Several months ago, we created a monthly budget for our RV trip, and we planned to share our monthly expenses to see how much it costs to RV around America.
I’m thrilled to calculate that we were 1% under budget for the month of May. We spent $4,430 against budgeted expenditures of $4,454 per month.
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This is great news since we were 44% over budget in March and 21% over budget in April as a result of some mechanical repairs and major purchases. However, we continue to obliterate the Food & Dining category in our budget.
We had budgeted $1,000 a month on Food & Dining, yet we are easily exceeding that number each month.
It seems that our eating habits, including coffee shops and restaurants, remain similar to our habits while living in a house. We visit a coffee shop 2-3 times per week, and we eat at a restaurant about once a week. Also, we occasionally find ourselves in a situation where we have to buy a few days of food at a high priced grocery store in a touristy area.
As I suspected after reviewing April’s expenditures, a $1,500 per month spend on Food & Dining is more likely the right number to use when refactoring the budget. I suppose I got a little too aggressive on trimming our Food & Dining habits, which I warned against in Step 5: Create an Adventure Travel Budget.
The good news is that we’re spending less than expected in some other major categories, such as Automotive & Fuel and Entertainment, which helps bring our monthly expenses in May below our anticipated budget.
Below is a table breaking down our costs to RV for the month of May 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||May 2016 Spending||% Change from Budget||Comments|
|Auto & Fuel||$1,300||$1,055||-19%||Includes $131 oil change and tire rotation|
|Bills & Utilities||$200||$169||-15%||Covers 2 cell phones + hot spot|
|Business Services||$29||$5||-81%||UPS shipping|
|Entertainment||$380||$50||-87%||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||$1,662||66%||Groceries, restaurants, treats|
|Gifts & Donations||$40||$40||0%||Monthly church contribution|
|Health & Fitness||$100||$17||-83%||Meds.|
|Home||—||—||—||Mortgages not included here|
|Kids||—||—||—||No child care expenses.|
|Personal Care||$75||$0||-100%||Haircuts and other treatment|
|Services Fees & Charges||$100||$49||-51%||Random fees, parking, license renewal.|
|Shopping||$300||$388||29%||Splurges + new Keurig|
|Travel & Lodging||$930||$994||7%||For campground fees + 1 hotel night|
|Total||$4,454||$4,430||-1%||First month under budget!|