I should start by saying that although the overall budget wasn’t a total disaster this month we did go over in several categories. We had two weeks with friends in OBX, RV Driving School, and then excursions at the RV-Dreams Reunion Rally. One positive thing though that has really stuck with me is when I talked to Bill Mills (a long time RVer) about the budget he said “Track the first year but don’t pay that much attention to it. There are many one time expenses that first year and your costs will go down as you learn about the lifestyle.” Those statements were completely credible to me, as Bill has been tracking his budget for many years, and I appreciated his saying it to me. Basically he was saying you don’t have to get it perfect right out of the gate and he was totally right about that.
So here’s our monthly accounting. We were $686.04 over our budget. Remember, it could have been way worse!
Campground Fees – I was pleased that despite three different campgrounds we were under budget in this category. The monthly rate at OBX helped along with a slightly lower rate in Ebenezer and Tom Johnson and the “free” night we stayed at Cracker Barrel.
Groceries – OK, we blew this one. It was predominately group meals and about $100 in alcohol (rum and mix for the Rally party and wine/beer for other nights). It’s funny because we generally don’t drink that much but when you’re with a group you want cocktails and we needed to contribute to the party nights. I consider this an anomaly, but we are tracking liquor separately in a sub-category going forward to see where that is at.
Dining Out – Yeah this one we just flat out blew. We did OK in April but the combination of being with folks and the night we stayed overnight at Cracker Barrel really did us in. (We had dinner and breakfast at Cracker Barrel which ended up being close to $65 in total, so our “free” night was not so free.) That being said, we were under by $45 in Entertainment so at least we didn’t go over in both categories.
Fuel – We did great in this category again since we were staying in the same general location and gas prices were extremely low in South Carolina. We will be interested to see what happens in this category over the summer as fuel prices are creeping back up and we are moving longer distances.
Cell Phone- We went over $62 in cell phone because Lee’s phone died. Luckily we had a warranty on it so he got a new phone for free but this was the shipping and deductible. Could have been way worse!!
Electronics and Software – Finally added a budget amount to this category of $50 a month. We keep spending in it so we might as well own it. This covers our monthly subscription to Office products ($9.99 a month), music, hardware etc. If you know my husband you understand why we simply have to have money in this category. $50 may be too much, but I want to see what happens when things start to break.
Miscellaneous – We spent $445 on RV driving school. This was a one-time expense and although it is unfortunate it didn’t result in a lowering of our insurance costs like our friends got (apparently if you are under 50 the discount won’t apply) it still was worth it. I do wish I would have purchased the less expensive 1/2 day option however.
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