Burning Cash on the Road... The cost of travels...

Updated: Sep 7, 2021

Since leaving the UK in late August a lot has happened for myself and The Management (Ange), not to mention the changing landscape of Covid.

We've been spending on my credit card due to it's better FX rates and lack of fees for foreign transactions. This is handy as we can track nearly all our spending in one place and it's been an eye-opening realisation to see how what we spent adds up and breaks down!

Analysing the spend means manually classifying each item - Fuel, Road Tolls, Groceries, Bar/Restaurant, other (maintenance) and unknown: What did i spend 2.72 on at 'Pagrofil 117'? A tedious hour later and the data was ready to be pivoted (Pivot tables are one of the most amazing powerful features in a spreadsheet. Learn to use them!).

In a mere 4 months on the road we'd successfully burned through nearly £12,000. Yes 12 grand. I'd expected a budget of £20k-£25k to cover us for the year... where did it go?!

Our outgoings had recently increased due to moving into a flat because of Covid, but Ange has taken a job to help cover this while I work on CompoCloset, and this was only fairly recently...

  • Fuel - £655

  • Tolls - £280

Pretty steep French and Italian highway subsidies... but not that expensive overall

  • Groceries £2,655

Pretty hefty - there's a lot of booze in there...

  • Accommodation £ 1,905

And that includes some of our rent for a flat.

  • Van Maintenance/improvements £1,600

This arrives in a fairly lumpy manner and one of those just arrived in the form of a replacement solar panel. We also set-off with the van not quite ready so there would be on-the road additions like a fold away table. (Did anyone mention van stuff is pricey!?)

Bars and Restaurants £4,140

Yes 4k. And no, I'm not ok with that. Breaking it down by month, almost half of it was in September. This was when we were staying with friends in France and Italy, all of whom live and work in London where a hundred quid (pounds) isn't bad for 2 people for dinner with wine in a beautiful setting (A glass of wine can be over £10) . Knowing which were drinks and which were food isn't so easy. Summing all of the bar and restaurant entries above (restaurant) and below (bar) £25 it's roughly 50-50 in terms of the number of entries, but the value of the restaurant tabs is 4x more than the bar tabs.

Turns out we'd become accustomed to a London Lifestyle - meeting friends and colleagues after work in a pub or restaurant (sadly missed in current times). When hanging out with friends on their holidays in the summer we'd been tracking their spending patterns and holiday makers spend extra - especially on the nights they're celebrating with friends!

Luckily, the amount we'd been spending had been falling sharply once Autumn came and we started seeing fewer friends, but in reality, we still need to reduce our outgoings further.

Maybe Dry January afterall...