Federal Tax Mistakes

The Finances of Living in a Truck Camper:
February 2009

Apartment Living

Applying for Jobs & Sasha working full-time

February – Federal Tax Mistakes

Us & NPS

Laura & Sasha at Cape Hatteras

February –  Rent is paid, High Food Costs and a few mistakes made for our Federal Taxes.

Thankfully this would be the last time we would pay on April 15th for our taxes. We learned from that mistake. Even though people say it is better pay on April 15th for the taxes, I would rather not have to do that. Each year we see what happens and adjust accordingly.

February was an interesting month but the start of something great later on.

Living in a house: how much money did we waste on Eating Out? YIKES!


Expenses for February 2009

  • Food, Food and Household: $332.11
  •         , Out to Eat: $279.08
  • Clothing, Laura: $31.45
  • Transportation, Car Gas: $96.16
  •                        , Diesel: $69.09
  • Camper Expenses: Services: $709.57
  • Communication, Postage: $48.05
  • Health, Insurance (L): $113.00
  • Recreation, Gifts: $12.13
  •                  , Fun Stuff: $99.33
  • Taxes: Federal: $2,734.00

Total Expenses = $4,412.51
Without Taxes = $1,678.51

A Few Mistakes Lead to Paying Federal Taxes

February was not too bad, except for the big old federal taxes! Yikes, this is the first time we have had to pay in almost 12 years of marriage. We have always had write-offs, but 2008, no write-offs of value, no house and we did not take enough out of Sasha’s paycheck.

But I have heard from others, that it is better to have to pay, rather than get a refund. A refund is giving money to the government without getting the interest; or another way to put it, we were able to get interest from that money for over 12 months, and now we have to pay. Present Self: I believe that was the one and only time we paid such a large chunk of money for federal taxes. Since we work only half a year now, the rest of our income is from investments. We would rather have our money working for us rather than be tied up in taxes. It might mean another look.

But if we took out that amount $2,734 from the total, then that would be $1,678.51, which was a bit higher than last month, but not too bad.

This is the last month for the rent being paid, next month we will have a slightly higher rent (no rental agreement, but at least it is not as high as $750 that they were talking about.) The utilities are still included, so not too bad. Or like the owner stated, $500 for rent and $50 for water. Although we do not spend that much in water, so I figure all the money as rent.

Expensive Food And Making Mistakes Add Up

We seemed to spend a bunch in food, both eating in and eating out. I think because we had a bunch of processed or ready-made food rather than staples. Our living condition is such that we are making food at Sasha’s work in the evenings rather than making it at the apartment. We can not eat at the apartment, the smoke is just not good for us.

I definitely spent more at Costco, more than I would if we lived in the camper. There is no way that I would be getting huge, honking fruit juices, 2 – 3 pounds of frozen veggies, and big boxes of burritos. Nor would we be getting the pistachio chips and Kashi Bars. We might get granola bars, but the Kashi ones were over $20! It was crazy. But they have become our breakfast, so I guess the way to figure it, we won’t be eating them once we are back in the camper.

We have been eating out a bunch because I can not go into Sasha’s work during the day, so we can’t eat lunch together anymore. I think we over-did it, me going into work with him, so we have stopped and I drive him into work, and then we eat dinner together. But that means that I eat out.

Panera Bread and Corner Bakery have both been big draws because of the free wifi, although I do not need that, but it is nice to have. When there are too many people at the place, then I switch to the Sprint card. I should use the library more but you are not allowed to bring any food in at all.

Secondhand Clothing = Saving 

I also bought some clothes this month, going the eco-friendly route, recycling clothing. I went to a thrift shop and got a new pair of jeans, a pair of sneakers, a new purse, and a couple of other things. The jeans would have been about $30, got for $7, the sneakers would have been about $140, got for $11, and the purse is a Vera Bradley, probably about $40-50, I got it for $8.

Since I went to Salvation Army, if I had gone on Wednesday, I would have gotten everything off for 25%. But I was not there then, and quite honestly, if it is there now, I am getting it now. Being tall, got to get jeans when you can, and if they come in my size – well, that is just golden.

Fixed Camper With Extra Bonus

We also fixed the slide on the camper, that was the “camper services”. Money well spent, not only did they fix it, but they also stored the camper for 3 months. So not bad. We have to totally clean the camper out before we move in, but that should not be a problem.

Other Expenses and More Mailings

We paid a bunch for postage, as Sasha sold a few things and we had to pay for the shipping. But again, this was not a problem because he was able to sell some good things. And of course, the health insurance, same as always.

Taxes were the biggest expense, we hope that next year that will go down. It better, the salary is going down too! We hope though, that savings will continue as much as possible.


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