Finances of Living in a Fifth Wheel Toyhauler
Full Time RVing – The Expensive Year
Spring Hiking & Weather Weirdness
April – Arizona Fees
If all goes according to the plan, we will volunteer in the winter (which will only be a couple of months: January, February, and most of March) and work/volunteer for six months at a National Park. After that, we are not sure, somewhat thinking of going back east for the fall. We shall see!
April 2012 – Where are we – We are Grand Canyon National Park in AZ.
Expenses: For the Month of April: At Grand Canyon National Park – how expensive can it be, especially when winter is still here and we need to go south!
Expenses for April 2012
- Food, Food and Household: $244.80
- , Out to Eat: $74.12
- Clothing, Laura: $43.10
- , Sasha: $130.92
- Household, Laundry: $8.00
- , Electricity: $110.85
- , Rent: $145.00
- 5th Wheel, Hotels: $58.20
- , Maintenance: $13.11
- Transportation, Diesel: $301.91
- , Gasoline: $10.78
- , Truck, Maintenance: $81.71
- , Motorcycles, Insurance: $27.75
- , Motorcycles, Upgrades: $138.00
- Communication, Postage: $21.31
- , InReach: $11.95
- , Internet: $59.99
- , eBay/PP Fees: $4.76
- Recreation, Rec Fee: $100.00
- Taxes/Fees, Federal Taxes: $1,346.00
- , H&R Block Filing UT/AZ Taxes, $63.14
Total Expenses = $2,995.40
Without Taxes = $1,649.40
Taxes Were a Huge Chunk of Expenses
OK, April is gone, and it was not as bad as we thought. It would have been better if we did not have to pay taxes, but taxes are what makes the world go round, so there you go.
Yes to Happy Hours and Eating Early
Food: While the grocery prices are not especially high, we do live in a “resort” town so even though we did not go into town often, we still managed to go and spend especially at Sam’s Club and then go into the Village and spend money there. But we went down in the case of Going out to eat, as even though we went out, we went to happy hours down in Scottsdale area and got some really good deals.
Something Old and Something New
Clothing: We both got some new clothing, Sasha got hiking boots from Summit Hut in Flagstaff and I got a new bathing suit and insoles from Walmart. My old bathing suit was at least 10 years old, so it was time for a new one. And a good deal. (although I found out later it did not work as a swimming suit, just a laying out suit – looks good in the store, but not when wet! Sigh, live and learn…)
Rent Went Down, Electricity Went Up
5th Wheel Household: So we have to start paying for laundry as we are now at the Grand Canyon and that is no longer free. I think when it starts getting warm enough, we will be using the indoor drying system (we will have pictures in June!)
The electricity was high because Arizona Public Service (APS) charged a turn on fee (even though they did not come out nor was it ever turned off!) otherwise it would have been not too bad. And the rent went down ~ $5 from last year as we do not have a fire truck that could get out here quick if our houses or RVs went up in flames. So all of Desert View was downgraded on the rent. I do think though that we were not downgraded enough, but still with rent less than $150, you really can’t complain.
We stayed a night in Flagstaff, so what you see on there is the charge. But we also stayed in Scottsdale. But we had a gift card that we used and therefore since I did not put it on the income, I am not putting the charges on here as well.
For the Maintenance, Sasha picked up a paintbrush and paint for the picnic table at our site. We figure once he has painted it, it would finally be nice to use one that won’t give us splinters in our seats. He will paint it once it becomes a little warmer.
A Little Bling, Insurance, and Maintenance
Transportation: So we filled up with diesel for over 77 gallons at $3.90 a gallon. That price is lower than last month where it was over $4 a gallon. We think that the prices are going to go down for the next couple of months.
We also had insurance to pay for the truck/RV and motorcycles. It is slightly annoying that the Truck/RV is on the bank account and the motorcycle insurance is on the credit card. Sasha says that the two sections of the company (Geico) do not talk to each other. It also seems like it goes up every six months. We have never paid the same amount since we have been full timing. I do not understand it but I rather pay every six months and hopefully be charged less than if we did it every month or every season.
Sasha is buying gas from Desert View gas station rather than taking out of our tank in our rig, so saving it for me and the scooter. It is much harder to figure out when it is full in the scooter rather than in the Motorcycle. And I have such a small tank, it is not worth to fill up at a gas station. And I only need to fill up every two weeks!
Truck Maintenance: We got an used tire for the truck to have in case of a blow out on the truck, and the truck got a cleaning before we headed back to Grand Canyon NP from Scottsdale.
Motorcycle upgrade: I thought for sure, there would not be any more upgrades, but I see I was wrong. This was the luggage racks so that Sasha could carry more stuff on his bike for camping overnight. We will have pictures soon so you can see what I am talking about with his motorcycle.
Days and Minutes Confusion
Communication: Each month we now have two charges, automatically: the Millicom for Internet (Present Day Laura: No longer available) and the InReach for DeLorme, whether we use them or not. I think though for the InReach, after the first year, we can turn it off. But yet we have to pay that price for each month. Yet there is the state of mind and the peace I feel that has got to be worth at least $11.95 each month, when Sasha goes off on the motorcycle for rides. We checked out the texting and the sending of links, and it works great.
We also spent some money on sending or receiving some stuff, and that costs us. But at least this month, it did not cost anything for our phones.
Staying Healthy and Having Fun too!
Recreation: Fun Stuff – paid for 5 months for the two of us at the Community Center. It is for the health club, but we also use it as a place to stay during the day and enjoy their chairs, internet, water and bathrooms. I think it is worth it, even if we do not use the exercise room that often. Still we shall try when we can.
Dreaded Taxes and Fees
Taxes/Bank Fees: Well, we goofed. We did not get enough taken out for taxes last year, and I worked a couple of extra months for both Utah and Arizona, and we got dinged on the interest. So we are getting more taken out this year, and hope not to pay a penalty (because of the high fee, over $1000.) Hopefully next year we will still pay, but not the penalty.
I would rather pay than get a refund. It means that we are paying too much and not getting the interest (no matter what it is) on that money. So we will get more taken out in 2012 and see how we do. It is a hard lesson, but one we can learn to do.
While the income may change a bit, the interest is still not as horrible as some make it out to be, because we had Government Bonds of 30 years earning 4-5%. But we continue to hope that the interest rates will go up, and we can earn more on our CDs and Federal, Municipal, and Corporate Bonds.
Present Day Laura: Nope, the interest rates were going down, down, down. Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda, but at the same time…it is in the past, can’t do anything about it now. Continue to save as much as possible is the best course of action.