This months finance blog is a little late – apologies.  I am writing this from a car park in Istanbul – Turkey  where we have been parked since the 11th March and self isolating in Trudy for 32 days.  Who would ever have thought we would end up being stuck in Turkey.  We expected breakdowns and other issues, but never for a moment did we expect a world wide pandemic to affect our travels. The good news is the parking area has ALL the facilities we need and the staff and locals here are amazing. We are blown away by the kindness and hospitality of the Turkish people.  Of all the places we could have got stranded we are pleased we are in Turkey – Country #30 since starting TREAD the Globe and our 14th country on our around the world drive.

 I know you’re wondering how does the current situation  affect our trip – the true answer is, we haven’t got a clue. We are keeping busy and positive, just taking it one day at a time.  We have worked out that If we can get into Russia by July, then we should be able to still make it across before the weather turns.  If not, we will have no choice but to head back to the UK to reapply for our Russian Visa, reset and start again as soon as the world situation allows.  We WILL make it around the world it just may take us longer than planned!

We hope you are all keeping safe during these difficult times and we send you all virtual hugs !

Since being in Istanbul we have had a very busy time and have ended up being interviewed by approximately 15 different TV stations, from the BBC, CNN, Show TV & Reuters news agency to name a few. This has kept us busy and it’s been a pleasure sharing some positivity during these times

We also want to say a huge THANK YOU to a company called RentnConnect.  They provide mobile wifi hotspots worldwide and cover 130+ countries.  When they heard of our situation being stranded they reached out to us and have sponsored us free unlimited internet for our stay in Turkey and beyond.  Self isolating in a 6m van in a carpark is one thing but doing it without internet or the ability to keep in touch with you all is another and we are truly grateful to them for their support.

RentnConnect has offered TREAD the Globe followers a 30% discount if there are others out there who need to connect – their web site is  www.rentnconnect.com and enter treadtheglobe in the voucher section.

What to expect from future posts

As we self isolate we are continuing to log our finances and will continue to share them with you.  When we deicided to travel full time there were very few content creators who shared their finances and social media income openly and so we want to be open and honest about our financial journey, as we travel full time. Hopefully this will help those of you who want to do something similar one day,  

We already planned to spend as little as we can, to ensure that we can afford the expensive shipping costs which we will have to face as we drive around the world. With the current situation it is even more important to underspend as we may need to start again and depending on time frames that may include expenses getting back to the UK, paying for some visas etc again.  We also want to make sure we save enough for emergencies, as you never know what tomorrow brings!!

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

MARCH 2020 - INCOME & EXPENDITURE


INCOME

YouTube £129.50 (Last month £157)

 This month we had 85,197 views compared to 77,667 last month.  Our channel is growing and moving in the right direction.  An additional 836 people subscribed to our channel which is great.  So if you are one of them, then we offer you a warm welcome to TREAD the Globe.

Normally if you get more views then you generate more ad revenue, but we are not in normal times.  Our income this month dropped despite the increase in views.  This is due to the world situation and all content creators are seeing their income reduce as advertisers spend less due to the economic uncertainty.   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 £61.29 (Last month £55)

The TREAD Tribe is for those who truly love what we do and want to actually be part of it, having more direct contact with us.  In fact as well as doing live video hangouts on our TREAD Tribe facebook group we are offering our Tribe members one to one video calls with us, to help us and you get through this self isolation.  At the time of this post we have 21 members and if you are one of them  we want to say a HUGE THANK YOU, your support and friendship is really appreciated.

There are various levels of membership 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 £46.39 (Last month £0)

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 sold £46.39 of T shirts – thank you to everyone who bought one.

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

 

Donations £172 (Last month £22)

Whenever anyone sends us a financial donation, (be it joining the TREAD Tribe, buying us a coffee, using Amazon links or a PayPal donation on our web site) 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 a £172 this month compared to £22 last month. We can’t thank you enough and your very kind and generous contributions keep us on the road and making you content and for that we are VERY grateful.

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

Buy Me a Coffee £10.80 (Last month £6.15)

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 £10.80

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

Amazon Affiliate Links £5.79 (Last month £18.96)

We receive a small amount from our Amazon links, this month was £5.79.   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: £1,782 (Last Month £1,615 )

EXPENDITURE

Merchandise costs £24.90

This is the cost of T Shirts sold. 

Vehicle Running Costs £516.90 (last month £376)

This month we have driven through Northern Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey. Bulgaria wasn’t on the initial route plan but we had to take a detour as the Greece / Turkey border was closed due to the Syrian refugee crisis.  Heading up into Bulgaria enabled us to drive into Turkey, which we are very pleased we managed to do. 

The green card insurance was more expensive but covered us for 3 months and due to the current situation,  we are delighted that it wasn’t just for the 3 weeks we had planned to drive across Turkey.  

One additional expense is parking.  As you know normally we don’t pay for parking as we wild camp.  However when we visit a city we always try and find paid secure parking.  The facility we are staying at, in Istanbul, is paid parking but we have access to all facilities, water, electric, shower, washing machine etc and we are happy to pay for these under the current circumstances. Imagine if we were stuck self isolating by the side of the road with no facilities or we could have had to rent an Air BnB

 

Fuel: £ 119.11

LPG  £10

Parking: £201.51

Border Insurance: £170.31 

Road tax and vignettes £14.76 

Tolls £1.21

TREAD Expenses £183.67 (Last month £192.56)

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: £12.41 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: £10.83 (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.  Normally it’s £10 per month however if you do have Tube Buddy then you get a discount – 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: £83.60 (last month)£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 to access the internet. (next month this will reduce after getting our mobile wifi hotspot from RentnConnect. 

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).  

This month has seen a slight  reduction as we cancelled one of our UK SIM cards  We did have 2 , one is our shared mobile, which we will always keep and the other was a data only sim.  It  was great for the EU but now we have left the EU it wouldn’t work in Turkey so we cancelled it.

VPN (Surf Shark) £42.50

Have you heard of a VPN.  They are great for a few reasons – firstly is that it adds another layer of security, which is essential if using public connections.  The second it allows your computer to think it is somewhere else.  So for example if you were watching a series on Netflix that isn’t available in Turkey, we can put the VPN to show we’re in the UK and can watch Netflix as if we are physically in the UK.

Living Expenses £384.75 (last month £381.17)

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 and it was so good !

We also realised that we haven’t tracked our ATM fees.  We use a card called Revolut that is linked to your phone and if you pay by card the exchange rates etc is excellent.  However using ATM machines, to take out cash, usually incur some form of additional charges from the banks, who own the machines.  These can vary hugely from a couple of pounds to a whopping 10% !!  We track our expenses as we spend money but realised that we are not tracking and sharing the ATM charges so some of them this month are estimated but will be accurate in the coming posts. These are our living costs this month.

Groceries:  £227.19

Eating out: £139.39

ATM Fees: £18.17

Other Expenses : £23.29

There always seems to be some expenses that doesn’t fit into the other category.  This amount includes Netflix, Internet cafe, and pharmacy

 


Total Expenses: £1,133.51 (Last month £999.27)


Monthly Profit / Loss

Yipee!! We underspent this month by £648

This is another positive month financially as we have lived under budget for three 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. Now we face additional costs due to the Corona Virus, parking charges in Istanbul and the possibility of the cost of returning to the UK, reapplying for visas and starting again. 

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.

We want to keep sharing our adventures with you.  The good, the bad and the ugly !!   Any funds donated or generated go back into our adventures so we can bring you great varied and exciting content.

Thank you for your ongoing support and most importantly stay safe.  Sending you all virtual hugs 

Chris and Marianne

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