October 2020 Budget

We had a really busy month in October and our costs were $6595 which is way over budget.  Campground fees were an all time high at $1,159 which was a large chunk of the costs.  For more detailed information please see below.

Campground Fees – Previously our monthly budget was $250 as we worked in places that included campground fees.  With our new method of travel we will definitely need to up this budget starting in next year.

E-Cigarettes – I pre bought in West Virginia because they had availability and the taxes were very low.  Turns out that the brand I like is being discontinued so now I need to find a different solution anyways…grr.

Clothing – We spent over $500 in clothing which was mainly T-Shirts from all the places we visit.  Lee also bought some flannels from Tractor Supply because it is much chillier here in the east.

Dining Out – We spent $690 on dining out this month which was a variety of restaurants.  Eating local is part of the experience for us and Maryland had lots of seafood for us to try!

Entertainment – We toured several places which was pretty pricey.  $538 was reasonable for all the places we visited, including Mount Vernon, Greenbriar, and Lee took a scenic train ride.

Gifts – I was actually in budget in this category!  Only $58 I showed great restraint.

Groceries – Lee made a Costco run, but we also ate out quite a bit so this stayed relatively low.

Home Repair – This was roughly $500.  We replaced our exterior power inlet.  We had to buy a new battery for our generator and we replaced the remote control for our leveling system.

Postage – This was high at $165 mainly because of voting.  We had to overnight our ballots to make sure we got them in time and we also paid extra several times to pick up packages at a local UPS store.  We didn’t stay in places that accepted mail so had to find other solutions.

Tolls and Parking – This was extremely high at $414 so let me break that down.  Many of the roads we traveled on were tolls and we used our EZ Pass.  We also had to pay for parking several times and when we didn’t one or both of us took the train.  Finally Lee rented scooters in DC on several days and didn’t really understand how the system worked.  He is writing a separate post on that, but all those things together ended up being a ton of money.

Truck Fuel – We saved quite a bit of money on fuel this month and with all the driving we did $468 was really reasonable.   All in all it was a pricey month but we got lots for our money.  It was also a three paycheck month so even though we spent a lot we were still able to put money into our savings.  

Additional monthly data from Lee…

For October we used 267 GB of data on our AT&T unlimited plan, across all of our devices. (Total for the year is 39.597 terrabytes)

We took 5,178 pictures, bringing our total for the year to 13,032.

This month 100% of our nights were spent in only four places, because although we are traveling, all of our travel is short hops, which is a new way for us to travel, so we’re not staying anywhere just overnight, but for at least a week at each stop. 

The least expensive was also our favorite of the four, Smokey Bottom RV Park, at $30 per night for a HUGE back in site with 50 amp power, and water and sewer. 
The most expensive was the West Virginia State Fairgrounds at $47 per night for 50 amp, water and sewer.  

The total cost for our “rent” was $1159.22, which averaged out to $37.40, a 25% increase over last year. Not only that, our choices were severely limited. Most places were completely booked up and we took the places we did because they were the only places we could find. We sort of expected it to be like this because that’s just how the East is, but it’s still maddening.

We put a total of 588 miles on the trailer, pulling it for only three travel days! Our shortest travel day was only 124.7 miles, and our longest was 278.9 miles. Our total travel miles year to date is 4,916.

We put a total (travel and non-travel) of 2,775 miles on the truck over 71 hours of engine time, with a year to date of 11,325 miles on the truck.

Year to date we’ve traveled 11,325 miles, 4,916 of which was pulling the trailer, with year to date engine hours of 396 hrs, 35 mins, 33 secs.

We burned a total of 199.7 gallons of diesel, and averaged 13.6 mpg for all of our travel, with a year to date total of 1185 gallons at 11.9 avg mpg.

We used the TSD Logistics card only once this month. Even though the price at truck stops for diesel using that card is often cheaper than regular gas stations, we just were never anywhere near a truck stop the entire month, except for once while driving. We did so little travel that we just never passed any truck stops.

On that one visit, we saved $12.72, which was 17% over the “street price”. The TSD Logistics card continues to amaze me and I am thrilled we have it.

If you haven’t already read about the TSD Logistics card, you can read our post about it here.

Here’s our travel map for September…

and our year to date travel map…

 

Until next month, here’s a shot of Smilin’ Jack The King Of The Pirate Puppers.

 

 


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June 2018 Budget

This month was really good with less than $3K in expenses!!!  $1,024 of that was for an emergency replacement of our front jacks so we really only spent $2,318 for the month, which is right up there with one of our best financial months ever.  Part of that is that we are working so hard we haven’t done much of anything, and the other part is the things we have done were mostly free.  As always for more details please see below.

 

Groceries – We went over again by over $200.  Going to local more expensive grocery stores, buying lots of pre-made food instead of cooking meals because of our schedule, and another Costco run are the culprit. On the other hand, we should be able to keep July much lower because now we’re pretty well stocked up. We’ll see. Pie is expensive.

Truck Fuel – This was really low because we aren’t really going anywhere.  Lee runs into town on our days off, but we haven’t taken any trips.  Again, good numbers because of crazy work schedule.

New Equipment – We had a catastrophic failure of our front jacks/landing gear (Lee is writing about it in the next post) and because our rig had to stay hitched with the nose down over 4° while we waited for the replacement jacks, Lee paid $200 for next day shipping, otherwise we would have been tilted down that far for a week or more instead of just two days. 4° is a lot of forward tilt to live with. These things happen, but it was a bummer, because we really wanted to put that money back into our bank account. But at least now we have brand new front jacks.

So, how do you hardly spend any money?  Work long 10+ hour days, 5-6 days a week, and don’t go anywhere! Just like we dreamed! Seriously, though, it’s beautiful here, the weather is spectacular, and we were lucky enough to have friends come and visit us, so we don’t feel like the month was a total waste, but it would be nice to have the time and energy to do more with our free time. Maybe it will start to get a little better after the middle of the season. Even if it doesn’t, by the time we get to the end of the season we will have been able to set aside enough to take a nice 4-6 week break before we start gate guarding for the winter. That’s progress over previous years for sure!


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.

April 2018 Budget

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.


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.