I am writing this blog post from North Macedonia, parked up by Lake Ohrid  – Country # 27 since starting TREAD the Globe and our 11th Country on our around the world drive !!

Where does the time go!  We’re already 2 months into our around the world drive and it only feels like yesterday since we left.  We’ve been so busy driving, filming and making videos, that time really has flown by. Hard to think that we still have at least another 18 months on this trip!!  We have driven across Bosnia, Albania and now North Macedonia, our first taste of driving through non EU countries.  It suddenly makes it feel a bit more adventurous.  Crossing so many borders this month adds quite a bit of expense, as for each border crossing we need to buy our green  card insurance and buy a new SIM card. so we can keep online and posting updates for you all.

We’re loving the Polarsteps app.  If you haven’t downloaded it already, then you really should.  It’s a free app, that is tracking our exact movements, so you can see live where we are in the world.  I know a lot of you have messaged to say that you’re enjoying following our route as we drive around the world.

What to expect from future posts

We want to be open and honest about our financial journey as we travel full time.  We often get asked how do we afford? it or how much does it cost?.  So what better way than tracking all our expenses and sharing them all with you.  Even our income from YouTube which most other content creators keep as a guarded secret!   As we hopefully grow, we want to share the financial journey with you, so then you get to come with us on this aspect of travel as well.  We hope that you find it interesting and that if you are planning an adventure for yourselves, that it helps you plan it.

It’s very important for us to spend as little as we can at the moment, to ensure that we can afford the expensive shipping costs which we will have in the coming months.  We also want to make sure we save enough for emergencies, as you never know what tomorrow brings!!

 So here is the February income / expenditure report from the road!   

FEBRUARY 2020 - INCOME & EXPENDITURE


INCOME

YouTube £157 (Last month £189)

 Last month we had 102,000 views which was much higher than usual  mainly because the start of our adventure was on local TV and radio.  Setting off to drive around the world got quite a lot of local attention. This month our channel still performed well with 77,667 views.  We have had 408 new subscribers this month and if you’re one of them welcome! and if you haven’t subscribed yet … what are you waiting for?  – We’re so excited to have you join us on this epic around the world adventure. 

As expected, after the initial excitement of our trip our income from YouTube is down.  We received £157 in advert revenue in February compared to £189 last month.  For every one you who watched our video and let the ad run, without skipping it and left a thumbs up, or comment THANK YOU.  Without you doing this, we wouldn’t get a penny!

Tread Tribe £55 (Last month £24.60)

We launched the TREAD Tribe for those who really want to support our travels and at the time of writing this we have 17 Tribe members.  We had three new members join us this month and a few existing members increased their contributions.   As a result, this month the membership increased to £55.     We want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all members of the TREAD Tribe – and you support and friendship is really appreciated.

There are various levels and in return we offer some added perks for example, access to the TREAD Tribe’s facebook group where we do live chats, and personal TREAD postcards from us on our travel.  Membership starts from $1 (£0.76) per month. 

For those of you who joined us for the live hangout on our Tribe Facebook group, we really loved chatting to you and answering all of your questions – we’ll do another one soon.  

If you would like to know more about the Tread Tribe please

click here

 

House Rental £1,356 - (Last month £1,356)

It this is your first time reading our finance blog post – this is what makes our travels sustainable.   Our house in the UK is rented out  longterm and this gives us a more reliable income compared to Youtube and other sources.  This month, we are pleased to say that we received the full rental amount and there was no maintenance work needed.

Merchandise Sales £0 (Last month £19.07)

We sell a selection of TREAD the Globe T shirts on our web site.   Each T Shirt sold funds us for approximately 40 miles of travel and helps us fund this expedition.  We use a print to order service so we are still able to process orders from the road.  This month we didn’t sell any T Shirts.

If you would like to visit our online shop to check out our exclusive merchandise then please CLICK HERE.

 

Donations £22 (Last month £297)

Whenever anyone sends us a financial donation, (be it joining the TREAD Tribe, buying us a coffee, using Amazon links or a PayPal donation) we are really touched and we are genuinely blown away by peoples generosity, so a huge THANK YOU for your kind contributions to help our travels.   

We received £22 this month compared to £297 last month. In case you’re wondering, last month was so high as we received a very generous fuel donation from a family member – thanks  Sue & Mark xx.

 If you want to see how you can help us then Click Here

Buy Me a Coffee £6.15 (Last month £12.42)

I’m sure you all realise that we are both coffee addicts and we have a link on our web site where you can buy us a coffee.  This month we received received £6.15 

 Thank You  – you know how much we LOVE coffee !!! ha ha

Amazon Affiliate Links £18.96 (Last month £9.05)

We receive a small amount from our Amazon links, this month was £18.96  which is the highest we have received so far.   If you’re one the the people that used our links then thank you! 

Lots of you have asked about which products we use or recommend, so we have recently create an Amazon shop.  If you would like to look at this, then please click here.

This is a very easy way for you to help us, and it doesn’t cost you anything.   If you want to buy another products, then just use our link then shop as normal.

TOTAL INCOME: £1,615 (Last Month £1,932 )

EXPENDITURE

Merchandise costs £0 (Last month £21.70)

As we didn’t sell any T shirts this month there were no costs.

Vehicle Running Costs £376 (last month £407)

This month we have driven through, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania and we are now in North Macedonia.  Quite a few countries but distance we have only driven 1,273 miles.  We have seen the fuel costs drop, which all helps. 

As we head into non EU countries our vehicle insurance for the UK is not valid, and so we have had to purchase Green Card insurance at each border.  The cost of this varies from 20 – 40 Euros.

We also had a minor problem with Trudy.  She developed a ‘squeak’ from one of her wheels and so we replaced the brake pads.  So here’s this months vehicle running costs

 

Fuel: £ 163.22

LPG  £16.10

Maintenance: £88.76

Border Insurance: £107.94

TREAD Expenses £192.56 (Last month £276.51)

These are expenses that are specifically for TREAD the Globe. Whether it is for our website or to be able to publish content.

Tube Buddy: £15 Monthly

This is a google chrome extension that makes any Youtuber’s life a lot easier.  It allows us to bulk change elements of our end screens and descriptions of all our videos, as well as lot of other perks.

Tech Insurance: £12.49 (Monthly)

We have our Mac Book Pro insured – just incase.

Canva Pro: £10.24 (Monthly)

This is an online image creator and is great for us, we create all of our thumbnails using this software and effects like the diary cam on our videos.  

Epidemic Sound: £7.49 (Monthly)

This monthly membership which allows us to access lots of music for our videos, without having to worry about copyright issues.  We spend a lot of time listening to tracks to match the video.  We hope you agree, it really makes a big difference having good music.  You may notice that this has gone down slightly (£10 last month).  We discovered that if you have a paid Tube Buddy account, then you get a discount with Epidemic Sound – it all helps !!

Site Ground Web Hosting: £14.35 (Monthly)

This is an ongoing cost, once you have a website built, you still need to pay a company to host it for you.

Mobile Phone sims / Internet: £102.43

In order for us to post on social media, to maintain our website, answer your messages and to upload our videos onto YouTube, we need mobile SIM cards.   We seem to have spent quite a lot on these so far for a few reasons.  

Each country we enter, we need to buy a new SIM and so far each country actually charges you for the SIM card before you top it up (between €5 – 15 Euros).  

We are also at the moment keeping both of our UK SIM cards going.   Our data only SIM card  give us 19GB per month in most EU countries, so we use them as a back up, incase we can’t find a SIM card straight away.  We’ll cancel it when we leave Greece as it won’t work in most of the other countries.   

Postcards & Stickers £9.70

Depending on the level of membership, some of our TREAD Tribe members get special TREAD Tribe stickers and / or a special custom made TREAD the Globe postcard. 

USB Computer Charger: £21.50

We have been charging our computers with a 12v inverter, however we noticed that this was using a lot of electric, especially as we are on our computers so much.   We ordered a different charger from Amazon and got it delivered to our friend Patrik’s house in Gratz.  We are pleased to report, we haven’t run low on electric since.

Living Expenses £381.17 (last month £225)

We want to share all our day to day expenses. This month we spent more on eating out, because we wanted to share the local food experience with you on the videos.  These are our living costs this month.

Groceries:  £192.90

Eating out: £168.35

Laundry: £19.92

Other Expenses : £49.54

There always seems to be some expenses that doesn’t fit into the other category.  This amount includes our Netflix subscription, tram in Graz and cost of a Hostel.

Yes that is not a typo – it does actually say hostel.  When we arrived in Montenegro, we only planned a couple of nights and so we worked out it was cheaper to pay for a hostel so we could use their wifi, rather than buying a sim and we got to do our washing and have a LONG shower.  It’s also great talking to other travellers and getting some local tips on what to see and do.


Total Expenses: £999.27 (Last month £949.40)


Monthly Profit / Loss

Yipee!! We underspent this month by £615

This is another positive month financially as we have lived under budget for two months in a row. We need to continue to underspend every month to be able to afford the shipping costs .  To give you an idea, to ship from South Korea to either the USA or Australia, is is approx £5,500 just for the shipping.   The target is to underspend by £600 each month.  Of course you never know what happens and we may have some mechanical issues on the way and need to be able to afford the repairs.  

We hope you find our expenses interesting.  We want to be transparent and open about all our costs, so that if any of you consider doing something similar, it might help you see if it’s possible.   The Youtube income is normally a close guarded secret, and many people think it’s easy to earn money from Youtube. We can assure you that it’s not, and if it was calculated as an hourly wage, no one would take the job!!

If there are any more details you want to ask us, then go ahead and send us a message, email or leave a comment.

Although we are sustainable now, with the rental of our home and limited income above, we are trying to increase the income, so we are able to travel and share more experiences with you.   All of the money we receive goes towards our travels and the equipment needed to produce our videos.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Chris and Marianne

xx

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