per year.
    I am not sure what readers may think, but we do NOT have huge pensions.

    We will have to work or workamp in the summers, to prevent our nest egg from dissappearing.

    Oh by the way, Teresa LOVES your pics of Cassia. We are missing our grandaughter big time, so we enjoy your photos of Cassia having fun ... take care, TnT

  4. Thanks TnT! You should look into park work.....as you mentioned we can discuss that sometime!

    Pics of Cassia - she is so darn cute it is hard to resist! I know our families are missing Cassia big time! ha ha


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