This was the first month since we have been working this summer that we actually ended up $377 in the negative. This was caused by the $752 spent on a new Iphone and although I could have spread the payments over 30 months and included it in the budget, I chose to pay cash for it and just take the hit in August. A couple of reasons for this. First and foremost we are trying to drive down our monthly expenditures and I didn’t want to add to them, but also I felt that the expense was what it was and it should be reflected that way. Without that expenditure we would have been $400 to the good, but I think this is a good time to take a minute and talk about these budgets.
I think we have proven that we can manage to scrape by on these seasonal jobs. It’s tough to cover the “off times” when we are traveling to the next job, but generally we can manage to eke out enough extra to cover travel costs either before we make the trip, or once we’re working again. We also have been able to cover most “standard” extras in our wages as well. What I mean by that is minor repairs, overages in monthly expenses, or little treats we give ourselves along the way. And if we lived a stable life where nothing major ever occurred this could work indefinitely. But that’s not really realistic, and in all fairness I don’t think it was realistic in our sticks and bricks life either. Life happens, and whether it is optional (like the Vegas week with Kay) or mainly required (like the upcoming Mor-Ryde upgrade), big expenditures don’t just go away.
The difference between now and then is we no longer have large influxes of cash to boost up our piggy bank. We have done a really good job of holding onto what we have, but I think it’s fair to say that most people who start this life with no recurring revenue eventually start to drain their savings. Whether it’s a few big expenses or a multitude of minor ones, it’s hard to maintain the bank account over time. That doesn’t mean we don’t have options. I am looking for consulting work to provide some additional cash and we can limit our travel and budget expenditures to help. We aren’t bleeding money by any means, but sometimes it does feel like “death by a thousand paper cuts” and we have to be constantly vigilant about what we spend.
It’s important to note however that the vigilance hasn’t produced that panicked feeling I remember from my youth. Whether it’s the fact that our costs are low, seasonal work is plentiful, knowing we can live on less, or a combination of all of these factors, we are in no way feeling like money is going to drive us from the road. But money “pressure” is an ever present factor in our lives, whereas it wasn’t before we left. Of course constant fear of losing my job was ever present in my previous life, and I rarely worry about that anymore. When we can pick up stakes and move down the road to the next gig, it isn’t much of a concern. So I suppose we have traded one worry for another and rating the intensity of concern, our current budget doesn’t even come close to worrying me like losing my job did before.
I hope that makes sense for those of you who follow the numbers, because obviously you can see a steady trickle of savings loss. Keep in mind that we do have Amazon scheduled for the end of the year and although we have no idea how much OT we will be making, hopefully we can recoup some of the YTD deficit. Either way, I am truly fine with where we are and believe me I am just as amazed to be saying that as you probably are to be hearing it. I think coming to the end of Year Three that I just have more confidence in our ability to handle whatever is thrown at us.
And that is really no small thing. OK…enough of all that. The details are listed below.
Campground Fees – We spent a little bit of money on a campground at the ocean and we booked a campground at Silver Falls and then cancelled it because of heat and smoke. Two things I learned this month were NOT to make reservations too far in advance and we will definitely need to keep tent camping to a minimum because the sites, gas, and food do add to the overall budget. Doing it once or twice a month should be fine and we really like how much it extends our travel range while in an area for long periods of time.
Groceries – We were $100 under this month and that was because the money I got recycling was spent in this category. I’m absolutely fine with that. It allowed me to buy more farmer’s market food and treat myself a little and since the money I earned was extra it seems like a fair place to put it.
Dining Out/Entertainment – We went over by about $30 in both categories and since we both had birthdays that wasn’t too bad. Hot temps drove us towards more expensive indoor activities and we definitely splurged at the county fair. That was a $100 day.
Cell/Internet – As I discussed above, the $752 expenditure was for a new Iphone7, otter box, and tempered glass screen. I don’t feel that bad about it since I haven’t had a brand new iPhone ever, and since my screen cracked, and it was a need not a want.
Truck Fuel – We did really well in truck fuel despite a couple of trips to the ocean, Portland etc. We were $153 to the good. We have also been buying our gas at a place locally that is as much as 50 cents less per gallon than other places we have seen around Portland.
Truck Insurance – I just wanted to mention that our truck insurance keeps going up and I finally called Miller Insurance to get some quotes. Unfortunately, Florida rates are on the rise and she couldn’t find anything better for us. I like the company we are with and are going to stick with them, for now. Hopefully the rates don’t get much worse, but with the hurricane I am not counting on it. Technically we could change our truck policy to liability only since it is paid off, but since it is our only vehicle no way are we going to roll the dice on that.
Gifts – I sent flowers to my uncle’s funeral.
Home Repair – We had two major mandatory expenses this month. The inverter in the truck died. We use that inverter to power things while we travel, so it needed to be replaced. We also bought replacement light bulbs when the fourth one in our living room/kitchen area died and we bought some extra ones. Those were actually very hard to find and ended up costing us $93.
So it was a kind of pricey month and no chance to recoup since we aren’t getting paid for the entire month of September and will need any extra money for traveling. We need to make our way across the country and pay for Mor-Ryde before we have any other money coming in. Again, we will see how it all works out at the end of the year, but projections are we will be a little short this year and need to use savings.
Camper Chronicles is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, a program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. We very much appreciate any purchase you make via our website links. There is no additional cost to you and helps support our blog. Search Amazon.com here
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.