Busted budget quandary

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Grey nomad budget
Easy come, very easy go!

Dear Jaclyn and Heidi,

Help! My wife and I are budget busters! We are three months into what is supposed to be a two-year trip around this wonderful country and we are having the time of our lives. The problem is we’ll be lucky to stay on the road until Christmas at the rate we are going through our ‘hard-earned’. At the planning stage it seemed easy to say ‘we’ll spend a week or so free camping each month’, ‘we’ll live off the fish we catch’ and ‘we’ll steer clear of costly tours’. In reality, we love the ease of staying in van parks, can’t stop having regular ‘nights off’ cooking (and fishing) by eating out, and we have realised we’d much rather fly over a gorge than hike through it. In other words, we’re addicted to pampering ourselves.

Good on ya, Bob. The Big Lap is about having a good time and seeing what you want to see. Okay, so your Big Lap isn’t going to be quite as big as you once thought it was going to be … but so what? Being a grey nomad isn’t an endurance event where you get prizes for seeing how much hardship you can put up with. You thought your trip was going to be one thing but it’s turned out to be something else. As long as you’re having a good time and can afford what you’re doing, there is no problem. You haven’t mentioned what arrangements you have made for the end of your trip but I’m sure the grandkids will be delighted to see you home at Christmas. Just make sure it’s good while it lasts.

Boo hoo, Bob. You want to spend money you haven’t got so you can continue to live the lavish life of Riley for a couple of years. I’m sure we all would. Ill-disciplined ‘want, want, want’ whiners like you are the root cause of the world’s economic woes. Quite frankly, if you haven’t learned how to set a budget and stick to it it by now I’m amazed you cobbled enough cash together to buy a rig at all. I note you haven’t asked about how to get a fruit-picking job, or to find work at a van park or station so you can afford to keep travelling. No, Bob, I suggest you start spending a trail homeward now. Go tell the family all about your ‘half’ lap of luxury. Leave the Big Lap to ‘real’ grey nomads.



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