2011 Financial Results Month-By-Month

Below you will find our 2011 Actual Expenses. We keep track of every single penny and they are all accounted for here. For 2011, we changed the format of our expense reporting. The reports below include both Actual & Budgeted numbers with differences.

One other thing of note is that we include our "Internet" costs as a business expense, so you won't see those costs here as part of our personal expenses. For those that need the internet consistently, but not necessarily for business, consider $50 - $70 per month in that category.

The "Notes" at the bottom of the page explain significant variances between Actual & Budget figures. Large one-time expenses are also explained.

The report below shows the Year-To-Date total results for the entire year of 2011. For the monthly details, keep scrolling down.

2011 Year-End Totals



Year-To-Date Summary

Well, a lot happened in 2011 that we hadn't considered when we did our budget for 2011 at the end of 2010. Also, we decided not to workamp this year and travel more.

For 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, & 2010 we've spent a few months each year working and volunteering (workamping) in exchange for free campsites (and sometimes pay). When we workamp, we spend $1,000 less per month than when we travel. But I tend to get bored and anxious to move after about two months. Those feelings escalate by the end of a third month, and continue to increase as we go into a fourth or fifth month in one place. Therefore, in 2011, we decided to see if we could travel continuously and earn more to offset the increased expenses of not workamping.

On our 2011 budget of $35,765, we came in at $34,592, $1,173 under budget. I wish it was as good as it sounds. However, there was an unusual situation in October that makes it look better than it is.

In October we had an unbelievable opportunity to join some other RVers on a month-long trip to South Africa. When we drew up the budget at the end of 2010, we hadn't planned on that trip - it came up during the year. It was one of those things that wouldn't be a normal full-time RVing expense for us, so we haven't included the cost of that trip in these financials. We did have a few "normal" expenses for October, but we were almost $2,000 under our budget for the month due to being out of the country for most of it.

That unusual circumstance allowed us to come in under budget on our RVing Expenses for the year.

Let's go through the final numbers by category.

Actual vs. Budget By Category

Campground & RV Park Fees - Actual $4,361, Budget $7,200
For 2011, we planned to spend the entire summer in the northeastern U.S. where campground fees tend to be higher than where we usually park. So, we increased our budget from $450 per month to $600. As it turned out, we used a combination of discount programs, weekly rates, free driveway parking, and business bartering (and one month free while we went to Africa in October) to keep our costs down. We averaged a little under $12 per night ($363 per month) and were $2,839 under budget.

Cell Phones - Actual $1,014, Budget $1,080
We were pretty much right on with our Cell Phone budget. (Note: Those costs DO NOT include charges for internet access via our cell phones nor the cost of our cellular modem for internet access.)

Clothing & Hair Care - Actual $680, Budget $480
About $100 of the $200 we were over budget was for the purchase of shoes to replace ones we finally wore out. In addition, we upgraded our wardrobe a little bit for our speaking engagements.

Emergencies & Unexpected Expenses - Actual $0, Budget $1,800
No matter how well we plan, something usually comes up that we 1) didn't expect, or 2) knew was coming but forgot to budget for. We allowed $150 a month for these items. We didn't record anything in this category because we didn't have any emergencies and because the expenses were of that "knew they were coming but forget to budget" type. So the expenses fit better in other categories (See Truck Maintenance for example).

Entertainment - Actual $2,078, Budget $1,800
We budgeted $150 a month for Entertainment and came in a little over $170 per month. Because we did so well on campground fees, we splurged a little on excursions. We split the rental on a boat for a week in Key Largo in February and then took several tours in Niagara Falls and Maine during July and August.

Federal Taxes - Estimated Payments Actual $930, Budget $0
We knew our business income would be higher for 2011, so we paid estimated quarterly self-employment taxes which weren't in the budget.

Federal Taxes - Actual $315, Budget $0
Well, we didn't think we would owe federal taxes for 2010, so that $315 wasn't in the budget.

Food - Dining Out - Actual $2,044, Budget $1,080
Our preference is not to eat out much and we budget $90 per month. However, we were in tourist areas more than usual in 2011 and almost doubled our Dining Out at about $170 per month. However, most of that was offset because we were way under budget on Groceries.

Food - Groceries - Actual $3,555, Budget $4,320
Usually, we cook in the rig more than we did in 2011. Our past experience averaged about $12 per day, so we budget $360 per month for Groceries. This year we averaged less than $10 per day. Of course, our Dining Out went up and caused us to go over our total food budget by about $200 for the year.

Fuel - Diesel - Actual $3,389, Budget $3,800
Overall we budgeted pretty well for Diesel. We were way under in some months and way over in others, but it all came out how we expected. Our average price per gallon for Diesel in 2011 was $3.89 and we averaged about 9 mpg. We towed the rig 7,318 miles for the year, which was a record for us. Our annual average over the last six years is about 5,300 miles.

Fuel - Gas - Actual $2,569, Budget $2,600
Again, we budgeted pretty well for the cost of Gas for the Jeep. We drove just under 14,000 miles total. Our average price per gallon for Gas in 2011 was $3.53 and we averaged almost 20 mpg. In the four full years we've had the Jeep, we're averaging about 8,950 miles per year in local driving (not including going from campground to campground). And we're averaging about 14,400 miles total per year.

Insurance - Health - Actual $2,067, Budget $2,215
Our High Deductible national coverage PPO plan had a premium increase in August as expected, but it didn't go up as much as I budgeted. Monthly premium at year end for both of us was $188.

Insurance - Jeep - Actual $882, Budget $700
Our insurance company changed the due dates on our policy in the middle of the year. So our premiums overlapped.

Insurance - Life - Actual $953, Budget $960
We each have a $250,000 policy with 30-year level premium. The premium is always the same, so budgeting this item is easy.

Insurance - RV - Actual $630, Budget $800
We made a couple of changes to our RV policy. It has a disappearing deductible provision. Since we haven't had any claims and won't have to pay a deductible on the next future claim, we were able to increase our deductible and lower our premium.

Insurance - Truck - Actual $631, Budget $750
Overbudgeted for this item a little bit.

Insurance - Umbrella Liability - Actual $128, Budget $200
I keep expecting a premium increase on our $1 million umbrella policy, but it keeps staying the same.

Laundry - Actual $218, Budget $420
We budget $8 per week for laundry. One of the benefits of driveway parking or "moochdocking" is often free laundry.

Medical - Doctor, Dentist, Eyecare - Actual $503, Budget $480
We budgeted $40 a month for various office visits and lab work. We self-insure for dental work and our x-rays this year pushed us a little over budget.

Medical - Prescriptions & Pharmacy - Actual $69, Budget $120
We budget $10 a month in this category. I have a cholesterol prescription that is $10 a quarter and then we have a little cushion for other over-the-counter items.

Miscellaneous - Actual $2,078, Budget $1,200
We budget $100 a month for various miscellaneous items such as small RV accessories, replacement items, gifts, donations, and other items. For this year, we had more charitable donations and gifts than usual (many gifts were for those that allowed us to park in their driveways or on their property - thus saving us campground fees). In addition, we had over $150 in tolls in the northeast.

Propane - Actual $230, Budget $210
We estimated propane pretty well. We did do a little more boondocking that we anticipated. Our propane generator goes through the fuel pretty quickly.

Property Taxes - Jeep - Actual $101, Budget $100
We have retained our residency in Kentucky which has a personal property tax on vehicle values. Most states that full-timers choose for residency don't have this tax.

Property Taxes - RV - Actual $416, Budget $450
Overbudgeted just a little.

Property Taxes - Truck - Actual $318, Budget $300
Underbudgeted just a little.

RV Clubs - Actual $120, Budget $0
Forgot to budget for our Escapees and Passport America/Freedom Resorts memberships.

Satellite TV - Actual $976, Budget $1,140
Got DirecTV to give us "loyal customer" discount to keep us under budget.

Vehicle Maintenance - Jeep - Actual $236, Budget $600
We budget $50 a month for oil changes and any other minor maintenance items that might pop up. We had a good year.

Vehicle Maintenance - RV - Actual $815, Budget $600
We budget $50 a month for whatever might come up. Our big expense for this year was replacing our tire pressure monitoring system sensors. I knew they were about due for replacement, but forgot to budget for them - $363.

Vehicle Mainteance - Truck - Actual $2,285, Budget $360
If not for this category, we would have done much better in 2011. We budget $30 a month to cover an annual service for the truck. However, this year we replaced the tires, bought new batteries, and had a new truck cover made for the bed.

I didn't feel comfortable with the tires we purchased a couple years back. They didn't have enough tread pattern and they just didn't "feel" right while towing. So, we went ahead and switched them out at a cost of $1,280. It wasn't a necessary expense, but with our increased knowledge of tires, we made the purchase based on safety. This was an unexpected purchase that we hadn't budgeted for (it could have gone in the Unexpected Expense category).

We got six and a half years out of the truck batteries and I knew they needed to be replaced in 2011. I just forgot to budget for them.

We also wanted to improve our truck bed cover, but I hadn't budgeted for that either. It was just a matter of circumstance and convenience to have that done in 2011 rather than 2012 or later.

For a month-by-month and quarter-by-quarter review of expenses, see below.




First Quarter Details






First Quarter Notes

January
For January, our budget was $2,890.

Our total expenses came in at $2,649 or $241 under budget.

We were pretty close in almost every category. We were a little over in Campground Fees, but that was due to an early year investment to help keep costs down later in the year. We paid $199 in January to purchase a special offer Northeast Zone Pass from the Thousand Trails campground network. With plans to visit the northeast this summer where the campground fees are about twice what we are used to paying, we decided to take advantage of this option. So, we spent the money in January, but it should help us keep our campground fees down in later months.

In past years, we've always combined our Groceries & Dining Out expenses. But this year we've separated those expenses into separate categories. We were a bit over on Dining Out, but that was offset by doing well on Groceries.

We were about $50 over on our Gas budget for the Jeep, but we were $150 under on Diesel for the truck. For January, we drove the truck only 443 miles, all towing. We drove the Jeep 1,396 miles with 954 of that being local exploring, most of that in the Everglades.

For this year we've also separated out our Laundry expenses from Clothing & Haircare expenses. This month, we went to some thrift stores to buy some winter clothes for a February trip to a speaking engagement in Boston. We also picked up a few pairs of cheap jeans due to weight we lost.

Though we were under budget in most all the other expense categories, we were about $192 over in the Miscellaneous category. Most of that, $139, was for the purchase of a Kindle e-reader for Linda (a late Christmas gift).

All in all, we were pretty pleased with January.



February
For February, our budget was $2,540.

Our total expenses came in at $2,513 or $27 under budget.

We did great overall, but there were a couple of interesting, unexpected things that happened. First of all, we parked for free for the entire month in South Florida by accepting invitations of friends.

However, for the money we saved on Campground Fees, we spent more on Dining Out to treat our friends to dinner a couple times.

Also, while in Key Largo, we split a week's worth of a boat rental (shown in the Entertainment category) to do some area touring and fishing in the Florida Keys.

We were well under budget for Diesel and a little under budget for Gas. In February, we only drove the truck 47 miles. We drove the Jeep 839 miles, 804 of which was local exploring including a roundtrip to the airport for our February trip to speak at the Boston RV show.

Now, we were $226 over budget for RV Maintenance. That was due to the purchase of a new Trimetric Battery Monitor (not really an RV Maintenance item, but we had to put it somewhere). I fried the monitor trying to fix an issue that didn't really exist. Oops. Also, we spent about $30 for tools and oil to change the oil in our generator.

Because we boondocked most of February, we spent about double the amount we budgeted on propane. Also, we were a little over on Laundry because it was so expensive in the Florida Keys.

But we were in good shape everywhere else and managed to stay under budget overall.



March
For March, our budget was $4,240. You'll notice that the March budget was $1,700 more than February. That is due to four annual payments (RV Property Taxes, Truck Property Taxes, Truck Insurance, Umbrella Insurance) that have to be paid in March.

Our total expenses came in at $4,136 or $104 under budget.

We were significantly over budget in only two categories - $215 over in Diesel and $190 over in Truck Maintenance.

We filled up with Diesel on the last day of the month, so an extra fill-up went into March that really should have gone into April.

We never really know which month we'll have a big truck service done, and it happened to fall in March this year. Hopefully, we'll be under the total year budget of $360.

Everywhere else, we did well.

We drove the truck 1,036 miles, 964 of which were towing from the Florida Keys to west central Georgia. For March, we drove the Jeep 1,306 miles, 341 of which were for local exploring.



First Quarter Summary

For the first quarter, though the expenses didn't always occur in the categories as we expected, we did pretty good overall. On a three month budget of $9,670, we came in at $9,298, or $372 under budget. Not bad. :)



Second Quarter Details



Second Quarter Notes

April
For April, our budget was $3,340. Our total expenses came in at $3,362 or $22 over budget.

Actually, we had almost $1,000 in expenses we hadn't budgeted for in April, so being $22 over is pretty good.

When the budget was done, we didn't think we were going to have to pay any Federal taxes for 2010. As it turned out, we had to pay $300. In addition, with our business income increasing, we thought we should go ahead and estimate 2011 taxes and pay quarterly estimates to avoid potential penalties next year (one of the hazards of being self-employed). The first quarterly installment was $315.

The other big expense was the replacement of our Pressure Pro tire pressure monitoring system sensors. We knew they would need to be replaced since they were going on six years of service. I just forgot to budget for them. That was $363 and is included in "RV Maintenance" (it wasn't really an RV maintenance thing and just as well could have gone in Unexpected Expenses).

But, as often happens, that $1,000 was made up for in other areas.

Campground Fees - We had $238 on a budget of $600, $362 under. That was the result of staying on friends' property a few days and getting our campsite for free while hosting the 2011 Spring RV-Dreams Rally (almost two weeks).

Diesel & Gas - We were $175 under mostly due to a fill up of both the Jeep & Truck occurring on March 31 and going in March expenses. Had we filled up on April 1 instead, we would have been right on target. We drove the truck 496 miles, 472 while towing. And we drove the Jeep 907 miles, 472 while moving and 436 in local exploring.

RV Insurance - We budgeted $800 and came in at $597. We picked up that $203 when we changed some things around on our RV Insurance policy. Because our policy with Progressive includes a "disappearing deductible" and we currently won't have to pay any deductible if we have a claim, we raised the deductible on our policy to lower the premium.

Emergencies & Unexpected Expenses - We budgeted $150 but didn't have anything in this category. Like I said above, the Pressure Pro sensors could have gone here, or even the Taxes, but it all totals the same in the end.

All in all, we can't complain too much about April.


May
For May, our budget was $2,635. Our total expenses came in at $3,007 or $372 over budget.

Almost all of that is the result of paying for a month's worth of camping on May 26. So, over three weeks of that fee is actually for June.

Campground Fees - We had $763 on a budget of $600, $163 over budget. But about $360 of that was pre-payment of nights for June.

Diesel & Gas - We were $75 under. We drove the truck 620 miles, 577 while towing. And we drove the Jeep 1,287 miles, 577 while on the move and 710 in local exploring (mostly during our time in Louisville going to appointments and visiting family and friends.

Medical (Doctor, Dentist, Eyecare) - We budget $40 in this category for every month for a total of $480 for the year. We visited the dentist in May for an annual cleaning and X-rays ($240). We self-insure for dental.

Miscellaneous - We budget $100 a month in this category. But we were $330 over for May. We had a few minor expenses and we bought dinner and gift certificates for folks that do nice things for us (like handling our mail, providing us a free place to park, etc.)

Emergencies & Unexpected Expenses - We budgeted $150 but didn't have anything in this category.

Even though we were over budget for May, we should make that up in Campground Fees alone in June.


June
For June, our budget was $3,595 which included $960 for our annual life insuarance. Our total expenses came in at $4,678 or $1,083 over budget.

Had we not changed out our truck tires at the end of the month, we would have been under budget.

Campground Fees - We had $253 on a budget of $600, $347 under budget. That was due to most of June's campground fees being paid as part of a monthly rate in May.

Clothing & Hair Care - With our usual wardrobe of shorts and t-shirts, we needed to upgrade just a little bit to be more presentable for our new gig with RVSEF. Therefore, we went $120 over for the month.

Diesel & Gas - We were $353 under. We drove the truck 235 miles, 161 while towing. And we drove the Jeep 650 miles, 161 while on the move and the rest in local exploring. June was another of those "detours" in our life. We had the opportunity to partner with the RV Safety & Education Foundation to weigh RVs. So, rather than travel to the northeast like we planned, we stayed in Goshen, IN for a month to get trained.

Entertainment - We spent nothing on a $150 Entertainment budget. But we ended up eating out more and using that budget elsewhere.

Self-Employment Taxes - In June we made another quarterly estimate payment of $315. We hadn't budgeted for these when the budget was set in late 2010.

Dining Out - With our training in Indiana and being with folks that eat out a lot, we blew our Dining Out budget by $177, but we did $0 in Entertainment for the month.

Groceries - We would have been right on our Groceries budget, but Linda decided to buy her coffee in bulk to get her through the next several months. Therefore, we were $186 over in that category.

Miscellaneous - We budget $100 a month in this category. But we were $138 over for June. We had a few minor expenses and we made a couple of large donations.

Emergencies & Unexpected Expenses - We budgeted $150 but didn't have anything in this category.

Truck Maintenance - Even though our truck tires were only a couple of years old, I never was comfortable with the way the felt while towing. I made the mistake of buying what was available at the time after a blowout. So, now that we've learned more about tires and we understand why the ones we bought didn't feel right, we decided to go ahead and replace them. Fortunately, the tire dealer give us a decent price on the old tires, but the net cost was still $1,261 for six tires that we hadn't budgeted for in 2011.


Second Quarter Summary

For the second quarter, we were $1,476 over budget. Clearly, the majority of that was the $1,261 we spent on truck tires at the end of June. Considering that and the $900 in taxes and estimated taxes we paid in the second quarter that we hadn't budgeted for, it doesn't look quite so bad.

We were $372 under budget for the first quarter and hopefully, we can make up the rest in the third and fourth quarters. We have faith we can do that. :)



Third Quarter Details



Third Quarter Notes

July
For July, our budget was $3,085. Our total expenses came in at $3,914 or $829 over budget.

In July, we tripled the miles we normally travel in a month. At 1,200 miles, it may not seem like much, but it was only the eighth time in six years that we traveled more than 1,000 miles in a month.

That kind of travel leads to higher expenses for fuel, food, entertainment, etc.

Campground Fees - We had $352 on a budget of $600, $248 under. With a combination of using discounts like Passport America, boondocking, and staying a week in a Thousand Trails park, we were able to keep our campground fees down. Note: In January we purchased a Thousand Trails Northeast Zone Camping Pass for $199 which gets us 30 days free camping in northeast Thousand Trails campgrounds. That one week paid for the initial investment (which was $300 off the usual price).

Diesel & Gas - We were $447 over budget on fuel for July. When the budget was done, we hadn't anticipated traveling that much in July. We planned to spend three months in the northeast and move more slowly, but when circumstances changed by partnering with RVSEF and taking time out to get trained, we had to squeeze more miles into about a month and a half. We drove the truck 1,275 miles, 1,250 while towing. And we drove the Jeep 2,083 miles, 1,250 while moving and 833 in local exploring.

Entertainment - We went a little crazy with entertainment in July at $413 over our $150 budget. Again, when we travel more slowly, we spread our entertainment dollars out over the months. We spent about $170 in Niagara Falls doing various tours and attractions. Then we spent $270 at Moosehead Lake in Maine doing a moose tour, a boat tour, a float plane tour, and various other outdoor activities. When we spend more on entertainment, we concentrate more on keeping our campground fees low to help offset the costs.

Food - We were $47 under our Groceries budget. BUT, we were $330 over our Dining Out budget. Again, that is a function of traveling fast and going to tourist-heavy areas where the temptations are many. Our normal travel mode is slower in more rural areas (where dining out is not a highlight of the area and we have more time to consider the meals we make at home).

Yikes. We were about $1,200 over budget for the month just on Gas, Diesel, Entertainment, & Dining Out. Fortunately, we were almost $400 under budget in everything else. Still, we need to do better the rest of the year and try to make some of that up.


August
For August, our budget was $2,670. Our total expenses came in at $2,745 or $75 over budget.

Once again, it came down to more and faster than usual travel and spending some time in touristy areas. Just like July, we were over budget in Gas, Diesel, Entertainment, and Dining Out - almost $600 over in those categories. Fortunately, we made most of that up elsewhere.

Campground Fees - We had $455 on a budget of $600, $145 under budget. It's kind of funny. We thought our campground fees budget for our months in the northeast would be the hardest to make. As it turned out, we did really well. For August, two weeks of free camping at another Thousand Trails campground made the difference.

Diesel & Gas - We were $361 over. Again, we traveled almost 1,200 miles for the month. Of course that included prematurely running from Maine when Hurricane Irene was headed that way. We weren't planning on leaving Maine until September, so we ended up driving about 825 miles right at the end of the month to avoid the effects of the storm. We drove the truck 1,219 miles, 1,189 while towing. And we drove the Jeep 1,823 miles, 1,189 while on the move and 634 in local exploring.

Entertainment - We were $113 over budget in this category for August. We did a whale watching/puffin viewing tour ($116) and a nature cruise tour ($50) while on Mt. Desert Island in Maine.

Food - We were $41 under budget for Groceries but $122 over budget for dining out. Lobster is cheap in Maine, but it still adds up when you eat a lot of it. :)

Miscellaneous - We were over budget in this category by $39. We put highway tolls here, and we had almost $100 in tolls going through Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and New York as we fled from Hurricane Irene.

Overall, we did much better in August than July, but we were still a little over budget. If not for our quick exit from the far northeast, we would have been under budget.


September
For September, our budget was $2,670. Our total expenses came in at $2,474 or $196 under budget.

In September, we were in business mode. We held our 2011 RV-Dreams Fall Rally, weighed RVs at the Hershey RV Show, drove to Goshen, Indiana to weigh RVs at the Montana Owners Club Rally, and then drove to Celina, Ohio to weigh RVs at the Eastern Gypsy Journal Rally. We traveled faster and farther to try to earn some income to make up for our spending in July and provide some padding for the rest of the year.

Campground Fees - We had $258 on a budget of $600, $342 under budget. For September, we spent a few days at a private residence per an invitation and we spent a couple weeks at Thousand Trails parks where our nightly fee was $0 due to our Northeast Zone Camping Pass (See January & July Campground Fee notes).

Diesel & Gas - We were $108 over. Again, we traveled over 1,000 miles for the month, mostly to get to a couple of rallies where we could weigh some RVs. We drove the truck 1,103 miles, 1,043 while towing. And we drove the Jeep 1,432 miles, 1,043 while on the move and 389 in local exploring.

Entertainment - We were $75 under budget in this category for September. Since we were in business mode, there wasn't much in the way of entertainment other than a tour in Gettysburg, PA.

Food - We were $87 over budget on Dining Out, but we did great on Groceries - $296 under budget, for a net of $119 under budget on food.

Miscellaneous - We were over budget in this category by $38. We bought a variety of batteries, some RV cleaning supplies, and a birthday gift.

Jeep Maintenance - Somehow we got a broken razor blade (or something similar) stuck in a tire. It couldn't be repaired so we had to buy a new tire. While we were at it, we went ahead and got an oil change service. Therefore, we were $152 over budget for the month, but still over $200 under budget for the year.

Self-Employment Taxes - In September we made another quarterly estimate payment of $315. We hadn't budgeted for these when the budget was set in late 2010.

Overall, considering those pesky taxes and the new Jeep tire we had to purchase, we were very happy to be almost $200 under budget for September. We still have a long way to go to make up the $1800 we're over budget for the first nine months.


Third Quarter Summary

For the third quarter, we were $708 over budget. That was the result of traveling faster and farther during the whole quarter than we usually do. Our original plan for the summer was to spend three months in Maine and explore it slowly. However, because of our unplanned new partnership with the RV Safety & Education Foundation and training we undertook to weigh RVs, our time was compacted and we had to cover more ground. Of course that resulted in more fuel, but it also resulted in us eating out more and spending more on entertainment. Actually, it's not that we spent more on entertainment, it was just that we didn't spread it out over as many months as usual.




Fourth Quarter Details



Fourth Quarter Notes

October
For October, our budget was $2,700. Our total expenses came in at $768 or $1,932 under budget.

As mentioned above, October was unusual in that we were out of the country all but five days on a trip to Africa that wasn't planned until well after the budget was prepared in late 2010. Since the costs of the trip weren't part of our "normal" full-timing expenses, we didn't include them in our "normal" financials.

Still we were in the U.S. for five days in October, so we had a few expenses. They should have been less except the insurance company for our Jeep changed our policy and the due date of our premium so that it came due in October.



November
For November, our budget was $2,700. Our total expenses came in at $2,278 or $422 under budget.

Campground Fees - We had $440 on a budget of $600, $160 under budget. That was the result of cheap camping ($15 per night) for most of November while we were in Louisville.

Diesel & Gas - We were $58 under budget. We drove the truck 533 miles, 482 while towing. And we drove the Jeep 993 miles, 482 while on the move and 511 in local exploring.

Entertainment - We were $134 under budget in this category for November.

Food - We were $112 under budget for Groceries and Dining Out.

Truck Maintenance - We spent $500 on a new truck bed cover to replace the one we got six and a half years ago that was wearing out. It wasn't really "truck" maintenance, but this seemed as good a place as any to put the expense and we hadn't budgeted for it.

Overall, we were happy with November. It would have been even better had we not decided to get that new truck bed cover. But we wanted our guy in Louisville to make it, and we weren't sure when we would be coming back to town.


December
For December, our budget was $2,700. Our total expenses came in at $1,981 or $719 under budget.

Campground Fees - We had $258 on a budget of $600, $342 under budget. That was the result of "moochdocking" in a relative's driveway for two weeks during the holidays.

Diesel & Gas - We were $122 under budget. We drove the truck 489 miles, 466 while towing. And we drove the Jeep 823 miles, 469 while on the move and 354 in local exploring.

Food - We were $135 under budget for Groceries and Dining Out.

Satellite TV - We had suspended our satellite TV service in October. Apparently, they didn't get our billing reinstated in November, so we got billed in December for two months.

Truck Maintenance - We spent $304 on a new truck batteries. We got over six and a half years out of them, and I should have budgeted for new ones - but it's hard to think of everything. :)

Overall, we were really pleased with December. Other than paying the two months of satellite TV and buying the truck batteries, we were under budget in every other category.


Fourth Quarter Summary

For the fourth quarter, we were $3,044 under budget. Of course, most of that was due to being out of the country for a month. We did come in under budget in November and December as well. The fourth quarter really helped us make up for the larger expenses incurred during the year that I hadn't budgeted for.