Sorry it took me so long to get this budget post out, but there has been a lot going on. Basically we made about $300 in July, which is a good thing since this month included the $600 for a plane ticket to see Kyrston and a crazy high grocery bill. Total expenses were $4110 and total revenue was $4413. For more details, see below.
Groceries – We have access to a freezer with our jobs here at Timothy Lake and since it is a 1-1/2 hour drive one way to Costco, Lee made a stock up trip which ended up costing $500. We also always spend more on groceries up here because they are more expensive in the Pacific Northwest. That coupled with me trying to cook healthier and it’s one of the highest grocery bills we have had since going on the road. On the plus side we have a freezer full of meat, so hopefully this will balance out a little bit over the next couple of months.
Dining Out/Entertainment – On the plus side we were under in all three of these categories. We are trying to eat more at home, mainly because when you drill into most restaurant food it really isn’t that good for you. High salt content in particular is a real challenge when eating out and paying attention to the nutrition content is really taking the joy out of eating out for me.
Health Insurance – As I mentioned in a previous post we are slowly working our way through the medical bills from Lee’s heart attack. I have paid about $2K in medical bills so far which are NOT included in this budget because the money came from an HSA account we had when we went on the road. Lee paid one bill from our checking account which I did include in this month. I know it’s a bit arbitrary that I included what I consider an out of pocket expense versus the HSA account, but that is how I have chosen to deal with it. For those of you who are using this budget to decide whether or not to go on the road, I will say simply that the entire incident reiterates the need to have a savings account for these type of unforeseen expenses. There is no way we could make enough work kamping to cover these medical bills along with our regular expenses. The current state is $2K from the HSA account, $200 out-of-pocket, and tens of thousands currently in the appeals process with Blue Cross/Blue Shield. I’ll keep you informed as it continues to sort itself out.
Clothing – Some good news…Lee has lost enough weight by eating healthy that he has gone down two pant sizes. So it cost us more in better food and a chunk of money for him to buy all new jeans but he’ll live longer so it seems like a more than fair trade 🙂
Gifts – I bought several items for Kyrston and Oliver right before I left. Almost all of the presents I bought came from the Amazon Associates program and the few remaining items I just splurged on in July. I also took advantage of an unexpected opportunity to buy some wine for my dad at a deeply discounted price and for $65 I was able to send him $200 worth of West Coast wines. Like I said, the opportunity kind of came out of nowhere and I took advantage of it to do something nice for my Dad who loves trying different wines.
Home Equipment – We went over in this category by $278 this month. Essentially that was $100 in new LED lights (we have been losing a light every couple of weeks for awhile which is frustrating) and the materials for Lee to build a platform in the truck. Back in April we saw that our friends Deb and Steve had built a platform for Hurley in the back of their truck. This allowed them to put the dog cage in while traveling and have space underneath to store stuff. We both liked the idea and when we arrived for our summer gig, Lee decided to tackle the project. First he had to take out the big tool chest he has had in the back of the truck (which was a sacrifice) and then he had to build the platform. It took him a couple of days but it turned out really great. He’s working on a post about it that will come later.
Miscellaneous – The $600 for the plane ticket, which wasn’t really that bad considering I was going from one small airport to another. It helped that I was able to book it a month in advance. We discussed me going out right after the baby was born but that would have cost over $1,000 easily. Ultimately we decided to wait until Jeremy went back to work for me to come out and I was able to book the flight as soon as they gave her the last date they would let her go before inducing labor. It made me a little anxious, but it all worked out really well and saving the $400 was helpful.
As usual if you take all the extras out, the budget is really doable. Unfortunately as usual there are always extras. I don’t know how those of you who are using this budget to help make your decision feel about that. On the one hand I hope you aren’t letting all these extras discourage you, but I also hope you are being realistic about what your costs might be. It’s a delicate balance for sure, and a process I can remember going through myself. Without having recurring income, becoming full timers definitely involves a leap of faith. My advice is to take the leap but have a safety net of savings to help break the fall.
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