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On the Road Budgeting

Updated: Jun 18, 2023


man working at a computer.

People often say that it's a myth that RV living is cheaper. It can be, but there is alot of variability in monthly budgets because it varies how much you travel and what sort of things you do while traveling just to name a few line items. The husband and I obviously want to make this move in part to cut our cost of living down, so for us it's important to get these cost budgeted. As a result we've been talking through a few different scenarios and making up mock budgets. Gary thought he would share some of these with you today, to give you a suggestion of what sort of expenses you might run into on the road.


Starting Out

I just started out working a new position with Abundant Farms and Landscaping. The position is a great skill set for me, and has the bonus of eventually being able to mostly be done remotely. This is great for our plans to travel. Initially we'd like to move every couple of weeks, and see alot of Florida. This would enable us to slowly get the hang of camper life, while still primarily working on site to set up everything needed to manage a company. So for our first mock budget we look at moving three times in a month, and mostly adventuring in nature for free during my off days while starting a fun money account.

Giving

400.00

Savings

250.00

Camper

700.00

insurance

360.00

gas

600.00

propane

30.00

internet

150.00

cell phones

225.00

misc

85.00

food

800.00

fun money

400.00

total

4000.00

Short Haul

Initially around working fulltime, partially on site, we'd like to take some week long trips of around 300-350 miles as a short haul. I would work a week here on property, line up things on Friday evenings for the following week and make Saturday a travel day. During the following week I can mostly work remotely taking some time for some side excursions. Danielle and the kids can school and plan some trips with me and some without. All of these destinations would need to be somewhere we can drive to and set up within a day. For this example, we'd be going to Savannah, Georgia, for a week, while spending the rest of the month at our home base.

Giving

450.00

Savings

250.00

Camper

700.00

Insurance

360.00

Gas

850.00

Propane

50.00

Internet

150.00

Cell Phones

225.00

misc

85.00

Food

800.00

Fun Money

400.00

Total

4270.00

Long Haul

Sometimes though we'd like to take a longer trip of around 1000 miles. If all goes well, and I'm in a position with work to go, I'd like our first long trip to be to head out the Arkansas and be with Old Union Church for the Rich Mountain Meeting the end of August. That gives me two and a half months to get this business running more smoothly, and then we could be gone for around two weeks. For traveling we'd go around 350 miles a day, every Saturday and Wednesday. On non travel days, during the week I'd still plan to work remotely.

Giving

500.00

Savings

250.00

Camper

700.00

Insurance

360.00

Gas

1200.00

Propane

50.00

Internet

150.00

Cell Phones

225.00

Misc

85.00

Food

800.00

Fun Money

400.00

Total

4720.00

Monthly Tour

One thing we'd like to do some of is a monthly tour, where we travel a loop over a month and start out from our home base and return to it. These would be longer trips, not necessarily in state trips, but definitely not cross country trips. For a trip like this we'd think of moving every fourth day to give us three solid days in a particular area. That would enable Danielle and the kids to school and see some of the sites, while I work three solid days, then I can do some sight seeing with them around work, and make day four a travel day. So for this mock budget we look at doing a little more expensive sight seeing and traveling a bit more. This example has us traveling up the east coast to Pennsylvania and back by way of Alabama to see some family and friends as well as some of the sights in places we've never been. This trip would be a vacation, so instead of putting money in savings that month, we'd put more into fun money and treat it like an actual vacation. Finally, when things are fully remote, or I'm in a position to take some vacation time, we'd like to make some cross country trips this way. I've always wanted to see Montana and Danielle would like to see the Pacific Northwest. We can imagine in a year or two making a trip this way.

Giving

600.00

Savings

0.00

Truck and Camper

700.00

Insurance

360.00

Gas

1500.00

Propane

75.00

Internet

150.00

Cell Phones

225.00

Misc

85.00

Food

800.00

Fun Money

750.00

Total

4945.00

Wrapping Up

I'm sure that as we embark on this life style we'll be able to fine tune our budget and have a better grasp of what expenses will be. For example gas prices vary widely from state to state. Propane estimates may be a little on the high side, as we don't plan to do much boondocking initially. Furthermore, the expense for a camper are on the high side, as we haven't yet decided how much to pay down on them verses how much to retain in savings from the sale of the house. With more quotes, we might find a better price on insurance for our camper along with the vehicles. Other areas like food money and fun money are flexible areas, that might change depending on where we are. There are several additional expenses not covered here, that we plan to pay yearly out of our savings, such as Thousand Trail membership to cover the cost of campgrounds, along with yearly tag and registration in Florida. But, it is good to know that we can make such a big change in our lifestyle, enjoy the difference, and still come in cheaper on the road budgeting than we were living in a brick and mortar house.

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