Van Life Australia Monthly Budget Report – April 2021

Welcome to another Van Life Australia Budget post, where we open up completely about our expenses while travelling and living in our campervan full-time. This is our monthly breakdown for April 2021.

Ever wanted to know just how much it costs to to do #vanlife in Australia? Well you’re in luck, because that’s exactly the kind of information we aim to share with you!

We’ve been super diligent by keeping track of every dollar we spend as we cruise around Australia in our Sprinter campervan, and this has allowed us to figure out what aspects of this full-time van life costs us the most, and where we can save money.

This has led us to creating this Van Life Australia budget series, and we’re excited to bring you our fourth edition.

You can read our last monthly budget posts here:

Want to know what we spent in April of 2021? Read on…

Don’t forget to follow us on social media, where we share the real story of what it’s like travelling and living in a van full-time!

Two Surfers on Big Wave Narrabeen
A great month meeting people and going on lots of adventures

Van Life Australia Budget – April 2021

What you’ll find below is just how much we spent living in a van full-time for the entire month of April.

First up, a few notes:

  • This budget does not include any of our business expenses or income.
  • Some things in here are not necessarily van life-related, but we decided to include everything anyway in the interest of being transparent.
  • We don’t splurge, but we definitely don’t try to live as cheaply as possible.
  • We are vegetarians, so we save money on meat, but we also eat healthily, so our food costs are higher than some people might spend living on the road.
  • This is the cost for two people.
  • The budget doesn’t include things like car registration and insurance, which we pre-pay yearly, unless it falls into the current month we’re documenting.

WHAT WE GOT UP TO THIS MONTH

This month we left Tasmania on April 1st and stayed with our friends in Melbourne for a while. We haven’t seen them in a long time so it was great to catch up and spend some quality time together.

After spending some time on the outskirts of Melbourne, we headed towards the Grampians. We stayed in this area for a couple of weeks.

We found a great camp on a lake that was bike riding distance from a town with all the services we needed. This was a great spot to get some work done as we fell behind a little in Tasmania.

We caught up with our friends Jez and Jess and Catie and Corey. It was great to catch up with other van lifers we have met along the way.

Caitie and Corey are pro rock climbers so we all went out climbing for the day. Between them and Jez and Jess (who are also keen climbers), we had all the gear we needed to have two routes going.

It was such a great day out. We brought lunch with us and the Aeropress and Jetboiler so we could all have coffee and tea.

After these guys left, we headed to Halls Gap and did some hiking around the Grampians. We visited waterfalls, lookouts and hikes some of the popular hikes.

This area was so beautiful and we are so glad we got to do some hiking here.

After exploring the Grampians we decided to head north as we knew the Great Ocean Road would be business as it was school holidays. We explored part of the Silo Art Trail in Victoria.

This is where talented artists will paint massive murals on the grain silos of country towns. They will paint something that is relevant to the town where the silo is. It brings travellers to these little local towns who would never have got these visitors.

While exploring this area we got some great news. We picked up some more clients for our SEO agency and got commissioned for some projects with NOMADasaurus.

Our workload went from cruising to overdrive. After having some long discussions on where to keep on travelling to South Australia or head back to Sydney to this work done, we decided to head back to Sydney.

We felt that if we tried to continue travelling in Marlee and try and work daily, our productivity just wouldn’t be there 100%. So we decided that we are going to settle in Sydney for a few months and pump out this extra workload so we can get back on the road full time again.

This month has taken us from one direction to another. As we wanted to keep on travelling in Marlee, we needed to get these projects out of the way and this is why we headed back to Sydney to settle down for a couple of months.

Total Kilometres Driven: 2,679 km

Narrabeen Pool Sunrise
One of the beautiful sunrises when we got back to Sydney.

WHAT WE SPENT – April 2021

Let’s dive into the breakdown of everything.

Note – All prices are in AUD.

ITEMS$$$
Fuel$480
Food (Groceries)$643
Food (Dining Out)$81
Accommodation (Campgrounds)$55
Coffee (Take-Away and Aeropress)$102
Alcohol$148
Phone Bills$103
Laundry$0
Health/Medical$0
Van Maintenance/Items$445
Entertainment (Spotify, etc)$12
Attractions / Activities$0

Total Cost$2,069
Van Life Australia Monthly Budget Report April 2021 Pie Chart

So there you have it! 

For the month of April 2021, we spent $2,069 on van life in Australia.

Now let’s break down each part for you guys.

FUEL – $480

We travelled to inland Victoria this month and explored the Grampians. We did chill out and get some work down which was nice as Tasmania was so business.

Near the end of the month, we bombed it back to Sydney for a bunch of work projects so fuel got expensive in the lead up to May.

FOOD (GROCERIES) – $643

We did our shopping at the supermarket and the local markets. We love getting fresh fruit and vegetables from the markets. If there is one in a town, we always stop. We find the produce lasts so much longer than the supermarket’s ones.

FOOD (DINING OUT) – $81

I took my friend out for lunch to celebrate her birthday which was so nice. It was great to see her. We also got sushi while on the road and some pies from a bakery.

ACCOMMODATION (CAMPGROUNDS) – $55

When you move off the coast there become way more free camps in Australia. We stayed at a great one in Ararat. We stayed here more than a week as it was right on the lake and had great phone reception.

It’s by donation and on an honesty system, but we left some money to contribute, otherwise the local councils may be forced to close them down, A little support goes a long way, and we’re so thankful for these camps.

We went into the Grampian National Park and paid to stay at one of the camps near where we went rock climbing. And we stayed at a private camp near Halls Gap where we did a few hikes and explored the area.

The rest of the days we were either at free camps, friends or family’s houses so we didn’t pay for accommodation.

  • Paid Camps – 9
  • Free Camps – 21

COFFEE – $102

We got a bag of beans for our Aeropress. We love coffee and have at least two coffees a day. We did get a couple of take-away coffees on the road also.

ALCOHOL – $148

Finally, our alcohol bill came down. We didn’t drink as much as we did the other months. I think our bodies thanked us for it.

PHONE BILLS – $103

Our bill is the same every month. I am with Optus and Jarryd is with Telstra. For us working online, we are glad we have both networks to bounce off. When one doesn’t work, usually the other does. I have 500GB for $48 and Jarryd has 180GB for $55.

LAUNDRY – $0

We did not pay for laundry this month as we visited friends and family and did our laundry there. Thanks, guys!

HEALTH/MEDICAL – $0

Nothing on health and medical this month.

VAN MAINTENANCE/ITEMS – $445

We found a great Mercedes mechanic in Melbourne and got him to do a full service on Marlee. Everything was looking good so we were very happy.

ENTERTAINMENT – $12

This is for Spotify. This is one subscription we are happy to pay for. We listen to it daily.

ATTRACTIONS – $0

No attractions this month. We did see a lot and spent a good amount of time around Melbourne and the Grampians but we didn’t have to pay for anything that we did. Spending time in nature is free, well most of the time.

Total Cost – $2,069

Van Life Group
Always good times hanging out with these guys!

THOUGHTS ON OUR MONTHLY BUDGET

There you go everyone – our eleventh monthly van life budget.

If you found this helpful at all please leave a comment below, share it with anyone you think will find it useful, and make sure you follow our journey on Instagram and YouTube!

This is the tally of our monthly costs so far on the road. All amounts are in Australia Dollars:

  • 1st month total = $2369 (June)
  • 2nd month total = $2675 (July)
  • 3rd month total = $3460 (August)
  • 4th month total = $4338 (September)
  • 5th month total = $4819 (October)
  • 6th month total = $5447 (November)
  • 7th month total = $3518 (December)
  • 8th month total = $3204 (January)
  • 9th month total = $1707 (February)
  • 10th month total = $2275 (March)
  • 11th month total = $2069 (April)

TOTAL VAN LIFE BUDGET FOR ELEVEN MONTHS – $35,881

About the Author - Alesha and Jarryd - Van Life Theory

Hi! We're Alesha and Jarryd, the founders of Van Life Theory! We're currently travelling around Australia in our 2008 Mercedes Sprinter campervan and sharing our best experiences, stories, reviews and adventures as we go along. Make sure you follow along on our Instagram and YouTube!

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