July 2017 Budget

I know some of you guys find the monthly budgets boring, and trust me it’s not fun for me either, but I continue to think it’s important to “prove” the finances to the folks who are researching the lifestyle, and it continues to prompt Lee and I to communicate about our finances. So I am going to keep doing this, but I understand if you skip these posts because they don’t really relate to you.  This was a really good month with only $2400  in expenses, and since we made $3311 we were able to put around $1000 back in our savings account.  We also made $68 in book royalties (thank you very much to everyone who bought a cookbook!) and around $90 in recycling, but I am not going to add that to our revenue figures here.  I will report out on the royalties at the end of the year along with our Amazon Associate revenue ($283 year-to-date and again thank you for those who clicked our links), but the amounts at this point are small enough I think it would just muddy the waters.  I feel the same about recycling.  Yes, I am making about $28 a week in this, but since I am turning around and spending the money at the grocery store or farmer’s markets it’s a bit of a wash.  Technically I should add the purchases and subtract the recycling, but since some of those purchases are “splurges” it would muddy things a bit.  Plus it’s not really worth all that effort.  Suffice it to say I get my money and then buy staples and the occasional ice cream with the money. Occasionally I buy myself some fast food lunch.  Anyway, for those of you who haven’t already nodded off, the details are below.


Food – We were about $48 to the good, which is largely due to the recycling money.  Prepared meals for our long work days and the lack of time to cook dinner is taking it’s toll, but we are holding our own.   I am also finding the time to keep working on new recipes for hopefully a second recipe book in 2018, and those special ingredients can add up.  Considering all the extenuating factors, I am just fine with where we landed in this category. 

Dining Out –  We were a little bit over ($23) but not too bad. It’s hard not to grab fast food when you are working these long hours, but the recycling money has helped there and the lack of decent restaurants close by has been a life saver in this category.  If there was a McDonald’s nearby we would be in trouble 🙂

Entertainment – We were under in this category by $57 but still felt like we did stuff.  National Parks are free for us since we have the America the Beautiful pass, and the only thing we really did was go see Dunkirk for Lee’s birthday.  Between the movie costs, popcorn, and lunch it was a $100 splurge, but since we had done little else this month didn’t feel bad about that either. 

Truck Fuel – Truck fuel was amazing this month ($74) and a big reason we spent so little.  Since we have the company truck and usually grab local groceries at the end of our shift we rarely use our own vehicle. I take it into town once a week for recycling and Lee took it to the WinCo once.

Home – We did great in this category this month only spending $19.47 and it was another reason we spent so little.  Working so much and traveling so little meant we didn’t really need anything and Lee isn’t working on any special projects. What creative energy he has in this category is being spent on work-related projects and those costs are covered by the company expense account.  He’s happy either way and it costs us nothing and is a benefit to the company we work for.


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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.


13 thoughts on “July 2017 Budget

  1. Tracy, I for one like to see your budget every month. It gives me hope that we can do this in a few years. I like to see where you are spending money and how much. I know that no two are the same but it still helps a lot in a lot of the expenses. Thanks for sharing.

    • We are buying our supplies in bulk and rolling our own so you’ll see the dollar amount once a quarter. I did change the budget amount to reflect what we are spending which is hundreds of dollars less than when we lived in a sticks and bricks

  2. I think I noticed awhile back you had your truck paid off, how much longer before the RV is paid off? That should take a lot if pressure off your budget.
    I can’t seem to get off this Wednesday to Monday work schedule. I’m still hoping to get out your way. It may end up just being a drop by and say hello visit.

    • Hey Ron nice to hear from you. It’s going to be a long time before the RV is paid off. I have met several people on the road who are perfectly content in used rigs and occasionally wish we had taken more time and gone that route. The downside of course is potential maintenance issues but if you are a handy person and willing to do the work yourself it is a totally valid choice. Just like with a used car it’s all about what you buy. I know people who have gotten “lemons” and it’s cost a ton of money and others who have had great experiences. Since I love our rig and we custom ordered some things I am still happy overall with the choice we made but it can absolutely be done cheaper.

  3. Count me as another one who is extremely interested in how your budget is doing! I watch it very carefully so we can have some sort of idea of what our budget will look like when we jump off in about 10 months.

    Question though, when you have money to the good in a given category, does that unused money just float into the next month in that same category? Basically a snowball effect is what I’m asking about.

    Hope to meet you guys out there some day!

    • Hey Russ thanks for the feedback. We have two savings accounts. One is an emergency fund we don’t touch unless we absolutely need it but the other is our “operating income” account. We take money out when our cash flow isn’t enough to make our monthly expenses and en move money back in when we make more than we need. This fund started at $20k at the end of the year and is down to about $15k at this point. Mainly that is because we spent a ton of money that week with our kid in Vegas and we are working on replacing that money as we go along. Since we have Amazon scheduled at the end of the year we know some will come back, but it is also a reason I am looking at consulting jobs because it is hard to replace that money if you you spend a large chunk of it. Hope that makes sense

  4. Hi Tracy, thoroughly enjoy following your budget! As a fellow fulltimer who also uses RV Dreams budget sheet I have a couple of questions for you. Dining out fuel, how do you separate that from fuel in general? Also, you budget you post shows expenses only, no income so is it same to “assume” you are keeping your heads above water each month? It definitely takes time to get into the budget groove of things!

    • Hey Susan. The revenue we earn is at he top of the spreadsheet and although it doesn’t show in the graph I usually talk about it in the summary at the top and the bottom left number Net Cash Flow shows that months revenue – expenses. Generally though the best place to find it is in the very beginning paragraph. In general it is very tight but we are making enough to cover our basic costs. What we don’t make enough for are the extras, and that money has to come from savings. Dining out fuel is when we are out and grab food because we didn’t plan well and pack a lunch. Basically could have been avoidable. Experience Dining is going to a restaurant with friends or something local that is planned and part of the experience.

  5. Great job! I give you a lot of credit – putting your budget out there – we are considering talking about budget stuff more in the future – still not 100%, but we shall see. And I’m with Mark – just kick that habit! Love you! ❤

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