Some say that you can save a lot of money by living nomadic but is this accurate? It all really depends on the person because all people are in different situations and have different wants and/or needs. You can live a life of luxury living as a nomad if you’re able to do it and you can live very minimally as well. Nomad life isn’t strictly confined to one group of people. There are a variety of nomads out there so we’ll try and cover all the aspects of nomad expenses living life on the road.

How many expenses are there?

Well, this varies depending on the person. Some people have credit card debt and student loans while others are required to pay child support. If you’re a person that falls under this category then living nomadic can be beneficial since you won’t have rent or utility bills to pay on top of those bills. If you just happen to be a backpacker living nomadically then you can get away without having to pay any expenses other than food.

Types of expenses:

  • Vehicle Insurance
  • Phone Bill
  • Fuel
  • Food
  • Entertainment (Netflix, Prime, etc.)
  • AAA
  • Internet
  • Eating Out
  • Activities/Events/Tickets
  • Propane
  • Campsites
  • Coffee/Wi-Fi
  • Vehicle Maintenance
  • Tolls
  • Gym Memberships
  • Laundry
  • Water
  • Miscellaneous/Unexpected Expenses
  • Parking Tickets

How much are expenses?

This is another thing that varies depending on the person and how luxurious they want to live. If you’re a person that has a strict budget then you obviously can’t live too luxurious. Are you a person that makes instant coffee in your vehicle or are you the person that goes out to a fancy coffee shop and pays ten dollars for a Peanut Butter Mocha? A ten dollar mocha everyday will certainly add up but man are they good!

Here are a few examples of the monthly costs associated with nomad expenses:

  • Vehicle Insurance – $100
  • Phone Bill – $50
  • Fuel – this varies depending on how much you’re traveling
  • Food – $250
  • Entertainment (Netflix, Prime, etc.) – $30
  • Eating Out – $50
  • Propane – $20
  • Gym Memberships – $20
  • Laundry – $20
  • Water – $20

What expenses don’t nomads have?

Well nomads don’t have to pay rent which is AWESOME! As most of you know rent can be pretty expensive and can consist of one-third of your monthly income or even more depending on where you live and how much money you bring in. Eliminating monthly rent payments can save a person a nice chunk of money. Nomads don’t have to worry about utility bills either.

Essentially it’s just rent, mortgage, and utility payments that nomads don’t have to worry about.

Nomad Expenses Scenario #1

Alfred just finished college and he has tons of student loan debt. He couldn’t find a job in the field he went to school for so he couldn’t afford rent. He decided to sell his car and buy a van to live in. He found good paying seasonal jobs so he’s able to travel and live a fulfilling nomadic life. He works 6 months out of the year and travels the other 6. He can’t be too frivolous otherwise he’ll run out of money early. This is what he pays for monthly:

  • Vehicle Insurance – $80
  • Student Loans – $200
  • Phone Bill – $50
  • Fuel – $$400
  • Food – $250
  • Gym Membership – $10
  • Laundry – $20
  • Water – $20

Alfred lives rather minimally but the adventures that he goes on in his van make him happy. Actually, he’s much happier living nomadically than what he was living in an apartment.

Nomad Expenses Scenario #2

Margo works for an IT company and they offered her the opportunity to work from home. Her friend introduced her to vanlife so she bought herself a brand new Sprinter van and hit the road. Margo makes pretty good money so she’s able to live a bit more luxurious than other vanlifers. Here are what her expenses look like:

  • Vehicle Insurance – $121
  • Phone Bill – $82
  • Internet – $55
  • Fuel – $400
  • Food – $420
  • Gym Membership – $42
  • Laundry – $40
  • Water – $20
  • Coffee/Wi-Fi – $119
  • Activities/Events/Tickets – $132
  • Campsites – $205
  • Eating Out – $132
  • Entertainment (Netflix, Prime, etc.) – $40

With Margo’s income she is able to splurge a bit from time to time. She gets that Peanut Butter Mocha five days a week. Lucky her.

So as you can see it all depends on the person. Everybody has different expenses along with different paying jobs.

Am I forgetting any expenses in this article? If so, use the comment section below and let me know what I left out.

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1 Comment

  • Laura Houle
    Posted June 4, 2022 10:01 am

    Tell me your secrets for spending $250/month on groceries! 🙂 The two of us, and one dog spend $800/month.

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