Dentist Nickel & Dimes Us

Finances of Living in a Fifth Wheel Toyhauler
March 2013

Full Time RVing – Cheaper RVing?

Winter Traveling and Fees

March – Dentists Nickel & Dime Us

Laura & Sasha Sweaty Hike at Valley of Fire State Park

Laura & Sasha Sweaty Hike at Valley of Fire State Park

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.

March 2013 – Where are we – Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Expenses: For the Month of March: At Lake Mead – how expensive can it be? Boo Hoo




Expenses for March 2013

  • Food, Food and Household: $329.83
  •         , Provisions: $281.98
  •         , Out to Eat: $114.48
  • Household, Laundry: $0
  •                  , Propane: $0
  •                  , Tools: $0
  • 5th Wheel, Upgrades: $0
  • Transportation, Diesel: $0
  •                        , Maintenance, Truck: $15.24
  •                        ,                      , Motorcycle: $70.19
  •                        ,                      , Scooter: $9.23
  •                        , Insurance: Moto/Scooter: $49.50
  • Communication, Cell Phone: $34.22
  •                          , InReach: $11.41
  •                          , Internet: $59.99
  • Health, Both Insurance: $117.72
  •            , Doctor: $80.00
  •            , Dentist: $1,875.40
  •            , Meds: $16.68
  • Recreation, Camping Gear: $2.03
  • Tax/Memberships, Costco: $55.00
  •                             , Accountant: $438.75

Total Expenses = $3,561.64

Youch and OUCHY Not Cool Mr. Dentist

March has past and Oh yes, this was an expensive month. Mostly because we want to be healthy for a while, and so the bills reflect our need to be healthy. I can only imagine what it would be like if we were truly unhealthy.

Expensive Dining Out 

Food: This month we started getting some provisions. In years past, March was the month to by everything, but since we still are not leaving until April, there is no need to stock up yet. However, there were also some things like dental floss and toothpaste and other medical stuff that were bought at a grocery store, that count in the groceries amount.

We went out to eat a little bit, mostly here and there fast food joints. Three buffets (we will miss those, but our waists will not 🙂 ) and I had wanted to check out this dinner in Boulder City. It was good but expensive for what we ate. So you live and you learn. It does seem like most places are going to be more expensive than we think as far as going out to eat – but I do not want to eat at fast food places all the time. That food is junk. And the more you eat it, the more you crave it. No thanks.

Do It Yourself Type Work

Transportation: Since we got rid of the Jeep, we have not had gasoline costs. Nor Diesel, even though we are using it to go to the trailheads for hiking. Having a very large diesel tank has its advantages – where you can go months without filling up. And then when you do fill up, you get the pain once for a little while. Once we start traveling again, that will go up. But other things will go down. At least that is the way it is supposed to work.

Sasha did maintenance on the Truck, Motorcycle and Scooter. He does the oil and filter changes on the truck, oil changes on the Scooter and Motorcycle and this month, although he really tried to change the tire on the motorcycle, it just did not happen. We went to Motorcycle Tire Center in Las Vegas, great place, and they changed the inner tube of the tire. Sasha has a different set-up with his bike, and last year he made major improvements. But the bike had a flat and he could not change it on his own. So most of the price was labor.

And finally we paid insurance for the motorcycle and scooter. We have insurance through Geico for everything, but they separate it out and automatically charge us on our American Express card. I think of it this way: we have AMEx Blue which gives cash back, so we will get $0.50 back on our insurance. That is the way it goes, for that just in case possibility.

Same Old Same Old…

Communication: Communication was not bad this month, just the normal charges for internet, cell phones, and InReach. Although I think we went over on our minutes, so we shall see how high they ding us.

Dentistry Woes 

Health: How I hate this category. We pay health insurance but it does not cover dental. Nor does it cover other medical stuff. It is really just for emergencies, like a trip to the emergency room for a broken leg or something. It is insurance to say that we have insurance.

So we have not gone to the dentist in two years. We saw an advertisement for Teeth Cleaning- $59 for X-rays and cleaning. The fine print says that it will cost more if they find gum disease. So of course, they found gum disease. And showed us how much it would cost. Gulp, around $4K for the both of us. They did have a plan that would take money off and what they were showing us was the plan pricing! Deep Breathing needed now!

So I asked Sasha to look around for other dentists – you know, basically shop around. I mean, we do this for other things, why not for dentists and doctors? So Sasha did. He called up one dentist office and the folks were like, well, here is our fax number and what is your fax number? WHAT – who still has that ancient technology? Are you kidding me? He asked if he could email it. No such luck.

Even the dentist that we got the initial quotes from did not know how to email the X-rays to us. THey had them digitally, and when we brought an USB stick to just get them that way, they were like, no, no, we can not do that. It is for your protection. Yeah, right. It is because you haven’t a clue how to use the comptuer! The girl stated that she really did not know how to use the computer. But yet, she said that she was going to email it to us! We ultimately had to go back there 4 times to get the X-rays. Thankfully most of those “going back to” were on the same day.

Finally, we found a dentist that we could show the X-rays to that seemed to have good prices. Again, though, it was through a plan. Do you know about this plan: Brighter – supposedly it is with dentists across the country. Sasha really looked into it and since it is good for a year, we might be able to use it again. 20-40% off the prices. Pretty good since most people do not have dental insurance.

Sasha had to get two widsom teeth extracted. The first one was extremely painful. The second one, the root did not come out with the tooth. He could not get it out. So they did not charge us for the second extraction, but referred us to an oral surgeon. They got the root out without giving us too much pain. And the Brighter plan worked as well. So instead of $800 for the oral surgeon’s time, it was $625. Not bad. They put him out with an IV.

So we needed some medications afterwards for the pain. And we were able to get them at Walmart.

Present Day Laura: We now go to Mexico for our dental work. We have yet to do serious cleanings but I think it will be something we will do some day. 

Recreation: The Camping Gear was bite wings for our Camelback water systems. Again at Walmart. They work well for at least a year before they start to leak and you need new ones. At least that is the way it seems to work for us.

Taxes and Memberships: So we got a membership with Costco again. We like Costco much better than Sams as they just have some better stuff. Some is more expensive though, and other stuff just does not seem to work, but overall we like them better.

Taxes: Well, this was not for taxes but for the H&R Block tax accountant. We had to file for two states and federal. Plus last year I went on a corporate, municipal, and secondary CD buying spree through Zions Direct. Several of the bonds actually gave great returns, but I had to buy them at a loss. I could not figure out how to do it on the tax returns. She showed me how. Next year we will not have to go to H&R Block but will be able to do it on our own. Who knows, I might even try for a seasonal position with them, she seemed to think I would be good at it.




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