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Kirk Wood

How large/small is your fulltime budget?

How much does it cost you?  

178 members have voted

  1. 1. What is the typical total amount of all living expenses for a year on the road?

    • less than $10,000 per year.
      5
    • $10,00 or more but less than $20,000 per year.
      22
    • $20,000 or more but less than $30,000 per year.
      26
    • $30,000 or more but less than $40,000 per year.
      49
    • $40,000 or more, but less than $50,000 per year.
      27
    • $50,000 or more, but less than $60,000 per year.
      18
    • $60,000 or more, but less than $70,000 per year.
      13
    • $70,000 or more, but less than $80,000 per year.
      8
    • $80,000 or more but less than $90,000 per year.
      3
    • $90,000 or more but less than $100,000 per year.
      1
    • $100,000 or more annual expenditures.
      6


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3 hours ago, Dejae said:

Kirk,

I wish the pole was capable of showing in each of those cost categories, what kind of fulltimer are you?

Do you travel alot (how many miles a year), do you belong to memberships (what kind), do you go from an owned property/lot to another, diesel or gas, motorhome, 5er, TT, HDT.

How often do you eat out? Do you have pet expenses (how many)?

That keeps the you from going WOW, you spend what or saying OMG, how do you live on so little.

What I miss is when I started lurking on RVNetworks, 7/8 years ago... people use to share their yearly expense sheets.

I know it is a very personal thing but it was super helpful to us back then to know if we were going to be able to do this as there were expenses that never entered our head.

I still wish some would post their more recent ones. This our first year fulltiming and I would love to see where are we overflying in comparison to most and where are we saving or NOT!

There are many folks like you Dejae.  Maybe in the same spirit you benefitted from beforehand, you'd be kind enough to share your first years full timing budget with others now :)

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In anticipation of going full time in 2018, I needed some numbers to determine if we could actually go full time.  In 2017 we spent 65 nights on the road and drove 11k miles. I calculated for that time frame we spent approx $6364.  This calculated to a high estimate for a annual cost of $35,737.  This is where I projected to be. Over $30k but under $40k. 

I hope to still get this number down as most of my camping expenses were job related and reimbursed. The biggest part of these expenses would be fuel ($3300) and we don’t want to travel that hard as full timers. We will be looking for campsites with lower rates to offset the rest.  Is Thousand trails the only timeshare?? 

Anyway-Heres where my biggest problem is:  I have not calculated health insurance into this.  My current health plan expires Nov 30th and was employer provided .  This is all new to me.  

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At best these are ballpark figures anyway. Nobody has the same lifestyle. I don't dine out now. I won't start while RVing. I don't go to movies. I pretty much do nothing and I don't see myself suddenly starting. A lot of this includes that old debate that I am sure you long time members have been through dozens of times about what you consider full time RVing. I follow several youtube channels and see how different people live, and only those that are extremely well appointed financially really do a lot of moving. Some of them are just flat out rich people and those I don't watch much because they go out with their 3 kids and go to expensive amusement parks and eat expensive meals, often spending more in that one day than I would spend in a month. This is why so much of my focus is on what I can do for television reception. I want my sports, I want my cop shows, etc.... Just put me on the last slab in an RV park where nobody will bother me and I will be happy. I once described my perfect home as one built into a notch carved into the side of  a mountain. As long as I have high speed internet and cable TV, and once a week a helicopter lowers to me a basket with the food I ordered, I'd be happy.  So in my case, gas, RV upkeep, lot rent at a place somewhere the weather is decent, 6-8 months at one place and somewhere else cooler in summer, the freedom to go for week long trips when I feel like, and as little driving as possible,  I should be fine. $1000 of "house" bills every month get replaced by the RV payment, however I settle my TV conundrum, and a lot more for fuel, I SHOULD do better than break even. WITH the freedom to go see stuff. I know I will not have the idyllic "nomad moving from town to town" thing a lot of people dream about (and I did too) but I will get to see more in the RV. 50-75 miles at a time.

Almost every reply mentions something similar to "every situation is different", and  that is absolutely correct.

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One key to using other people's expense figures is to remember that you already have most of the numbers you need.  Many personal expenses stay the same, full time or in a stix and brix.  This includes things like: 

  • debt
  • groceries
  • dining out
  • clothing
  • hair
  • medical and dental expenses
  • charitable giving
  • gifts
  • insurance (life, health, etc.)
  • entertainment
  • Cell/Internet/TV

The information you need from fulltimers is what they spend on this lifestyle specific expenses, but even with those numbers you need to be aware of their circumstances.  For instance if they are workcamping and never spending anything on their campsite, you need to take that into consideration.  Here are the expenses I include in my annual budget blog:

  • campground fees
  • propane
  • RV maintenance
  • travel fuel
  • club memberships
  • etc.

So you take your own information, then find expense information from fulltimers who are doing more or less what you expect to do.  That will give you a ball park number to work with.  

Most of this post came from this article in our blog:   Tips on reading other people's budgets.

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We have been fulltiming since June 2017 and post our monthly expenses on our blog each  month 

www.jrpacaddel.com

It looks like we will be right in the middle of the bunch at $40,000 for the year. We use Thousand Trails campgrounds quite a bit which results in our averaging $7.08 average nightly campsite fees. We will also do  approximately 9,000 in our first  year (7 months actual and 5 months projected) which will equal $11.13 per day for diesel/propane fuel. Our December expense numbers will be posted on the blog in a few days but here is the most recent November expense spreadsheet from YouTube. There are quite a few line items that can be reduced but you will probably have other expenses to take their place as it sure seems like $40,000 is the average for lots of folks.

 

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On ‎11‎/‎20‎/‎2017 at 10:08 AM, GR "Scott" Cundiff said:

...Many personal expenses stay the same, full time or in a stix and brix.  This includes things like: ...medical and dental expenses....insurance (life, health, etc.)...Cell/Internet/TV...

Vehicle insurance and health insurance premiums can vary a fair amount from state to state. In my experience, for those not yet on Medicare, there can be differences in the hundreds of dollars per month for health insurance. The plans available and the premiums can even vary by county within a state. Your premiums may go up, or they may go down if one switches domicile.

Cellular internet may cost more than cable or fiber optic service at a fixed location depending on the amount of data usage and whether one can get a truly unlimited plan that will work in the locations where one will be. If one uses mostly streaming for TV, this can add significantly to the amount of cellular data needed when on the road. 

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We have been full timing for over a year now and have some history in addition to our planned budget.  All in, we're looking at about $55K per year.  That includes all spending of all types, including food, gas, spending money for fun, campground rent (we try to stay a month at a time in campgrounds), cell phones, insurance, etc.  It does not include any motorhome payments.

One thing working for us is that we are both eligible for VA benefits, so we only have some co-pays for prescriptions and visits to the clinics when needed.  Not being eligible for Medicare yet would have given us a lot of additional expenses for health insurance.

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We've never put our monthly figures on-line because our lifestyle is different than most.  We could retire early because part of our retirement package was full medical coverage for each of us at zero cost to us.  When we transitioned to Medicare, that became our supplemental, again at zero cost and with no co-pays.  We only pay for Rx at $20/90 day supply max for all generics (often less) and $125/90 days for non-generics.   This is a real money saver for us.  But in the out-go department, we love visiting wineries,  not everyone will pull into Arizona in October  with 5 cases of wine to last through the winter.   And no, these are not $2 bottles of wine.   B)

We also make use of membership parks - the west coast is full of them, and we can often go with zero out of pocket expense for 6-8 weeks at a time (yes, there are annual dues which average out at $87/month) which makes our summer travel very doable when on the west coast.  Of course there are a few places where that doesn't occur - like Seattle, where it is now $50/night for Lake Pleasant, which is the only decent park we have found reasonably close to my mother and sister.  So we bite the bullet for 2 weeks there followed by several weeks in Thousand Trails and ROD parks.

It takes a while to find out what works for you, just remember to use other peoples budgets as suggestions for things to consider.   And if you need diesel and are on the west coast - get a Costco membership because they now sell diesel at a large number of their stores and usually is the best price around.  Does pay to do a Google Satellite view to check and access, but we've been pleasantly surprised at the ease of in and out for a lot of them.   And if in Washington State, there are only a couple of Sam's Clubs, but Costco is EVERYWHERE. 

 

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OH - IO

When you say 55k, is that what you have to spend or what you spend? You must work to have 55k available or have invested well in your past. 

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11 hours ago, Barbaraok said:

But in the out-go department, we love visiting wineries,  not everyone will pull into Arizona in October  with 5 cases of wine to last through the winter.   And no, these are not $2 bottles of wine.   B)

I dunno Barb. . . 5 cases to last two people the entire winter seems rather austere to me.  Personally, I'd be getting nervous around Valentines day.  :)

Jim

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We're running out of white but have good stock of red left.   Had to many friends over this fall who were white wine drinkers. :D    Might have to pick up some white at Costco in March to make it through before we leave. :o

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12 hours ago, Five Wood said:

5 cases to last two people the entire winter seems rather austere to me.

Definitely sounds too restrictive for us! :lol:  But what do we know; we're folks who think that the "higher quality" box wines at ~$15-20/3 liters are good enough for us!

Our problem with wine isn't a question of making it through the winter; it's the fact that we like to spend the summers in Canada and the amount you can bring across the border without very large duties kicking in is rather small.  Even with the current exchange rate, paying Canadian prices for alcoholic beverages will most certainly cause you to cry in your beer! B)

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15 hours ago, eddie1261 said:

OH - IO

When you say 55k, is that what you have to spend or what you spend? You must work to have 55k available or have invested well in your past. 

That is not an unusual retirement income. If you consider 2 ppl who worked for 30+ yrs at reasonably good paying job,  Both receiving SS and having to take RMDs, 55K is on the low side.

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1 hour ago, docj said:

Definitely sounds too restrictive for us! :lol:  But what do we know; we're folks who think that the "higher quality" box wines at ~$15-20/3 liters are good enough for us!

Our problem with wine isn't a question of making it through the winter; it's the fact that we like to spend the summers in Canada and the amount you can bring across the border without very large duties kicking in is rather small.  Even with the current exchange rate, paying Canadian prices for alcoholic beverages will most certainly cause you to cry in your beer! B)

Since we normally travel with 8-12 bottles of wine ($25/bottle) Canada is usually not a consideration for us, sigh.  

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Don't know how to vote ... so our numbers won't be included ... but for what it's worth, put us in the $60K-$70K bracket.  That is for everything except one time expenses (like major upgrades, major repairs, big dental bills, etc.).  We have no debt.  $5K per month is our target, but we often go over ... normally due to dining out.  We could squeeze it down to $4K pretty easily, but that isn't necessary.  We NEVER boondock or stop at Walmart parking lots ... we go full hook ups to full hook ups.  

Edited by 297550

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20 hours ago, Kirk Wood said:

It's really easy. Just click on the one that your budget fits into. 

You do have to scroll to the top of a page first to see the poll. Then it's as easy as Kirk said.

Linda Sand

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I just want to revise my estimate (Budget) to $20K a year.  I have been offered free camping (just pay electric and Dump) for as long as I want. Right now I would say April1-Nov 1. Longer if the weather is good! Tentatively thinking BLM camping (LTVA) like Quartzite, AZ for winter time. That leaves us some splurge money if we want a FU campground for a night-- once in a awhile.

Still looking like a fun adventure ahead of us!

 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Ridgekid said:

 I have been offered free camping (just pay electric and Dump) for as long as I want.

You may want to consider being a campground host or some other type of volunteer in a state park, national wildlife refuge or one of the other many places that give volunteers a full hookup RV site. 

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16 minutes ago, Kirk Wood said:

You may want to consider being a campground host or some other type of volunteer in a state park, national wildlife refuge or one of the other many places that give volunteers a full hookup RV site. 

Already signed up and accepted in PA. That will cover three weeks for 2018.

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We know from our last stint of full timing that we our annual expenses end up being less than when we are in a sticknbrick.  There are so many variables that do not change for us.  We cook and eat out about the exact same, so the grocery bills stay the same.  Gas for our toad(s) will stay the same.  DirectTV doesn't change.  Verizon went up due to Unlimited plan but since we don't pay for internet at sticknbrick plus alarm system we save money there.  We have to add in additional coach fuel plus CG fees but all that is offset by not paying property taxes and high utility bills anymore.

We will probably only track our CG fees and diesel fuel expenses for each year going forward.  

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Our groceries went up because we are always in different areas, different store layouts, different local items to try.  By contrast, our dining out expenses went down.   Wine costs went up because we are able to visit the wineries in person, try and buy vintages not available in stores.  :D

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Eddie,

The $55K amount is what we expect to spend based on our lifestyle.  We are both retired after each having 35+ years of working in the civilian sector and being in the military.

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