It’s Month Three of our life of indefinite travel.
May was a massive month of travel for us. We were on the road much of the time.
We travelled from Loch Sport in Victoria, where we were housesitting, to Bright in the Victorian Highlands. From there it was up to Canberra to celebrate our daughter’s 18th birthday for an extended weekend of celebrations. Returning to Victoria, we splurged a little on one of the places that’s been on my living list for a while, Wilsons Promontory, before heading over to Phillip Island to experience the Little Penguins. From there it was up to the Yarra Valley to soak in the Dandenong Ranges, then over to Ballarat, to learn some Australian history, before we finally arrived in the Bellarine to begin our two month housesit.
Phew! Yeah, it was a lot of travelling.
So how’d we do this month on the budget?
Groceries was another month of being over budget but honestly I’m not too worried because we’re eating healthier. We may need to adjust that amount on the budget going forward is all. At least while we’re in Australia because food here is just downright expensive.
Eating out was another budget buster again this month. To put this into perspective though, when we do eat out, it’s usually lunch and then dinner later is using snacking on cheese and fruit. When we eat out we are choosing places that look interesting or at least fit in with the surrounding culture, but those choices usually aren’t in the food court of the local shopping centre. At least not always.
Lunch on average for the two of us, with usually either tap water or a Lipton iced tea, is around $30. That’s if we’re not getting extras like chips (fries) with a burger (note: they don’t come automatically as a side in Australia) and yes, that means that burgers alone are around $15 each. Salads are the same price. Even McDonalds, which we don’t frequent often at all, will set you back about $15 for a medium combo meal.
So despite not eating out that often, it was still a budget buster. We can probably blame getting coffees in the afternoon. A habit we definitely need to curb fast!
What killed us, once again, was shopping on miscellaneous things.
This is one lesson we’ve learned since travelling: We weren’t prepared. Not really.
As I mentioned in previous budget reports, we packed hastily, despite having plenty of time to really think about what to take. Additionally, we really didn’t account for how cold winter would be. When you are travelling, you are more exposed to the elements than you are going from your car to the office to home – or whatever your situation may be. For us it was being at home working or running errands going from a parking garage into a shopping centre.
So this month, being in both Canberra and near Melbourne, we made shopping a priority to really make sure we were set for the rest of our travels, particularly after we leave our housesit. We will be travelling across the southern part of Australia in winter (read: cold and windy). We’re also setting ourselves up for next year, when we will go from having a car to haul all our stuff, to a backpack.
So, we invested in merino layers. I bought decent winter shoes as well as jeans that fit. Somehow I packed jeans that were too big plus I’ve dropped 2 sizes in three months. (I could actually pull my jeans down without unbuttoning them. Interesting ‘party trick’ but not comfortable at all!) Rich bought some pants he could bushwalk in, as the one pair he had were too lightweight and his alternative to those were jeans.
So what DID we do well on? Or, at least OKAY on…
Accommodation was a big hitter. For most of the month, we stayed in AirBnbs or cabins, which I would have thought would blow our budget to smithereens. We were a little over, by $50, but if it weren’t for our splurge at Wilsons Promontory (which was totally worth it by the way!), we would have actually been under budget..
Petrol was up this month, but that’s not a surprise given how much driving we did. We may have been under, had it not been for forgetting some things at Wilsons Promontory. We determined it was cheaper to return for them than replace them. It was a costly ‘oops’, being 4 hours return driving, but needless to say we’ve learned rather quickly from that mistake.