Thursday, June 9, 2011

Winter Expenses Compared

Item 2009 – 2010
2010 – 2011
Fuel (Honda) 468 469
Fuel (Motorhome) 3911 3956
Propane 74 99
Dining 3777 3714
Entertainment 113 1077
Groceries, Liquor (see note) 3589 3560
Admissions and Tours 102 155
Camping Fees (see note) 3691 3080
Highway Tolls 1030 5
Taxis, Bus 180 68
Other Travel
(Bahamas Cruise)
0 807
Hotels 592 422
TOTAL $17,527 $17,412
Cost Per Day $97.37 / day $106.82 / day


Well, that is quite remarkable! The winter in the USA cost exactly the same as the previous winter in Mexico! Some important notes are:

1) These figures are in Canadian dollars which were worth about 10% more this year. If I were using USA dollars, this year would have cost me about $1,741 more for the Winter or about $10.68 more per day.

2) We drove quite a bit further in the Mexico year. I did not keep records but probably at least 20% more.

3) The “Groceries and Liquor” classification covers everything we bought in grocery stores. This would include groceries, liquor, cleaning items, magazines, toilet paper, etc.

4) We boondocked MUCH more in the USA this year and stayed for a whole month at our friends in Florida for free. If we had stayed in RV parks every night the figure for this year would have been much higher, probably $1000 - $1500 higher.

5) We were away 17 days longer in the Mexico year than in the USA year.  180 days in Mexico and 163 days in the USA.

6) We dined out WAY more in Mexico. In Mexico we probably averaged one meal per day out, usually lunch or dinner and often both. In the USA the meal out was usually breakfast and the average was less than once per day (maybe 5 - 6 times a week). Restaurants are much cheaper in Mexico.

7) We entertained much more in Mexico as well and this is reflected in the “Groceries and Liquor” costs. Groceries are much cheaper in Mexico and the fact that we spent almost the same each year means we bought a much higher volume of these items in Mexico.


  1. Comparing the two years, I still think the US was more expensive. In your Mexico years we just about never get a sense that money is tight or that you have a budget. With your US winter, I definitely sensed a crunch. So, you might have stayed on budget, but it seems it was more of an effort to do so.

  2. Amazing how close the two were. But seriously Croft, didn't you miss Mexico? We're heading back there early this year...September!

  3. Yes Kevin, I missed Mexico! Badly! But after saying that, this was the first time we have been in the South USA and we did enjoy it a lot as well. But now we have seen it.

  4. Croft
    Rae has a good point. Clearly the "dollar" goes much further in Mexico.
    I also wonder about your plans for this fall / winter. Last year you had expressed some concerns about what has been going on in Mexico with violence. I understand it is isolated, but it certainly has had an impact on tourism. Do you still have the same concerns?
    Bill in Nebr.

  5. That is a good question Bill and I am about 99.9% of the way to a decision. I will post about it soon.

    Yes, the money was a little tighter in the USA. No question. In Mexico we pretty much did what we wanted and frequented the more expensive restaurants. In the States, we always checked the prices before we sat down. Rae gave me heck last year because we just blundered along without a budget or even really watching what we were spending. She was right but in Mexico, we can do that. In the USA, we cannot.

  6. Well me I am spending this winter in BOSTON!!!!!!! Sorry I just never give up!!!!! Go bruins!!!

  7. It will be interesting to see what happens this winter. Based on this last one, I have a feeling a lot of people will be coming back but with much different destinations.

    Next month will be our first big trip out and we are anxious to see how it goes. In fact, it will be our longest trip ever. We are hoping to use some of our time after july, to travel around more of southern Mexico. That will help us make our decision about our winter plans.

  8. Hi Croft,
    If I was betting, I'd bet
    a) Vancouver will win tonight and b)you and Norma are headed back to Mexico.
    We're hopefully headed back to Cuba in November (before ski season). We just returned from a month in Oregon and Washington, toughest part of the trip was getting the Canucks on TV, most of the time it was WiFi.

  9. Really some interesting info my friend - well done record keeping ;-)

    And what Kevin and Ruth said - Viva Mexico - see you there!