December 2007 Results
No point in reinventing the wheel each month, so the same format and same wording appears throughout much of this entry for those just tuning in (guess the longtime readers already knew that) . :)
Campground Fees $0.00 ($0.00 per day) - Budget $750.00
Free campsite this month in return for volunteering at Brazoria National Wildlife Reserve. At the time we did the budget, we didn't know we would be volunteering.
RV Clubs $0.00 - Budget $0.00
RV Insurance $0.00 - Budget $0.00
Propane $0.00 - Budget $10.00
Propane is covered as part of our volunteering.
Cell Phones $84.93 - Budget $81.00
Satellite Internet $0.00 - Budget $0.00
Note: Satellite internet is no longer included in our regular expenses. We now classify it as a business expense and we paid $798 in December 2006 for all of 2007. The price is the same for 2008 (less a referral credit of about $70).
RV Taxes/Registration $0.00 - Budget $0.00
Satellite TV $72.70 - Budget $75.00
RV Maintenance $181.32 - Budget $50.00
Had our cracked gray tank replaced and our clogged faucet replaced. Both replacements were covered under our extended warranty, but we had to pay a $50 deductible and we had to pay for the shipping of the gray tank and faucet. Still under budget for the year.
Diesel $41.70 - Budget $300.00
We hoped we would not need any diesel in December, but had to fill up our small tank after towing the rig for service. At the time we did the budget, we didn't know we would be volunteering and parked for December, and we didn't know we would have the Jeep for local travel.
Gas $153.42 - Budget $0.00
Here's one of those new categories related to the Jeep which of course we didn't budget for in 2007. We drove the Jeep 900 miles in December while exploring.
Truck Maintenance $0.00 - Budget $35.00
Jeep Maintenance $0.00 - Budget $0.00
Truck Insurance $0.00 - Budget $0.00
Jeep Insurance $0.00 - Budget $0.00
Truck Taxes/Registration $0.00 - Budget $0.00
Jeep Taxes/Registration $0.00 - Budget $0.00
Groceries & Dining Out $575.22 ($18.56 per day) - Budget $400.00
Our Groceries & Dining Out budget for 2007 is based on $10 per day per month PLUS 1 really nice dinner out or a couple of medium priced dinners out ($100 total). We blew that by dining out a bit too much - $262.
Laundry, Clothing, Hair Care $0.00 - Budget $70.00
Laundry is free as volunteers. And we had no other purchases this month.
Entertainment $107.31 ($3.46 per day) - Budget $200.00
Insurance - Health, Life, Umbrella, Etc. $180.48 - Budget $0.00
In the first two years of full-timing, we wanted to make sure we paid our health insurance up front as a safety net. But financially, it's better to pay monthly and let the extra money grow in our investments. So we switched it over and our monthly payments started in August. Of course we didn't budget the rest of the year for monthly payments (we had budgeted for an annual payment in July).
Medical & Dental Expenses $120.14 - Budget $50.00
Had one last medical bill from our time in Louisville that was just billed.
Miscellaneous $210.80 - Budget $200.00
RV Upgrades/Budget Cushion $0.00 - Budget $420.00
Totals $1,728.02 ($55.74 per day) - Budget $2,641.00.
For the year, we finished $1,617 under our total budget. (Of course that doesn't include the expenses related to the purchase of the Jeep - $15,457 including Jeep, new tires, sales tax, receiver hitch, etc.)
But that does include the electrical upgrade and the cruise. So I guess I can't complain. :)
If we take those two things (basically the RV Upgrades/Budget Cushion category) out of the equation ($6,366), we were $2,943 under budget in normal living expenses. Those living expenses totaled $28,017 for the year. Good deal. :)
This is the last time we will include the following in these monthly reports. Not because we no longer believe it, but because I'm sure our regular readers are getting tired of seeing it. :)
I am still completely convinced that we could live on the road for $1,500 a month all-inclusive if we workamped year round (we made that number when we workamped in December 2006 through March 2007).
And I also have no doubts that we could cover that $1,500 number with a combination of workamping (if we took paid positions rather than volunteer jobs) or other income producing jobs and our little businesses.
We choose not to work that hard, but it is very comforting to know that we can do it if we have to. If our investments tank, we are gonna be just fine. :)
Note: We got an email regarding the above statements. It was well thought out, and I considered it carefully. The gist of the email was the fear that the above statements make it sound too easy to live as a couple for $1,500 a month as full-timers. He was concerned that we would be misleading folks about expenses and the ability to find workamping positions. I agreed with the writer that finding year-round workamping opportunities is not that easy, but I still feel, speaking only for ourselves, that we can do it if we need to. For tips on finding opportunities, check out our Earning A Living On The Road page, and my article on RV-Dreams Lifestyles called Finding Fulfillment As A Working RVer.
For a look at this year's numbers through December go to Our 2007 Actual Expenses. I included an extra spreadsheet on that page that shows the final expenses with the budgeted numbers by category for the year. To see our budget month-by-month click on Our 2007 Budget.
On the business income side, it was a decent month. We brought in $544 on our various ventures. Our business expenses totaled $1,311. That included $798 for satellite internet and $309 for web hosting. So we had a net loss of $767 for the month.
Still, we finished the year with $2,541 in net income. And there was at least $2,200 in expenses in 2007 that we shouldn't have in future years. Hopefully, we can continue to increase as we go.
Our business income & expense summary statement is now available at Our 2007 Business Financial Summary page.
I will be posting a separate financial summary for the year sometime in January. That one will go more in depth on investment results and what we have learned overall about finances in our 2 1/2 years on the road.