The Finances of Living in a Truck Camper – August 2007
The Hot Month of Our Full Timing Adventure
Volunteering 4 days a week and Sasha working full-time
After our parties in July, we experienced a very hot month, and therefore a buggy one as well. It made it hard to use the fire pit – who wants to be around a fire when it is still 80 degrees out at night? So we worked out at the gym most nights and took showers there, and would come home around 8:30 – 9 pm, only to have dinner, read a little and fall into bed.
Will Be Leaving Gorgeous Spot
I think that August was probably not my best month, as it was so hot, but also because I knew that our stay at the visitor center host spot was almost over, and that I would be at the campground host spot come September 1st.
Now, there is nothing wrong with the campground host spot, except that it is that much further away from the entrance (at least 15 more minutes down the “mountain”), the internet speeds are very slow and the cell phone service is low to not existing. Plus, I would not be working at the visitor center anymore, and I really enjoyed working there.
Disappointment in August
Laura Cohen had asked me to research a program in July, and I was hoping to do the program in August, but unfortunately, nothing came of it. So again, slight disappointment in August, along with a hot and buggy month, made August a little bit more uncomfortable.
Good News Away from Camper
Good News though, we spent almost every weekend away from the camper, as I was still working Monday through Thursday. So once Sasha came home on Friday, we would go to the gym, take showers, and head back to the camper to get up Saturday, and go to other peoples homes.
The first weekend, we went to my sister’s home (Karen and James thanks!) while she was not there. Her kids were (Brenden and Lindsay (very very cute kids)) and so were my parents, so we got to take care of them for the weekend, and go to the pool down in Richmond. Fun time had by all, and of course, we brought our laundry with us.
One of the things that was so funny about being at my sister’s house was my sister – she is SOOO organized: she had a little book of the different places (with coupons or cards or directions) that the grandparents could go with the kids. I thought it was so neat that she took the time to do that because quite honestly, they only moved to Richmond less than 6 months ago, and so we, as well as the parents, did not know what was available in Richmond. I think James’ folks took care of the kiddies before my parents, so by the time Karen and James came home, the kids were pooped from all of the fun activities that they had done all week. Congrats again to Karen and James for doing such a great job. It made visiting so much better.
Closing Down Sales Through Technology Business
On August 9th, I had my last Affiliate meeting. I am the Affiliate Chairperson for Dulles Area Association of Realtors, but I gave in my resignation in August. I also decided to shut down my business at that time (well, it took a little longer than that – I am still shutting it down in September) as I feel I can not do my clients justice by being further away (at the campground) and still service their websites. So I sent out termination letters at the end of July, and most everyone had faxed it back to me in August. The business had a good run, almost four years, and I will still keep the ID and a few other things, but ultimately the domain will go away and the email address associated with it. I just get junk email to that address nowadays.
Applying to Jobs
August was the month for major job applications to NPS and BLM jobs. I got help from Laura Cohen on what to say in my resume and started sending out applications for Geologist, Hydrologist. Park Ranger, Visitor Use Assistant, whatever I could find. Plus, I started taking more classes via DOI Learn, where I was able to get certified in over 10 classes online. And before the end of the month, Sasha and I took the CPR and First Aid 8 hour class together, so that we would have it under our belt.
Visiting Family Homes
Both the August 11 and August 18th weekends we spend at the Batals’ house, when they were not there. We swam in their pool, which was quite nice, and lived in a huge house for the weekend – WOW it felt so different, being in a huge house as opposed to the camper. All I could think of was, Thank God I do not have to live here full-time, I could not even begin to imagine cleaning the place. I know, it is not good to think of a house only as someplace to clean, but when I look at houses now, that is what first pops up in my brain, is how big is the house and how many bathrooms does it have, so how long will it take to clean? That is probably why I love our camper so much, only one very small bathroom and very short time to clean the entire camper.
Getting Extra Work
Even though I was closing down my business, I got an email asking for me to do some word processing for a company. I got the email on August 15th, and started working for the company as of August 27th – right around the time that we were going to be moving to the new spot. It was a little nerve-wracking, but hopefully the check is in the mail and getting a little bit of money is always nice.
Evil AT&T / Cingular
We also tried to get ATT (Cingular) to send me the information needed to unlock my phone so that I could sell it on eBay. Boy, what a waste of time! We went into the Cingular store and asked the person in the shop on how to unlock the phone and he did not have a clue – first about “what do you mean, unlocking a phone?” and second, about how to do it.
What I mean by unlocking a cell phone is not when you have the keypad lock in place, but unlocking the phone is so that you can get all of the features that the manufacturers have put into the phone that the cell service companies LOCK out. I have Bluetooth, WIFI and a slew of other features for my Sony Ericson S710A phone but no way of using them.
Cell phone companies want you to pay for email and text messages and I am NOT going to do that. I take a picture with my cell phone, I am not going to pay to get it off of my phone. That is just plain ridiculous! So I have had enough with the fancy smancy phone that I got 2 years ago, and wanted to unlock so that I could sell it. Well, we were supposed to get an email from Cingular/AT&T, but of course, did not. So we will wait until the service agreement is up in September, and do it then.
Evil Merchant’s Tire and Auto Car
August was not supposed to be an expensive month, however, we did get my Saturn worked on – 75,000 mile tune-up. I took it to Merchants Tire and Auto Car in Sterling, on one of the days that Sasha went into work, and it took them all day to get it done. When I first went into the shop, I showed them the coupon that we had received in the mail from them, for a 75,000 mile tune-up. It was for a much cheaper price than they usually give. I made sure at that time that they would take the coupon. I was assured that they would. I got the cost estimate at that time too.
Well, of course when it came time to pay, they did not want to honor the coupon, but with much haggling and showing them the cost estimate from the beginning, they finally honored what they had originally promised. Tell me, are there any honest mechanics out there? They were supposed to do a tire rotation and alignment as well, but their machine was broken and I could go to Leesburg – like not – to get it done, but of course I did not. This part was supposed to be free as I bought my tires from them and we got free tire rotation and alignments from them. However, it does not seem to be possible to use that “Free” Service, as the last couple times their machine has been broken.
Sasha was still going to work in Sterling but at the end of August, got word that he could work remotely for four of the five days, only coming into work on Wednesdays. The other four days, he would be able to work at a Library. So we will be going to the gas station less, and not putting as many miles on the car in September.
Expenses for August 2007
- Food, Food and Household: $255.15
- Food, Out to Eat: $135.43
- Food, Farmer’s Market: $0.00
- Food, Provisions: $0.00
- Household, Supplies: $1.56
- Household, Services: $7.50
- Transportation, Car Gas: $189.75
- Transportation, Truck Diesel: $76.49
- Transportation, Car Maintenance: $427.82
- Transportation, Trailer Equipment: $108.92
- Communication, Cell Phone: $56.36
- Health, Insurance: $134.00
- Health, Other: $317.27
- Recreation, Fun Stuff: $130.27
- Recreation, Books/CDs: $0.30
- StT Work: Postage: $.58
Total Expenses = $1,770.40
Explanation of Expenses
Nice month but a little bit more expensive than last month, why would that be?
Anyway check it out below.
Spent a bit on food, but not crazy as last month. But still, lots of fruit and veggies, and pasta.
Out to eat: This month was less meals out, as there should be, from all the food we were purchasing before. But we were doing lots of McDs and Five Guys. Probably more than we should have, but that is the way it goes.
Supplies: We got another spray bottle and a mirror, for when we would be cutting each others hair. Spray to wet down the hair and a mirror to see what the other person is doing (hopefully no ooops!)
Services: So our services now are that we have to go to a laundromat, so anywhere from a week to two weeks. But we also did our laundry at the family houses.
We had to pay for gas of my car and diesel for the truck. So Sasha was using the car more for driving back and forth to work which was now bunch more miles. Sasha was filling up the car every couple of days. Gas was now at $2.52 for the low and went up to $2.64. It was going down during this month! Diesel, we did fill up this month. Only once though, and the price was now higher than the gas price.
The maintenance was for my 75,000 mileage check. Please see above for the discussion on that one!
And then the Trailer:
Equipment was for a shelving for inside the trailer.
Was for my phone, my cell phone that I used for work.
I pay for my health insurance, as a small business owner I do not have a group plan and it is cheaper to do it as my own health insurance than go on Sasha’s plan. We broke down and got a health club membership, which I talk about above as well. We did this so that we had a place to work out and take showers. Not that we couldn’t take a shower in the Camper, but it gets wet every time, and that is not as much fun to use. Besides, we needed to work out too.
I also got to a doctor this month and again, while I have health insurance, it does not pay for everything.
The fun stuff was we went and got CPR training. While that is not really “fun” it is helpful for us to have it, and so therefore we did. And I got a book for cheap.
Sales Through Technology, Nice that my expenses have gone way down for the business, with only a mail out that I sent to a client and then I was close to being done. Not completely done, but close.