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The other day I was procrastinating about some important task and so I decided it was imperative that I work up some spreadsheets for The Big Trip.  Those of you know know me in real life will be either smiling or groaning in recognition of this tendency to both procrastination and very forward planning.  I do LOVE to plan.

Anyhoo, I worked out some spreadsheets for on-road expenses, for at-home expenses and for income.  I’m budgeting $50 a day for on-road expenses.  A lot of material I’ve seen suggests that this would be the absolute minimum budget.  I’m pretty used to living frugally so I don’t think it will be impossible but it won’t be easy.  $50 a day over the two years will add up to about $40,000, give or take a grand or two and adding a bit for inflation.

To keep paying the mortgage, rates, insurance and other costs at home, I’ll need another $40,000 more or less.  I haven’t yet decided if I will rent out my house or not.  I’d like to, but the cost of packing up my stuff and getting it moved and storing it would really eat into any rental income.  Plus the house would need some work before I could rent it out through an agent.  I could potentially rent it to a friend at mate’s rates as-is, which would solve that problem.  The storage costs would still be an issue though. I don’t have access to a shipping container or anything like that so I can’t see any way around it at the moment.  That may change before we go.

One way or the other, I need to have income and savings in the order of $80,000 to cover costs while we’re on the road.

That doesn’t include a single cent on buying a car, trailer or any other gear.  I reckon a very conservative estimate of another $40,000 would cover a used vehicle and a used trailer and I wouldn’t have much change leftover.  If I decide to go the luxe version, I could easily spend double that or more.

Leaving aside the cost of the rig and gear, it’s actually not as bad as I thought and I’m glad I have some firm numbers to work towards.  It gives me a clear target to aim at and something to keep in mind when I contemplate spending money on unnecessary fripperies.