Life On The Road: A Breakdown Of My Expenses
How Much Does It Cost To Live On The Road?
One of the first questions that comes to mind when hearing about someone who travels all the time is “how do they afford this?”.
I wrote a lengthy, detailed article on how I afford to live a life of travel HERE.
I’ve am currently living/meandering on the road (in Canada) as I write this. I have done this for 6 months before (in the states) and spent even less. I’ve gotten many messages recently asking how I manage to afford living like this. The first thing I tell anyone, is that reducing expenses is the first step to freedom!
I record literally EVERYTHING I spend in a free iPhone app called Daily Budget. Tracking my exact expenses is one of the ways I trained myself to control my spending. Believe it or not, back in the day, I used to blow around $1000/month just on eating out and frivolous shopping! Impulse spending was definitely one of my vices.
So. My exact cost of living (and traveling 2000 km) for the last 2 weeks was $361 CAD or ($281 USD).
This is how I calculated it. All amounts mentioned below are in Canadian dollars.
So, first of all, my yearly reoccurring expenses are: $1390/year, which ends up being $3.80/day or $53.2 for 14 days.
My yearly reoccurring expenses include:
- Motorcycle registration/license/insurance: $770/year
- Domain fee: $20/year
- Phone plan: $17/month = $204/year (I use a data-only tablet plan)
- Online backup: $10/month = $120/year
- Other fees: $23/month = $276/year
On top of this $53.20, I spent $307.83 CAD while on the road from July 9-22.
- Gas: $105.32 CAD or USD (Toronto to Kenora, 2000 km, give or take)
- Groceries: $103.28
- Coffee/wifi: $8.95
- Campsite: $41.25 for one night (never again!)
- Other (extra data, propane, sticker, repellent) : $49.03
When I analyze my spending, I see that I’ve spent too much on coffee and groceries. The extra data was also unexpected. I know I can spend less than this if I try harder.
Previously when living on the road, I’ve successfully stuck to a $500 USD/month budget (roughly!). At that time, I was even paying for travel insurance, a storage unit, and a much higher phone bill, but wasn’t riding as much. Gas and food was also much cheaper in the US. Even when I visited NYC for 5 weeks about a year ago, I spent just over $400 USD during that whole time. I was staying with someone I knew, so I was only paying for food and transportation… but hey, it was still NYC!
So this is the main way I “afford to travel”… I just try to spend as little as possible. Fewer expenses mean more time to just “be”, and less time on the hamster wheel. If you learn how to spend less (which takes time!), you can travel longer! You can either live off your savings, or simply find occasional work to keep you going. And since you spend less, you need less money, which means you work less… and live more.
Let’s see how I do later on!
I’ll definitely be doing another spending analysis for you guys in a few months!
How much do you normally spend when you travel? Are there any reoccurring expenses that you have right now that you think you could eliminate?
Please feel free to share this and leave your thoughts in the comments below 🙂