November 2018 Budget

Although we applied for unemployment in November, there was a one week delay, and then the first check was mailed to Florida, so we haven’t actually been able to collect a paycheck yet.  Lee is collecting $176 a week (taxes were taken out) and my check is $180 a week, and that money will show up in our December statement.  We also spent quite a bit on the dog this month which was totally unexpected.  The combination of lack of income and extra expenses has us dipping into our savings to cover our costs.  I don’t mind dipping into savings when it is just a matter of timing between jobs, but since we still haven’t nailed down a gate guard job (getting closer), it is making me pretty uncomfortable.  Having a free place to stay really helps, and I just keep telling myself that that is what we have savings for. And just to show you how quickly things can change as I was typing this (not kidding) I got a call for a gate.  We need to be down there tonight so I will stop writing this and start packing!

(Pack, pack, pack, hitch, hitch, hitch, drive, drive, drive…. – Lee)

OK, we arrived and I am thrilled that money will start flowing in the right direction again.  So back to November.

We spent $4,630 with no money coming in this month, but in all fairness $1,135 was related to getting the dog, and the bulk of that was one time expenditures.  If you take the dog related costs out, we spent a more reasonable $3495.  For more details by category please see below.

Campground Fees–  Even though we weren’t working we did have a place to stay for free for the entire month, which is what made not working in November even possible.  This is the first time in our four years of being full time we have had the opportunity to stay for free with friends for an extended period of time, and we are super grateful for it.  I will say we do know lots of people who stay for extended periods with family or friends so this is not that unusual in the RVing world.  Just wanted to be transparent about it.

Groceries – We went over by $340 in this category which was due to a Costco run and staying with friends.  We always eat group meals, which end up costing a little more, but we ate very well in November!  We also have tons of food in the RV and I am planning on working our way through that while we gate guard.  Never know how close we will end up to a Costco so we also stocked up on paper products etc.

Dining Out – I am happy to say we were able to offset some of the grocery bills by not eating out much and we saved $110 in these categories. Everyone knew we were on a budget because we weren’t working and so we ate in almost the entire time. Our friends are awesome that way.

Entertainment – We went over in this category but that was mainly due to purchasing books.  San Antonio has several Half Price Book stores, which we love, and we stocked up on books in preparation for gate guarding.

Truck Fuel – This was another area we did really well in, only spending $130.  We carpooled on several occasions and kept most of our trips local.

Cigarettes – This is our quarterly cigarette purchase.  We buy tobacco and tubes in bulk and roll our own.  Even though we take a hit in that particular month it always averages out over the year.

Shipping/Postage – Most of this $34 overage was shipping a present to my oldest daughter.  I had some things in the RV I had been holding onto, and when we did a purge decided they were too nice to simply donate, so I sent them to her.

Pets – OK, let me break this down.  The dog himself was $750 from a breeder.  He was actually a bargain because the female puppies were $1200.  That being said if you are wondering why I just didn’t adopt a pound puppy, I refer you to my previous post on adopting Jack.  Trust me, spending that much money was not my first choice.  The remaining $384 was a crate, puppy bed, a trip to the vet for $95, a trip to the groomer for $35, dog food, and a ridiculous amount of dog toys and treats.  The last purchases were totally discretionary, but have you seen him?.  He’s a cutie patooty.

Gifts – I went over in this category for two reasons.  One I purchased a gift for the people we have been staying with.  They wouldn’t let me contribute towards the utilities, so I got sneaky and bought them a gift instead!  The second purchase was calendars.  A couple of friends of mine have created their own calendars the last couple of years using pictures from their travels, and I took advantage of a Cyber Monday Sale at Vista Print and bought some for my friends and family.  I am still $200 under budget annually in this category though, because I have done a much better job of watching my spending this year.

Home Repair – A positive and a negative of staying in a place for awhile and not working is Lee can work on the RV.  Good news, RV stuff gets fixed, bad news, it always costs money.  Considering the HUGE lists of things he got done (and I promise those posts are coming up soon), $265 over budget is really not that bad.

This month definitely brought it down to the wire and like I started with, I am thrilled we are back to work.  Hopefully we will be able to squeeze by and not have to take anything out of savings, but then we need to hunker down and definitely put some money back.  I am less worried because we have already locked in our summer job, and if necessary can extend our gate guarding a little bit into April although neither one of us wants to do that.


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 available in paperback on Amazon if you prefer.

October 2018 Budget

I’ve been putting this one off, because I knew it wouldn’t look pretty…and yep, I was right about that.  This is what it looks like when you throw caution to the winds and “go on vacation.”  It’s also what it looks like when in the same month you travel from Oregon to Texas and do lots of home repairs. I know this sort of thing balances itself out over time usually, but I still don’t like to see a “spike” month. But it is what it is.  We spent $5916 this month and only received $3186 to off set those costs from our last paychecks.  Detailed information is listed below. I’ll try to keep brow beating to a minimum 🙂

 

Campground Fees – Most of this was staying at Circus Circus on the strip in Vegas (that place is not cheap) and the rest was the stays when we traveled from Vegas to Texas. Thankfully we have a free place to stay in Texas or this would look even worse.

Groceries – This included a $300+ dollar Costco run and lots of smaller grocery runs.  We are stuffed to the gills on items now, so hopefully we can eat our way through that while gate guarding and have some low months there.

Alcohol – This category includes several drinks in restaurants that we paid for, which is really unusual for us. Since Lee got most of his drinks for free while gambling wasn’t too bad at $20 over budget.

Dining Out – OK this was just insane by anyone’s standards, at $544 over budget.  We had a $140 dinner for my sister’s birthday, the Paris buffet, a couple of dinners with our friends, and tons of grabbing food while we were traveling or running around.

Entertainment – The bulk of this $384 overage was the $200+ tickets to Beatles Love, but Lee and I also went to see Piff the Magic Dragon and went to the rodeo along with other incidental purchases.

Truck Fuel – It cost over $1K in fuel to travel from Oregon to Texas.  This category is all about the annual total though, and we know when we are relocating we will take a cash flow hit.

Home Equipment – We went $538 over in these categories and the bulk of that was the $300+ dollars for the new entry door window, which also fell in October…although we didn’t receive the part until November.  Lee also bought a new outside chair since his fell apart and I took advantage of a clearance and bought a new outdoor rug.  The rest is numerous pieces parts Lee purchased to work on his rotating list of home projects. It’s been awhile since he has worked on the list, and these are things mostly had to be done.  At some point he is going to do another post on that and talk about those projects in more detail.

Tax Preparation – Our taxes were a little more complicated this year and we had to file Kentucky and Oregon state taxes.  We did get a couple of small refunds, which helped with the costs some but I went ahead and put the full amount of the tax prep here.  Still love Travel Tax, who does our taxes.  The cost is more than worth my piece of mind.

Miscellaneous –  I really love Lyft and Uber, but as cheap as the individual charges are it does add up when you are running around.  We spent about $100 on rides while we were in Vegas, but it was convenient.  Plus it’s nice when you are sharing a car or if you want to drink when you are out.  Adds up though.

Well October was our “off month” and we obviously enjoyed ourselves.  Time to get back to work and start socking away some money for our next break in April! Good thing we don’t have too many months like this or we would never be able to afford this lifestyle 🙂


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 available in paperback on Amazon if you prefer.

March 2016 Budget

This month looks worse than it truly was from a budget perspective because of two major purchases.  We finally broke down and bought good hiking shoes (after I sprained my ankle) and those ran about $250.  We also had to double pay our insurance in March as we transitioned to a new policy and had to pay $309 upfront to make sure there was no gap in coverage. So if you take those two purchases out of the equation we were only $100 over which was pretty great considering how much activity we crammed into March.  See below for the details.

March 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Campground Fees – We did great in this category because we stayed in less expensive campgrounds out west.  Look for this to shoot up as we head east and then settle to nothing as we start our work kamping job.

Groceries – Really happy with groceries as we ended up about $100 under.  We did a great job of managing those costs when we were with Cori and Greg and we focused on cleaning our our freezer (needed defrosting) for the rest of the month.

Dining Out – We were over by $180 but $100 of that was our big meal in Texas which was a deliberate splurge.  The $72 in eating on the run continues to be a challenge, but not for lack of effort on our part.  Travel days we tend to grab food more frequently and it’s simply not practical to pack a lunch everywhere you go.  We talk about this a lot though and continue to work on it.  We found these great $1 Bumble Bee Snack On The Run at Wal-Mart that Lee really likes and that is helping, but I really need to find an alternative to peanut butter and jelly. 

Truck Fuel – We were over by $210 which was a bit of a surprise for me since the gas prices are so low.  We are filling up the truck every other day on travel days and that does add up. Expect this to get worse before it gets better and I am very curious what happens when we are work kamping in Alaska. 

Gifts – I splurged and bought gifts from Mexico for my nieces and nephews we will be seeing in April.  What is the use of having a traveling Aunt if she doesn’t bring you cool stuff once in a while.

Equipment – One of our relatively new Rhino sewer hose got a leak in it and had to be replaced and Lee installed another 8′ vinyl fence post cover for storing sewer hoses and   accessories to get them and their associated odors smells out of the storage compartment. I also bought a ton of magnets and those add up.  Anyway, we were about $60 over in aggregate. 

So not to bad, will see what happens in April.

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Camper Chronicles is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising 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 as they support our blog. Thank you.   Search Amazon.com here