Why we DON’T keep track of our expenses or budget on the road!

If you are like us, you have spent some time on travel blogs, YouTube Channels (like ours!) and Facebook on travel groups, and the most common question, after ‘how do I make coffee without power?’, is generally ‘how much do I need to do the lap of Oz?’ or ‘how is everyone affording it?’ And you will find the answers vary but a general consensus – start with a budget of $1000/week and reduce it if you are a bit tight and increase it if you have extra kids or like the finer things in life!

For us, we made a conscious decision not to track our expenses.


We have a reasonably steady income, a decent emergency fund and we basically just keep an eye on the emergency fund to ensure it doesn’t drop past where we are happy.

For us, keeping track of every single transaction we do, and having to justify expenses to each other would just drag us down emotionally so that we weren’t enjoying our travels as much, questioning if we could afford to do things if we spent too much yesterday etc etc.

Example from the very beginning when we were trying to decide if we should track or not.

The Exception!

We do keep track of our fuel. We have to keep receipts anyway, so we use Fuel Map (from the developers of Wikicamps) to log our fuel expenses. This is more for our own interest than anything else (the 4×4 Daily is currently using 24L/100km (GPS tracked) including towing our caravan, driving without the van, off road 4×4 work and Fraser Island for a week.)

Moral of the Story!

So don’t feel obliged to have to track every last cent just because other people are doing it, everyone is different and everyone’s minds work differently!

After a few weeks on the road (& the first couple feel like a holiday, where you spend more because you eat out, explore more than normal in our opinion until you find your new way of life and groove, buy things for the van that you realised you need/want), you will have a rough idea of what you’ve spent anyway, you’ll soon know how much of each you’ve done – van parks Vs free camping, attractions Vs free activities, eating out Vs off-grid remote, etc.

There will also be weeks when you need more car or van service/maintenance than expected, but does that mean you can’t go on that awesome tour you really wanted to do? No, it just means you need to think about how much you have to change over the coming weeks to cater for it or use your emergency fund for those maintenance things that pop up. That’s what an emergency fund is for anyway right!

We also feel it balances itself out over time anyway once you find your rhythm. One week for example, in Airlie Beach – it is a holiday/island vibe where you want to be staying amongst the features therefore no free camping, doing tours, eating and drinking out. Where as you may go inland where there is more free camping available and your activities are visiting natural features such as waterfalls, fishing/swimming in the creeks and rivers, and taking kids to playgrounds or parks.

Us happily enjoying life, not worried too much about if we had overspent this day! 🙂

If you enjoyed this blog or found it useful, please feel free to click on any of the ads on the page, it doesn’t cost you anything, but it does help us see a little money to cover the hosting costs of the website.

Further, if you are looking to support us in other ways, you can buy a product from our discounts page, purchase a piece of Dan’s photography art or ‘buy us a coffee“.


4 responses to “Why we DON’T keep track of our expenses or budget on the road!”

  1. Hi folks, have been following your journey around Oz. I am interested as to the outcome regarding your Iveco tow vehicle’s engine failure. Did Iveco come to the party in replacing it?
    Just another comment about volume of the videos. I find that when you are speaking the volume is very low and I find I have to ramp up the volume on my TV to ridiculous levels only to have to reduce it once the speaking ceases.
    Anyway good luck safe travels.

    1. Hi Roy,
      Thanks for the comment!
      Sorry about the volume issues, I have been trying to work on that to make it better! I will keep trying!
      We included an update on the engine outcome at the end of our QLD Beaches ep – https://youtu.be/9_BjBjOjBi4 which goes into the details, but basically we settled in Tribunal at the compulsory mediation before having to go to the full hearing.

  2. I’d like to know how you make a reasonably steady income on the road. We are heading off this year for a life on the road and looking at ways to keep earning to fund our travel.

    1. Hi Melanie, We are fortunate enough to be in a position from investments that we can travel and our two businesses “Daniel Courtney Landscape Photography” and this, “Overland Exposure” top us up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *