Finances of Living in a Fifth Wheel Toyhauler
Full Time RVing – The Expensive Year
Spring Cheaper May No WAY
May – How Can This Month Be Cheap?
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!
May 2012 – Where are we – We are in Grand Canyon National Park in AZ.
Expenses: For the Month of May: At Grand Canyon – how expensive can it be? Our Cheapest Month for the year, unfortunately that is not saying much. Definitely not below $1K this month, oh well…we keep trying.
Expenses for May 2012
- Food, Food and Household: $322.23
- , Provisions: $4.76
- , Out to Eat: $174.03
- Clothing, Laura: $129.43
- , Sasha: $11.96
- Household, Laundry: $15.00
- , Electricity: $80.04
- , Rent: $145.00
- 5th Wheel, Hotel: $96.96
- , Upgrades: $28.77
- Transportation, Diesel: $0
- , Gasoline: $77.44
- , Truck, Upgrades: $3.50
- Camper, Hotel: $337.64
- Communication, Cell Phone (L): $33.59
- , Postage: $0.65
- , Internet: $59.99
- , Hosting: $41.94
- , InReach: $20.62
- Health, Insurance : $218.88
- Recreation, Books/Maps: $17.97
- , Fun Stuff: $48.73
- , Camping Gear: $221.26
- Memberships, Cost of Sam’s: $43.78
Total Expenses = $1,796.52
Sad But True
So May has come and gone, and while I have not gotten the explanation in yet, this is one of the lowest months this year. So sad but true. We keep hoping for cheaper months but it is just not happening.
Shopping Leads to Increases
Food: Food was expensive this month, probably because we were going into the village to go to the community center and other reasons. Very little in the way of provisions – I do not remember what the ~ $4 was for, but whatever. We also went out to eat more, with the gift card that we had, it was used up by this month. Sasha also ate out a bit when he went on his overnight trip, that ended with me having to pick him up (Please see May’s Pictures, it will be there!) So food was expensive.
Hiking Leads to More Expenses too
Clothing: I got myself some boots, after going down the Tanner Trail and sometimes slipping and falling once, I figured it was time for new boots. They are Vasque Breeze Hiking Boots – the kind that works well for me in the desert. We gave away my old boots at the Community Center, they were gone in a couple of hours. Sasha got some socks for when he is moto riding, they are knee high socks, that help him not get so bruised up when riding.
Laundry – Doing Many Loads
Household: Laundry was expensive this month, probably as we were hiking a bit, and needed the clothes afterwards for the next hike. Electricity is high because it was really for April, and with the cold weather we had (a snow day and other things) it was still high. Rent stays the same each month and is automatically taken out of my paycheck, so we do not have to pay it via check or other methods.
5th Wheel: There were no too many expenses as far as the 5th Wheel goes, but we did go to a hotel and as it is our shelter, I put it down there. That was for the night at Cliff Dwellers, when Sasha got the flat.
We got tools, mostly paint and hooks for our home improvement projects. Sasha put up more hooks so that our backpacks (we now have two each – one for hiking and one for computers) would be off the ground. We are forever diligent about not having anything on the ground just in case of possible rodents.
No Diesel Bought Month!
Transportation: Finally there is a month where we did not pay for diesel. We have finally gotten in the groove, and did not move the truck very much. How we could do this and still go to Page and other places has to do with the extremely large tank. The mileage is pitiful, only 12-13 miles to the gallon, but still much better than when towing.
But we did spend more this month on gasoline. That was because Sasha went on a trip up north. He felt that if there was a gas station, he should stop just in case. Gas stations are far and few between remote areas out west, so when you get a chance, you want to stop.
We were also having some serious wind here at the site, so Sasha took the truck for a much needed car wash at almost the end of the month.
Days and Minutes Confusion
Communication: was high this month because we were doing something new. We got a DeLorme inReach. It has proven to be a great way to ease my worries when Sasha takes off for a ride or trip. It works with the Delorme GPS unit we have and use on the hiking trips to get an idea of the elevation and mileage. For anyone that gets worried about their riders, this can totally ease the mind.
So we now have a monthly charge for the InReach. It is a year’s contract at normally ~ $11 but there was also an activation fee. Still pretty small for the usage we will get from it. We might even use it when we come back east, so that the parents know where we are in route.
We also re-upped for more minutes with Sasha’s phone. We wait until the last possible moment, and then do it. So some months we do not have the charge and some months we do.
However, the internet is always the same charge, done on the first at like 3 am in the morning. But we not only use it in the rig but also when we go to the community center, as it works faster than at home. And sometimes faster than the free wifi. That is the way it goes.
Hosting was done with 1and1.com and it is well worth it. The ads that are on the right in this website as well as Amazon ads more than pay for the hosting. The charge is for 6 months hosting. Very inexpensive and as I learned how to use the site more and more, I found they had excellent features for not only making the websites but also for advertising and statistics.
I love the fact that we still have postage stamps from 2007, the forever stamps! We used one for each card and then found since the cards were a little bigger, we had to pay extra for postage. Oh well! But we still have many of those stamps left. Considering that the postage price seems to go up every year, they still come in handy.
Taking Out The Toxins
Health: Well, it is now come to be. The health insurance that we had is no more. We now have to pay each month. So the charge above is for the very last month of the old plan (for June), and July will have the new price. It is lower and it gives us more.
Thank you Affordable Care Act law for making it so. I do not know if the law really did help or not, but we will be paying $59 each! We got this plan through volunteering and working for the NPS. If you have questions about wanting lowering your health insurance, send us an email using the box at the right, just take out the spaces. (so that I don’t get spammed!)
Maps and Postcards and Cameras Oh My!
Recreation: Sasha got more maps through his work, of places he would like to go and he is studies maps. Sasha really enjoys looking at the maps and has a great sense of direction, which is good, because I do not. Maybe because I usually have my head in a book or playing a game, but I just do not have the inclination to look at Maps the way he does but he gets us to where we need to go, quickly and efficiently. And that is good.
Speaking of games, I bought two new ones. They are for my computer and do not have to be done online. It is something that I enjoy doing, and it does not cost much. So when I feel like I am knocking my head with the internet being so slow, I get on these games and play and calm down.
I got some postcards that I wanted to use for my program. They are pretty cool. However, I ultimately did not use it. But still, they are cool.
We also bought stuff for the new camera an Olympus. We decided to get a new one, that could be used for the Star Party in June, and for the night sky. Sasha is getting to be quite the photographer. So hopefully that hobby will be good for us, as you can see we have loads of pictures, but now they are even better than before. So in June you will see the camera in action.
Camping Gear – we bought lots of stuff for camping – Sasha for his sleeping pad and me, I got a new backpack for hiking. I did not have one before, and the one I have for work is black, hot, and does not have all the straps needed to make it work for hiking. So I went to the store here in Flagstaff and got an Osprey Kestrel 28 Backpack.
We also got a few other things for camping and some more nalgene bottles for hiking. Can you tell, we plan to do more hiking this year. We shall see how it goes.
And then finally, we got the Sam’s Club memebership again, and it is the same as last year although I thought it would have been cheaper. It showed up as a line item on our receipt when we bought groceries and then there was tax. Tax for a membership? Crazed!