Upkeep is the amount of money paid by a side every Turn to retain the services of a Unit and cause its rations to pop. Upkeep is paid every turn, but does not need to be paid in full – by consuming provisions in addition to popped rations, a Unit's upkeep needs can be cut in half. If the necessary portion of a Unit's upkeep is not paid, then the Unit will disband.
Unusually enough, despite the fact that a unit's upkeep is somehow linked to their eating, not eating will not cause said unit to disband as long as their upkeep is paid. Nevertheless, said unit would still presumably croak after a few turns of starvation.
Field units have higher upkeep than Garrison units.
- Parson Gotti — 1178 Shmuckers
- Increased by 140 Shmuckers when he promoted himself to a Field Unit from 1038 Shmuckers
- Archons — from 200 to 500 Shmuckers
- Digdoug Mole — 160 Shmuckers
- Dove Barstool — 75 Shmuckers when minimized with rations
- Etsie — 1 Shmucker 
- All Decrypted units — zero
Uncroaked units do have upkeep too, even though it's much smaller than that of alive units.
The figures above seem to be the two extremes: Stanley is disgusted that even a Chief Warlord could cost over 1000 per turn (suggesting it is one of the highest he has encountered), and Parson seems surprised that Decrypted Ansom would have no upkeep at all.
It is not known if any upkeep goes to the Unit itself (as a wage), or if it all simply disappears.
When Queen Jillian razed Progrock, she notes the 40,000 shmuckers it generates was enough to pay the upkeep for her entire side for 8-10 turns. This makes Parson's 1000+ upkeep/turn seem truly enormous.
Judging by the upkeep examples above, Upkeep does not depend on how much rations a unit gets at the start of turn, but rather on how valuable that unit is. It's therefore possible that providing provisions for higher-upkeep units, like warlords, would be more cost-effective than giving the same provisions to a low-upkeep unit like a stabber and letting the warlords rations pop.
- ^ Popping rations TBFGK 39 and TBFGK 138
- ^ Lowering upkeep "A good solid meal in addition to your popped rations generally meant cutting your next turn’s upkeep in half." - WB2014_Digdoug_-_Episode_21
- ^ Not eating Wanda was still alive, if ailing, despite not eating for two days. - IPTSF Text 78
- ^ Parson's Upkeep Hvs.tCF 14:7
- ^ Cost of promotion "That raised Lord Hamster's upkeep by a hundred-forty a turn..." - LIAB Text 44
- ^ Range of archons LIAB Prologue 25
- ^ Digdoug's Upkeep WB2014 Digdoug - Episode 19
- ^ Dove's Upkeep WB2014 Digdoug - Episode 9
- ^ Decrypted Ansom's Upkeep TBFGK 145:2
- ^ Total Faq upkeep LIAB Text 43
- ^ Etsie Hvs.tCF 263