Health Insurance

The Finances of Living in a Fifth Wheel Toyhauler!
May 2010

Traveling WITH New Rig

Laura @ NPS / Sasha 

May – Health Insurance! 

First Shadow Pic of Laura & Sasha

First Shadow Pic of Laura & Sasha

January – Volunteering in Las Vegas at Lake Mead National Recreation Area means gambling and checking out casinos on the strip.

If all goes according to plan, we will volunteer in the winter (which ended up being only a couple of months: January and February) and work/volunteer for six months at a National Park. Then head to Texas for some driver licenses and then back East for a couple of months. Then hopefully back to Nevada in the month of December. That is the hope anyway.

May 2010: Getting Hot in Canyonlands National Park, but still… Health Insurance bites us in the end.

Expenses for May 2010

  • Food, Food and Household: $252.61
  •         , Out to Eat: $88.75
  • Transportation, Diesel: $0
  •                        , Gas: $23.57
  • Utilities, Rent: $100.00
  • Clothing, Laura: $8.00
  •              , Sasha: $46.56
  • Communication, Postage: $0.79
  •                          , Internet: $38.92
  • Health, Insurance (L): $574.92
  •           , Insurance (S): $574.92
  • Recreation, Fun Stuff: $28.14
  •                  , Books/Video: $69.15
  • Bank Loss, Statements: $30.00

Total Expenses = $1,836.34

Expensive Month for a Reason

I realize that this month is a bit more expensive than last month, but most of it was because of health insurance! Seems to be a reoccuring theme here, but thankfully this is the last month of that theme.

Food Expenses

We went to the grocery not too often, but it was a long month and while the major amounts of grocery shopping was done every three weeks, we still had a couple of times when Sasha went out to get a couple of extra items when he was going to Moab.

He also went to Moab Brewery a couple of times, likes that place the best. We went to Zax Restaurant, not bad, an outdoor spot was quite nice even though you look out on the street, the people-watching activity was extremely fun. Lots of people out and about. The other place that was interesting was Milt’s Stop and Eat. It had mostly tables outside, but we were able to get a couple of counter seats and watched them work. Small restaurant, big business; while we were there, it was a constant stream of orders and people. Glad to see that people are still vacationing no matter what the economy is going and glad to see that people are still going out to eat.

Transportation Costs Very Low

We did not spend too much in gasoline, and nothing in diesel as we still were filled up from before. Having that huge tank helps us tremendously. We did occasionally go out with our scooter and motorcycle, Sasha actually did two day trips with his moto.

Rent = Utilities

Utilities only included our rent; we pay at the beginning of the month, makes it easy that way.

Shoes and Belts

Clothing, well, we tried getting some different shoes for me, since I cannot find my Tevas and it is a pain-in-the-neck to always tie on the sneakers. So we found a couple of different options. Then Sasha was able to go to Gear Heads for belt materials as he is losing weight and the pants he has are not staying up as well as they should! Go Sasha, losing weight is hard, but if you are hiking as much as he is, then loose pants will happen.

Credit Card Citibank – Frequent Buyer Points

Sasha had to mail something out, I believe it was a couple of DVDs that we got of 24 Series. We had these frequent buyer points from Citibank credit card that we used to get the DVDs and Sasha was able to put them on Amazon, where they sold really fast. He used all of my old stamps (I think they were old postcard stamps) and only had to pay 79 cents for sending out three DVDs! I’m sure that the Post Office was not exactly thrilled with all of those stamps, but I wish they had done Forever Stamps for the postcards. At the rate they are going, old stamps that we had for first class will be what we pay for postcards. Oh well….

And of course, the internet, that is so very important to us, I think this is the last month of cheaper rate, next month will go back up to the almost $60 for internet….Oy vey!

Health Insurance Bites But We Get It Anyway

Onto the biggest expense of the month, almost $1,200 for something that we probably will not use. Now I need to knock on wood.

Anyway, the reason it was so expensive was that my health insurance, the check was cashed during this month and Sasha’s check was also cashed this month for start of the health insurance next month. It is for six months in advance. We can go to ~ 10 doctor visits but there is no dental plan to go with it. That would be paid out of pocket. This plan is for rangers and volunteers, as long as you belong to the association, you can get the health insurance. What I like about it best is that it is not specific to where you live. As a park ranger that is the most important part, because where my domicile is, is not where I am right now.

Fun and Fabulous!

We did have some fun stuff, mostly getting some cards, a sleeping bag, and a ring for Sasha. As I mentioned before, Sasha is losing weight which is fabulous. He seems to be losing some weight in his hands too, which is interesting, never really thought that would happen, but I guess it does. Anyway, the wedding ring that he has, well, he had a scary story about it. Let’s just say that he had to go Dumpster Diving. He found it of course, before telling me the story.

After that though, we decided to get him a ring. He did not want to spend too much money and we did not get his resized yet, just in case he loses more weight. So we got him a hemetite ring. It is a glossy black, nice and smooth, and fits him well.

We also got a few books and maps and topographic maps. Most of the books were about the Geology of the area. Even though I am doing my program about the night sky, I like to know about the geology of the area that I am working in, especially as others, while they know a little, say, well, here is a geologist, ask her. If I do not know, I look like a fool! So knowing is good, and it is interesting as well.

We are reading tons of books, if I manage to get them up on the monthly pages, I will do so, but I am learning more about the stars’ stories, and the history of Utah, especially about the Mormon’s history and settlement in this area. How they managed to take the wilderness out of the desert is fascinating.

Old Bank Statements Cost Money

One last expense was getting some old bank statements through Department of Interior. They were from 2008, so I had to pay for them. I guess there is a lesson there, to download them each month, but it is a pain, especially when I don’t want to have more files on a computer.

But if you want them, it seems like I should not have to pay for them, they should just be there when needed. I don’t know, there is no easy way for it. Maybe in the Future banks will have figured this out.

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