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Author Topic: Newbie Budget question  (Read 1273 times)

carini

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Newbie Budget question
« on: August 11, 2016, 08:22:14 AM »
I have disability from my time in the service which is the same every month.  I also have a job that I will continue when we hit the road in an industry with a fluctuating market.  In the winter months, my income will be about $2k.  In the summer, about $3k.  I know every situation is different, so any insight would be appreciated.  Is this enough?  We plan on doing a whole lot of boondocking and really taking our time.  It's just my me, my husband, and our dog.  Any thrifty full timer's out there?

kdbgoat

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Re: Newbie Budget question
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2016, 08:45:45 AM »
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

donn

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Re: Newbie Budget question
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2016, 09:33:41 AM »
Suppliment your income by volunteer camp hosting or similar volunteer jobs that give you free camping.  No matter what, your biggest expense will probably be health care.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Newbie Budget question
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2016, 09:49:32 AM »
People certainly do live on that kind of income. However, my lifestyle standards are probably different than yours, so only you can answer that question.

RVing isn't really cheap, and the more you travel the more it costs. Staying in one place longer helps a lot, since fuel (even right now) is one major expense. Boondocking also means you will incur costs for LP and maybe have to pay to dump waste water tanks, as opposed to rv park rates that typically provide electric, water and sewer dump as part of the fee.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

scottydl

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Re: Newbie Budget question
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2016, 10:02:02 AM »
It all depends entirely on your lifestyle spending.  There are people out there who do fine on $20,000/year, and there are millionaires who are broke.  RV living can be pretty cheap or really expensive, depending on your rig, where you are staying, how much of your own cooking you do, other debt payments you have, etc.  Tell us some more about how/where you plan to live, and we can probably help out more.

Also I'll move this thread to the Fulltiming area since that is the budget you are trying to work out.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

JDOnTheGo

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Re: Newbie Budget question
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2016, 12:21:00 PM »
Any thrifty full timer's out there?

Absolutely - I am one!  Everyone is different so you will get every possible answer. It really boils down to what you like.  Obviously, it helps if you can go in debt free.  I feel like I live mighty comfortably and don't spend a lot of money (IMO). Here are some numbers that may give you some ideas: http://jdfinley.com/2015-rv-living-expenses/
JD - Full timer out west
1998 MCI 102 EL3 Revolution | 2010 Wrangler (daJeep) | 650 Watts Solar
My Adventures

carini

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Re: Newbie Budget question
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2016, 12:21:32 PM »

carini

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Re: Newbie Budget question
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2016, 12:25:07 PM »
Suppliment your income by volunteer camp hosting or similar volunteer jobs that give you free camping.  No matter what, your biggest expense will probably be health care.

Ah yea, healthcare...that is a tricky subject.  We still need to research that aspect of it.  We are on medicare right now, but I suppose once we leave our home state we will need another plan.

carini

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Re: Newbie Budget question
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2016, 04:47:07 PM »
Absolutely - I am one!  Everyone is different so you will get every possible answer. It really boils down to what you like.  Obviously, it helps if you can go in debt free.  I feel like I live mighty comfortably and don't spend a lot of money (IMO). Here are some numbers that may give you some ideas: http://jdfinley.com/2015-rv-living-expenses/

Yes, thank you JFNM!  I was only finding budgets from like 2008 online.  Yours is very helpful :)

carini

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Re: Newbie Budget question
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2016, 06:46:34 PM »
It all depends entirely on your lifestyle spending.  There are people out there who do fine on $20,000/year, and there are millionaires who are broke.  RV living can be pretty cheap or really expensive, depending on your rig, where you are staying, how much of your own cooking you do, other debt payments you have, etc.  Tell us some more about how/where you plan to live, and we can probably help out more.

Also I'll move this thread to the Fulltiming area since that is the budget you are trying to work out.

Well, I like to do almost all of my cooking at home.  I'm vegan, so I eat a lot of cheap & healthy food.  My husband is not vegan, although he doesn't mind eating vegan meals occasionally.  He drives a lot for work, so he tends to eat out more then I do, but I have a feeling that will change when he can roast a hot dog over the fire every night (and not at work).  I imagine we will be doing more boondocking, because we like to run, hike, kayak, bike, fish (husband, not me).  We will stay at campgrounds when we are planning on sticking around longer.  We have very little debt which will be paid off by the end of August.

scottydl

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Re: Newbie Budget question
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2016, 12:03:22 AM »
Sounds like a great start!  There are a lot of campgrounds that offer monthly rates with metered electric, and that's generally what I see part-timers and fulltimers take advantage of... Once you find a place you want to stay for awhile!  ;)
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

trdiller

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Re: Newbie Budget question
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2016, 08:12:30 AM »
I have disability from my time in the service which is the same every month.  I also have a job that I will continue when we hit the road in an industry with a fluctuating market.  In the winter months, my income will be about $2k.  In the summer, about $3k.  I know every situation is different, so any insight would be appreciated.  Is this enough?  We plan on doing a whole lot of boondocking and really taking our time.  It's just my me, my husband, and our dog.  Any thrifty full timer's out there?

You don't have to boondock to get inexpensive campsites. If you are disabled you can get a national park pass free. It is good for discounted fees in Army Corps of engineering campgrounds. I recently spent a week in one and with the pass paid half what the normal fee is (usually about 22$ per night). I only paid $11 per night.  Many of these COE campgrounds have full hookups some just electric.

Save money on healthcare and use the VA system. If you have a service connected disability use the VA for all your healthcare.  I tell the VA about my employer provided insurance and they bill back services I receive. I have no deductibles or out of pocket expenses with the VA. If you don't have employer sponsored health insurance all the more reason to use the VA system.

Another plus of the VA system is their record keeping. I see several specialists and they all have access to my records. Not like  the civilian world where one doctor  or group has one set and then another doctor or group has their own set of records. This means there is better continuity of care.  I'm hearing that this doesn't yet work from one VA facility to another but that is supposed to be getting fixed. 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Newbie Budget question
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2016, 08:35:29 AM »
Quote
We are on medicare right now, but I suppose once we leave our home state we will need another plan.
Not sure what you mean by this. Medicare is national coverage and Medicare will pay their standard rates to any Medicare providr anywhere in the USA, with no special requirements.

If you now use a Medicare Advantage program from a private insurer instead of direct federal Medicare, your policy may be state, regional or national. Aetna and United Healthcare both offer nationwide Medicare Advantage PPO coverage.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

blw2

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Re: Newbie Budget question
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2016, 12:03:11 PM »
I'm finding this thread interesting, since I have been dreaming of an early "semi" retirement of some sort or another.  Budget is of course a big question mark

Absolutely - I am one!  Everyone is different so you will get every possible answer. It really boils down to what you like.  Obviously, it helps if you can go in debt free.  I feel like I live mighty comfortably and don't spend a lot of money (IMO). Here are some numbers that may give you some ideas: http://jdfinley.com/2015-rv-living-expenses/

so JD, i found your blog post useful as food for thought.  I'm most interested in you very low camping fee budget.  We have been mostly used to visiting state parks and the like.... more of a weekend and holiday recreation thing.  from that perspective, about the cheapest ballpark i can imagine staying is roughly $30 per night, with an occasional free dry "camp" or two while en route to a destination.
I'm guessing you are out West, is that right?  It seems that wilderness boon docking is much more available and common out there, so is that how you are doing it for $7 or less?

Brad (DW + 3 kids)
13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

JDOnTheGo

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Re: Newbie Budget question
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2016, 02:13:39 PM »
so JD, i found your blog post useful as food for thought.  I'm most interested in you very low camping fee budget.  We have been mostly used to visiting state parks and the like.... more of a weekend and holiday recreation thing.  from that perspective, about the cheapest ballpark i can imagine staying is roughly $30 per night, with an occasional free dry "camp" or two while en route to a destination.
I'm guessing you are out West, is that right?  It seems that wilderness boon docking is much more available and common out there, so is that how you are doing it for $7 or less?

Hi Brad.  Yes, I am out West - mostly AZ, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, UT & WY.  For full-disclosure - I am a full-time employed software engineer (working via the Internet) as well.  I consider last year's average to be just under $5/night (excluding two business trips that were expensed).

Firstly, my lifestyle is not for most.  My family thinks I live under a rock.  I do... sort of, and I enjoy it!  That said, I am very comfortable and feel mighty blessed!  All of my hobbies (mountain biking, road cycling, kayaking, fishing, and hiking) fit nicely with this lifestyle.

There is a huge amount of National Forest Service (NFS), BLM, Bureau of Reclamation, etc. managed land on which dispersed camping is allowed - this is "free" boondocking (no per-night fee).  There are some rules and limits though (two week max stays and such).  Of course, finding spots that I can get a 40' DP into is more difficult than a smaller rig but they do exist.   Some of the states have some really killer deals on state park passes.  I take advantage of these but not as much as I'd like.  I do not qualify for the "senior" passes but that also helps those that do qualify.  Some like to argue that a "free" stay is not "free." Of course it's not - everything costs something. Ignoring your federal and state taxes, how comfortable do you want to be?  I am mighty comfortable with lots of solar power in a 414 square foot home.  I have hot water, microwave, refrigerated/frozen food - I even have ice cubes!

Additionally, I've lived out here my whole life so I know a few people.  Some of these folks own chunks of land that they don't get to very often - I am more than happy to go check them out and report back on them!  The trick is not overstaying your welcome if/when they are around.  :)

Finally, having some in-demand skills can be useful.  I've only used this approach a couple of times but I'm a flight instructor and a computer guy.  The former is occasionally of value at small airports, the latter almost everywhere! :-)

There are a number of free dumpsites out here too (if you look for them).  An occasional night at a state park or similar usually results in a dump/fill and chance to do laundry (onboard) for $20 or so.

Other than business trips, I don't think I've ever paid over $25/night for an RV park/campground site.  Mostly these are the result of "having" to be somewhere (a wedding, reunion, business, etc.).

Not a lifestyle for everyone and I am not suggesting that everyone should do it.  In fact, please don't - that would ruin it!! :-) 

Not sure if I answered your question... I kinda started rambling...  :-X
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 02:16:08 PM by JFNM »
JD - Full timer out west
1998 MCI 102 EL3 Revolution | 2010 Wrangler (daJeep) | 650 Watts Solar
My Adventures

scottydl

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Re: Newbie Budget question
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2016, 04:23:08 PM »
You don't have to boondock to get inexpensive campsites. If you are disabled you can get a national park pass free. It is good for discounted fees in Army Corps of engineering campgrounds. I recently spent a week in one and with the pass paid half what the normal fee is (usually about 22$ per night). I only paid $11 per night.  Many of these COE campgrounds have full hookups some just electric.

Great tip... one of my children is disabled and we have an "Access Pass" as its called for federal and ACOE parks.  Half price camping fees as you mentioned, although like many public campgrounds (who don't want to become "squatting" locations) they likely restrict how long you can stay in any one site.  State parks in Illinois are limited to 2 weeks.  You don't get kicked out completely, you'd just have to relocate to another site after the time limit is reached.  That's not an issue for weekend/vacationers like me, but could certainly be a consideration for fulltiming.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

 

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