Jennifer and I want to be fairly transparent about how we live and what it costs to live the full-time nomadic lifestyle, to help you do the same. This drastic change from the normal way of living can have a lot of unknowns to it. These unknowns can keep people from taking the leap to a life of travel. Therefore we will be posting our monthly expense report on the blog. It doesn’t cost as much as some of you might think to travel full-time. This is our first monthly nomadic expense report.
Creating a Budget
We attempted to create a budget before setting out and are trying to live by those numbers. Even after only a month, we are realizing that certain things cost more than we anticipated, but at the same time, we are saving on other areas so it is a bit of a wash.
Obviously, if you decide to head out onto the open road the budget you might need will depend greatly on the way you might choose to live this type of lifestyle. Jennifer and I go out of our way to seek out free places to park our rig for the night so our accommodation budget isn’t very large. We also cook a lot inside our camper and keep our “eating out” budget low, although we do enjoy getting to splurge on unique local food. YOLOM doesn’t get the best gas mileage so our gas budget is probably larger than those who live the nomadic lifestyle in a campervan for instance, but much better than those who live in a class-A RV.
Even with some start-up costs, like health insurance sign-up fees and an extra T-mobile hotspot bill (listed as a business expense), we came in under budget for the first month of our new life. We are attempting to limit our spending to $80/day. This budget doesn’t include our income tax withdraw, tithing, retirement investments, or a new truck fund. All of these are important and we are doing them but they have less to do with the day-to-day spending.
Nomadic Moments Budget
Here are the numbers for our anticipated monthly budget as well as what we actually spent in July.
|Health & Car Insurance||$265.00||$311.00|
As you can see we did really well in most of our categories on our nomadic expense report. A revision of our gas budget will probably be needed. We really didn’t travel much in July and so far in August, we have blown that number out of the water. We have a huge budget for truck maintenance, but as that has things like new tires rolled into it we will spend most of that in one lump sum down the road. I had some start-up costs for new health insurance so that monthly number should come down, although our vehicle insurance gets paid out every 6 months so in December that number will be larger. We also used a lot of vacation money in July as we saw our backpacking trip costs as vacation related.
July’s Nomadic Expense Report Totals
Our total monthly cost was $2,194.20. Not too bad for two people living in the U.S. That’s a daily average of $70.78.
Below is a pie chart for our July nomadic expense report if you are more of a pie chart person. We use an app called Trail Wallet to track out expenses. It is quick and easy to put in expenses and it gives you a cool pie chart like the one below. You can try it for free.
Regardless of if you are planning for a future nomadic lifestyle, years into full-time travel, or just dreaming of what might be, we hope this information is helpful for thinking through the logistical side of things. Reading other posts like this one were really useful to us before hitting the road. They helped us to create a theoretical budget, ultimately a starting place, to make this lifestyle make sense and seem feasible. Although your story may be very different, we share this information to help encourage you in your pursuits of travel—short or long-term. See you out on the road!