Finances of Living in a Fifth Wheel Toyhauler
Full Time RVing – Cheaper RVing?
Winter Traveling and Fees
January – Cheerlessness Communication: A Company Becoming Evil
Living in a state of fluidity as we do not know what this year will bring. We know we will be in Lake Mead for one more winter season. Laura searches for jobs in the National Park Service AND US Forest Service, and we bought Workamper News just in case we cannot find anything from the federal government.
The start of a very fluid three months. Living in Lake Mead and wondering where we will be for the summer.
January 2013 – Where are we – Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Expenses: For the Month of January: At Lake Mead – how expensive can it be?
Expenses for January 2013
- Food, Food and Household: $172.23
- , Out to Eat: $115.22
- Clothing, Laura: $17.48
- Household, Laundry: $0
- , Propane: $0
- , Tools: $15.00
- 5th Wheel, Upgrades: $0
- Transportation, Diesel: $0
- , Gasoline: $104.09
- Communication, Cell Phone: $16.79
- , InReach: $11.41
- , Internet: $59.99
- , Hardware: $1,106.01
- , Software: $86.38
- , Mailbox, PostNet: $86.38
- Health, Both Insurance: $117.72
- , Doctor: $350.00
- , Meds: $4.00
- Recreation, Books/Map: $1.98
- , Traveling: $1.06
Total Expenses = $2,277.19
Normal Winter of Expenses
OK, January was expensive because well, just because every winter it seems it is expensive for some reason or another.
Out To Eat, Thrift Stores, And High Insurance
Food: OK, the food prices for this month are actually not too bad, even though we bought lots of vegetables and fruits, chips, candy, nuts, granola, coffee, ham, cheese, half and half, dairy products, and some meat. We also bought a cleaner (I have no idea what it is, it is whatever I typed out on our spreadsheet).
Just so folks understand, I have a spreadsheet for every month of the year, categories that we use, for every expense. If we spend $0.05 or $500, it goes on the spreadsheet. We did this starting back in 2006 when we read “Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence: Revised and Updated for the 21st Century” I will post a link to it, you can get it at any library or on Amazon for 6-12 bucks. We went through the 9 steps and found we could afford to live in an RV Full Time.
So anyway, really none of that was Provisions, I guess because we still had lots of leftovers from 2012. Hey, I KNOW this is true, we opened up a container of Salsa from February 2012 just this month, so it is great to have those provisions if at all possible.
We did eat out, but it was not very much. My parents came to visit and we stayed in a Timeshare with them for a week. We went out only twice, they paid for the first one, and we paid for the second. The Fremont Hotel buffet for $60.49 total for 4 adults! Not bad. And then just a couple of times more.
The reason I call it Meals to Go instead of out to eat is because of this: Usually we do not eat everything on our plates. Sometimes there is so much that we can get another meal out of it. Case in point, this month we got “Meat to Go” – It was a BBQ place that had meat for $11.99 for a solid pound of BBQ. We took it home, made up some coleslaw and had a couple of meals from it. That is why I call it Meals to Go. **Laura Present Day: While I said this in the above paragraph, I still show it as Out to Eat. We were under the delusion that these are called meals when they really are not. A road-side stand is just that, whether you get fruit or meat. **
Clothing: I bought a couple of pairs of Jeans – I typically go through a pair of jeans a year. Unfortunately, I ripped my jeans when we were 4 wheeling in January – total jean failure! So I had to get a pair, but then I thought, I better get another one just in case. So the first pair cost $4.49, and the second was an extravagance of $12.99. From Goodwill. As a tall, long legged woman, it is a little tough for me to find good pants and when I do, I snatch them up as quick as I can.
Household/5th Wheel: The only tool is kind of a cross between a tool and I suppose something else, although I had no idea where to put it. We got a milk crate for Sasha for when he does work on the motorcycle. That way I do not have to hold it up. (LIKE IF I COULD, hahahahaha!)
Transportation: Not much cost for transportation this month, just buying gas for the Jeep as it was our primary source of getting around.
We Need to Reach to Touch Someone, Hard
Communication: Uggh. This is where we spent the majority of the money this month.
First off: we were trying to port our numbers to a new system: From Net10 to ConsumerCellular. We had loved Net10 as our Cell phone carrier until they turned Evil. They said they were not, but they were.
We had set me up with a monthly plan, and were trying not to pay for the month of January, to try to move over to CC, but it did not work, and we had to pay.
We finally have it set up properly, but it was a bunch of aggravation to get it to work.
Internet is $59.99 a month without fail. Millicom is our provider and is not bad – 20 GB a month no contract.
InReach: Kind of like a SPOT for when we are adventuring and are hurt. It is insurance, the just in case sort of thing. Of course, we did not use it for the adventure we had in February, but we did not need it.
We opened a mailbox for getting stuff sent to us, three months paid, three months free. Doubt we will use the free ones, but who knows? And postage was for stuff that we were selling on Ebay.
But the biggest expenses were our hardware. We bought 2 iPhones on Craigslist. One was $200 and the other was $195. For iPhone 4. As you can tell from some of the pictures, it is a great phone to have. We also spent money on Hard drives and memory for our MacBooks. Sasha got extra software for Delorme maps, a camera case for our main camera, and cables for the phones. So big expense.
But that is the thing. It always seems like we have a big expense. And it is something you have to plan for just in case.
Health: I truly hate this expense. We pay for health insurance, very low amounts that do not pay for much but is there for that just in case emergency. Case in point, $350 for two doctor visits because the insurance does not pay for it. Oh well, what can you do but suck it up (excuse my language on this one, it just makes me a little mad), and move on to the next thing.
Recreation: Bought a few books from Goodwill and Salvation Army. Quick reads to get me off of the computer for a time. Sasha bought some music on iTunes, for $1.06! Hope it was some good tunes!
Some comments from Facebook friends of long ago…4 plus years!
Jonny Epstein Gotta love the simple life!
Living and loving life!
February 28 at 4:00pm via mobile · Unlike · 2
Brenda White Klingle Hi… We have Net10 for our family. My children earn their minutes. May I ask how Net10 “turned evil’? So I know what to be looking for. I REALLY would rather have control over cell phones and my bill and REALLY would like not to go with a carrier and have to get a expensive phones for us all. I have a simple phone as does the rest of the family. Hope you have a wonderful evening.
February 28 at 10:39pm · Like
Laura-n-Sasha Brenda, Sasha could answer this better than me, as he dealt with them more. We have had Net10 since 2006 but ever since their website changed around 6 months ago, their customer service is not as responsive. We got his parents on their own plan, and changed his mother’s service plan from “month to month” to an automative service plan and the double charged her!
Then we tried to set it up for me from every couple of months to an automative service and we were double charged. They double charged Sasha just for buying more minutes. And then the straw that broke the camels back was that WHEN we tried to port the number to a different carrier, they WOULD NOT LET GO of our numbers. It was a major fiasco! So that is why we call them evil: Double billed each time and not allowing us to port numbers.
We actually had to get American Express involved to contest the bill. It was finally resolved in January, but again major hassle. And we had been with them for a long time.
February 28 at 11:25pm · Like
Brenda White Klingle Ohhh Ok Thank you for responding so quickly I will share this with my husband. We had an issue where my husband was on a remote tour in Korea for a year. (we are an Air Force family) and when he got back we got him a new phone because the one he left here was old and acting up not holding a charge etc. Well he got a new on and wanted to put his old number on his new phone and some how or another it didn’t work when it should have and wanted him to purchase another sim card. or something. I believe he also was not impressed with the customer service. I think we will will keep an eye on things and if anything else happens we will probably have to consider going with something else. Again Thank you for responding so quickly have a great weekend!
February 28 at 11:34pm · Like · 1
Brenda White Klingle PS… we are stationed right now at Nellis in Las Vegas.
February 28 at 11:36pm · Unlike · 2
Jennifer Schillaci How many people do you feed? Trying to determine a food budget to plan for on the road. We just bought our 1st camper & are planning to hit the road in the next 3 months. Still at the beginning stages. My husband is a recently retired US Marine. Trying to see if we can swing it. We will have 8-9 of us travelling…. depending on what my 18 yr old daughter decides
March 17 at 12:49pm via mobile · Unlike · 1
Laura Jevtich We only have two adults – Laura (me) and Sasha (my husband). We have found that when we travel a bunch, the eating out bills get higher and when we are staying put, the grocery bills get larger. But I would suggest in the beginning that you double the out to eat costs that you have now because everything is new and different living in a RV. 8-9 people in a RV is a bunch, what type of RV did you get?