Friday, July 1, 2011
The final numbers are in for our first full year of living this full time RV lifestyle. When we started this adventure, I had some idea of expenses, based on our lifestyle in our "stix & brix", but had to "guesstimate" at what to budget for others. My crystal ball has been broken for years, so it all boiled down to doing the research and crunching numbers. And while we came in under budget, which is something our elected officials should take notice of, there are areas that I'm sure we can improve. (As usual, click on image to enlerge)
These past 3 months have proven expensive, and they drastically altered our budget. As numbers don't lie, to live this lifestyle entirely in the East, would easily cost 20% - 30% more than our combined average of living mainly in the Midwest.
Just why it is more costly in the East, is a combination of things. Gas is more expensive, largely because most of the refineries are along the Gulf coast. Toll roads and bridges are the norm here. Campground fees are higher because most are only open for 6 - 8 months, so they have to cover their annual expenses in a shortened camping season. EVERYTHING in NY is more expensive, due to their tax rate and belief that everything but air needs to be taxed, which most likely is on the horizion. While shopping at Wally World in NY, we noticed the price of cigarettes at $10.95 per pack, while at the duty free along the border they were $2.40; that is one helluva tax. Not that I smoke, but only to point out the extent of their taxes in New York. The toll to cross the bridge into Manhattan is now $8.00.
While our RV expenses were under budget, that will no doubt change later this month as we are headed to Forest City, Iowa for the Winnebago Itasca National Rally, and have scheduled several services to be done on the rig while there.
For those of you contemplating this lifestyle, and are in the process of gathering budget information, there are several areas where we could trim, if necessary. We both have cell phones and the air card for internet access; we could easily trim one of the cell phones. Dining out/Groceries/Libations could be cut in half IF we ate in all the time, instead of eating out for lunch while we are out "sightseeing". DirecTV is a want and not a need. Jeep expenses are high, largely because it only gets 15 - 18 mpg, and we do like to explore the areas we are visiting. A more fuel efficent "toad" would easily trim $100 per month.
We are laid up in Wauseon, OH for the 4th of July. CC is not impressed, but it's not that bad. As I tried to explain to her, we've stayed in worst. So with that said, we wish you all a safe and happy 4th of July. Until next time, take care and stay well............................