The Finances of Living in a Truck Camper:
Working at Campground & Sasha working full-time
October – Bad Banks and Laptop He*l
October, can we keep up the low expenses? Nope not as bad as September, but that month was pretty bad! Some mistakes in the expenses keep happening to us.
Expenses for October 2008
- Food, Food and Household: $172.99
- Food, Provisions: $175.23
- Food, PYO/Farmers Market: $20.50
- Food, Out to Eat: $206.76
- Clothing, Sasha: $69.57
- Clothing, Laura: $57.18
- Transportation, Tolls: $70.00
- Transportation, Car Gas: $84.30
- Transportation, Diesel: $0
- Transportation, Motorcycle, Gas: $132.03
- Transportation, Motorcycle, Add on: $180.00
- Camper Expenses: Services & Stuff: $24.03
- Communication, Cell Phone (Sasha): $30.45
- Communication, Hosting: $0
- Communication, Postage: $11.08
- Communication, Hardware, Hard Drive: $121.79
- Health, Insurance (Laura): $113.00
- Health, Gym: $0
- Recreation, Fun Stuff: $7.34
- Recreation, Garden: $42.82
- Recreation, Gifts: $10.00
- Taxes/Charges, Finance Charge: $5.00
- Taxes/Charges, Credit Cards: $6.34
Total Expenses = $1,535.05
Expenses Lower This Month
OK, so this was not as bad as September, I mean, how could it be? We got hit with personal property tax in September. And with quite a few vehicles and the trailer, it was a big expense. Still, not as big as say, a house!
Still Stocking Up & Picking Fresh Fruit
We spent over $575.48 for food expenses: $368.72 in just regular food shopping and $206.76 in restaurants and such. But as you notice on the sheet above, I spent more on “provisions” than on regular shopping.
Just so you understand what provisions are, here are a couple of examples: we use olive oil almost exclusively, rather than butter, so when I went to Costco for a few things I also got 5 L of olive oil (at $25 it is not cheap – costs more than gas!) I also spent a bit on dried berries, Costco again had dried mixed berries for $11 for 20 oz. I got 4 bags. (Note to self: this was a crazed purchase, found berries at Aldi for less, next month, sigh.)
So we spent a bit this month for things that we use throughout the year, but especially at breakfast time. This month, we went out to eat a little more, because of my birthday and our anniversary.
Buying Volunteer Clothes & Workouts
We actually bought some clothes this month, with me volunteering at a museum, I’m not about to wear jeans. So I got a nice pair of pants and a nice pair of shoes, that I only wear to the volunteer gig. Sasha got some workout clothes – thank God – as his workout shorts were getting pretty bad. And a couple of whisk-away-the-sweat shirts, those shirts are just amazing.
Transportation & Home Warmth is Good
We again did not get diesel for the truck, and did not spend way too much on gas for the Car and Motorcycle. We almost spent as much on Tolls as gas for the car. Sasha also got heated gloves for the motorcycle, he says it makes a world of difference, does not feel the cold when wearing those gloves. They plug into the cigarette lighter (why a lighter in a motorcycle – I have not a clue), and the wires go up the arms and into the gloves. Pretty amazing and if it keeps the Honey warm, then I’m all for it.
Camper Expenses were laundry and some stuff for the camper, to keep the place a little warmer.
The Sad Saga of Laura’s Computer
Well, my computer fritzed out – the internal hard drive went down. It had been going for almost six months, that was why we had gotten an external hard drive last month. So this month it was the internal hard drive, which meant time to get everything back to the way I used to have things (it is still taking a while with that), and hopefully next month we will not have to worry about it. We figure, if we can get another 6 months to a year out of our 5 year old laptop, that would be just dandy. Why have the expense if you do not need it? The other big thing of course, Can I get away from using FrontPage, Outlook, and Excel? We shall see. Present Day Laura: It would be almost two years before I would change to a MacBook Pro I managed to keep the old info for as long as I could.*
Health insurance is the same as always, and the gym membership does not get a payment until November.
Fun Stuff and Sad Plants
Around middle of October, they were calling for a hard freeze, so I tried to get plastic and PVC pipe to cover my plants. It did not work and the poor plants froze. Boo Hoo, I felt so bad for them. So hopefully we can put the plastic to some other use later. Other fun stuff, I got headphones so I could listen to the TVs at the gym while doing my workout. That place is really cool.
Bad Banks and Mean Credit Cards
OK, the last two expenses there were totally crazed. I transferred some money out of Citibank to another bank for a CD for Sasha, and Citibank dinged me $5! Hello – what the heck – never had that happened before. I swear, we have been customers of them for over 15 years and they do this? I guess the banks are pretty desperate to hold onto your cash and so will do whatever type of fees they possibly can.
Speaking of fees, we also got dinged for paying on time – with American Express. We paid the bill on the due date, but it seems as though that is not good enough, because the payment was made during the day, not in the morning. So they hit us with finance charges. Again, you got to wonder about banks and credit card companies doing this to loyal customers, might explain why some of us are not going to be too loyal to them. Enough said.