Well it has been an exciting and fun first month! The entire experience, even the frustrations of trying to deal with RV service and the concerns of being on the edge of a passing hurricane, has been a joy. We have learned much, and most importantly, we have met the most wonderful people!
This last day of August began without electricity in the campground. And we received no word on when or where we may get our jacks fixed. If we were not full-timers with no set schedule, I can't imagine how high my blood pressure would be fuming over the lack of responsiveness. But we are taking things in stride, and want to make sure that we get things fixed properly. Plus, by staying put for a few extra days, we save a little more on fuel - $3.00 a gallon and up - yikes!
At least we did get electricity around 1:30 today. We noticed two local news crews driving around the campground and shortly thereafter - voila! electricity. Funny how that works.
We quickly turned on the air conditioning (so much for our plan to mostly live with natural breezes) and planted ourselves in front of the TV to follow the developments of the hurricane aftermath. It was a beautiful day, but like 9/11 we just could not get enough information on the Gulf Coast and did not spend much time outside.
We are contemplating changing all our plans to head that way and do some kind of volunteer work. We are checking on needs of the Red Cross and Salvation Army. So far it seems they both prefer monetary donations, but it is time and energy we have to offer as part of our new life. We will see how things go over the next few days.
As the day passed, we did meet another nice couple from Minnesota and talked with them for a bit. Then we sat outside and watched the hummingbirds for awhile. At one time there were six hummers hovering around one window feeder - an amazing site.
After dinner we went back outside for a campfire. It had gotten very cool, so it was nice taking in the warmth of the flames and listening to the crackling of the fire, the crickets, and the tree frogs as we sat under the clear sky watching the stars.
It was a perfect night, but the thoughts of the hurricane victims would not let us enjoy it to the fullest. Time heals all, but we cannot imagine how long the healing from this disaster will take.
To wrap up the day and the month, here is a summary of how our expenses turned out for August. We had many items that were related to our prior life and one time expenses that we will never have again in the future - these were classified as "extraordinary expenses" and we did not include them in our August full-timing related expenses.
As you begin full-timing watch those first month "carryover" expenses, but be sure to filter out the ones that will not be recurring in your new lifestyle.
So here was our breakdown for August:
Campground Fees $641.61 ($20.70 per day)
Dining Out $106.05 ($ 3.42 per day)
Groceries $275.34 ($ 8.88 per day)
Diesel Fuel $303.72 ($ 9.80 per day)
Entertainment $182.29 ($ 5.88 per day) (Category includes golf)
Fishing $ 41.61 ($ 1.34 per day)
Cell Phones $ 88.22 ($ 2.85 per day)
Laundry $ 20.00 ($ .65 per day)
Firewood $ 10.00 ($ .32 per day)
RV Maintenance $ 50.00 ($ 1.61 per day)
Photography $ 15.65 ($ .50 per day)
Miscellaneous $127.12 ($ 4.10 per day)
Total $1,861.61 ($60.05 per day)
So we were over our budget of $50.00 per day by about $10.00 per day. Not too bad for our first month. And had we not had to fill up on diesel one extra time before month end (we have a full tank to start September) and not had a three day campground reservation fee that we have to forfeit due to our current circumstances, we would have been even closer.
So we are pleased with cutting our monthly lifestyle by about 70% in our first month. We feel pretty confident that we can make our monthly goal as we settle into our new life.
Here's looking forward to our second month, starting tomorrow.