The Finances of Living in a Truck Camper – July 2007
The Second Month of Our Full Timing Adventure, July 2007: Changes to the Schedule, Seeing Friends and Family and Going North to New Jersey
Volunteering 4 days a week and Sasha working full-time
Sasha is still commuting to work, 45 miles one way, or an hour and ten minutes one way. I worked at the visitor center on Monday through Thursday now, as the seasonal rangers and interns worked on the weekends. I was doing more “office work” including working on databases for email and special use ranger activities, and working the “B” shift – basically the lunch shift. As it was starting to get hotter, I was glad not to do as much Roving – we were instead, going to the gym to work out.
Days Off Visiting Family and Friends
Saturdays and Sundays were our own, starting July 6th, (I worked on July 4th, but that was OK as it was in the middle of the week.) Sasha took off on Friday and we went up to NJ for the weekend. We had a great time, seeing the NJ family, going to the beach, and eating great food. We did our laundry at my parents’ house, I’m not too sure they liked that idea, but we do our laundry now once a week and on Sundays, so hopefully they did not mind too much.
Where to Put the Money We Made From Selling the House?
We also started figuring out what to do with the money we made with selling the house. We did not want to put it in stocks as we already had that with Sasha’s 401K, but putting it into Bonds when they are earning only 4.5% seemed tough to do as well. So instead, I started applying to different banks, some credit unions and online banks to get great interest rate CDs. These CDs, you could take the interest out or keep the interest in so that you can compound the amount. So we decided to try the CDs out, using INGDirect and Department of Interior Credit Union.
DOI Credit Union – Even though I was not an Employee of DOI, I am a volunteer, and therefore, because I am a volunteer, I could belong to this excellent credit union. They have high interest rates, much higher than even online banks, so I made sure we started taking advantage of this opportunity. God Bless America and Department of Interior for making this happen.
Book Club & Parties
Enough about money, anyway…life was pretty good, so we had a couple of parties, first one was for my book club, we read Travels with Charley : In Search of America, by John Steinbeck. You can see it on the right side of this website. Steinbeck had a truck camper customized for him and I thought it appropriate as we are in a truck camper. I had snacks and s’mores for the party. The book club came to our site at the visitor center host spot, we had gotten wood from maintenance just days before, and the fire ring had been built in late June. So we had a big fire and some excellent friends to come and discuss the book. Fabulous time.
Fabulous Fun with Parents
My parents came down from NJ on the way to Williamsburg (I think, can’t always remember all of their trips – they are semi-retired so either they are traveling for my Dad’s work or they are traveling for the fun of it) and stayed somewhere in Stafford County…but before they went down to their hotel, we went out to eat for Sasha’s Birthday.
WOW talk about great food (thanks Mom and Dad for the treat), we went to Tim’s Rivershore Restaurant. It was unbelievable, the food was great, the atmosphere out of this world, the bugs not too bad, the drinks really good, and after dinner, we walked on the docks and got a private showing of Tim’s partner’s historic shrimp boat. He had converted it to a house boat and there were quite a few similarities to a RV, such as gorgeous views, very small head, little headroom, and small bedroom, but excellent sleeping conditions. Although I do not believe that I would ever live in a boat, I could see the attraction to it.
That weekend, we went to Yvonne and John’s house for the July birthdays: Sasha’s, Johnny’s and Jackie’s, but unfortunately, Bo and Jackie were unable to attend. So we had a nice picnic at the Batals’ house and ate some great food there. The kids had friends over, and it was kind of funny to see (sorry Johnny and Ally) – first the boys would be in the hot tub and then the girls would be, but not at the same time. But it looks like they all ate together for dinner – them not with the “adults”. Have to keep reminding myself that I am an adult, not a kid anymore.
Party at Our Site
We had another party at the very end of July, on July 31st, and invited everyone that was at the visitor center and whomever else was around. We had tons of food, and lots of wood, most of both we hardly used. It was nice to see everyone not in a work environment, and we knew that before too long, it would be too hot to have something like this again at the spot.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7)
Oh, and the final installment of Harry Potter: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7) came out, so of course, once it was available at Costco, I got it. I proceeded to read it (zoom through it Sasha says) in a weekend. Again the book is on the right side. It was very good, very sad in some parts and very happy in others. All around, I think it was her best work, but there were a couple of places that it could have sped up a little. Anyway, good book, and I will not give away the ending.
Expenses for July 2007
- Food, Food and Household: $322.87
- Food, Out to Eat: $147.57
- Food, Farmer’s Market: $21.50
- Food, Provisions: $195.27
- Clothing, Laura: $31.47
- Clothing, Sasha: $31.47
- Household, Supplies: $6.80
- Household, Services: $24.50
- Transportation, Car Gas: $214.71
- Transportation, Truck Diesel: $81.45
- Transportation, Truck Maintenance: $1.02
- Transportation, Truck Insurance: $20.55
- Transportation, Camper Equipment: $12.59
- Communication, Cell Phone: $92.63
- Health, Insurance: $134.00
- Health, Other: $198.09
- Recreation, Fun Stuff: $16.00
- Recreation, Books/CDs: $20.30
- Recreation, Charity: $0.50
- Recreation, Gifts: $11.00
- Bank/Taxes: Cost of AMEX: $19.66
- StT Work: Postage: $63.00
- StT Work, Client Expenses: $79.00
Total Expenses = $1,745.95
Explanation of Expenses
Nice month but a little bit more expensive than last month, and yooza – all that for food, what is going on?
Anyway check it out below.
Spending a HUGE amount on food, let’s break this down if I can: I found an Aldi and was stocking up on provisions. Plus, we had a party at the site, with firewood and food, hot dogs and burgers. So being like good folk like we are we wanted to have a nice spread for our co-workers. Did we have pictures? NO as far as I can tell. A shame really but that is the way it goes.
Out to eat: This month was less meals out, as there should be, from all the food we were purchasing before. OH and we also found a Trader Joe’s great place for even more food “provisions”.
Finally, I wrote down what we got – both of us got a pair of Tevas. Great shoes for walking around and good for getting wet too. I think Sasha still has his, even in 2012 but I lost mine somewhere down the line.
Supplies: We got some Caddies for supplies under the camper sink so that there is not a mess under there. Great storage.
Services: So our services now are that we have to go to a laundromat, so anywhere from a week to two weeks. I think that is why we got more clothes, so that we would not have to wash them as often. And usually we would go out to eat or read a book during that time.
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 $2.64 for the low and went up to $2.90. Diesel, we did fill up this month. Twice AND the price of diesel was less than a gallon of gas!
The maintenance was for cleaning stuff for the car. And we had insurance, probably for the bike.
And then the Camper: equipment was for an outside chair for Sasha. Our other one broke.
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.
But we also did a couple of other things too – like Sasha getting his teeth cleaned by the dentist. What I do not understand is why it should cost money since he had dental insurance, but I guess, cleanings are not covered. And we got some asprin around July 4th.
The fun stuff was we went to the beach and got passes. And I got the Harry Potter book when it came out. And the charity was when we were coming into Avon, NJ, there was a coin toss, and so we played too.
And the gift was for Johnny B on his birthday.
Sales Through Technology, my work: Most people separate out the expenses of their business with their home expenses, but as you can see, I was not spending all that much. I was figuring that within the next 3-6 months, I was not going to have a business anymore, as the real estate market was not doing so well, and I was already seeing clients that were not going to be around for much longer.
So I am not sure why I had hosting, except I think that I was doing this for other people, so hopefully I was getting a cut. Don’t know, not sure. The cell phone expense was high too, something not so good with a cell phone as your only phone. Health Care went up only a couple of bucks, but still it is the principle of the thing, you know?
I also did a bunch of postage, but I think part of that was faxing letters to people, my clients saying that I was not doing the company any more. Although I did have the company for another couple of months.
Check out August – a very hot month with going to the family homes, (when they were not there – to swim in their pool and stay for the weekend) plus a few other things.