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Post Info TOPIC: The monetary cost of being a nomad


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The monetary cost of being a nomad


I have been a nomad for exactly four years and during that time have kept track of my spending in a spreadsheet, every expenditure has been recorded with the exception of a new car purchase two years past. Over those four years my expenditure has been reasonably consistent, a little higher in the first year due to unexpected purchases required by the new lifestyle. Last year was also a little higher due to ($2000) replacement of my Honda generator.

I've just totted up expenditure for 2022 and it came to a total of $13,800. I didn't travel a lot last year (about 7000km) so vehicle diesel was moderate, the two highest expenditures were food (excluding alcohol) and sundries - sundries includes insurance, car/van reg. phone etc. I don't smoke but I do drink alcohol and I eat very well and like to cook.

NB. Both my car and caravan are close to new and have not required any expenditure on maintenance (servicing aside) so older vehicles may generate cost in that area.

I almost never stay in caravan parks but normally camp in the forest by a dam or creek so expenditure in that area is low too.

I'm also very practical mechanically and can perform all necessary repairs to things such as chainsaws and electrical equipment.

From my figures it looks as though most could survive very comfortably as a nomad for $15k and if you can find $20k that would give you headroom for a few weeks in caravan parks and repairs to older cars/vans.

Edit:

I should make clear that I am a single male with no pets.



-- Edited by Mike Harding on Sunday 1st of January 2023 02:22:14 PM

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RE: The cost of being a nomad


G'day Mike

Happy New Year - hope all goes well.

Gee that's bloody cheap.  But I guess little travel and no paid caravan parks would save heaps.

 



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Very good Mike, but $15k is only $300 p/w for alcohol or 5 x Gucci handbags.

Happy New Year.....Bob   smile



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Mike Harding wrote:

 

From my figures it looks as though most could survive very comfortably as a nomad for $15k and if you can find $20k that would give you headroom for a few weeks in caravan parks and repairs to older cars/vans.


 I would say that probably equates to our costs, for two of us, travelling more kilometres on roads which see a greater need for vehicle maintenance & repairs over the past 5 years. We also have a few costs at home, rates primarily, as other home costs come out of the modest rent we receive) . Our average annual expenditure had been around $32 -$35k, which included vehicle & van insurance  & ongoing servicing & maintenance, RACV top recovery option & Ambulance cover & return ferry costs to Tasmania. However this average has been knocked down considerably over the past 15 months where outlay for our living costs has been zero. We have renewed the rear brakes , and had  full set of new tyres on our car,  plus have bought a new camera gear & replaced two laptops in the past two years. My estimate is that our average annual expenditure over 6 years taking into consideration the past 15 months, & the next 5 months we will be here will be around the $30k- $31k. We don't smoke & drink little, & our preferences are for the bush & natural attractions rather than for the man made with fees attached.  With our tenants moved on, (no more rental income for a while as we will be returning home in a few months) the costs of travelling from Cape York to Victoria, & having to pay our own way again will no doubt come as a bit of a shock, but we have been able to increase our bank balance a bit whilst up here, so really it's swings & roundabouts.  



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RE: The monetary cost of being a nomad


I think the main issue is not quite so much what one spends as long as you have the income, but have enough funds for major problems. Murphy's Law that they come all at the same time. Also plan B & plan C.

 

Wifey has an expensive handbag from Paris (Murphy's Law was not factored in!)



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Moose2 wrote:

G'day Mike

Happy New Year - hope all goes well.

Gee that's bloody cheap.  But I guess little travel and no paid caravan parks would save heaps.

 


 Yes, Mike certainly spends little! I too never use caravan parks but I do get around a fair bit. Last year  I allowed myself $1000/ week, and I spent it all! Perhaps I should just go on the $500/week pension, slow down a bit, and leave my savings alone? Cheers



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yobarr wrote:

 Yes, Mike certainly spends little! I too never use caravan parks but I do get around a fair bit. Last year  I allowed myself $1000/ week, and I spent it all! Perhaps I should just go on the $500/week pension, slow down a bit, and leave my savings alone? Cheers


Very interesting.

I too am a self funded retiree and have no government assistance. I am confounded as to how you spend $1k per week!? That's four times my spend and I struggle to think how I could use that much cash (Gucci aside :) ).

It would be most interesting to hear what other *permanent* nomads spend?



-- Edited by Mike Harding on Sunday 1st of January 2023 07:52:07 PM

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I think that as we are all a bit different, then there is probably, no one/same cost for everyone (I could be wrong)

I am fortunate to have set my RV up, for off grid camping, so only go into caravan parks when her who says so, says so
I am only a part time Grey Nomad, as I have a home base

I do not take into account the price of food, as I have to eat wherever I am
I do find that the cost of the same type food, is different throughout Australia

I do not budget for repairs or maintenance to my RV, as I am fortunate, to be able to service the vehicle myself, while parked up at home base

I budget for diesel fuel, before I start each road trip

For this current road trip, my budget is

12,000 kilometres (I may go more or less, depending on the road conditions)
7.5 Kilometres per litre (my average is around 8.5 kpl)
1,600 litres of fuel @ 2.80 per litre (who knows what the diesel price will be, over a three month road trip)
Cost of diesel over three months = $4,480 or slightly less than $50 per day

I will say that over the past eight years (knock on wood, and hope for the best - ouch, ouch, and ouch again)
I have always come out, under budget, for this RV


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We have been traveling fulltime here in NZ for the last 8 years in our 7m Mitsi Canter truck based motorhome.
Our automatic NZ pension is about $700 a week between us.
We are fully self contained with ample water storage, solar and alternator energy generation. Freedom and very cheap camping is our norm with caravan parks a rarity.
We also have an annual pass for camping at our many DOC camps with fees recovered within 2 weeks. The equivalent of your National parks?
The generator is now in storage.
Apart from a recent 4WD car purchase all costs including fuel, maintenance, insurances, food, alcohol, entertainment, new techy purchases, 600GB/month mobile internet, Netflix etc. have been covered.

Our house sale funds and savings plus interest remain untouched.



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86GTS wrote:

 Yes luckily we are all different which highlights the stupidity of this post & its originator. What was he thinking to post such a random lot of crap?


 Oh dear, that's a bit harsh & uncalled for.

I have a sense that MH & I don't exactly hit it off, but fair go, the topic is a regular on most Grey nomad populated forums & rightly so because most have at least a passing interest in it. 



-- Edited by Cuppa on Monday 2nd of January 2023 08:19:26 PM

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Deleted.



-- Edited by RickJ on Monday 2nd of January 2023 08:25:03 PM

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Cuppa wrote:
86GTS wrote:

 Yes luckily we are all different which highlights the stupidity of this post & its originator. What was he thinking to post such a random lot of crap?


 Oh dear, that's a bit harsh & uncalled for.

I have a sense that MH & I don't exactly hit it off, but fair go, the topic is a regular on most Grey nomad populated forums & rightly so because most have at least a passing interest in it. 

 


 We are  always interested in the possible cost of going total Greynomad. Health reasons it not going to happen just yet.

As home based Nomads we know for the most, we enjoy what we can achieve with a little higher budget. 

Thank you Mike for your post.



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I found Mike's post very useful since my circumstances will be very similar once I am free to travel.


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I commend you Mike on having the diligence to spreadsheet expenditures - it's the little things seemly insignificant that blow "true cost of living" out of the water. Cards also tend to give a false feeling of how well we are doing - whereas the old cash left in the wallet/purse is definite.

I find that the cost of weekly grocery shopping (increasing over 30% in 2022), is severely affecting our projected planning having outgoings surpassing income.

Like Mike, being self-funded retirees any drain on capital severely hurts our potential incomes - we are becoming closer to that little bird flying in ever decreasing circles, getting closer each day to flying firmly up one's own backside.

I have a total dislike bordering on obsession against Socialism (read in this instance Labor), and its tendency to drag down rather than build up any economy, creating a welfare dependent society, with the resultant economy where all pigs are not equal (Orwell).



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Radar wrote:
Cuppa wrote:
86GTS wrote:

 Yes luckily we are all different which highlights the stupidity of this post & its originator. What was he thinking to post such a random lot of crap?


 Oh dear, that's a bit harsh & uncalled for.

I have a sense that MH & I don't exactly hit it off, but fair go, the topic is a regular on most Grey nomad populated forums & rightly so because most have at least a passing interest in it. 

 


 We are  always interested in the possible cost of going total Greynomad. Health reasons it not going to happen just yet.

As home based Nomads we know for the most, we enjoy what we can achieve with a little higher budget. 

Thank you Mike for your post.


 No one should ever be surprised at a post like this from 86, he has form in this area and there is nothing he likes better than stirring others. Well done Mike in not replying to his denigrating post. 86 pull your head in and try to be a bit more measured and respectful to your fellow members, it costs nothing to be polite.



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Magnarc wrote:
Radar wrote:
Cuppa wrote:
86GTS wrote:

 Yes luckily we are all different which highlights the stupidity of this post & its originator. What was he thinking to post such a random lot of crap?


 Oh dear, that's a bit harsh & uncalled for.

I have a sense that MH & I don't exactly hit it off, but fair go, the topic is a regular on most Grey nomad populated forums & rightly so because most have at least a passing interest in it. 

 


 We are  always interested in the possible cost of going total Greynomad. Health reasons it not going to happen just yet.

As home based Nomads we know for the most, we enjoy what we can achieve with a little higher budget. 

Thank you Mike for your post.


 No one should ever be surprised at a post like this from 86, he has form in this area and there is nothing he likes better than stirring others. Well done Mike in not replying to his denigrating post. 86 pull your head in and try to be a bit more measured and respectful to your fellow members, it costs nothing to be polite.


What an amusing post Old Man Emu. The vast majority of forum members know exactly who's the biggest stirrer on here & its definitely not me. My biggest fault is that I retaliate to sarcastic remarks & bullying by others.



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Possum3 wrote:

I commend you Mike on having the diligence to spreadsheet expenditures


Thank you Possum :)

It's the first time in my life I have ever tracked my personal spending. Having run my own business for many years my income stream regularly varied from nothing to considerable so not much point in trying to budget for that!

The spreadsheet has been interesting but not surprising; it accords, more or less, with what I predicted in the year before I became a nomad.

I suspect people who don't drink alcohol and are prepared to spend more time shopping for and cooking basic foods could probably shave maybe $3k off my expenditure but it would be a dull life I think.

One interesting number is the $700 I spend on LPG, 90% of which is consumed by the fridge - this does cry out to be replaced by an inverter 240V fridge/freezer which I shall do before long, however that then means I have to ensure about 2kWh of solar collection *every day*. In my situation I think the generator will be needed to supplement but I reckon it'll consume a lot less that $700 of petrol! :)



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Mike Harding wrote:
...One interesting number is the $700 I spend on LPG, 90% of which is consumed by the fridge - this does cry out to be replaced by an inverter 240V fridge/freezer which I shall do before long, however that then means I have to ensure about 2kWh of solar collection *every day*. In my situation I think the generator will be needed to supplement but I reckon it'll consume a lot less that $700 of petrol! :)

 You won't regret it Mike.

We have "saved" $8500+ on LPG and counting in the last 8.5 years of fulltime travel.

$1400 for the old 3-way, $700 for the new 255l fridge. Still performing perfectly.

That $9000 or so buys a lot of lithium and solar!

No generator but we do have 70-90A of idling or driving alternator charging when required.



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Mitsi Fuso MH 6.8m 3.9 TD. 180l fresh/grey - 600Ah LiFePO4 for truck/house - 800W solar - Victron electronics - 6kW Webasto diesel/electric water/air heater - 255l Samsung 230VAC fridge/freezer. Full-time travelling NZ.



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Mike, Great to see you also write all your expenses on a spreadsheet. Strop n i spend $30,000 each year and that includes everything. Even small caravan repairs, insurance on car n van, regos, xmas/bday presentsfor family.  I consider it a challenge to keep it under 30,000. I use coles n woolies rewards to get cheaper groceries and before i shop i look at all the catalogues first. Buy up when things i want  r half price. Stay at lots of free camps. Do not smoke and only rarely have alcohol. We have everything we want and love living in our van. Cheers everyone.

oh, and sometimes housesit too. 



-- Edited by the rocket on Tuesday 24th of January 2023 01:10:24 PM

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Thanks Mike very interesting topic aside from some unnecessary diversions.

We have a slightly different approach to our nomadic financial viability. The years ahead, notwithstanding the odd health curveball of course, we estimate the spend in line with our ability to do what we want. We see little point in doing a Silas Marner (which most right wing fruitcakes do) in wealth creation, when one is past the point of being able to enjoy it. We are both retired RN's and are only to well aware of our declining ability to do what once was a pice of cake. But I suppose that the Silas Marner fans might be able to afford a private nurse to attend to their invalid needs, whilst us socialist freeloaders well ...........................



-- Edited by EyeWantItAll on Tuesday 24th of January 2023 06:39:47 PM



-- Edited by EyeWantItAll on Tuesday 24th of January 2023 07:14:03 PM

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Some of us novice grey nomads find these posts about cost helpful. Thanks for posting

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Mike Harding 10

86 Nil



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how many times has a newbie that is considering the nomadic lifestyle, asked the question, how much money do i need to live the life of a gypsy?

mike has given figures ,an yobarr has given figures as well as others. that will give people the information they need to start, then adjust for their own circumstances.

if other are not interested, they should keep their thoughts to themselves. my mother use to say if you can't say something nice, you're probably better of saying nothing.

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