monthly expenses

The simple truth is, without a budget, we'd feel lost. We believe that it really helps us control the direction of our trip and reduce any stress or worry about where we "might" financially stand. The list was pretty modest at first, but as we did more and more research and carefully made a plan of exactly how we wanted our trip experience to be, the list quickly grew. It helped that we always operated with a home budget all these years. So we started from that experience. In time, we knew these numbers would become more solid and realistic. Even though we felt our estimated figures were pretty conservative, we still managed to go over budget, but ever so slightly at $372. Not too shabby for our first time full-time RV'ing. After 1 year, we basically took our real expenses and averaged them out over 12 months to come up with a new budget (the ACTUAL below). One new line item has been added...Storage for my beloved piano at $70/mo. 

 

In one year's time, most everything evened out in the end. Examples: Lodging costs in the beginning were light due to boondocking, but then we got heavy on lodging costs as we moved eastward, with fewer boondocking options. And we really splurged on Florida. Had we been able to stay at state campgrounds in that state, it would have been cheaper, but with limited options booking too late, we ended up spending $$$ at RV Parks. Another example of evening things out was in the Entertainment department. When in the western side of the U.S., we did a lot more outdoor activities that really didn't cost a lot of money. But as we moved eastward, and with the vast amount of history, we spent more on entrance fees, museums and tours. But the real shocker was the grocery expense. We simply figured we'd eat more simply on the road. Far from it. We're eating just as good as we did at home (we both are huge foodies). But what we've come to realize is without bulk purchasing, we're spending more in the end since we have more limitations in storage and weight in the rig; thus, buying more frequently. Very quickly, we noticed our typical store visit jumped from $150 to $200. It's all about living, learning and sharing. Hopefully our experience will help you get on the right track in planning your travels. Drop us a note if you have any questions!  

The ultimate goal: Make a modest budget, with an extensive RV experience! 

1.

Admissions/Parking/
Park Entrance Fees

Estimated Budget: $40

Actual: $80

2.

Campground/RV Park Fees

Estimated Budget: $1050

Actual: $926

3.

Cell Phone/Internet

Estimated Budget: $140

Actual: $110

4.

Dining (yes...includes my Starbucks

Estimated Budget: $400

Actual: $496

5.

Entertainment

Estimated Budget: $400

Actual: $122

6.

Equipment/Supplies

Estimated Budget: $200

Actual: $166

7.

Gas/Diesel for Truck

Estimated Budget: $400

Actual: $545

8.

Gas for Generator

Estimated Budget: $15

Actual: $9

9.

Groceries

Estimated Budget: $800

Actual: $940

10.

Household/Toiletries

Estimated Budget: $100

Actual: $250

11.

Inger

Estimated Budget: $50

Actual: $100

12.

Jeff

Estimated Budget: $20

Actual: $100

13.

Insurance RV

Estimated Budget: $60

Actual: $56

14.

Insurance Truck

Estimated Budget: $195

Actual: $180

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TOTAL MONTHLY
Budget

Estimated Total: $4,486/mo.

Actual: $4,858/mo. 

15.

Laundry

Estimated Budget: $20

Actual: $20

16.

Maintenance/Repairs

Estimated Budget: $40

Actual: $100

17.

Medical/Dental

Estimated Budget: $30

Actual: $20

18.

Roadside Membership

Estimated Budget: $15

Actual: $13

19.

General Memberships

Estimated Budget: $10

Actual: $16

20.

RV Clubs 

Estimated Budget: $6

Actual: $7

21.

Propane

Estimated Budget: $30

Actual: $23

22.

Registration RV

Estimated Budget: $30

Actual: $48

23.

Registration Truck

Estimated Budget: $60

Actual: $78

24.

Sadie

Estimated Budget: $100

Actual: $110

25.

Storage-Piano

Estimated Budget: $0

Actual: $70

26.

Storage Unit

Estimated Budget: $275

Actual: $273