2007: Living in a House to Full-Time in an RV

2007 – Living in a House to Full-Timing in an RV

Our Site at Prince William Forest Park

I have kept tallies on food and fuel costs since 2007. We record every penny going in and out. I love looking back and seeing how much gas was in 2007 or 2008, compared to now. Or how much olive oil or chocolate was then and now. We follow the principles in Your Money or Your Life, Transforming Your Relationship with Money.

Post and Headlines from Laura-n-Sasha back in 2007:

Welcome to 2007 – Selling the house, and everything in it, to move to a Truck Camper in a National Park!

Winter in a House, Spring, Summer, and Fall in The Truck Camper, and Winter in a 1930’s Cabin! 

Since there was not too much writing going on in 2007 – as we were still working, selling the house and tons of other stuff, I decided to only have one page per month. But it does not matter, if you go to the expenses page and find the month or the other way around.

So the pages are as such: And I decided to add January through April, as I have the expenses, and so while there will only be one page for each month, we will continue with the format I have, to show the expenses for each month.

January 2007 – Winter in a House – January 2007 – Working diligently to sell the house. We put it on the Market mid month.

February 2007- Winter in a House – February 2007 – Working diligently to sell the house

March 2007 – Winter in a House – March 2007 – Working diligently to sell the house, yet still taking time to go down south to pick up an Enduro bike for Sasha and paying off my ATV.

April 2007 – House under contract April 8th! So now getting house ready for selling tons of furniture in the house, and the rest of our stuff.

May 2007 – Part of the month in the house, part not in the house. SOLD and left house on May 4th!

June 2007 – First Full Month as Full Timers – hopefully the expenses will go down, although I am sure some will go up.

July 2007 – Seeing Family and Friends when headed North to New Jersey

August 2007 – Hot, Really Hot month, and going to homes when the family is NOT there

September 2007 – A new job in the same park – Campground Host!

October 2007 – Old hand at being a Campground Host and finally a couple of pictures!

November 2007 – With two pages, a Thanksgiving page for the riding we were doing as well as being with family

December 2007 – With my parents for Christmas and a Christmas Poem

So what is below is what I wrote back in 2007. As you can see, not much. I was using a template in FrontPage – a software that I had learned back in 2000! I kept updating the software and was using it to make my client’s websites but as of 2012 – it is no longer in existence and has not been for a while. I use Dreamweaver now, and a template that I downloaded from the internet (see the bottom of any page.) While I loved using FrontPage, Dreamweaver has way more capabilities, some of which I still do not know. [Future Laura – no longer the case, now use WordPress for the website, but you can see I went through many transitions!]

Here were the totals spent in 2007: The list is long because we transitioned from a house to an RV.

2007 Expenses
Category Sub-Category $
Food Food & Household $3854.01
Meals to Go $2265.41
Clothing Laura $149.40
Sasha $156.76
Both $26.60
Shelter Utilities (In House) $2343.81
Mortgage (In House) 4 Months $7878.28
Services/Maintenance (In House) $3269.00
Services/Maintenance (RV) $95.11
Propane $59.73
Trailer Services/Maintenance $598.45
Camper Services/Maint/Equipment $958.11
Transportation Gas $1773.06
Diesel $1345.22
Bought Cycle & ATV $9365.83
Tolls $380.00
Truck Maintenance $80.16
Car Maintenance $1047.19
All Registration & Insurance $1192.28
Communication Postage $447.82
Cell Phone $804.76
Internet (Dial-up!!) $7.47
Hosting (L&S) $59.96
Health Health Insurance (L) $1593.00
Doctor $16.40
Gym $119.85
Other Health $909.73
Recreation Books/CDs $320.54
Fun Stuff $396.78
ATV Gas $41.98
Other Stuff $136.73
Donations $21.07
Gifts $373.66
Taxes & Memberships Cost of AMEX $19.66
Property Tax $605.67
Laura's Small Business Expenses $1784.59
Expenses Paid Back $554.00
Totals of All Expenses $45052.08

But Anyway, here is what was on the home page back in 2007:

As you may have noticed, we have changed the website yet again. I am trying to find a solution to a website that keeps changing as we continue to evolve.

I have yet to find the perfect medium, we take way too many pictures to post on a free website like Blogger – used up the file size with only one trip; and a template based website that can be gotten online (like the original Laura-n-Sasha website) is no good when there is no internet – I can actually write my thoughts on the computer and then upload it later.

Jevtichs at Park

Laura & Sasha & Sasha’s Parents at our site in Prince William Forest Park

I am also trying to put some of the sponsors on the website without making the pages so long to load. These sponsors are companies that we use, such as 1and1.com (for the hosting of the website) and Amazon.com (where we sold and bought our books.) Google Adwords was great until they booted us out, right when I was going to get about $100 – so I have gone to the Yahoo system. I am trying to use FrontPage to its full capacity, one of the main reasons is so that I do not have to reorganize the Navigation area each time I put in a new page, article or link. So this is going to take a little bit of time.

The website is going to be like a blog, with the most recent entries at the top and the older ones at the bottom, and once the month is over, that will be its own page. So as May is  over, after you go to Fulltiming 2007, click on the May 2007 bar to see what we did in May. [Laura from the Future -NOPE, it turns out I hate it that way, and can not read it properly, so that is not the way it will work, I am making changes now to make sure it is not that way.] We will ultimately have the budget and expenses for those that would like to know, and what it is like to be full timing while still working, and volunteering, and having your own business. I’d say we are pretty busy….

Latest and Greatest News:  November 2007 through March 2008: I still volunteer 32 hours (four days a week) which gets us a cabin at the park, with phone and all the amenities of a house, plus being in a different part of the park. I am now working as a Cabin Camp Host, working with different people that want to rent an entire cabin camp (Happyland – could not have picked a better name myself :)). We will be living here for the Winter: check out November, Thanksgiving in NC, December (scroll down on that page, I have written a poem about 2007 that I sent out as our newsletter), January, February, and March.

You can now see our Expenses per Quarter, (NO as I decided to make it for each month) it is kind of interesting to say the least, as the first quarter of 2007, we put the house on the market, second quarter, sold the house and moved to the park, third quarter, living fully in the park. Also finished the last quarter -where we lived in the camper for one month, then in the cabin for two months.

Latest News: We have moved from the visitor center, and we are now set up at the campground. I work as a Campground Host for September and October.  I  got a new camera for my birthday, so I will be putting up some new pictures soon. Also, check out the books we are reading on the right side of September and October. I thought this would be a great way to figure out what books we have read.

Also, the other months are up: June, July, and August, and I will be putting more information in soon!

But first, we wanted to explain why we did what we did and all of that.

Close up of home spot May 2007

Close up of home spot May 2007

Both Sasha and I loved our home and Cascades in general, but our 6 week trip last fall was a life changing event for both of us. It made us realize that life is short and that home ownership was largely preventing us from leading the kind of lives we really want to live. We don’t have kids after all and want to travel extensively with our camper and toys in tow. Just as one example, having to stay home on weekends to stain the deck and mulch the landscaping beds crimps an actively traveling kind of lifestyle.

We are not leaving the area as Sasha is keeping his job. Our original plan was to rent a cheap place in the country side, maybe Clarke County, where we could keep our camper and trailer on site. Since then, I got an opportunity with the National Park Service and we live -for free, site and utilities- in our camper – at an amazing spot in Prince William Forest Park, a National Park.

In return for the site, I volunteer in the visitor center for 32 hours a week.  Sasha still commutes to Sterling, admittedly not fun as he is used to an 8 mile commute. He looks at the situation on the positive side as an investment where we can travel regularly and work intermittently at National and State parks in the future. Also not having to pay for mortgage, taxes, upkeep etc will allow us to retire early and travel in this beautiful land of ours in maybe 3-5 years. [Future Laura – sooner than that it turned out!]


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