We did pretty good this month, well under budget with $3,071.22 in expenses. We did go over in a few categories, which I will discuss below, but work kamping in a beautiful place definitely seems to keep the budget costs down.
Campground Fees – Paid for one night in Napa on the way to the Redwoods (hence the crazy price) but it’s all we have spent in two months so trying not to let it bug me too much.
Groceries – Spent $280 in dry goods at a Walmart before entering the Redwood area. Those items will last into December and theoretically we would be under in December, but it’s unlikely with our daughter staying with us a week in Monterrey and the need to stock up again before heading to Quartszite. The local purchases of fresh vegetables etc were pricey, but when Lee told me this week that he has lost 15 pounds this year I didn’t mind the overage so much. Yes, some of that weight loss is increased exercise, but it is also fresh, healthy meals and reasonable portions. That is a good enough reason to go over budget in my book.
Fuel – We were over in local travel and under in relocation so it was a bit of a wash. We have taken several day trips in the last two weeks and although we are getting great gas mileage at 16 miles a gallon, the fuel is more expensive here, and it does add up. We will see how this turns out this year overall and more importantly what happens next year when we have a full year with only one vehicle.
Entertainment – We spent less than $50 in entertainment which was great because the last two weeks have been packed with activities. Almost everything we have done was free though, and we have been really good about not spending money on mementos. I did buy one t shirt and a magnet, but other than that we have done well in this category.
Cell Phones – We went over in data last month which was charged to this month. A big part of that was related to Lee’s videographer job and although we can deduct part of the cost from our taxes, I am not going to break out the additional charges here. Since going on the road we have only gone over on data twice, and we both agree twice is too much, so we continue to monitor closely (Lee keeps a daily data usage log).
Home Improvement – Rainy days led to some home improvement projects and even though those costs individually are small they do add up. I can’t complain though because Lee added 3 new outlets, hid all the wires from the WeBoost in walls and cabinets, fixed the bathroom door, and fixed a squeaking noise we had inside the truck. Also we spent $60 in Tiki fluid which we are using to help light our camphost sign and combat the gloom here a bit so I am not going to feel bad about that either. All of those little things have improved our quality of life , but this category continues to be a challenge.
Gifts – We spent nothing although this month we had birthdays for my mom, sister, Cori, and Kelly. It really sucks not having the budget to buy presents, and I came really close to buying Kelly a “survive Amazon hell week” care package. But as Lee reminded me things are different now. Maybe I should have that same conversation with him about the home improvement budget. Well, it is what it is. Presents for kids and a mothers and fathers day present for my parents…that’s it. Maybe I should go back to making stuff. We did that when the kids were small and we didn’t have a lot of money, and those presents were great.
Propane – You may be wondering why no propane expenses. We received a $100 check for propane from Susanville and just received a free propane fillup at our site in the Redwoods. Both nice little perks for the volunteer positions and have actually helped recoup some of the propane overages from when we were in Glacier. Because we have three electric heaters, we rarely use propane to heat while on full hookups and try to spread our showers and dishwashing out so we can work off the electric heater. Every little bit helps and propane can be VERY expensive in remote areas plus it’s a hassle to remove the tanks and take them to get filled unless its on a travel day.
Postage – I had a lot of mail because of my separation from my company that had to be sent quickly to me this month, so it was a one month aberration hopefully. I do want to take a serious look at this category though and see if there is something we can do to reduce costs for next year.
Overall I shouldn’t complain, we did really well, but (at least for us) it’s all about constant vigilance and continuous improvement. Actually, doing this monthly accounting and completing this post helps keep me honest, so I am going to continue doing it into next year. Look for the December numbers and then an annual summary for Year 1 sometime in January.
Camper Chronicles is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Search Amazon.com here