How much did you save to go on your trip?
How do you make money on the road?
What’s your monthly budget look like?
These are the first questions people ask us whenever they find out what we’re doing (i.e. running a camp cooking and outdoor travel blog from the road). And for good reason! These are the exact same questions we ask whenever we come across somebody who is seemingly “living the dream.”
There’s no shortage of personal travel blogs and Instagram road trip accounts, but few of them are willing to reveal what we’re all thinking: “How, exactly, are they pulling it off?” We spent months trying to answer to this question in preparation for our own trip. We looked at other people living on the road and we guessed, we speculated, and we made assumptions. But ultimately we were flying blind. While many people inspired us to hit the road, few people really empowered us. It wasn’t until we made the leap ourselves that we got any real information.
Over the holidays, we listened to a fantastic Planet Money podcast about financial transparency. The podcast specifically examined what happens when companies make the salaries of their employees public. What happens when everyone knows what everyone else is making? And how does that information affect the decisions people make? (Spoiler: Everyone benefits.) While this is a noteworthy concept in its own right, it got us thinking more broadly about being transparent with our own lives.
Because after six months on the road, we realized we were perpetuating the same cycle of misinformation. Up until now, we have been showcasing a lifestyle that many people find to be inspirational, but we haven’t shown how we make that lifestyle work. With these new monthly income and expense reports, we hope to shed a little light behind the scenes and give people a glimpse into what it actually costs for us to “live the dream”.
While no two paths can be duplicated in life, we hope you find the information here to be useful, inspirational, and empowering.
January 2016 by the Numbers
Miles Driven: 171
Train Rides: 3
Nights off the Road: 31 (We spent the month staying with family on both the East and West coasts)
States visited: 5 (CT, NY, RI, MA, CA)
Slices of pizza: 18 (NY style, SE CT Greek Style, and New Haven style!)
Oysters on the half shell: 16
Notes: This was a slow month for us, income wise, because we put most of our energy into two things 1) Quality time with family, and 2) Generating new leads for freelance work in the upcoming months.
– Affiliate Income $47
– Digital Content $325
Business Expenses: $216 (includes monthly services like Adobe CC and food purchased specifically for recipe development)
Net Income: $156
Notes: Since we stayed with family this month, we didn’t have to pay for camping, some of our meals were “comped” (thanks moms!), and our mileage was low. However, we did make up for that with train rides into NYC + Boston.
Car maintenance & repairs $37
Insurance (auto/health) $389
Cell phone $50
Gym Membership $29
Misc. expenses $178
Total Expenses $1,241
Net for January ($1085)
Amount from Savings $1085
*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 our 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.