Expensive Fun & Health

The Finances of Living in a Truck Camper:
July 2009

RV Living in a Resort

NPS Job for Laura & Sasha Volunteering

July – Expensive Fun

Us & NPS

Laura & Sasha at Cape Hatteras

July – How much fun can you be? How is it possible that the weather was fabulous up to and including July 4th and then the water turned brown?

The ocean did not really turn brown, but the colors were not the crystal blues and greens of June. Instead, right after Sasha bought an inflatable kayak for fun, the ocean water turned rough and was no longer clear. Is that a sign or what?

Ack! Well, it looks like this month was not so good. We will be lucky if we can get it as low as that one month before.




Expenses for July 2009

  • Food, Food and Household: $182.87
  •         , Provisions: $142.67
  •         , Out to Eat: $180.43
  • Transportation, Diesel: $100.10
  • Utilities, Propane: $55.00
  • Camper Expenses, Services & Stuff: $216.20
  •                               , Rent (NPS): $0
  • Communication, Verizon: $60.07
  •                          , Cell Phone (L): $30.45
  •                          , Cell Phone (S): $30.45
  • Health, Insurance (L): $152.00
  •           , Insurance (S): $192.96
  •           , Doctor: $110.00
  •           , Medications: $10.00
  •           , Shot: $50.00
  • Recreation, Fun Stuff: $597.08
  •                  , Gardening: $5.11

Total Expenses = $2,138.89

Always getting Hit By Food Prices

It seems we still spent a bit of money on things, but again always necessary things. The food costs around here are high, both in groceries and in eating out meals. So we are hoping next month that we will spend less than $300 in food & household & provisions, and less than $100 in Meals to Go. We shall see. -HAHAHA HA – I do believe there is no way to do that. We spent even more this month than last month on food. This area jacks up the prices so that it is impossible to get sales on practically anything. I guess that is the case when you live in a resort town.

The other thing that makes it hard is the fact that our rig in not the best place for a get together. Since it has been hot and humid, it really is tough to have people over for a cook-out when there are bugs eating your body, and sweat is dripping off of you. So you sit in the camper instead. Or you go out to eat.

Todd and Kimmy Ottenstein came down in July to see where we live and to go to the beach. We had a great time with them, although it was short. We went to the beach and then went over to the Sandbar, one of the nice restaurants here, great seafood, ok service, and great views.

We also went out to eat with many of the rangers at the park. It was the Monday before payday, which makes it easier to go out to eat. Try out a new restaurant and talk about other things than work. We went to Rusty’s which is close to the park, turned out to be really nice.

My parents and my sister and her kids came down July 15th through July 19th. My parents rented a two bedroom villa and they stayed there. It was nice, although not close to the beach, it was within walking distance. On the 15th, just my parents came down, and so we went out to dinner, again, we went to Sandbar – it was good, as the sun was just setting over the sound. Beautiful!

The kids and Karen got here on the 16th, and on the 17th – I had a very packed day for them: they came up the lighthouse with me guiding the tour, then a kids program at 11 am and snorkeling at 2:30 pm. I think they all enjoyed that as well. We ate over at their villa each night with the last night – the Saturday night being the best. Sasha brought over our grill and we roasted marshmallows and told ghost stories. We are so glad they came.

We also went out for Sasha’s Birthday but this time we went to Toppers – for pizza and beers. They have a nice selection of beers. It seems to be the top choice when volunteers are leaving, as they have the beers and good pizza.

Transport and Camper Expenses Together

Around July 24th, we were having trouble with our batteries. Yes, these are the batteries that we have had since we BOUGHT the camper. I guess after 4 years, including 2 weeks in the desert back in 2006 where we relied on them heavily, would mean that it was time to get new ones. But there is no place around here to get batteries, so we had to make a road trip up to Norfolk Virginia to get them. So we got two 6 Volt batteries, plus went to Costco and bought provisions – haven’t been to a Costco in so long – almost forgot what it was like. We also filled up on the diesel, including getting the extra cans filled. Who knows, maybe this will last us until the fall.

Volunteering Pays For Rent

We do not have to pay for rent anymore since Sasha is volunteering at the park.

So our propane lasted since April 3rd – so that was three months. Of course when we got it in April, we still had some propane, so it did not cost as much. This time we were almost completely out, just had enough in our small tank that we use for the grill. Having that small tank has been a lifesaver – as we can not really figure out how long it takes to run out of propane. Well, I guess we now know – with both of us taking showers and washing dishes, it is about 3 months. If we have to use it for heat too, then it would be shorter.

We had so much fun at Topsail that Sasha managed to forget a few things. So he had to go to the dollar store and get them. Thankfully, very cheap things – a mirror for shaving (the beard was starting to get pretty long!) He also got some things for his motorcycle – what they are I do not know, but important for the motorcycle, so he got.

Trying to Get a Winter Job

July was the start of the season to apply to jobs for the winter. Yes folks, this is a seasonal job, so that means that it ends October 13th, barring any hurricanes that would cut the season short. So I am applying to jobs in Death Valley, and other places that are warm for the winter. It would be lucky to get a job in the winter as they are far and few between, but I am hoping. So what that means is the communication is higher – sending my applications via mail and priority mail. And increasing the phone minutes as well. And of course, having to pay Verizon whether we use all of the 5 GB of internet or not.

Not All Doctors Take Your Health Insurance 

Sure wish the health insurance issue would pass through Congress – although we do not pay high amounts, we still pay 344.96 per month for insurance, with that number still going to increase every year. And this month, Sasha had to go to the doctor, and she did not even TAKE insurance, of any kind. So we had to pay out of pocket. Sasha had to go because there was a very tiny shell piece in his foot, and it was quite painful – so much so that he was having a hard time walking on it. So after the doc visit, the prescription for antibiotics, and a TETANUS shot (good idea I guess), it was $160 out of pocket.

Fun Stuff with Some Not So Fun

I did not do much gardening – except to get all of the boxes up off the ground as something was eating them – and then put string around the pepper plants so that we could get some good jalapenos for Sasha. We did put up metal wiring so that the plants can grow upwards, we will see how that goes, but I am slightly disappointed in the plants – would have thought I had a better crop. I guess, the container growing is a little tough for the plants.

We had a very fun month for July. I had stated to Sasha, well, if you volunteer at the park, that would pay for the rent. If you did 4 months – we would save ~ $600. That being the case, we could get a Kayak for you (because he really wanted one and it would help for his upper body.) So this month, we got the Kayak. It is an inflatable kayak, which is great, now we just have to get used to it again. It is slightly different from our sit-on-top kayaks that we had before, but the same principles apply. So it was $543, and it was from www.AirKayaks.com.

When the folks came, we went to Ocracoke on Saturday, and while some of them went to the beach, my mom and I went to some of the stores. I got to see the hemp store, which I had be longing to see, it was pretty good, but the prices were outrageous! As much as I would love to have a pair of hemp pants, there just is no way. So instead, we went to a bookstore and I got The Omnivore’s Dilemma, an interesting read about the natural history of four meals. I will probably still be reading it in August, as I have not been able to find the time to read.

Also along the job front, we thought it would be a good idea to get the Workamper News again, to see if there are any good jobs out there for private and other parks. Sometimes the wildlife parks and forestry parks advertise in there. So we shall see.

Check out August, Please Please no hurricanes, and the Point is now open, will we walk out there soon?




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