If you’re paying attention you might have noticed that I’m sometimes mentioning the price of things as I go along. It’s true that I’m from Yorkshire where we rival the Scots with our reputation for being careful with money but that’s not my main purpose. We’re attempting something we’ve never done before, which is to spend the same as we do as home on our travels. Being retired and on a fixed income means that we need to watch the pennies and we want to have the freedom to do this kind of trip every year if we can.
Before we left I kept a strict tally of everything we spent for several months on a neat little app on my phone called Pocket Expense. It was a real eye opener. I can recommend it to anyone who wonders where the pennies and pounds go. We found, for instance, that we spent more on eating out than we would ever have imagined. If you’d asked I would have said ‘We hardly ever eat out’. Well the evidence said otherwise. The scones, coffees, carvery dinners and trips to Dobbies really add up over a month.
Anyway, that exercise gave us an interesting break down of expenses but also a weekly total.
Going away from home for two or three months doesn’t relieve us of most of our normal outgoings (Council tax, Sky, Phone and Broadband, Gas and Electric etc.) so we did the maths and found that we had around @£280 per week to spend on our travels. This equates to €350 per week to include accommodation, food, diesel, entertainment – everything in fact.
As we go along I’ll put an occasional expenses breakdown on here that might be of interest to anyone planning to do a similar trip.
We might not manage it and it’s fine if we don’t. We’ve got a wee cushion. But it would be great to discover that we can toddle round Europe for no more money than it costs to stay in Bathgate.
One thought on “Financial Stuff”
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the financial aspects of long-term motorhome travel – it seems to raise the most interest of all in like-minded people! We’re preparing to stop full-time work and long-term travel in our campervan in about 3 years. I’m also tracking where our money goes and you’re right – it can be an eye-opener! We’ve found other ways to cut costs such as fitting a water meter (with only two of us at home now our monthly bill dropped from £55 to £13), reducing our broadband package (we really didn’t need the amount of bandwidth we were paying for) and sticking to a food shopping list. All these little changes soon add up and can make a real difference. We reckon we’ll have about £250 per week when long-term travelling. This will be tight but use of free aires, some (safe) wild-camping and buying good local produce to cook ourselves should help. We also plan to do some housesitting abroad (which we’re already doing to build up our online reputation) and some Workaway (offering some labour in exchange for three meals a day) – all will help us to live the dream and avoid returning to full time work. Good luck with your travels and we look forward to following your blog posts.
Paul & Cathy