I’ll be honest I was cringing inside a little before I sat down to write this post, and since I wanted to wait until all of the Utah posts were released before showing the numbers I put off doing the budget for several days. Ultimately it wasn’t too terribly bad, and I do think it is an accurate portrayal of what a month of leisure time can cost…at least for us. It’s also important to note that these numbers include travel from the end of our gate guarding stint in Texas to Utah, and then from Utah to Oregon for our summer gig, and we also stocked up on several item prior to getting to Oregon. So taking all that into account, you decide if $5,280 was a reasonable price to pay for what we experienced in April. From my perspective it was. Details are provided below.
Campground Fees – We mainly boondocked in Utah, but we did pay some fees at Gooseneck State Park and Lone Rock Beach. We also had our stays as we traveled, and although we used Passport America campgrounds as much as we could, on one particularly long travel day we ended up paying $47 for a KOA campground. I hate paying their prices, but when you have a late check-in and are traveling out of season, sometimes it’s the easiest option.
Propane – Because we were boondocking and it was chilly at night we used quite a bit of propane. We also filled up our tanks prior to getting to our summer location because we knew that we would be pretty remote and wanted to make sure we got a decent price on propane in case we needed it. Total spend for the month was $106.
Groceries – We spent $807 on groceries going over our budget by $207. We would have been exactly on budget if we had not done a major grocery run at the end of the month in preparation for our summer gig. The nearest chain grocery store will be over an hour away, and again we wanted to be prepared since we didn’t know exactly what we were getting into.
Dining Out – We went over in this category by $133, which actually wasn’t that bad considering. We had a couple of local Navajo meals in Monument Valley and bought food on a couple of our long travel days. I did try to watch how much I spent when we stopped for gas and think I did a little better, but there is still definitely room for improvement.
Entertainment – We went over by $333, which essentially was our jeep tour day in Monument Valley. Again, this could have been much worse as we did not do the Antelope Tour, rent an ATV, or take another jeep tour, all of which were up for discussion at one point or another.
Truck Fuel – This number is an eye-popping $1200, which is one of the most expensive gas months we have ever had. Gas in Utah was expensive, and of course we covered many miles getting there and then getting to Oregon. We also took numerous scenic drives and moved from region to region while we were there. Basically this was the cost of all the traveling that we did, and it’s a significant amount of money. That being said, our personal stance is that if we get to the point where we can’t afford to do things because we can’t afford the gas, we really need to re-evaluate our lifestyle. That doesn’t mean we don’t need to be smart about how we travel, but I am not skipping a scenic drive because it costs a half a tank of gas.
Clothing – We spent a whopping $474 in this category, which I admit was pretty crazy. About $100 of that was “legitimate” as Lee needed some more work shirts, but the rest was extravagance, plain and simple. We love buying T-Shirts to commemorate special moments in our lives and we had lots and lots of special moments. I really did need some more T-Shirts since I used so many making our quilt, but really we both went a little overboard.
Cigarettes – Again we stocked up on tubes and tobacco for our summer job. This will balance out for the year.
Home Equipment – I am really happy with this category because despite my purchase of numerous magnets and RV stickers, we broke even. It’s nice that we did well somewhere in the budget.
Overall, it definitely could have been a lot worse, and I am just glad we didn’t spent the $6K that I was dreading seeing when I did the reports. We have good paying jobs this summer and will be working full 40 hour weeks, so we will obviously need to make that up. We are planning on taking some camping trips on our days off and hopefully spending more time in Washington State, but the first couple of months we will largely be staying local as we get acclimated to the new job.
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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 available in paperback on Amazon if you prefer.