It’s probably no surprise to anyone that we spent a ton of money this month, $5,752, and since we only made $1704 in trailing wages, must of that money came out of our savings account. This month’s budget also does NOT include the money we spent on the Mor-Ryde upgrade, since that came out of savings as well, so overall we are really needing that Amazon cash to hopefully get us close to break-even for the year. So let’s get into the specifics. (There was also income from working freelance in production for a few days, but that money won’t come in until November. – Lee)
Campground Fees – We tried to watch our costs as we crossed the country and were able to boondock a few days, but speed took precedence over cost and we stayed where it was most convenient. We also spent several days in a campground near our daughter in Charleston and ALL the campgrounds down there are pricey. The one we stayed at was $35 a night which was by far the cheapest.
Groceries and Dining Out – These two categories were weird this month because of all the time we spent with family. Although most of our meals were paid for by family and friends, we did pay our own way several times and I made a point of trying to pay my way when I was with my mom. Plus, Lee took the trip to New Hampshire to clean out our storage unit and most of those meals are included. (To be specific, lunch on the day of the drive there, dinner the second night, and lunch on the day of the drive back, everything else was a treat from a friend. – Lee) To offset some of that we didn’t spend much on groceries, but did have to restock perishables once we were in our camper again, because milk, produce, eggs etc had all gone bad. All in we were $192 to the negative in all the categories combined, which isn’t too terrible considering.
Entertainment – We were $15 to the good in this category which was largely due to Lee’s parents paying for our entertainment in Columbus. The money we did spend was while in Iowa with Deb and Steve and I was happy we kept this under budget despite a busy 5 weeks of travel.
Truck Fuel – This one was a doozy, we were $1,396 over budget. Part of that was $670 we spent at the end of last month as we traveled across the country. Because we used the Pilot card there was a delay in the billing and we forgot to add it into last month’s numbers. I am adding it here though to make sure it gets accounted for, and it also helps me show what it cost to cross the country. In addition to traveling from Portland to Columbus, Lee made a side trip to New Hampshire. Although he wasn’t pulling a trailer, he was driving the truck and that cost money as well. The most important thing about this category is that it really shows how expensive it is to cross the country. Campground fees aside, the gas can be a killer and is very difficult to absorb in our standard budget.
Home Maintenance and Furnishings – We also went over in these categories by $437 for several reasons. We paid $130 in deductible and shop fees for our furnace and slide repair. Lee bought the pieces parts to make us a wind break, which we have wanted for almost two years to protect the area we smoke in outside, and we bought new dining room chairs. I often blog while sitting at the kitchen table, and Lee spends a few hours at that table each week making cigarettes, but the wood chairs we had were incredibly uncomfortable. After much searching we were able to find extremely comfortable chairs at a discount dinette store in Columbus and at $99 each they were a steal. Best purchase I have made in a long time and my tush is very grateful.
In conclusion, I knew it would be a $5,000 month and ultimately wasn’t surprised we hit $5,700. I think Lee was surprised though, but since we talked about purchases every step of the way, it is what it is. The trip to New Hampshire alone costs us over $400 including $263 in hotel expenses, and even though that wasn’t the best short-term financial choice it did give us closure. Plus of course family and friend time was priceless, but now it’s time to get serious. For the first time in three years we really need the work kamping money and are hoping there will be lots of overtime available to help replenish our funds. To that end we have already signed up for voluntary overtime for Sunday and plan on working 50 if not 60 hour weeks as much as we can. At the end of the calendar year we will have a better idea how we stand overall, so stay tuned to see how it all turns out.
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