April 2017 Budget

As I mentioned in previous posts the Las Vegas expenses are not included in this budget.  We spent roughly $2500 on Las Vegas specific activities, which includes a week at Circus Circus campground, food, alcohol, Uber, and tons of entertainment activities, including gambling.  Since we never would have done all that if we weren’t celebrating our daughters 21st birthday, we are looking at this week as a vacation of sorts, and took that money from savings.  I did include clothing purchases, fuel, all campgrounds aside from Circus, Circus, and gifts, because we might have spent that money either way. This was our first real time off in several months and simply put, we went a little crazy. Hopefully that will normalize out at year end, but even if it doesn’t it is what it is.  I am not going to beat myself up over it, because we knew exactly what we were doing when we did it. (Also, it was a planned event, and cost quite a but less than I thought it would. Thanks, three card poker and blackjack! – Lee)

In summary, aside from the $2500 for Vegas, we spent $4598 for the month, which is a chunk of change.  Since we only got paid  $1043 this month, we have a negative cash flow of $3223.  $2500 of that was the overage from the last year, but the remaining $723 will need to be replaced by money we make this summer.  Since we also want to accumulate some funds to cover September/October travel, our upcoming Mor-Ryde suspension upgrade, and visiting my daughter for her wedding, that’s no small thing.  It is unlikely we will be able to make enough this summer to cover all of that, but we will have some Amazon affiliate program funds on the back-end to cover some of the costs.  When it all shakes out we will probably end up in the negative, but hopefully it won’t be too big of a hit.  (I’m more optimistic, and think we will spend less this summer than she does. – Lee) Our plan for the summer is to work and enjoy ourselves and spend moderately, but I have no intention of missing out on Oregon just to cover future short falls.  As always, it is a balancing act and we will of course report back on how it all works out.  For the time being here is this month.

Campground Fees – We went over in campground fees by $78 mainly because we stayed in really nice (but not cheap) state parks in Arizona.  We were also somewhat limited in boondocking options because our furnace is still not fixed.  For the year, however, we are still doing great in this category.

Groceries – Overall we were $40 to the good, which is great because we were with friends and always spend more on food and alcohol when we’re with people.  Eating out of course helps with this category, and we totally blew that one. 

Eating out – We went crazy in this category spending an extra $232 in eating out.  Since quite a bit of it was also an experience it is what it is, and not eating out hardly at all while gate guarding really led to me going a little crazy in this category.  After the excess of Vegas though, I think I can get this back under control.

Entertainment –  We actually got a little bit of the eating out money back by saving $49 in entertainment.  I thought this was great considering all the things we did, because most of them were free.  We did go over in the membership category because we had to renew our Costco membership and replace our lost America the Beautiful pass, but that’s a different category.  Vegas entertainment of course was not included in this.  The bulk of the $2500 spent on that trip was entertainment related. Despite having a wonderful time in Vegas I still received more pure joy out of all the free stuff we did prior to that, which bodes well for our future in this lifestyle 🙂

Internet –  This is a very exciting category as our monthly bill was only $80! We switched to the AT&T unlimited plan (which has been absolutely fantastic by the way) and I won’t know for sure what the true monthly costs are until next month.  We overpaid the previous month so this month is a little low.  That being said it couldn’t come at at a better time.  I’ll take it!

Clothing – We spent $347 in this category.  The wedding dress and shoes were around $70, which was a bargain, and I also bought three pairs of jeans which I really needed.  The rest was us going a little T-Shirt crazy, but since we hadn’t spent money in this category for some time I am hoping it will normalize annually.  We have a $1200 budget for the year, so if we don’t splurge like this again we should be OK. 

Home Repair – We bought parts for the furnace and some other miscellaneous items and I bought some magnets, but we still ended up about $50 to the good. It’s a shame about the money on the furnace parts since that didn’t solve the core problem, but it should help us long-term.

So, not a total disaster, but of course not our best month.  Still, we had loads of fun this month.  By the way, I am typing this in the last campground before we get to our summer job and scheduling it for publication on May 4th (cool feature that.)  Still not sure what the internet situation will be, so there might be a delay in getting the next post out.

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Or you can check out our recipe book filled with 80 real recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. The cookbook specializes in recipes that have a limited number of ingredients, without sacrificing flavor and is organized into categories that matter to full time RVers such as Happy Hours, Travel Days, and Pot Lucks   You can preview the kindle version on  Amazon or the Apple version on Itunes.    It is also available in paperback.

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