I can’t believe that another month has gone by and it’s time to write another finance blog post. Time really does go fast and at the time of writing this we have just 56 days until we set off. In fact just writing that down makes my stomach flutter with nerves and excitement all at the same time!
I like to be organised and planning this trip has been a real challenge. I have done lots of budgets and cost forecasts before, after all my previous jobs and running our own business meant that I had too. On the other hand I have never tried to do a budget for a trip like this. There are just so many unknowns such as, how do we know the cost of living and fuel in all these new countries. When we planned the route we mainly looked at what seemed possible, taking into account the political situations, weather and distance. At that point the cost was even more of a guess than it is now.
As we started planning it in more detail, we have been hit with some large costs. The cost of visas is now in the thousands and the travel vaccinations alone are in the region of £700 – £900.
The other challenge we have had is getting the approximate shipping costs as it depends on the routes, type of ship, exchange rates and what’s available when we actually do it. The shipping companies are reluctant to provide rough quotes so far in advance. Shipping is by far the biggest expense that we face and our guess work could literally be thousands of pounds out. Not a great situation for someone who likes to be organised and have control of our financial security. We’ll be sure to share in upcoming blogs and videos and as we find out more, although I have a feeling it will only be accurate when we finally arrive at the port!
Over the past month, we have really done our best to keep our cost of living as low as we can, as we have had some very large costs and still have a few more coming up !! We are literally living as tightly as we can, it’s an interesting challenge and one we are starting to get used to.
Getting ready for ‘the big trip’ is proving to be a real challenge, both mentally, emotionally and financially. We always knew that it wasn’t going to be easy and it certainly wasn’t going to be cheap and we have’t even set off yet!
As we have previously said most travel bloggers (written content) and vloggers (filmed content) don’t actually share their financial information. The amount of money then generate, be it from ads on their web site, or income from their YouTube channel, it is always a well guarded secret. One of the most common questions we get asked is ‘how can we afford to do it?’
We did take a huge step into the unknown, but hopefully if you plan to do the same or part of what we do (even if it’s just setting up your own YouTube channel) then we hope that our financial blogs will help give you an understanding.
We want to make it clear, so that if any of you are planning to do a similar thing, it may help you make that BIG decision. We are realistic and know that to make our lifestyle fully sustainable, from making YouTube videos, or writing blog posts, is not easy and if it’s possible, it will take a lot of time and effort.
Your coming on this voyage of discovery with us – every step of the way.
What to expect from future posts
The countdown clock to our official start , on the 4th January 2020 is fast going down (there’s a countdown clock on the homepage of our website). From now until we leave, each month, we will share with you our income, and any costs associated with the preparation of the global trip, marketing, van preparation, equipment costs and creating content for you.
Once we set off in January, we will share monthly, detailed income and expenditure of everything we spend, during the 2 year trip from food to fuel so you can get a real sense of all the costs involved on such a trip.
October 2019 - Income & Expenditure
October has been another challenging month financially as we continue to prepare to start our big trip in January 2020.
We have been looking at a few different ways to generate some more income or cut our preparation costs.
Getting sponsorship is one way to cut costs and we have had a successful month. I would advise anyone looking at doing something similar to us, in one way or another, to only approach and choose sponsors that you REALLY need and REALLY want. The few sponsors that we do have is because we’re planning to purchase their products anyway, rather than it was a way to save money.
That being said, our sponsors continue to grow:
– A Plan insurance (we were with them anyway) have paid for our van insurance for the year (valid in EU) and have offered to pay our medical travel insurance for the whole trip.
– Planar Heaters have very generously offered to supply and fit a diesel heater. We had chosen Planar as they have a great reputation and more reasonably priced than some of their competitors.
– We met Duvalay at the NEC show and we remembered them from Dragons Den. They have kindly offered us a new custom made topper for the bed so we’re going to be having comfortable nights sleep.
– DFDS – We have used them numerous times before and they have kindly offered us a complimentary ferry on the 5th Jan for our departure.
– Darren on of our followers has offered to pay for a set of new tyres + 1 spare – THANKS Darren that’s amazing of you
We’ve been blown away by the generosity of these companies and our followers.
A few day ago we also launched the TREAD Tribe. This is Patreon page and a way that our followers can help support us and in return we give them a few perks, live private video hangouts. At the time of writing this we have just launched it (November) and we have 2 members of the TREAD Tribe, so we are looking forward to building this friendly community over the coming months and years.
If you would like more information then check please click here
During October, we saw our revenue decrease a little. We expected this, as during the preparation stage, we are so busy with the the planning, that we are only releasing one video a week, and our income comes from views on the adverts – so the more videos we create, the adverts get watched!!
So to only have 1000 views less when we’re only doing 1 video a week is great.
We generated an income of $135.81 which is approx (£106)
We had 6% more subscribers in October that we did in September and we saw an increase of 429 . Welcome on board if you are one of them.
House Rental: £1,356
This month we got the full rental (after agency fees) as there were no little repairs to do.
Merchandise Sales £216
This month we had T-shirt sales of £216. There are a few more designs so if you haven’t visited our online shop then click here
We will be having a draw, to give one T-shirt away to the first members of the TREAD Tribe and you can also get discount codes when you sign up. Check out the support us page on our website for more information.
Paypal Contributions: £9.41
Incase you wonder why such an odd amount – we were set £10 but payal takes a small commission.
Buy me a coffee: £0
So if we sound tired, it is because we didn’t receive any coffees this month!
Amazon Links: £1.47
Originally amazon links only worked for our UK sales, however Amazon now have Amazon one link – which means that it will work in other countries. So you if you want to support us by using our links as you buy those Christmas presents here’s a link
TOTAL INCOME AUGUST: £1,689 ( August = £1,858)
Our expenses are much less that last month but the preparations costs continue to mount up with some expensive visa costs.
Category 1: MARKETING – £0 (last month £206.75)
This month we had no marketing costs – Yay!!
Category 2: MERCHANDISE – £104.91
Unfortunately to sell merchandise you have to buy it! This is the cost of merchandise to generate the sales of £216 giving a profit of £111. The T- shirt cost works on the quantity sold, so the more we sell then the more profit we make. Each shirt sold will give us approx 40 miles of fuel.
Category 3: VISAS / PASSPORTS – £707.60 (last month £701)
This month we took another trip to London, this time for the Russian visa. This price includes the visa fees, our petrol, cost of London Underground and the agency fees. Not a cheap exercise by an essential one.
Category 4: VEHICLE PREPARATION – £188.84 (last month) £1,522.57
The main expense with this was for a new side door seal. Also includes concentration natural toilet chemicals for the trip.
Category 5: TREAD EXPENSES – £90.57 (last month £1,618.26)
This category is for other TREAD related expenses – a lot less than last month.
Stasher £6 (one off)
This is for service we used for storing our filming bag in London, whilst we visited the visa office .
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.
Technical Insurance £12.49 (monthly)
You never know what life throws at you! I managed to spill a drink on my MacBook in Spain and luckily it was covered by our travel insurance. We now have a computer each due to the work load (Marianne has the fixed one and I have a new faster model), and so the new one, I took out insurance just incase. Money well spent if I have another clumsy moment.
Canva Pro – £11.28 (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 – £10 (monthly)
This monthly membership allows us to access lots of music for our videos without having to worry about copyright issues.
Site Ground Web Hosting – £12.50 (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 – £38.30 (monthly)
We share a phone to keep our costs low, but we also need a data SIM card so that we can post videos and content with you whilst we are on the road.
TOTAL EXPENSES £1091.82 (Last month £4,284.56)
Note at this point we are not including food, fuel and other day to day expenses these will be included when the world trip starts.
As you can see we spent a lot of money this month and shows the reality of creating content. We would have spent a fraction of this cost if we just travelled without making the videos and sharing it on our website etc. This is one of the reasons why we have created the TREAD Tribe, to help generate a small additional income to help balance the books.
We love creating and sharing our adventures with you and don’t worry we will continue to do so.
We hope that you enjoyed reading this post and it helps give you a better understanding of our financial position. If there is something that you want to know about our finances, then comment or message us.
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 equipment needed to produce our videos.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
Chris and Marianne