August Van Life Expenses - Canada, Backpacking Isle Royal

August Van Life Expenses

Written by Matt

August Expense Report - $21,115 of $40,000 challenge

This post is almost a month late! Seems to be a recurring theme with these posts but here is our August van life expenses. A little higher than previous months but we are still well on track to finish the year under our $40,000 target for the year! Read on to see what we did, and how much it cost to live in the van in August.

Year To Date Monthly Expenses
Year To Date Monthly Expenses

Our August Van Life Experience!

August was an awesome month! We Started the month in Maine and made our way up into New Brunswick for 5 days. We had plans to make our way over to Novia Scotia and make our way to Prince Edward Island but found that it was really difficult to  work from Canada just because we could no longer use our Verizon unlimited plans for internet (you only get 0.5GB in Mexico and Canda) and the free wifi was either slow or hard to find.

So, We made our way back into Maine and traveled across New Hampshire and Vermont. Stopping in Gorham to visit our favorite Bus peeps over at Wild Drive Life. We made our way into Upstate New York and had an amazing time in the Adirondacks and Finger Lakes hiking and camping.

We visited with some friends in Rochester NY and then made our way into Canada again, via Niagara Falls, for a van life meetup outside of Ontario. It was amazing to get together with 10 other people who were doing van life on their own terms. So great to see all the other builds and talk about everyone's life and reasons for living this way.

After leaving Ontario after 4 wonderful days at the beach, we headed into Detroit to visit with a friend and learned a lot about the city and housing since she works to help people stay in their homes. The city was so different than others we've been too.

After Detroit, we headed north stopping by sleeping bear dunes on Lake Michigan and then up into the Upper Peninsula. We took a 5-day backpacking trip on Isle Royal which is the least visited national park in the United States.  The day after our trip, we did our photoshoot for this Kiplinger Article in the Porcupine Mountains.

An action-packed month! Hopefully, you check us out on Youtube and Instagram and you followed along with us on last months journey!

Getting some water before hitting the trail
Getting some water before hitting the trail

August Expenses

Mortgage: $1,745.92 - Same as always!

Roommate Income: $2,634 – We had one roommate change over. We got a security deposit and will return one next month so we will have a little lower income next month

April Housing

Net housing costs: $769.43 (plus we built some equity in there!)

Bills were reasonable this month and as I mentioned above we had an extra deposit for someone moving in September. We will give the deposit back to the tenant leaving next month so its income will be a little lower.


Other Bills:

Groceries: $658.81 - Holy cow we spent a lot on groceries this month! At least it was offset a bit by us barely eating out at all. We went Keto again for a period of time this month which always tends to increase our costs a bit. We also fed a family of 4, and two other couples as we were passing through town and pitched in to the potluck for the 20 people at the van meet up! We also had no idea what we were doing in Canada and went to Sobey's, which I think is like the Whole Foods of Canada...

Clifford: $590.14 - Clifford had been hard shifting and having some serious belt squeal from the serpentine belt. I ordered parts to replace the whole serpentine belt system, a new alternator (because a failed alternator clutch causes the failure of the belt tensioner) and everything I needed to service the transmission.

Student Loan Payment: $500 – I was fortunate enough that my parents could help me pay for college. I’m paying my mom back for ~$60k in student loans. We set up a $500 payment each month for 10 years which I’m about 5 years into. (0% interest!)

Gasoline: $497.04 - We covered a lot of ground in August and we also got gas in Canada which is more expensive even when you take into account the exchange rate. Pro Tip: just get enough gas to get you across the border... exactly what I forgot to do and paid $90 for a tank instead of $70

Travel: $453.57 - We went BackPacking in Isle Royal for 4 days. Permits and the ferry cost $220, we spent another $100 on backpacking food (I split this out because it was specific to this trip and a bit more expensive than we would normally eat) and we had to board the dog with Rover for $125.

Phones: $174.42 – Verizon Unlimited plan for both of us.

Insurance: $112.21 – We pay $12 for our umbrella insurance which takes care of anything with our business or renters that would be above and beyond our normal insurance. We also pay or Auto insurance Yearly but I added $100/mo in here because its just under $1,200 per year.

Health Insurance: $101.00 – We use Medi-Share for our health insurance and have a $10,000 deductible. Basically, its there if we get cancer or hit by a bus. Luckily, we are young and healthy and this covers both of us for a really reasonable price.

Eating Out: $68.76– We hardly ate out at all. A couple of fast food stops while driving. One restaurant and one box of wine!

Gym: $61.06 – We use Planet Fitness for our Gym membership so that we can shower and work out. Its typically $22 per month but they charged an annual fee that I had no idea about that was $40. So if you get the black card just be aware that exists.

Laundry: $9.75 – Did two loads of wash at a laundromat in NY. Pretty good prices compared to some we have been to in the past!

Parking: $7.66– We had to pay for parking at a meter in Detroit for a couple of hours

August van life expenses

August Income

Rental Income: $769.43 – We had a big month because of an extra deposit that came in. It will be a little lower next month.

Business Income: $223.72 -  We got some good sales with our Primal Noms business! If you are interested in Keto check out our Keto Baked Goods - Primal Noms

Interest Income: $26.38- Thanks Savings accounts!

Dividends: $5.10– I don't think this is 100% accurate. Since we had our hack we locked down all of our accounts and I don't think we are pulling in the dividends from our wealth front account and my 401k

August Van Life Income

Business Expenses

Primal Noms: $210.89 – We paid for all of the shipping on the products that were ordered, and we paid for $70 Instagram marketing service that we canceled after this month.

Business Support: $125.01 -   Active Campaign, Our Website builder Beaver Builder, DropBox, and an SEO book Make Traffic Happen

Owen Your Future: $37.17 – We paid for our Adobe Premier subscription and business cards for FinCon conference we were going to in August from Vista Print

Align With Alli: $20 – We paid for her LibSyn subscription for her podcast

August Business

Sorry again for the tardiness of this post! Follow us on Youtube and Instagram for more up to date info on where we are and what we are doing. Stay tuned for September van life expenses which will be out soon!

Leave us some comments below and let us know how you are doing on your financial goals for this year and if we can support you on your journey in any way! Thanks for reading!

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