September 2017 Budget

September was a bit of an odd month since we were partially work kamping and partially traveling back east.  Our travel costs were high since we were making the trip in a compressed time frame and although we received some pay in September our last checks were actually paper copies and had to be mailed us.  Not sure why they do this and thankfully they allowed a one time mailing address for that check so we had those mailed to Lee’s parents.  Consequently that $1708 is NOT included in this budget because the cash is not in the bank.   Even without this money though we broke even for the month with $49.50 to the good, which was nice.  We also have a profit sharing check that will be coming at the end of the year and that should be an extra few hundred dollars each, but that doesn’t come until December.   Details are listed below.


Campground Fees – We spent $89 camping as we started traveling.  That wasn’t too bad and the two days boondocking with Cori and Greg helped. 

GroceriesWe went over by $200 because we stocked up both at Winco and Costco.  I also think it was because we kept spending like I had recycling money coming in but that dropped off sharply in September.  Another factor was I tried about 20 new recipes for my recipe book in those last couple of weeks and every time I try to do that in a compressed time frame, my budget always spikes. 

Dining OutWe did really good in this category especially we tend to over spend when we travel.  $38 to the good.

Entertainment –  This was our saving grace as we only spent $25 in this category.  That’s a good thing since next month I am sure will be crazy. 

InternetNot quite sure why we went over $74 in this category.  I really need to look into this. When I get a few minutes.  With our schedule that may be a while. 

CigarettesSince we were going to be traveling, Lee went ahead and stocked us up.  We get lots of questions about this category so for the record we buy online and buy in bulk, so our costs are using quarterly in this category.  The budget amount is last years annual divided by twelve. 

So we did OK, but once again just breaking even does cause a downstream problem. We know our costs will be higher while we are traveling so then you are dipping into savings to cover those costs until the next gig.  It’s hard on what we make to make that money back, so you’re always sort of vaguely in arrears even when in a particular work month you are ahead.  That’s why I think most people we have met who are longtime working RVers develop the same jobs and a route.  It is much easier to budget when you know  how long your breaks will be and you can budget those breaks in and try to keep travel costs down. We are still working it out, and will definitely have more info at the end of this year, but it’s pretty clear (at least to me) why folks who work limit their travel. 

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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 Instant Pot recipes, Travel Days recipes, and Pot Lucks recipes.    You can preview the kindle version on  Amazon or the Apple version on Itunes.    It is also available in paperback.

December 2016 Budget

One of the major benefits of working 11 hour days every day is that you don’t spend much money.  But there is a tendency when the assignment ends to spend some cash, and that’s pretty much what we saw in December.  Overall we did OK in the month of December with total expenses of $3438.61 but we certainly could have done much better.  The good news is we ended the month with around $735 left over from the beet harvest money, so all of the money we made here will be living expenses going forward.  Since we still have not gotten paid, I am not including that revenue in this month.  Details are below. (I want to also point out that we had some expenses in December that normally we wouldn’t see in a regular month. Namely, $142 for our truck registration, $247 for tobacco and cigarette tubes, which is a quarterly expense) $100 to replenish the money in our mailing service account, which is also quarterly, and $250 for the on site tech visit to fix our furnace, $150 of which will be reimbursed to us. If we remove those, then the monthly expenses are more like $2850. – Lee)


Campground Fees – We had a free place to stay with the work kamping job, so we saved $600 here.  Since we are consistently under budget in this category it will be adjusted for 2017.

Groceries – We stayed on budget and were actually $30 to the good.  Making a big Costco run in January and going to start cooking meals again (need to get that recipe book finished), so we will see.  This category will probably be adjusted in 2017.

Dining Out – $100 over budget for the month which is almost exactly what we spent on our Red Lobster dinner.  I almost consider that a business expense, but since it’s not deductible we are putting it here. 

Truck Fuel – This was our best month ever because we only tanked up one time and spent a measly $76.10.  Another benefit of never going anywhere and working where you live.  

Gifts – For the first time ever we did not buy Christmas gifts for the kids.  I had budgeted the money last year, but since at this point they are all actually making more money than us and I bought them small gifts while we were in Alaska, we decided to stop doing this.  I would never have thought I would be OK with skipping gifts, but it’s a great indicator of how much I’ve changed.  I am firmly in the camp of buying them presents from a cool place regardless of the time of year, which is where my husband and mother-in-law have been all along.

Home Repair – We did well in this category, the only expense being $100 for our deductible on getting the furnace fixed.  This category is always interesting in the yearly view  which will be coming up next. 

So that’s December, and now I can start the annual budget review.  We will be making adjustments in numerous categories and providing lots of info for you data junkies out there so stay tuned!

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 We very much appreciate any purchase you make via our website links.  There is no additional cost to you and helps support our blog. Thank you.   Search here