Spending on the road: Month 1
Here’s the breakdown of spending for our first month of travel around Europe. If you’re new to the blog, in early 2018 we packed up our lives in the UK to travel fulltime with our two daughters. Nick quit his job and we left our home. Our first month was spent travelling through France and it was a tough time emotionally for all of us.
Below you’ll find a break down of how much we spent and on what, shared as best we can from the notes we made. We’ve also shared what we learnt and the reasons why we think we spent such so much in this first month of travel. (This is in relation to what we now know is our daily budget which you can read about here). There’s also some thoughts on why it was perhaps a good thing that we didn’t have a budget set.
You can also read about our Spending On The Road: Month 2.
Month one on the road: our spending
Below is a breakdown of our spending for month 1 on the road travelling through France in our motorhome. This was July 2018. I’ve ordered it by expenses, with the largest first.
- Food & ‘household’ shopping €648
- Van maintenance €300
- Fuel €287
- Campsites €190
- Eating out €198
- Laundry €52
- Aires €40
- Van improvements €25
- Tolls €16
- Miscellaneous €15
Days on the road: 25 days
Average daily spend: €71 for our family of four
Putting that into some context, we are now aiming to a daily budget of €30 a day for the four of us.
In addition to what we spend whilst travelling, we also have a few other monthly outgoings. We detailed those in our blog post Our Daily Budget.
Month one on the road: what we learnt
It’s worth noting that we stopped to look at our spending 3 months in. I feel the things we learnt would have been quite different if we were reflecting on our first months spending at the end of that first month.
For me (Charlie) personally, I am thankful that we didn’t have a budget set from the get go knowing how hard that first month was for us. I’m also thankful we didn’t review it at the end of the month. Our first month on the road was so hard in so many ways, especially mentally and emotionally. We used money to provide comfort through eating out and staying in hotels for various reasons.
If we’d had a daily budget I think it would have only increased the strain on us both, and provided additional stress. We are privileged to have the savings there to accommodate our extra spending, and for that I am truly grateful.
It’s a hard pill to swallow knowing how much we spent, but in this instance I feel grateful for money to cushion what was a terribly challenging first month on the road.
Much like Charlie, I (Nick) was surprised by how much we had spent. I had thought the first month may have involved more breakdowns and van improvements. In the end it was a new set of leisure batteries that blew most of the budget, which was something I’d expected at some point in our journey. As Charlie mentioned we can’t resist a nice bakery or something tasty for dinner when we’re feeling down, or living in a semi-holiday type world.
It was a big change for us all and on reflection I don’t think we could/would have done it differently.
If you’re interested you can also read about our Spending On The Road: Month 2.