Ahhh, budgeting. The boring but necessary thing that will help turn these dreams into plans, and plans into reality.
At first the idea of how much money we would need to save was just too big to think about. As we researched and read as much as we could about living costs on the road we realised that we wouldn’t be able to find a ready made savings target. We were going to have to work out the figures based on our own circumstances. In the end breaking it down to monthly costs and then multiplying it out to give us a yearly cost made it more realistic.
We decided to divide our costs into sections, and estimate expenses for each area.
This should be pretty much the same as at home. Having said that there will be times when food costs more due to the remote nature of the location we’re in. However we’ll also try to be better at reducing our food wastage (which at home is pretty bad if we’re honest). We’ll also try and exploit farm gate sales and be more savy about picking up stuff that’s on sale.
This is a big one. We’d done a couple of weekend camp trips where we noted how many kilometres we’d travelled towing the trailer. Then noting how many litres it took to refill the tank we worked out an litres per kilometre average. Multiplying this out over the 25,000 odd kilometres we estimate we’ll travel gives us how many litres of diesel we’ll need. Diesel is around $1.55 a litre in Melbourne at the moment, so I rounded it up to $1.60 to account for the more expensive more remote places we may buy fuel to give us total cost for the year (ouch!)
I have allowed $30 a night for accommodation. We hope to free camp as much as possible, but will need to check into a caravan park on a fairly regular basis. It seems the average price for a powered site is approximately $35 a night so I’m hoping my estimate is generous and any savings can be added to the ‘entertainment’ pot.
The cost of keeping in touch on the road. This is for our mobile internet and mobile phones.
Health insurance, car insurance, trailer insurance, roadside assistance insurance and life insurance. The house and contents insurance have been included in the ‘money to leave behind’ pot.
We just hope that we’ve got plenty in this category. This includes all the fun stuff like tours, national park fees, eating out, take away or a few drinks at the pub. Knowing that this may be the only time we get to experience some of these amazing places, we’re hoping that we’ll have enough to splash out on some special events like helicopter rides too.
Money to leave behind
We’ll be renting our house out so the mortgage will be covered, but there will still be costs for furniture storage, agents fees and insurance that will need to be covered while we are away.
Adding up all of the above was a big scary number! At least we know what our savings target is and can work towards it.
What do you think? Have we missed anything?