Though I have been mercilessly ribbed about the content of my blog by certain people I think that the following information will be of some use to people who are thinking about doing something similar to what we did on our 113 day trip abroad in the motorhome. On our first trip out in 2009 we really had no clue as to how much money we would end up spending and so we just went and thought to hell with the money. This trip needed to be slightly more controlled from a financial point of view as the pot of money doesn’t last forever and, as we plan to continue with this lifestyle for as long as possible we needed to have a decent idea of how much we were spending so that it can be sustainable long term.
So, some facts:
The following costs are all in Sterling. Our bank has converted the € to the £ at anything from €1.115 to €1.158 but I would guess at an average of €1.13 to the £
We spent a total of 113 days on our travels and in that time we travelled 7295Km (4533 miles), spent a total of £986.46 on fuel, this includes diesel for the engine and LPG for the tanks which run our fridge, heating and cooking facilities. All of this cost was paid on our debit card so we have a completely accurate record of costs in that department. Our ferry journeys using the Dover to Calais to Dover route on P&O Ferries cost a total of £116.25.
Our day to day living cash (on a budget of €20 a day) totalled £2306.75 withdrawn from ATM machines and money we took with us, so we were slightly over budget there but we did buy a fair amount of stuff that we bought back to the UK with us (saving us money long term) and we had a contingency fund of £500 for things like maintainence of the motorhome (windscreen wiper repairs and safe cracking), vets bills (bite treatment and passport innoculations) and things that fell into ‘anything else’.
We spent a total of £86.65 on automatic payment aires in France, Le Treport and Mimizan Plage. The charges for Biarritz and Vila Formosa came out of the day to day spending as did the charges for the time we spent on campsites in Tavira and Monchique.
We used some toll roads on our journey through France in December and again on our way back into France from Spain in March this came in at around €41, the main cost being the first journey through France when we decided to make a run south, that cost €33.30 for one trip.
Our bank charges us every time we use the debit card abroad, either in a shop or to withdraw cash and the total cost of this came to £63 (at £1.50 per transaction). Phoning home was a fair cost but this was reduced dramatically by me losing my phone on our way to Dover. We did pick up a Portuguese SIM card which gave us cheaper rates at the weekend for international calls but even with this we still managed to spend £260 on mobile phone top ups with Orange. We used Skype a little and spent £11.50 on credit for that. Top ups for the Portuguese phone came out of the day to day living cash.
In total, our costs for the trip came out at £3950.24 and that includes everything from the day we left to the day we arrived back in the UK. Now we know how much we need to save whilst we are back working in the UK to enable us to do it all again!