Hey everyone! And we’re back with the Income & Expense report for February 2016.
If you’re just joining us, here’s a little backstory about these reports. After living on the road and writing about camp cooking for the past six months, we decided to make a commitment to transparency. You can read about what went into our decision making process by reading our first post about it. We’ve also created an archive of our past monthly reports if you’re interested in seeing our progression.
Ultimately we want to shed light on two areas where there seems to be very little information:
1.) What does it actually cost to “Live the Dream”? There are so many inspirational wanderlust travel accounts out there, but how do people make it work on a day-to-day basis? What are the raw expenses? What does a monthly budget look like? We want to pull back the curtain and look at the finances that go into life on the road. We hope that by publishing these numbers, people can get a better understanding of the real reality behind living the dream.
2.) Is it actually possible to make a living by blogging about the outdoors? And believe us, the jury is still out on this one. Like way out. However, what we can say for certain is that we love what we’re doing, and really want to find a way to keep doing it. We’ve been told all our lives, in one form or another, that “every sensible person makes their living by doing what they enjoy doing.” And that is exactly what we’re trying to do.
We’ve had the chance to connect with so many amazing and talented outdoor bloggers during our journey, all of whom want to make a living by doing what they love. But with so little information out there, we all seem to be turning to each other asking, “Wait, are we crazy for thinking this could actually work??” Maybe we are, maybe we aren’t, but either way, we plan to publicly document our experiment. We hope by revealing these number we will inform, inspire, and empower other people to pursue their dreams.
So, in the words of Kai Ryssdal of NPR’s Marketplace, let’s do the numbers…
February 2016 by the Numbers
Miles Driven: 1,763
Average MPG: 27
Nights Free Camping: 27 (read about how we find free campsites here)
Nights Paid Camping: 2
States visited: 2 (CA & AZ)
Tacos eaten: 18
Date shakes consumed: 5
-Affiliate Income $87
-Sponsored Content $250
-Digital Content $400
Business Expenses: $371 (includes monthly services like Adobe CC, some website updates, and food purchased specifically for recipe development)
Net Income: $366
Notes: You’ll notice a larger than normal number next to “Car maintenance & repairs.” We cracked our AC condenser and made the strategic decision to have it repaired (our loose itinerary has us in the South in the summer months…) We typically have a Miscellaneous budget of $300 which helps us pay for car maintenance as well as “activities” like museums, parks, etc. To make up the difference, we opted to borrow from our Camping budget (by choosing free options) and Gas budget (by traveling at a much slower pace). All that goes to show just how important budgeting for the unexpected is!
Food $536 (includes coffee shops & alcohol)
Camping $41 (we keep this expense low by camping for free most nights)
Car maintenance & repairs $423
Insurance (auto/health) $221
Cell Phone $50
Gym Membership $35
Misc. Expenses $92 (toiletries, laundry, stove fuel, and firewood)
Total Expenses $1,548
Net for February ($1,182)
Amount from Savings $1,182
*As you can see, our earned income from our blog and freelance work doesn’t cover all of our expenses. We saved a lot before this trip, so this represents what we had to pull from our savings account for the month. We hope eventually the income from our blog and freelance work will cover the cost of the trip and perhaps some day return a profit.
If you have questions about anything we have listed in this report, please leave us a comment below and we’ll try our best to answer your questions. Thank you for your continuing support!
NB: This post was reformatted on 4/29/16 to provide better distinction between income & expenses relating to our freelance business, and the costs relating to traveling full time & living on the road. Ultimately, all numbers remain the same but have simply been re-organized.