Last year I formulated a two-year plan. Part of the plan involved keeping track of every penny I spent. The other part of the plan involved visiting and writing about all of the New Mexico state parks. When I decided not to do the state park part of the plan, I mostly forgot about the keeping track of spending part of the plan.
The other day on one of the vandweller Facebook groups I belong to, someone asked how much money people “need” to live in their vans and travel. The same question came up at the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous last year. I never know how to answer such a question. I’ve been on the road with no money in my pocket, literally living off of the kindness of strangers. If I didn’t have as much money as I needed, I did without or asked strangers for help.
But it got me thinking…How much do I spend? Can I spend less? How much (money, things) do I really need?
So I’ve decided to go ahead with the keeping track of every penny part of my original plan.
I’m not going to go out today and stock up on a bunch of things so I can spend less in 2016. (I’ve got some food in the van and three propane canisters, and I filled up the gas tank two nights ago because I needed to.) I’ll just buy what I need when I need it and note it down in my little black book. (I found an old, blank black book when I was organizing the van last week, so I didn’t have to spend any money to buy a new one.)
I think what’s going to happen is that #1 I’m going to see that I buy a lot of stuff (mostly from thrift stores) that I don’t need and #2 Some things I won’t buy because I’ll be embarrassed to admit to it in writing. (I don’t mean sex toys or tampons. I mean yet another skein of yarn or a book I’m not totally excited about or more postcards when I already have plenty of postcards.)
Every month I’ll post an accounting of my spending here. By the end of the year, I’ll have answers.