Early on, we created a monthly budget for our RV trip, and we planned to share our monthly expenses to see how much it cost to RV around America.
Last month, we shared our RV expenses for the month of March.
Below are April’s expenses, during which time we pulled our Airstream across America from Raleigh, NC to Joshua Tree National Park, just outside of Los Angeles.
In short, we were 21% over our $4,454 monthly budget, spending a total of $5,385 in April 2016. This is an improvement from March, in which we were 44% over budget.
We obliterated our anticipated budget for spending in the Food & Dining Category. We spent $1,934 against a budgeted spend of $1,000.
I attribute this to the fact that we are maintaining a similar diet as we did pre-adventure. I also attribute this to the fact that our little refrigerator can’t keep leftovers, frozen foods, or even many condiments that need refrigeration, so we have a lot of spoilage and waste after meals.
We may look for some creative ways to bring down our Food & Dining expenses, but it’s more likely that we have to adjust the budget to plan for greater Food & Dining expenses than expected.
In April, we also incurred $802 in charges for RV repairs and improvements in the Auto & Transport category, the need for which we discovered on our initial 3,000 mile shakedown trip through Florida.
Hopefully car or RV repairs at this price won’t be a regular occurrence. Even with this expense though, the Auto & Transport category was only 27% over budget, as we did plan for some repair costs.
Below is a table breaking down our costs to RV for the month of April 2016.
Note that this breakdown of expenses for our RV trip excludes any financials related to real estate and other financial investments. We’re trying to convey the day-to-day lifestyle expenses of an RV trip around America, and that other stuff muddied the waters.
|Spending Category||Monthly Budget||April 2016 Spending||% Change from Budget||Comments|
|Auto & Fuel||$1,300||$1,654||27%||Including gas, insurance, repairs + includes $802 for RV repairs and awning installation|
|Bills & Utilities||$200||$489||145%||Covers 2 cell phones + hot spot + leftover bills from house|
|Business Services||$29||$17||-41%||UPS shipping, stamps, and such|
|Entertainment||$380||$57||-85%||For fun activities. Low b/c we’ve been spending most of our time in the parks where we camp.|
|Financial||—||—||—||Investments not included here|
|Food & Dining||$1,000||$1,934||93%||Groceries, restaurants, treats|
|Gifts & Donations||$40||$150||278%||Monthly church contribution|
|Health & Fitness||$100||$0||-100%||Doctor visit and meds.|
|Home||—||—||—||Mortgages not included here|
|Kids||—||—||—||No child care expenses.|
|Personal Care||$75||$50||-33%||Haircuts and other treatment|
|Services Fees & Charges||$100||$41||-59%||For random fees and charges, parking, tolls.|
|Shopping||$300||$226||-25%||Splurges and such|
|Travel & Lodging||$930||$767||-17%||For campground fees mainly|
|Total||$4,454||$5,385||21%||Not too bad. We’re on our way down at least.|