We had a fantastic month in February and achieved our lowest monthly costs in the year years we have been traveling. All events conspired to keep our costs low, and it was nice to have the “perfect storm” work in our favor for once. We only spent $1987 this month, and made $5350 resulting in a net cash flow of $3363. This is very exciting because it should cover most of our costs in the month of April when we explore Utah. Details are listed below.
Groceries – We were under by $95 this month because we were both trying to cook the food we have in the RV. It was also a short month, which of course helps with the food costs.
Dining Out – I am particularly proud of this category because we only spent $55. Usually when our grocery budget goes down our eating out costs go up, but this month we really kept an eye on that. One of the things that helped is we both cooked several meals from my recipe book. I’ve been so busy trying new recipes it’s been a while since we gave the tried and true a try and I was very pleased by how that impacted not only how well we ate but also our budget. Yes, this is a shameless plug for my recipe book, but it is also absolutely true 🙂
Entertainment – We went over by $38 in this category because Lee bought a couple of video games, and I spent some money on craft supplies. Entertainment looks different when you are sitting still and we needed a couple of things to help with the downtime.
Cell/Internet – One reason our monthly costs are the lowest ever is because our base costs have gone down. As I have mentioned before we are saving $100 a month with the AT&T unlimited plan and are very happy with it.
Memberships – For the time being I have decided to forgo our memberships for both Workamper News and Escapees. We have been very happy with those memberships in the past, but since we have our year planned out from a work standpoint and aren’t planning on attending any Escapee events, for the time being I have decided to forgo them. I highly recommend both of those memberships though, especially if you are just starting out, but at this time I am holding onto that $80.
Truck Fuel – Huge savings in this category because we just didn’t go anywhere. One of the benefits of constantly feeling like you are going to get pulled from a job is you don’t stray too far from home.
Truck Insurance – Our truck insurance has gone up $70 a month, but after receiving some quotes we ultimately decided to stick with what we have for now. This may change, but we didn’t see any plans that we liked much better and are hoping next year the 2015 claim will “roll off” and the rates won’t continue to rise.
Health Insurance – Another big reason our base costs are down this year was the $200 a month savings in health insurance. We have no idea why the costs are so much less, but are happy that things worked in our favor. I am a little concerned about getting hit with some taxes at the end of the year, but we started this journey with $5K in an account for taxes and still have $1500 left so to some extent we are covered.
Home Repairs – Lee has completed the bulk of the home repairs last month so we are under by $150 this month. We have one more major repair we are looking at completing before we leave the area, but if that happens it won’t be until March.
Overall I am extremely happy happy with the month and Lee is beyond pleased. This is exactly why we are such huge fans of gate guarding and why for us it makes so much financial sense. And it’s not like we feel we suffered this month. We had food, were entertained, and I have gotten a ton of writing done. By all measures it was a very successful month for us and although we wish we could have seen our friends a little more and done a little exploring, that is the price we pay for some financial stability.
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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.