The Finances of Living in a Truck Camper:
Working at Campground & Sasha working full-time
September – Buy Cheaper or Be Taxed
September, Hopefully not as bad as August. No MUCH MUCH WORSE – had to pay personal property taxes so Major OUCH!
Expenses for September 2008
- Food, Food and Household: $146.07
- Food, Provisions: $59.16
- Food, PYO/Farmers Market: $41.10
- Food, Out to Eat: $181.13
- Clothing, Sasha: $8.40
- Transportation, Tolls: $70.00
- Transportation, Car Gas: $135.11
- Transportation, Diesel: $103.49
- Transportation, Motorcycle, Gas: $163.95
- Transportation, Insurance, All: $567.04
- Transportation, Motorcycle, Maintenance: $15.10
- Camper Expenses: Services & Stuff: $196.68
- Communication, Cell Phone (Sasha): $30.45
- Communication, Hosting: $0
- Communication, Postage: $0.17
- Communication, Hardware, Hard Drive: $132.99
- Health, Insurance (Laura): $133.00
- Health, Gym: $120.25
- Recreation, Fun Stuff: $75.00
- Recreation, Garden: $8.09
- Recreation, Motel: $88.79
- Recreation, Wedding Gift: $100.00
- Taxes/Charges, Finance Charge: $8.15
- Taxes/Charges, Personal Property Tax: $1,021.14
Total Expenses = $3,385.26
Expenses Higher This Month
Ouchy, Ouchy, Ouchy is all I can say about this month. Although we managed to keep our food expenses low, we are still eating out more than we should, even though we are getting some great stuff from the garden. Of course, part of that eating out was when we went to the Hershey RV Show, with all of our meals eating out while we were there. However, we have stopped eating out as much as we did before, and we are eating more healthy now, so we are on the right path to getting healthy this year.
Picking Fresh Fruit Instead of Eating Candy
I did go to the Pick Your Own farms quite a bit this month, mostly getting apples and a few peaches in the beginning of the month. We seem to eat the dried apples as a snack, so I haven’t been able to put away as many of them as I had hoped. But it is better than eating candy, so again, on the road to healthy living.
Gift Cards Rather Than Money
Sasha got some new clothes that he needed, thanks to Aunt Tina and Uncle Joe giving him a Target gift card (Thank you again for such a nice party and being able to see everyone up in New Jersey!). I’ll be getting some new clothes in October. The Exercise clothes for getting in shape are important too.
Transportation Costs Increase
Transportation costs were inline with last month, however, going up and back from New Jersey and Pennsylvania, we took some hits at the tolls. EZ Pass hit us twice in a month which is a little unusual, but Sasha is taking the toll road every day as well, (usually just in one direction) so that has gone up.
The fuel costs have been around the same, we finally fueled up the Truck again, the last time was in June. We are just not using it very much. I am sure once we are moving around that will change, but then we will not have the Saturn.
We hit a big Ouchy with the insurance for the car, truck, and motorcycle. It seems crazed that it is so high for me hardly driving and us not using the truck very often. We have to check into lowering the bill. Also, Sasha did an oil change on the motorcycle, and had to get oil and chain oil, so that was that expense.
Camper Warmth & Healthy Cooking
No propane this month, but probably will see it in the next couple of months, as it gets colder. We did have camper expenses: I bought a new pot as the old one was on its last legs. We were worried that the non-stick was coming off and that it is not very healthy for us so we got a new pot. We also got a new throw rug for the camper, it is a bit bigger and goes all the way from the bathroom to the dinette, so our feet aren’t as cold. We also got a new ladder, a very needed necessity as we kept borrowing someone else’s when we should have had our own. It folds up real well and is a good thing to have.
Switching Phones To Use the Minutes
We added extra minutes and time to Sasha’s cell phone. Sasha does not use his cell phone as much as I use mine, so with this pay as you go, I have tons of days still available before I have to renew but no minutes to call. Sasha is the opposite, lots of minutes to call people but no days before it expires. So we switch phones occasionally. Present Day Laura – Back then we only had a certain amount of minutes for cell phone usage, now phones have unlimited talk time and texting. But in 2008, very few people did texting and you had to pay for it too. We were trying to stay in communication with everyone but not have a landline phone. We were ahead of the curve with that idea.
Continuing Saga of a Windows Computer
We had a slight – OK MAJOR scare, when my computer would not turn back on. I was several days without the computer, very scary. So we are looking into getting a new one, but I want an Apple and before I buy, I want to understand how I can keep the info I have on this PC and bring it over to a Mac. I have been a PC user for so long now, it will be hard to switch. But I will.
We also got a new hard drive for backing up files – especially Sasha’s music collection. Always good to do a back up, and we have to do them more often.
Country Club Gym
In our plan to get healthy this year and next, we signed up at a new gym – or as I like to call it, The Club. It has Country Club amenities at gym prices. The amount you see above was for the application fee and one month’s fee. But it will go down to $84 a month. So much is included in that price, I am sure in the next couple of months I will be still singing it praises. And of course, right when you are trying to get healthy, the health insurance premium went $20 higher…sigh.
Visiting Family and Friends Month
Fun Stuff was a guess because we had cash to spend and spend we did! The Green Dragon and other places when we went up to New Jersey and Pennsylvania’s Hershey Show. But we had a ton of fun there, so it was well worth it. The motel was definitely not worth the price. I think that Sasha got bit by bed bugs, he had a few bites that showed up the next few days. We were afraid that they jumped and went into our bed, so I washed and bleached everything in sight. But I do not think they jumped ship and the bites calmed down. I also bought some more seeds for the garden, one of the garden shops was having a sale, so I got a few seeds and other implements.
We went to Mary Beth’s wedding (in New York) and gave the gift most new couples need the most, money. Every one needs it, more so than what is on the registry, and so that is why we always do that.
Buy Cheaper Stuff & Have Less Tax
The biggest ouchy of the month was our personal property tax. In Virginia, you pay for the stuff you own, like cars, RVs, trailers, motorcycles, boats, planes, etc. The Camper is not part of that because it does not have a license plate. If it did, then it would be taxed. Although boats and planes don’t have license plates, they are also taxed.
If the item is a cheaper price, then you pay less for it. However, if the item is newer and a higher price, then you pay more personal property tax. Virginia also has State Income Tax and Real Estate Property Tax, so the state is getting your money one way or another.
Thankfully this is only once a year, and you pay for the previous year. So we will just have to pay it once more. We also got a finance charge from American Express because we were one hour late on payment. We cut it too close to the due date, and got dinged on it. We have to remember not to do that. Even though we pay our bills online, an hour here or there seems to matter.