Well this month turned out about as we expected, and we basically broke even. Which is a bummer because we are working pretty hard. Our total expenses were $2783.67 and our earned revenue was $2553.49 (this was not quite a full months worth of wages). I say we broke even because I splurged and spent $200 on a personalized travel quilt (I will be doing a separate blog post on that) and Lee discovered that despite paying cash for my Iphone this summer we were being charged a monthly fee for it. He needs to take a printed copy of the bill to the nearest AT&T store to get the credit so if you take those expenses out our costs were about $100 less than we spent. Even so, that’s not great. It doesn’t cover our gas costs to get here or the gas costs to get to the next place, and doesn’t even come close to covering the money we spent on our month off. We will have a small bonus from both our summer job and Amazon coming some time in December, which will help, but there is no doubt we will end up in the hole. What that looks like for the whole year, we will see at the end of this month, but it is not promising. The important lesson here though, is despite the amount of physical labor we are expending, the compensation (for us) really isn’t worth it. If you are a person with another source of income and just looking to add some money for a special expense I think this might be attractive, but as a means of covering annual costs not so much. Of course, that also depends on what your monthly burn rate is. If you are getting by spending $1000 per month, then you’ll do great, but that’s not us.
And we are not alone in feeling that way. We are working with some folks who clearly need the money, and even they seem somewhat disappointed in the end result. As one guy I work with said “I can make this much in three days back home” which matters when you are trying to cover a budget. Yes, we could radically change the way we live, and make these type of jobs work, but we also know what that looks like. At this point neither of us is particularly interested in going down that path, although it is obvious to both of us that some things will need to change in year 4. But we will talk more about that in my calendar end budget post. For now, I’ll just go through the numbers in more detail below.
Groceries – With our schedule we don’t really have the ability to make meals, so we have been eating lots of prepackaged meals. Sometimes that is actually cheaper for us, and this month it turned out OK. We spent exactly our budget this month on food and alchohol, which is a bit of a victory, especially when we are with friends. Sometimes we go a little crazy on alchohol when we are in large groups.
Dining Out – We went a little bit over this month largely because we splurged on one expensive steak dinner for our “road-a-versary” with Harry and Ruth. It could have been a lot worse, as the temptation to eat out when we are working this hard is pretty strong, but our second shift schedule worked to our advantage in this area.
Entertainment – We spent next to nothing on entertainment and the only major cost was pre-paying for the upcoming RV-Dreams reunion rally.
Cell and Internet – As I mentioned we are actually being overcharged, so hopefully we will see the credit in this area in December.
Truck Fuel – Truck fuel is great because we are hardly driving anywhere. We could actually walk to work everyday, but choose to drive instead, mainly because neither one of us wants to walk home in the dark, cold, and/or rain. (Also because while it’s OK to walk 12 miles every day on the clock, I’m not walking that last half mile for free. – Lee)
Clothing – I had to buy a new pair of shoes which wasn’t cheap (but totally worth it) and Lee had to buy a new belt. He has lost so much weight he had to punch two new holes and finally bought a new one at Walmart. I didn’t mind that expense at all, because yeah, him losing weight, plus that belt was old.
Miscellaneous – As I said earlier this money was for a travel quilt that a friend of my sisters made for us from T-Shirts from our travels. I am going to do a separate blog post on that, but essentially this was our joint Christmas present.
So that’s it for this month. I’ll do a post in December and then a year end post so look forward to seeing those soon!
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