How much money is enough to full time in an RV is a frequently asked question that comes up frequently. As I stated last year there is no universal answer for this question. Simply put each of us spends money differently. What we may consider a necessity (wine to us) others may consider an unnecessary expense. I offer you these numbers to give those who want some idea of how much money is enough to full time in an RV…
I have plotted everything out in a spreadsheet which gave rise to our first budget. We have now been full timing in our RV for just over two years. Just like last year I went back to see how well we did this year as compared to our budget. In our first year we were over budget by 13.7 percent in large part due to costs associated with selling our sticks and bricks home later than we had planned. This year we were over budget by only 1.9 percent. Note that our total budget was the same for each year.
Below are some notes about our 2012 budget/expenses:
- our average cost for camping fees was $23.89 for stays in RV parks and was way under our budget of $750 mostly due to the savings of staying in Texas for the winter months
- laundry cost us $38.36 per month
- we were under budget by 50% on Big Ticket items (which was good due to medical expenses we incurred)
- we are still very fortunate in that our medical insurance is under $400 per month
- on groceries we budgeted $300 per month and spent very close to that this year
- we spent $293 per month on diesel for the RV and $166 per month on gas for the Honda (both a bit higher than last year and just barely over the fuel budget of $450)
- the big hit to our budget last year was for medical due to the costs of Sharon needing surgery to repair her broken wrist.We were way over budget by whopping 668% which wiped out our contingency fund as well
- we had very few “big ticket” expenses this year so that savings was also absorbed by medical expenses
Overall we are very pleased with the results of this years budget except for the medical expenses category. Now that we have two years under our belt we will modify next years budget to reflect ore realistic numbers based on our real expense data. So we will increase our budget by 2.5 percent next year which is just about what the cost of living increase was anyhow.
What will we do differently next year? As we said last year we won’t do much different. We expect to spend more on fuel due to likely increases over the year and we surely expect to spend more on camp fees as we currently plan to winter in Florida again next year. Hopefully we wont have a big hit due to medical costs since I plan to replace at least the two front tires and the RV batteries this year. Nonetheless we will increase our contingency fund to handle larger unknown costs since we have encountered them in each of our first two years.
The data showed us that we can still live very comfortably for around a $110 per day. As you surely know from reading other blogs each person’s level of comfort varies which of course reflects in how much you may actually expense each day. We don’t eat out a lot and we don’t boondock a lot. Both may impact your budget if you do so. That is why I present the data in percentages to better give those who plan to pursue full timing a way of determining what their costs may be based upon their budget. If you have any questions leave them in the comments and I will try to answer them all (you may also email me if you prefer).