Money &

Budgeting

The old adage "A penny saved is a penny earned"still holds true because of the simple fact....it all adds up.  My family calls me "chintzy" but I like to call it frugal. I remember back to the days when our daughter Hannah was in high school, and I had invited her like many times before, to go shopping with me to my usual consignment stops in Sonoma or Petaluma. The response was the same.....like I was from another planet. Ah, but look what happens when you become a parent and you realize every penny counts. I was always so proud of the cool, unique things I found, and at a fantastic price. Even for things never worn or used. Anyway, I swore that this budget mentality would serve us well when it came time to plan this year long trip with very little income. Jeff shares the same economical

 

 

sense that I do. We have to be in the mindset that this is a different way of living, not that everyday is a vacation (even though it feels like it is), or we'd be forced to shrink our 12-month trip down to 2 months. Case in point in terms of monthly expenses.....we've heard many RVer's make the mistake of going out to dinner every night, going on expensive excursions, or buying things on impulse, then wonder where it all went and how fast it all went.

Be Realistic

Think conservatively when budgeting. If you think you're going to spend $75 on gas for the month, budget $100. You don't want to fudge your numbers to an unrealistic low.

Plan Ahead

Planning a weekly menu, timing your travels around weather, or calling ahead for site bookings will help things go smoother and save time and money. And leave lots of wiggle room to get where you're going.

Discount Clubs

Many of the discount clubs are a nominal fee, that pay for themselves in just a few visits. It's a great way to network with fellow RVer's too. Many of them offer extended dining, shopping and travel discounts as well.

     Extended        Warranties

Having this will prevent you from any financial blow in the event of mechanical failures on your rig. You can get coverages from 1 year to 7 years. One tip: the longer you wait, the more expensive the plans get.

   Roadside    Assistance

One breakdown can leave you saying, woulda, shoulda, coulda. Definitely worth getting for the peace of mind and cost savings it provides. Take the time to read the fine print to know exactly what you're covered for. No surprises!

  Compare

  Fuel Costs   

Though it's a bit more difficult to find diesel, we have found a few apps that help with "the closest/cheapest gas to you", and the Costco credit card which gives you a return of 4% cash back on the first $7,000 of selected gas purchased. 

  Buy Food        Wisely

Planning a weekly menu and making weekly trips to the grocery store saves time, money and waste. Store things wisely, and think small!

  Low Cost      Activities

Bicyling, hiking, kayaking, sightseeing, playing games, visiting museums, attending festivals or street fairs, just to name a few, are great ways to save money.