October 2019 Budget

When I saw these numbers my immediate reaction was WOAH we spent $7600.  I had said we were going to try and keep with our previous spending even though I had gotten a job, but obviously that didn’t happen.  In all fairness though it was part not needing to worry about budget for once, part traveling across the country, and part the week we spent with my sister for a family emergency.  We did things in a hurry, and that always costs more.  I’ll go through the details below.

Campground Fees – Previously we were spending less than $200 a month in campground fees.  That will probably change with my new job especially because the places near Kyrston’s house are NOT cheap.  Lee may mitigate this some through volunteering, but then again he may not.  I do know that we make adjustments to categories in January and this one will definitely go up. These fees include coming across the country.  The weekly rate at the KOA (Monthly rates start November 1st) and a daily rate at a county park near my sister.

Dining Out – This one we just went crazy on.  We took Cori & Greg to dinner to thank them for letting us stay with them.   We bought food for people when we were at my sister’s house.  We also ate out as a convenience while traveling.   What does that look like?  Blowing the budget by over $500.   The biggest reason we will probably stop this is we spent a ton of money and we both packed on the pounds.  Eating out is usually NOT healthy.  It is cheaper and easier on the waistline to stay at home. That being said this is an area we haven’t been able to splurge in for a long time.  I’m not going to feel guilty about going out a bit now that I am making more money.

Entertainment – I had to go back and see what all this money was.  A chunk of that was paying for the RV-Dreams rally in April.  We are planning on attending with our friends Kelly & Bill (Bill does solar installations and will be there doing estimates and presenting at the rally) so if you have been thinking about going to a rally but keep putting it off, come to this one!  Aside from experiencing what may be a life altering event you get the bonus of meeting us and getting a walk through of our RV, as well as the RVs of lots of other people. That’s one of the highlights of the rally. We really can’t say enough about how much information is packed into these rallys, and you will meet lots of like minded people. For the record we are not getting compensated in any way to attend the event.  We find them valuable and enjoy going to them when our schedule allows.

Truck Fuel – This was San Antonio to Charleston then to Charlotte and back to Charleston, plus all the running around in between.  We always look at this as an annualized amount and YTD we are $472 to the good.  Since we aren’t planning on taking any more long trips until the next year we should be really close to budget.

Truck Maintenance – We spent $368 on two new truck batteries.  One was pretty old and had weakened the other one so Lee just replaced both of them  That was an unexpected expense but thankfully it happened while we were with Cori & Greg so it didn’t cause any trouble while we were traveling.

Healthcare – We spent $244 on healthcare out of pocket on medical bills.  Our HSA account is wiped out but we are now putting money in a new one.  This was a bill that came in between.

Clothing – I spent roughly $300 on work clothes, new bras, and workout clothes this month.  Lee also bought some clothes to wear to the funeral.  I mention the bras specifically because when we first came on the road five years ago I had extra bras and underwear I brought with me that Lee stored in the “basement” and I just grabbed them when I needed them.  That “stock” lasted a full five years and finally needed to be replaced.  Have to say that was one of the best things I did and I highly recommend if you are going on the road and will be on a budget stock up on that stuff prior to leaving.

Cigarettes – This category is now for my e-cigarette. Lee completely stopped smoking but I still use an e-cigarette. The cartridges are three for $15 and last roughly two weeks.  Yes I have seen the news reports and no with everything else that has been going on I am not ready to stop doing that yet.  It is definitely the lesser of two evils.  Speaking of smoking it took an act of extreme will to not buy a pack of cigarettes the week I was with my sister,  I do not regret at all heavily relying on my e-cigarette to get me through that.

Gifts – One of the first things I did when I got to my sisters was give her teenage kids $100 each.  It was gas money and fast food money for them and something I have done occasionally for other teenagers who have lost someone close to them.  If you are ever in a similar situation I highly recommend slipping the kids some money.  They will appreciate it.

Home Equipment –  If you have been following along you know that when we get a little extra money I eat out,  and Lee does home maintenance.  It’s a pretty familiar pattern and this month was no exception.  Take a little extra money and being in a place you can work on stuff and you can bet Lee will get cracking on his list.  This time it was adding a convection oven and several other repairs which are detailed in this post.  All these cool mods Lee does are NOT cheap!!

Miscellaneous – This $178 was to rent a car one way from Charleston to Charlotte,  I went to Enterprise and they were great about getting me out the door quickly but it really bothers me how much they charged for one day.  Certainly I could have looked for coupons and bargain shopped, but it was an emergency I just needed to go.  I feel I got gouged in price and frankly think less of them as a company because of it.

So that’s where we are. It will take a couple more months to really get a feel for what our new normal looks like…if we even do that.  Our goal is to live reasonably and sock some money away but we also are going to loosen up a bit.  We have been on a VERY strict budget for five years and need to discover how things settle in.  I’ll report that honestly as we go along, but I am definitely not feeling bad about it.  🙂

 


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We very much appreciate your support of our blog. You can help by doing any or all the following:

  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links.  There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds help support our blog.  Search Amazon.com here.
  • Purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
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April 2019 Budget

I think April was the most expensive month we have ever had while we were on the road.  We ended up spending $8,905 this month on a variety of things.  The big ticket items were $1,500 for new trailer tires, $400 for a new television and an additional $1,500 to repair our outside wall. We also spent $1,100 in gas, and pretty much ended up blowing our budget in almost every category.  Amazingly though we managed to squeak by without taking money out of savings, because Lee’s freelance pay for the show he did in Phoenix came in, and we got our first paycheck from our summer job before the American Express bill was due.  It is sobering though that in one month we spent 1/5 of our annual net income.  Considering what our mental state has been post-heart attack I would say that much of this was a necessity.  For more detailed information, see below.

Campground Fees – We did great the first three weeks of the month boondocking, but spent more than expected at the end.  If we would have boondocked as we traveled it would have been much cheaper, but both of us wanted full hookups.  We have also included money spent at dump stations in this category.

Propane – As I have said before boondocking isn’t 100% free.  It was chilly in Bryce and Torrey and we had to use propane to heat.

Groceries – Part of this is we always spend more when camping with friends, but mostly it’s because we were in the middle of nowhere Utah and groceries were expensive!  We also stocked up on meat before heading to Timothy Lake and that’s never cheap.

Dining Out – Whew, we really blew it in this category. going $444 over budget.   We had one $140 dinner with Cori and Greg and we haven’t done that in years.  We were also forced to eat out several times while traveling because of the nonsense with the tires.  Mainly though we just wanted to.  I had a “screw it” mentality when it came to this category.

Entertainment – We only went over $100 in this category because most of what we did was free.  We did buy our annual America the Beautiful Pass which accounts for some of the overage.

Truck Fuel – This was $1100 because we traveled from Arizona all the way to Oregon in this month with lots of driving in between.  I always say the day we can’t afford gas in this lifestyle is the day we need to rethink our choices, but obviously few people could have gas bills like this every month and make this work.  I always recommend looking at the annual costs in this category.  We’ve done pretty good annually year after year.

Clothing – We went over $285 in clothing because of all the T shirts we bought while we were vacationing.  This is another category it is best to look at annually, because we tend to buy all of our new shirts in one month of the year.

Cigarettes – In case you are wondering, this is for my e cigarette that I tried.  I am taking a few puffs a day which is definitely helping me stop smoking, and Lee isn’t doing anything at all.

Home Equipment – As I talked about earlier we really went nuts in this category as well.  I think its interesting that under pressure Lee spends more in this category and I spent more in eating out.  That’s because doing those things makes us happy. (A wall that isn’t broken, a replacement TV, and new tires. I’m out of control. – Lee)

To be honest I initially freaked out when I saw the numbers, but took a breath and went with “it is what it is”.  We are not perfect people, and under pressure we do not always stick to our budget.  Did we expect to go that far out of whack?  Of course not, but we did, and now we have the summer to dig us out of that hole. (Except we are not in a hole. We will work through the summer and leave with plenty of extra money. – Lee)


Supporting our Blog

We very much appreciate your support of our blog. You can help by doing any or all the following:

  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links.  There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds help support our blog.  Search Amazon.com here.
  • Purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
  • Purchase our recipe book filled with 80 recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. You can purchase the kindle or paperback version on Amazon or buy the Apple version on Itunes.