It’s our first month travelling indefinitely. We kick off our 10-month Australian Road Trip: with our March 2017 Budget report.
Included in this month’s budget was our splurge to Cairns for our 10-year wedding anniversary.
We threw the budget out the window, knocking it further out than a pro golfer on a Par 5 at the PGA Masters Tournament.
Well the main reason was because Rich took his iPhone for a swim while snorkelling. Unintentionally, of course. But that meant we had to replace his iPhone. Out of pocket. Ouch. We considered not buying a second phone, but for safety reasons and communication with each other (he tends to go on walkabouts for hours) we had to suck it up. Yes, it was expensive but I can assure you that he won’t be doing that again.
I can’t completely put the budget blowout on Rich though.
We had some lifestyle adjustments to make for our first month. There were a few items we needed to pick up that we hadn’t planned for. We bought an extension cord for power at campgrounds. I found out the hard (hot) way on a cast iron skillet that the potholders were worn out, so we replaced those. Quality kitchen gear is hard to find and generally expensive.
We all know that buying smaller sizes in the grocery store is much more expensive in the long run. We’re so used to buying in bulk, or at least buying larger sizes for a family of three, that we’re finding it hard to turn that switch off. We bought family sized packet of pasta the other day out of habit. Talk about leftovers!
Learning how to eat while on the road is taking some adjustment.
We knew we’d eat out more, but we’re getting so caught up in the excitement of being in a new place. Before we knew it, it’s going on 2pm and we’re each picturing the other as a ‘hot chicken’, ready to dig in. We head to the nearest restaurant to satisfy our rumbling bellies, and vow to we save that picnic lunch for next day. I guess the advantage of this way of dining is that it saves heaps on dinner because we’re too full, from a late lunch!
And lastly, we both came down with the flu. Not just a touch of it, but a whopper of a bug. I ended up on antibiotics from the local doctor to treat pneumonia. While this kept us indoors and unable to explore as much as we would have liked, thus saving money, it also meant medical costs. Boxes of over the counter medications and a Doctor visit that resulted in prescription medication certainly didn’t factor into our plans, especially not in the first month!
On the positive side, the big surprise was petrol. Although considering the month we had, I suppose it shouldn’t come as a surprise. I mean, we hung at the beach for a week. We flew to Cairns. Then we housesat while under the weather. The rental car we had in Cairns was a 2 door compact that cost only $40 to fill and even then, we only had to do it once. Petrol is not cheap in Australia (currently about $1.40/litre, but this month we managed to slash our budget almost in half. Probably the first – and only – month that we will do that.