We hit the road full-time on June 15 and I thought I’d share with you the budget for those last two weeks of June.
As a reference, I had created a tentative budget back in May, of what I thought we might spend each month – and I plan to update that later this week based on what I’ve learned so far about our habits, needs and choices.
June 15 – 30, 2015 expenses
Camping/Resort fees – $457.91
Groceries – $322.39
Gas – $314.19
Vehicle/Trailer Insurance – $100
Dining out – $193.66
Cell and internet – $150
RV maintenance/supplies – $97.44
Entertainment/Museums – $53.39
Toiletries – $32.04
Laundry – $24.75
Showers – $11
Propane – $0 – we haven’t had to refill yet!
June costs TOTAL – $1,731.77
Estimated MONTHLY expenses – $3,462 (if doubled)
Here’s a bit more detail on June expenses:
Camping and resort fees was our biggest expense. Due to the extreme heat wave in Eastern Washington/Idaho we skipped our stay in Hells Gate State Park and headed north to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho a few days early. This meant spending three nights in a premium RV spot because it was the only spot available in town. The state park would have been much cheaper but we wanted to head north because there was a lot more shade, lots of family to hang out with, and more things to do inside – we are so glad we did this!
Groceries/Eating Out – We left town with an almost empty fridge. We were so busy getting the trailer ready that menu planning and having groceries in the fridge just didn’t work out. We also ended up eating out a bit more than we had planned – but primarily because it was SO hot that we didn’t feel like cooking in the trailer or grilling in the hot sun.
Diesel Gas – We drove about 900 – 1,000 miles during those two weeks. We are using a free app called Fuelly to track our miles per gallon and we seem to be averaging about 12.9 miles per gallon (as low as 11.4 towing through hills and as good as 14.8 not towing). On average we’re paying $2.98/gallon for diesel fuel.
Entertainment – We did a LOT of free activities in June. Geocaching, visitor’s centers, state park programs and playing outside. Our limited costs were movies in Walla Walla, the Fort Walla Walla Museum and a local theater program.
Cell phone and internet – This is going to be way more than we expected initially. I was hoping to use the FREE wifi in the campgrounds – but it’s essentially useless during the summer months when the campgrounds are full of families streaming videos. In order to keep working and running my business (I blog over at QueenBeeCoupons.com), I’ve had to rely a lot on cellular data. This gets EXPENSIVE fast. Walla Walla Blue Valley RV park was really the only place with good free WiFi so far. We’ll see how this shakes out.
Laundry – Many folks commented on my low laundry budget and I can see why now – we’ll probably have to double our laundry budget to be realistic.
I want to point out that this budget is for full-time TRAVEL. You can save a substantial amount of money if you stay in an RV park long-term . . .especially if you get weekly and or monthly rates (big savings here). You can also save a lot by having a Thousand Trails membership – but this limits where you can stay and we wouldn’t likely take advantage of their best promotion of buy three (3) weeks, get one FREE. You can also save a lot by boondocking – which means camping in free spots without hook-ups. We hope to try this more after our comfortable level increases.
Health insurance – We have health insurance covered through Jeremy’s work until the end of September – so this is not an expense now, but will be down the road. More on this later.
Bills we are NOT paying traveling full-time – We are no longer paying a mortgage/taxes ($1,500/month), garbage, water, electricity, cable, internet, alarm system, HOA dues, daycare/preschool, insurance on second car – and we are CONSUMING so much less because we don’t have the space to store clothing, toys, games, kitchen gadgets, etc.
We also do NOT have a trailer or truck payment – This was really important to us, so we purposely paid cash for the trailer and the tow vehicle. For families considering full-time travel, if you can avoid a monthly payment by saving up and paying cash I feel like it eliminates some of the pressure to earn on the road.
Looking forward. . .I can tell you already that July is shaping up to be a ridiculously expensive month. It just is. State and national park campgrounds are full, private RV parks are charging a premium and we spent 10 days in Coeur d’Alene at an expensive RV park because of it’s prime location to family and activities. I expect our summer expenses to be higher than the winter – but we will have to see how that all shakes out.
What do you think about this RV budget? Is it less or more than you’d expect? How does it compare to your expenses in a regular or typical housing situation?