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Annual analysis

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My Dad would say if you can do what you want to do, pay the bills, keep food on the table save a couple of bucks and have 1.98 left over at the end of the month you done good. We done good again.

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I particularly enjoyed seeing how your comments evolve from year 1 to year 4.

 

As for recycling, we've been fulltime for 13 years now. I agree that recycling can be hard now, but it's vastly easier than back then.

 

Do you know that Target stores accept plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and glass bottles for recycling? They have a receptacle at the front of the store, usually near the customer service area or the restrooms. They don't take paper or other plastics (like yogurt containers), but it's better than nothing.

 

My rule is to recycle as much as I can, and if the only place I can find turns out to be a Target (or other place that doesn't take other plastic or paper), then the rest of the stuff goes in the trash and my recycling area is cleared out. Hey, at least I tried.

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I particularly enjoyed seeing how your comments evolve from year 1 to year 4.

 

As for recycling, we've been fulltime for 13 years now. I agree that recycling can be hard now, but it's vastly easier than back then.

 

Do you know that Target stores accept plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and glass bottles for recycling? They have a receptacle at the front of the store, usually near the customer service area or the restrooms. They don't take paper or other plastics (like yogurt containers), but it's better than nothing.

 

My rule is to recycle as much as I can, and if the only place I can find turns out to be a Target (or other place that doesn't take other plastic or paper), then the rest of the stuff goes in the trash and my recycling area is cleared out. Hey, at least I tried.

 

I didn't know that about Target, thanks, that could come in handy. And glad you enjoyed the update.

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Thank you for sharing your financial results. It certainly gives me more info to consider as I move to the place that you are. I attended a Social Security information luncheon this week to get info about when and how to file for benefits. I still have 8 years before I can but my DW is 2+ years older than me, so we're working on being prepared. It was quite interesting to learn that the typical example had to do with a couple planning to live on $7500/mo in income BUT it was also noted that they had a mortgage on a S&B. I dont plan to fit that example. Simpler is better for us.

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Thank you for sharing your financial results. It certainly gives me more info to consider as I move to the place that you are. I attended a Social Security information luncheon this week to get info about when and how to file for benefits. I still have 8 years before I can but my DW is 2+ years older than me, so we're working on being prepared. It was quite interesting to learn that the typical example had to do with a couple planning to live on $7500/mo in income BUT it was also noted that they had a mortgage on a S&B. I dont plan to fit that example. Simpler is better for us.

 

OMG!!! If we had to wait until we could have $7500 per month the day would never come. In 2016 our average monthly for EVERYTHING (and I mean everything including things that are not listed in our report) was $3653 per month, 2015 was $4160 per month and 2014 was $3554 per month and 2014 was $3602 per month. We could certainly live cheaper but are enjoying doing what we do, the way we do.

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Of course everyone has a different way of doing this RVing, and adjustments from any other persons budgets will need to be made for ones self and how you intend to live it. For us this is one of the most appreciated and useful write ups annually for keeping us on track moving forwards and we can't thank any of you as enough, that so kindly take the time to share your annual/monthly costs and breakdowns. You don't have to, but it's the caring sharing nature of RVers that attracted us to this mode of travel/lifestyle from the getgo :)

 

Dave and Diane, in our eyes, the way you roll, personally fits right up our alley for future FTing = on balance, variety, enjoyment, experience but most importantly understanding it's a "lifestyle" way of life, and we will not be "permanent tourists". Our budget will be around $4,000 per month max with an ideal goal to be closer to that $3,000 and saving a little above that to enjoy on one off splurges if not required in future years = think Hawaii/cruise/Aus/island breaks. We recognize that the excitement the first year will likely lead to more moving around and higher consumption, so we are allowing an extra 25% for year one in our budget set aside for that top up the first year = "just in case".

 

Likewise we have budgeted for what it's worth a "maintenance fund" as per the sage advice many years ago from Barb OK. Initial 10% of purchase price and topping up each month/year as your incomes dictate = this will vary for all depending on age, type, style of RV one owns of course. We think this is crucial for any RV owner to have, as it's always a question of "when" not "if" a repair/renewal/replacement will occur.

 

We all have the same challenge in retirement of any type, of how much do we need and for how long? Do I plan to live to 68 years of age (some family history possibility) or 96? FWIW we've budgeted allowing for historical inflation to cover us for up to 35 years if need be based on todays decisions (which of course can change overnight with a change in circumstance/health/government etc). Should I work "just one more year" (remember it'll end up being likely another "one more year" and another and another and so the story goes!). We've seen way too many since we initially joined Escapees forum back over decade and half ago when we first got interested generically in RVing put it off and off and off and then in recent years/months have been reading how they've now got too many health issues/sadly lost spouses and so on.

 

Life is not a trial run, and fortunately whilst we personally might still not have quite hit the road FT (waiting on final property sale now to happen!), we have tried to balance living for today and planning for tomorrow, with, in our 30's lots of long weekends/10 day and 2 week trips etc manic trips we'd need a vacation afterwards to recover from with a school age family in tow then. In our mid 40's realizing we needed to smell more roses and rob back from balancing businesses, sometimes holding 3 jobs each, and biting the bullet and taking over time more and more extended RVing trips of several weeks at a time most years, whilst trying to still keep the dollars and sense (pun intended) rolling in for everyday living costs and putting away for retirement planning hopefully in our mid/late 50s.

 

Hubby will be 60 in March, and whilst we still aren't quite FT as hoped by now, in all honesty he has benefitted from various forms of long trips fishing and experiencing other countries, whether via RV, plane or otherwise = for up to 8/9 weeks at a time over the past 8 years. We've tried to create some form of balance between living for today and planning for tomorrow as there's no guarantees of how many more tomorrows any of us have! Has our overall income slipped back by doing this SURE! It's inevitable but all the money in the world isn't any use to us when we are 6ft under or in declining health = trying to find a balance between pulling the trigger too soon and being a pauper in later life versus being too focused on saving for a future that might never materialize is a huge challenge for us all.

 

FWIW: Pastor Scott also has a budget much aligned to yours Dave I noticed last year or was it year before (LOL), and I think there was an average referenced in several sources (not necessarily RVers) of around $41K/$42K a year. I recall reference to it several times in various forums, and it all seemed to fall in line with many others that aren't at either extremes of Frugality or Luxury living.

 

Apologies for my ramblings here but I'm sure there are many reading here that can relate to a lot of this or maybe gain some pause for thought.

 

Once again Dave a HUGE thanks to you for so kindly sharing your overall annual costs it helps keep most of us motivated that our dreams are possible to become reality :) :) :)

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OMG!!! If we had to wait until we could have $7500 per month the day would never come. In 2016 our average monthly for EVERYTHING (and I mean everything including things that are not listed in our report) was $3653 per month, 2015 was $4160 per month and 2014 was $3554 per month and 2014 was $3602 per month. We could certainly live cheaper but are enjoying doing what we do, the way we do.

Thanks again for sharing. At least we see some light at the end of our tunnel. It was looking more dark after that luncheon.

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My Full Time is completely different for 2016 and was a unusual year for me. Quicken keeps track of all my expenses.

It was a high of $3,895 a month(first year in 17 that I was in the RED). Main reason was for the Toad($1,903.50 Month) making extra payments on it(17K for the year), fuel($49 month), Insurance($123.83 month), add on's including HP upgrade($3,215 Year)

 

MH wasn't bad it averaged $355.50 a month that included campgrounds(5 Months), fuel, insurance, plates, maintenance, repairs and replacements etc.

Grocery's $189.75 month.

Medical($339.66 a Month) for Medicare, supplemental F, part D, all co pay etc. and includes some tax free $$$ help from my retirement company.

Telephone $95 month, Internet $86 month, DirecTV $145 month

 

But 2017 should be much lower per month and I should be back in the Black. Toad will be paid off in April, Medicare did go up $5.50 month, part D went down $2.20 a month, telephone will go up as I just bought a iPhone 7 Plus and next month their is a new iPad Air 2 planned for GPS use to replace the 5 year old iPad 2. :)

 

2015 $3,215 month

2014 $3,367 month

2013 $2,402 month

Bought the Toad in 2014 :) But for a 5,000 lb Toad after a little HP work in 2016 it can now do the 1/8th mile in 8.5 seconds at 80 MPH :lol:

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Thanks for all the "Thanks you's". It feels good to give back a little for all the help we recieved from others while researching this life style.

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For somebody that's going FT later this year (when I retire), this thread and the info gleaned is very appreciated HDRider and Biker 56.

 

.

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For somebody that's going FT later this year (when I retire), this thread and the info gleaned is very appreciated HDRider and Biker 56.

 

.

 

I'm glad you found it helpful :)

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We use quicken for record keeping been using it since it came out years ago. Everything is in a category so we know were we spend the $$$ .We look at it at the end of every year to see how foolishly we are spending  our retirement $$$ but as long as there is a couple of bucks  left over at the end of every month I figure we are doing OK.

Got me curious so I looked at Quicken for  last months numbers  February 2017 3,742 all categories all expenses.  I was pleased to see that "Entertainment"  was our 2nd highest expense. That is the way retirement income should be spent.

Edited by richfaa

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11 hours ago, richfaa said:

We use quicken for record keeping been using it since it came out years ago. Everything is in a category so we know were we spend the $$$ .We look at it at the end of every year to see how foolishly we are spending  our retirement $$$ but as long as there is a couple of bucks  left over at the end of every month I figure we are doing OK.

Got me curious so I looked at Quicken for  last months numbers  February 2017 3,742 all categories all expenses.  I was pleased to see that "Entertainment"  was our 2nd highest expense. That is the way retirement income should be spent.

 I used Quicken a number of years back and liked it. It just seems now that a simple app on the phone works well and is handy to log things as they happen while out and about, then I transfer those to my spreadsheet at the end of the month.

 Our entertainment expenses always seem on the very low end but we tend to do things that a low or no cost I guess like hikes, bike rides, Pickleball, ect. It all works.  

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With Quicken the transaction is recorded as soon as it is made usually within a minute or two. How the individual spends their $$ is a personal choice there is no incorrect way.

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We use the savings goals in Quicken to earmark monthly budget amounts. Any unused amount builds up and the result is a cushion for future use.

For example, every month X $ goes into a camping fund. As we pay for camping expenses, we withdraw the expense from the savings account. We try to budget a bit more than we actually anticipate spending, accumulating a nice cushion in the process.

Once you get a system down, this only takes a few minutes per day to keep up.

Every Friday I pull out X $ for groceries, dining out, misc and it has to last until the next Friday.

We have S+B so we do this for real estate taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities.

Edited by ToddF

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12 hours ago, ToddF said:

Once you get a system down, this only takes a few minutes per day to keep up.

My intermediate accounting professor used to tell us that the key to any money management problem was to keep accurate & detailed records so that you always know where all money came from and where it went. Being retired it is very easy for us to know where our money comes from, but tracking where it goes takes a little bit of effort. We keep all receipts and record them every couple of days. You should keep the miscellaneous or unknown total to less than 5% and my goal for that is 1%. I began doing that about 15 years before we retired and we were amazed how much easier reaching financial goals became. 

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