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

Traveling WITH New Rig

Laura @ NPS Job, Sasha Having Fun

April – LOWEST Expenses EVER!! 

First Shadow Pic of Laura & Sasha

First Shadow Pic of Laura & Sasha

April – When you plan not to spend, and life goes according to plan, Life is Very Very Good!

If all goes according to plan, we will volunteer in the winter (January and February) and work/volunteer for six months at a National Park. Then head to Texas for some motorcycle licenses and then back East for a couple of months. Then hopefully back to Nevada in the month of December. We Hope!

April 2010 – Good News on the Job Front, got a Job in Canyonlands National Park, will have to up the supply list as there are no grocery stores within 50 miles from the park. Not as expensive as last month AT ALL!!!

Expenses: For the Month of April: First full month in Canyonlands National Park. Can this be the cheapest month ever?

Expenses for April 2010

  • Food, Food and Household: $140.20
  •         , Out to Eat: $37.25
  • Transportation, Diesel: $0
  •                        , Moto Vehicles, Gas: $21.21
  •                        , Moto Vehicles, Maintenance: $38.53
  • Utilities, Propane: $0
  •             , Rent: $100.00
  • Communication, Cell Phones: $32.48
  •                          , Verizon: $0 (On Vacation)
  • Health, Insurance (L): $0
  •           , Insurance (S): $181.46
  • Recreation, Fun Stuff: $51.95
  •                  , Gardening: $59.99

Total Expenses = $701.99

Direct Correlation: No Stores No Spending! 

WOW, but I think this is THE lowest we have ever gone. I checked all the way back from 2007 and this IS the lowest we have ever been. I must say the way that it was done was a little unconventional, but it worked in the long run. Basically how it worked is this: We went into town ONCE! Only one time in town, the rest of the expenses were done online, and therefore there just was not the type of expenses that you would normally see.

So is this the way to cut back? Possibly. Most people can not resist if you are in town, to get that something extra. But if you are not there, and it is 150 miles round trip, you have to think more carefully about getting that extra doodad. You have to also plan more as far as what you will get while you are in town. You also let others know that you are going in town so if they need something, they can ask.

What we plan on doing is only going into town every three weeks. We can store up enough perishables using frozen milk for coffee, frozen veggies, eggs, scallions, apples, and fresh mushrooms, plus good specials.

So we managed to spend only $140.20 for one trip into the grocery store: three different stores: Alco, City Market, and the health food store: Moonflower. It was so fun going into Moonflower, just looking at the walls was interesting and they have a library.

We did go out to eat when we were there – to Moab Brewery, our first time there. We had a few beers and had a nice lunch. No dessert needed, just good food.

Transportation Costs WAY Low

In just one visit to town we got 7.23 gallons of gas. HOW did we do that – we had a 1 gallon container for getting extra gas plus a 6 gallon container that we borrowed from Maintenance. This is to increase the gas in our fuel station. I take the scooter back and forth to work and my tank is only 1.5 gallons. So I can actually go all week and not fill up, but we also use it to go to laundry and when we take longer rides. Sasha’s bike is 5 gallons and he uses it to go back and forth to the trails and the visitor center.

We had some things we needed to do on the scooter, so there is a little bit of maintenance that happened this month.

Utilities and Low Rent

Our rent is pretty low. How it works is something like this: The site here had no other park rangers that had ever used it so they were breaking new ground when I came in. They had NO idea what to charge and how to charge it, so they came up with this number (which is much less than those in the housing) and instead of taking it right out of the paycheck, they asked how we wanted to pay it, either $100 all at once, or $50 twice a month. We would have to send a check. So once a month we send off an internet bank check.

NOW it takes them ~ 2 weeks before they cash the check, because they only do that one day a week. So all in all, a relatively good system which I know will take a while to really implement.

Low Bill for Internet as Long as You Are Stationary

As you might notice, the internet price is less than the Verizon data card. It did not cost any extra to get it up and running, but you have to watch Frontier like a hawk to make sure they are not overcharging. And we HAD to pay for the cell phone minutes as they were expiring otherwise.

Unusual Health Insurance – Jumping thru Hoops

What can you say. This month, I did not pay for health insurance because I was getting it through ANPR that I paid for last month. They did not cash the insurance check until May, so I am not showing the amount until then. It is for 6 months, a pre-paid system which I hope will work better than what we had before. It cost $93 a month and it is good for both park rangers and volunteers. So Sasha will be setting it up next month.

Fun Stuff For Gardening

We did spend some money on fun stuff, getting music for Sasha (most was free, but some money was spent), ANPR for Sasha, and gardening equipment for me. Now the gardening is not in the true sense, I am not growing most stuff outside, but inside: SproutPeople.com is unbelievable in this way.

I got Alfalfa seeds to make sprouts (unbelievable how it works, many grow and two tablespoons create 5 cups of sprouts!) Plus a sprouter that looks like a large cup with holes, and a small sprouting garden for the leafy sprouts like argula, radish, and clover sprouts. Now I realize that we still need lettuces (spinach and others) for our salads, but the sprouts are an extra green veggie that helps us with maintain a healthy lifestyle.

I am planning to get more of those sprouts, but I wanted to make sure I could do these before I went real large scale. (Doubt it will be LARGE scale as these are sprouts after all. But I am getting my gardening in!)

What can I say, I like sprouts!

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