2013 Actual Expenses

Below you will find our 2013 Actual Expenses. We keep track of every single penny and they are all accounted for here. The reports below include both Actual & Budgeted numbers with differences.

Click on this link to see our full 2013 Budget.

2013 Summary

We were doing pretty good through April, but in May we had two major services done on our vehicles - the truck and Jeep.  Those two items totaled about $1,400 and wiped out the budget surplus we had.  Still, we were only $230 over budget through June.  Then came July in which we had to replace the tailgate on our truck due to an accident, and in which we splurged on some fun stuff during our time in Montana.  Through July we were $1,146 over budget.

And then came August.  In August, we were over budget by $2,227 mostly due to replacement of our fifth wheel tires, but also due to dental expenses which we pay out of pocket through our Health Savings Account, and some Miscellaneous expenses.  Also, in August, I had to spend four days in the hospital due to a pulmonary embolism and pneumonia.  If that weren't enough, our RV refrigerator went out, Linda lost a crown on a tooth, and tree limbs fell on our Jeep totaling it on the last day of the month.

In September, we were over budget by $4,000.  About $3,000 of that was to buy a replacement Jeep Liberty and add new tires, shocks, struts, and do some other minor maintenance.  Another $900 was due to increasing our quarterly estimated taxes above our budget due to the great year we're having on the business income side.

In October, all the bills from my August hospital stay and subsequent doctor appointments and lab work came due.  With our high deductible insurance policy, most of those costs were out of pocket to the tune of $8,500.  Excluding the medical expenses, we were otherwise $300 under budget in all other categories.

So, with a rough summer, we ended October $15,650 over budget for the year.  That's two years in a row we've had to deplete our emergency fund of about six months of expenses ($18,000) and re-build it.  We HIGHLY recommend having an emergency fund for unexpected expenses.

In November, mostly because we were doing so well with our businesses income for the year, we did some RV upgrades that we weren't planning to do until next year.  We replaced all of our expensive AGM batteries, we put on a spray-on roof, we replaced our RV ladder (which has been broken since 2006), we upgraded our TV antenna, and Linda re-decorated our bedroom.  I hadn't budgeted those items for 2013, and they came to over $5,000.

To end the year, we managed to come in under budget for December by a little bit.  For the entire year, we were $20,660 over budget.  Much of that was unexpected expenses for which we had to use our emergency funds and Health Savings Account, but some of it was because we had such a good year income-wise, and we could afford to do some things we weren't planning on doing while still setting aside quite a bit of cash.  



2013 Summary By Category

We were right on budget for the year on Campground Fees.  After stays at really expensive RV parks during our time at the Grand Canyon NP, Zion NP, and Bryce Canyon NP, we were $600 over budget in this category in April alone.  It was too cold to boondock, and some of the less expensive places were either booked up or not open yet for the season.  Fortunately, we were under budget in this category in most other months this year.  So, ultimately, were able to hold to our $15 per night average.

We came in $174 over budget on Cell Phone costs as I budgeted a little low for the year. 

We were $532 over budget (over double our budget) on Clothing & Hair for the year.  Part of that was due to replacing some worn out clothes, part was due to an annual splurge at Linda's favorite hair salon in Louisville which I forgot to budget for, and part of that was for clothing upgrades for our speaking engagements and the cruise we went on in December.  

We were $765 over budget in Entertainment.  In April, we had some pretty interesting opportunities that were large ticket items.  We hiked down into the Grand Canyon in April and stayed at the famous Phantom Ranch (a little over $200).  And we rented a boat on Lake Powell with some friends to go see Rainbow Bridge National Monument (around $300 for the rental and fuel).  Also, we paid for a boat shuttle on the Colorado river, a trail shuttle in Zion NP, and rented some special hiking equipment to hike "The Narrows" in Zion NP.  In June, we paid for our National Parks Annual Pass ($80), bought two annual Montana fishing licenses ($140) and made a deposit on a guided fly-fishing trip ($200).  In July, we paid the remainder of the amount due for our guided fly-fishing trip plus we had the last minute opportunity to stay at a backcountry chalet (Granite Park) in Glacier National Park ($225).  But it was all worth it.  I really should have budgeted more for Entertainment while exploring our National Parks.

On taxes, we were $1,200 over on our Estimated Federal Income Taxes as we increased the quarterly payments over the original budget due to better business income than we expected.  And that $1,200 is still far from being enough.  We'll have to bump up our quarterly taxes a lot for the last quarter (due in January 2014).  We just had a much better business year than we expected.  But we got back $657 in federal income taxes due to over-paying our 2012 self-employment tax estimates ... which we'll be giving right back. 

We were $700 over budget on Dining Out for the year and $213 under budget on Groceries.  We dined out a bit more than usual and that really increased in August and September while we were visiting friends and family in Louisville.  We paid for several family dinners which added to the costs.  Overall, at $40 a month over our food budget, we can't complain too much.

We were $600 under budget on Fuel (Diesel and Gas combined) for the year.  Considering this was our highest mileage year since we've been on the road, we're quite pleased that we came in under budget.

We were $4,525 over budget for the year on RV Maintenance.  In August, we replaced our fifth wheel tires for $1,560 - (Goodyear G114 - 17.5-inch Load Range H tires).  But, I had budgeted for that.  The overage is due to unplanned upgrades in November:  New AGM batteries (Four 6-volt batteries - $1,372); New spray-on roof from RVRoof.com ($2,700 - negotiated deal in exchange for advertising); Replacement of broken RV ladder, upgrade of TV antenna, and a few other miscellaneous items.  Again, we were planning to do those things in 2014, but we moved the timing up.   

We were $1,100 over budget on Truck Maintenance for the year.  We did a major service on the truck in May plus we had to replace the truck tailgate in July after Linda backed it into the fifth wheel kingpin at a cost of about $580.

We were $2,428 over budget on Jeep Maintenance for the year.  After doing a large service on our 2003 Jeep Liberty in May, tree limbs fell on the Jeep during a storm at the end of August.  Our insurance company totaled it, and we had to purchase a replacement.  The insurance covered the cost of the replacement, a 2005 Jeep Liberty, but we replaced the tires, shocks, struts, and made some other repairs (which we were going to do on the old Jeep in 2014). 

We were $2,214 over budget on Miscellaneous due to some spending in February (including LED lights for the RV), May (new hiking boots and hiking sandals for Linda), June (family birthday gifts, Father's Day gifts, and replacement of some 20 year old camping equipment), July (bear spray, replacement hiking poles, and a water transfer pump for boondocking), August (a heavy duty satellite TV tripod), September (sales taxes, license fees, etc. on the "new" Jeep), and November (bedroom re-decorating).  

We were over budget by $77 on propane.  We boondocked more than we expected and in colder temperatures than we expected.  But that helped us keep our camping fees down.

Now for the biggie.  We were $8,411 over budget on Medical & Dental expenses for the year.  With my completely unexpected hospital stay in August, we racked up somewhere in the neighborhood of $13,000 worth of expenses with a $10,000 deductible on our insurance policy.  However, our insurance company knocked that down quite a bit.  Plus, by having a fully funded Health Savings Account, we were able to pay our hospital bill in full and got a pretty big discount.  So, while these expenses are large, they could have been a lot worse.    

As you can see, it's been really rough year from the expense standpoint.  And we would have been in trouble if not for 1) our emergency fund, 2) the fact that we fully funded our Health Savings Account over the years, and 3) we had a great income year through our businesses.   


First Quarter Details


First Quarter Notes

January

We were $842 under budget for January - a nice start to the year.

And it would have been over $1,000, but over half of our Campground Fees for the month were due to a reservation (not normal for us) later in the year.  If not for that, we would have come in way under budget on Campground Fees due to several days of boondocking for free and the gracious offer of parking our rig for free on private property while we flew to do seminars at two RV shows.

Our big savings came in the entertainment, fuel, and vehicle maintenance categories.

We just didn't spend much in Entertainment and were $121 under budget.

We didn't travel far at all in January.  In fact, I didn't have to put any diesel in the truck since we only drove it 260 miles while towing.  We drove the Jeep 260 miles between destinations and 773 miles in local exploring.  So we were $222 under budget on Diesel and $124 under budget on Gas.

We were $300 under budget on RV and Truck Maintenance, but we'll need that for later in the year.

We were $70 over budget on Clothing & Hair Care due to an upgrade to Linda's wardrobe for an RV show we did later in the month that included TV appearances.  :)

Overall, we were quite pleased with January.

 

February

We came in $668 under budget in February.

We spent only $84 for the month on Campground Fees due to a few days of a free stay on private property and two weeks of boondocking for free on BLM land in Arizona.  So, we were $366 under budget in that category.

It was another low month in Entertainment and we were $124 under budget in that category.

We were about $60 over budget in Food, but that was due to a big grocery run right at the end of the month that could have just as easily been done in March.

Again, we didn't travel as far as I thought we would back when I did the budget at the end of 2012.  We only drove the truck 270 miles (232 while towing), so we only had one fill-up and were $270 under budget on Diesel.

We drove the Jeep 1,059 miles (232 between destinations and 827 in local exploring).  We were $89 under budget on Gas.

Again, we were $300 under budget on RV and Truck Maintenance, but we'll need that cushion later.

Now, we were way over budget in the Miscellaneous category.  We were over by $517.  We spent $238 on LED lights to replace our RV fluorescents (could have gone in RV Maintenance, I suppose).  We spent $100 on a gift certificate for our hosts that let us stay on their property for three weeks (could have gone in Campground Fees, I suppose).  We spent almost $90 on replacement of glasses Linda lost on a plane in January.  We spent $80 on Mary Kay for Linda to replenish her make-up for the year.  And we spent $50 on an Oxygenics shower head to help improve our water flow while conserving water while boondocking.

So, although February could have been a little bit better, we're quite happy with the results.

 

March

We were about $330 over budget in March.

We did good on our Campground Fees coming in about $30 under budget.

But that was offset by a $30 overage in our Clothing budget as we bought some new, heavy duty hiking socks for our hike into the Grand Canyon next month.

We were $190 over budget on Entertainment due to a reservation at Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Grand Canyon for next month.

We were about $40 over budget on Food for the month due to dining out a bit more around our Spring Rally when we were a bit too busy to eat in.

We were $190 over budget on Diesel, but we had fill-ups right at the beginning of the month and right at the end of the month.  So, one tank either in February or April would pretty much have taken care of most of that.  In March, we drove the truck 912 miles (887 while towing).

We were $30 under budget on Gas.  We drove the Jeep 1,128 miles in March with 236 miles in local exploring and the rest in travel from campsite to campsite.

Our Truck Insurance increased more than I expected and was $160 over what I budgeted.  That's about half of our overall budget overage for the month.

All in all, March wasn't too bad.  With a little difference in expense timing, we could have been right on budget.

 

 

The First Quarter ended with us $1,182 under budget, so we can't complain about that.



 


Second Quarter Details


Second Quarter Notes

April

We were $17 over budget for April.  We were over budget by a lot in certain big categories, but an unexpected tax refund help offset most of that.

We stayed just outside of three national parks in April at expensive RV parks that averaged three times as much as our $15 per night budget.  We don't make reservations and the less expensive places we would have like to have stayed in were either booked, wouldn't fit us, or weren't open for the season.  And though we like to boondock, we don't like to boondock when temps are in the 30s or lower at night, so our last option was to go with the overpriced private RV parks near the national park gates.  We were a whopping $620 over budget in this category.

Fortunately, I over-estimated our income and self-employment taxes for 2012, and we got a refund of $657 which covered the Campground Fees overage.  The refund was due to a large business expense we hadn't planned for and, thus, a reduction in our overall income for 2012.

Speaking of taxes, we were over budget $150 in our 2013 estimated income and self-employment taxes because I increased our quarterly estimate from $600 (as originally budgeted) to $750.  It looks like we might have a better year than anticipated. 

In April, we went a bit crazy on Entertainment, but it was worth it.  We were over budget by $480.  Most of that (about $300) was due to renting a boat on Lake Powell with some friends and visiting Rainbow Bridge National Monument.  However, we also got a boat shuttle on the Colorado River so we could float the river below the Glen Canyon Dam.  We paid for a shuttle to a trailhead in Zion NP.  We rented some equipment to hike "The Narrows" in Zion.  I bought a fishing license and we paid for two backcountry hiking permits.  It was all outdoorsy stuff and, like I said, it was worth it.  :)

In April, we were dead on budget on Fuel.  We were a little bit over on Diesel and the same amount under on Gas.  We drove the truck 570 miles and all but a mile of that was while towing.  We drove the Jeep 1,352 miles with 769 of that being in local exploring. 

We were $300 under budget on RV and Truck Maintenance, but we'll need that for later in the year.

We were $100 under in our Miscellaneous category and our RV and Jeep Insurance due in April came in about $110 less than I budgeted.

It could have been a really bad month for the budget, so we feel fortunate with the overall result.  And we had some unforgettable experiences in and around our national parks and monuments.  :)

  

May

We were $1,423 over budget for May.  About $1,300 of that was due to a big truck service ($1,100) and a detailed Jeep service and inspection ($300).  We budget for such things, but it's spread out in the budget as a monthly expense since we never know exactly what month we'll get these things done.

We had some free camping in May that helped us come in $30 under budget for the month in Campground Fees.

We were about $125 over budget for the month in Food.  Most of that was in Dining Out, but we were also a little over budget in Groceries.  However, we had a grocery run on the last day of the month for $90 that could have just as easily been posted in June.  So, the Food overage wasn't all that bad, and we should be under budget next month.

In May, we cut back on Entertainment costs and came in $113 under budget to help the budget deficit we built up through April. 

In May, we were $85 over budget on Fuel.  We were a little bit over on Diesel ($20) and a tank and a half ($65) over on Gas.  Fortunately, I budgeted high for Fuel this month because I knew the mileage would be high, or it could have been a lot worse.  We drove the truck 1,375 miles and all but a 147 miles of that was while towing (that's a really big mileage month for us).  We drove the Jeep 2,316 miles with 1,090 of that being in local exploring. 

Truck and Jeep Maintenance were the big killers this month.  We were $1,035 over Truck Maintenance and almost $300 over on Jeep Maintenance.  We'll catch most of that up on the Jeep, but we'll only catch up about half on the Truck Maintenance this year.

We were $93 over in our Miscellaneous category due to buying some new hiking boots and hiking sandals for Linda.  It could have gone in the Clothing category, but it was sort of a once every three years kind of thing.

Also, I budgeted for our annual Roadside Assistance in April, but forgot to pay it, so we paid it in May.  That's why there's a $110 overage this month, but it was offset by the under budget last month.

The financials look really bad for May, but it's not all that horrible.  There were some good things and bad things budget-wise, but we're still doing okay for the year. 



 

June

We were $30 under budget for June.  We went a little crazy on Entertainment and spent more than usual on June birthday and Father's Day gifts (Misc. Category).  Fortunately, we were under budget in Fuel and several other categories.

We did some free boondocking and had our camping paid for at a Rally we worked.  That helped us come in $70 under budget for the month in Campground Fees.

We were about $80 over budget for the month in Food.  Most of that was in Dining Out (including an Anniversary dinner and uncharacteristic fast food while working the big FMCA Rally), but we were also a little over budget in Groceries.  I hoped we would be under budget this month, but it's looking like I might have to add another $50 a month for next year unless we can get back to resisting the eating out temptation.

In June, we had several big costs that I put in Entertainment.  We came in $400 over budget due to buying our National Parks Annual Pass ($80), two annual Montana fishing licenses ($140 to be used mostly in July), and making a deposit on a guided fly-fishing trip ($200). 

In June, we were $330 under budget on Fuel.  We were a little bit under on Diesel ($80) and way under ($250) on Gas.  I budgeted high for Fuel this month because I thought our mileage would be higher.  We drove the truck 910 miles and all but 55 miles of that was while towing.  We drove the Jeep 1,658 miles with about 800 of that being in local exploring. 

We were $90 over in our Miscellaneous category due to spending a little more than usual on June birthday and Father's Day gifts.  We also replaced two of our 20 year old camp chairs and an old camping lantern.

I wish we could have done better in June, but we splurged a little on some fun stuff.  Still we were a little under budget in total for the month, and we're doing okay for the year.

 

 

For the Second Quarter, we were right on budget in April & June, but had big vehicle maintenance expenses in May.  We were $1,400 over budget for the quarter, yet only $230 over budget for the year.  Not too bad.  :)

 

 

 

 


Third Quarter Details


Third Quarter Notes

July

We were $916 over budget for July.  Almost $600 of that was due to a tailgate repair on our truck.  Linda backed the truck into our kingpin, and the cost to get a replacement from a salvage yard and get it painted was about $580.  We were also way over budget in Entertainment for the month (details below).

We were $30 over budget on Campground Fees for the month.  We stayed ten nights just outside of Glacier National Park at an average rate of $34.50 per night, over double our nightly budget.  The other 21 days of the month, we averaged less than $6.50 per night.

We were a whopping $513 over budget on Entertainment for the month.  That can be attributed mostly to two splurges: 1) Guided fly-fishing trip on the Bighorn River, and 2) Overnight stay in the Granite Park Chalet (a backcountry lodging option in Glacier National Park).  Half of the cost of the fly-fishing trip was in June.  The Granite Park Chalet was just a last-minute opportunity that came up due to a cancellation and we just couldn't pass it up.

For Food we were about $40 over budget in total for July.  We were $80 over on Dining Out (hiking a lot and eating in Glacier National Park) and $40 under on Groceries.

In July, we were a little over budget (about $25) on Fuel.  We were about $70 over on Diesel and $45 under on Gas.  We drove the truck 1,377 miles and 1,150 of that was while towing.  We drove the Jeep 1,947 miles with 791 of that being in local exploring. 

We were $500 over budget on Truck Maintenance due the aforementioned tailgate replacement.  We were $200 under on RV Maintenance, but we're building up that fund for new tires next month.

We were $100 over in our Miscellaneous category.  That was mostly due to purchasing bear spray for our hiking in Glacier National Park and replacing my hiking poles which I bent while in Rocky Mountain National Park last month.

It certainly wasn't a good month budget-wise.  We had almost gotten back to even for half the year.  July set us back quite a bit.  Half the problem was just an accident - they happen - and the other half was for fun and we have no regrets about that.  :)  We still have five months to try to get us back in line with the budget.

 

August

August was a terrible month for us.  I spent most of the first week in a hospital in North Dakota with a pulmonary embolism and pneumonia.  That didn't hurt us expense-wise in August but it sure did later in the year.  In addition, our RV refrigerator went out, Linda lost a crown off a tooth, and tree limbs fell on our Jeep Liberty during a storm on the last day of the month - the insurance company totaled it.

Although the medical expenses didn't hit until October, we were still $2,267 over budget for August (details below). 

We were $287 under budget on Campground Fees for the month.  We were fortunate to get some free stays and cheap stays during August, and the last week or so of the month, we stayed on a private farm where we didn't have to pay until September.

We did nothing for Entertainment for August, so we were $150 under budget there.

For Food we were about $234 over in Dining Out and $11 under budget on Groceries.  The Dining Out included several family meals and a big night out with my parents and their friends that we paid for.  We could just have easily placed those family/friends meals in Entertainment, so the net between the two wasn't that bad.

In August, we were about $92 over on Diesel and $1.50 under on Gas.  We drove the truck 1,668 miles and 1,567 of that was while towing - a HUGE mileage month for us.  We drove the Jeep 2,361 miles with 786 of that being in local exploring.

We were $350 over on Medical & Dental Expenses mostly due to annual dental appointments with X-rays and the replacement of Linda's crown in North Dakota.  We self-insure for dental. 

We were $1,700 over budget on RV Maintenance.  However, $1,560 was for tire replacement which I had budgeted for in equal installments each month.  The rest was due to fixing our RV refrigerator.  Though most of the refrigerator repair was covered by our extended warranty, we paid a little out of pocket due to our timing needs.  Even with those expenses, we're only $180 over for the month and it should be right in line by the end of the year.

We were $212 over in our Miscellaneous category.  That was mostly due to purchasing a heavy-duty satellite TV tripod and purchasing a spare propane cylinder that we can use for our grill and in case our main cylinders ever run out.

It certainly wasn't a good month budget-wise, nor was it very good from a personal standpoint.  The bad news is, the expenses are only going to get worse in September and October due to the rough August.

 

September

We were $4,091 over budget in September.  About $3,000 of that was to purchase and fix up a 2005 Jeep Liberty to replace our 2003 Jeep Liberty that got crushed by falling tree limbs on the last day of August.  Another $900 was because we paid in more than we budgeted for quarterly estimated taxes.  Our business income has far exceeded our expectations this year, and we decided we needed to increase our tax payment.

We were $34 over budget on Campground Fees for the month.  But we paid for about a week of August in September.  Also, we had a few days near the end of the month where we did seminars for a rally and our camping was paid for by the rally.

We did nothing for Entertainment for September, so we were $150 under budget there.

For Food we were about $201 over in Dining Out and $103 under budget on Groceries.  The Dining Out once again included a few family meals and some dinners out with friends while we were visiting Louisville.  And again, we could just have easily placed those family/friends meals in Entertainment.

In September, we were about $22 over on Diesel and $93 under on Gas.  We drove the truck 504 miles and 398 of that was while towing, a more normal month for us.  We drove the Jeep 1,100 miles with 700 of that being in local exploring, visiting, and appointments while in Louisville.

We were $177 over on Clothing & Hair Care.  Most of that was due to Linda's splurge at her favorite salon in Louisville whenever we're back there.  I should have remembered to budget for that.  :) 

Our biggest expense for the month was on the "new to us" 2005 Jeep Liberty.  We were over budget $2,368 for September on Jeep Maintenance.  Our insurance covered the purchase of the Jeep, but we made some repairs, did a tune-up, and replaced tires, struts, and shocks.  We were going to replace the tires on the other Jeep anyway, so it looks worse than it really was.

We were $851 over in our Miscellaneous category.  Most of that was due to sales tax and licensing/titling fees on the "new" Jeep.  However, we also sent some large birthday gifts, and Linda bought an area rug for the RV.

It certainly wasn't a good month for the budget.  We're just fortunate to be able to cover these large unexpected expenses.

 

 

Well, our Third Quarter was just terrible from a budget/expense standpoint - $7,274 over budget, putting us at about $7,500 over budget for the year.  About $3,000 of that related to having to replace our Jeep, $1,200 was increased tax payments over our original estimates, and another $600 was to repair our truck tailgate.  But we're still plugging along.  :) 




Fourth Quarter Details


Fourth Quarter Notes

October

October was the worst month yet, but after my health issues and hospital stay early this summer, we knew it was going to be that way.  We were $8,149 over budget in October.  Actually, we were $8,461 over budget in Medical Expenses, which means we were $312 under budget in all the other categories.

We were $139 over budget on Campground Fees for the month.  But at an average of $19 a night, we can't complain too much.

We $45 under budget for Entertainment.

For Food we were about $62 under budget in Dining Out and $37 over budget on Groceries.

In October, we were about $44 under budget on Diesel and $58 over on Gas.  We drove the truck 612 miles and 594 of that was while towing.  We drove the Jeep 1,739 miles, but 804 of that was a roundtrip from Franklin, NC to Louisville for a doctor appointment and a surprise birthday party for a dear friend. 

All of our bills for my health scare in August and follow-up doctor appointments and lab work came due in October after they were all scrutinized by our health insurance company.  The total bills were over $13,000, but our insurance company reduced most of them.  Still, we have a $10,000 deductible, so we had to pay most items out-of-pocket.  Fortunately, we have funded our Health Savings Account over the years to cover that deductible and a bit more.  By paying our entire hospital bill at once, we got a pretty hefty discount.  In the end, we paid about $8,500 in medical bills and were $8,460 over budget for the month in the Medical Expenses category.

It's hard to look at our year-to-date budget deficit and not be depressed, but at least we had made proper preparations, we're still debt free, and we're doing well fiscally and physically as of now.

 

November

November, like October was a bad month from an expense-to-budget standpoint.  However, unlike October, the big expenses in November were more of the voluntary variety because we had the funds and decided to do some RV upgrades earlier than planned.  We were $5,177 over budget in November.  Our total unbudgeted RV upgrades were about $5,200 (mostly in the RV Maintenance category but some of it in Miscellaneous), so we were pretty much dead on in all the other categories combined.

We were $142 under budget on Campground Fees for the month.  We spent half of the month "moochdocking" on property of friends and family where we parked for free while visiting. 

We were $14 over budget for Entertainment.

For Food we were about $61 over budget in Dining Out but $155 under budget on Groceries.

In November, we were about $78 under budget on Diesel and $49 under on Gas.  We drove the truck 914 miles and 879 of that was while towing.  We drove the Jeep 1,319 with 440 of that being in local exploring/traveling.

We were $310 over budget in Clothing & Hair Care due to some wardrobe upgrades for our December cruise.  However, some of those items were returned and the credits won't hit until December.

We were $460 over in our Miscellaneous category, but that's due to un-budgeted RV bedroom re-decorating.

The biggest over budget category for the month was in RV Maintenance - $4,844 over.  We bought four new AGM batteries ($1,372) and had a spray-on roof done as 1) preventative maintenance, and 2) an experiment to see if it is something we would recommend to our readers.  We paid $2,700 for the roof, significantly under the retail price due to some negotiation for ad space and the offering of discounts to our readers.  In addition, we had our broken RV ladder (broken since 2006) replaced, we replaced our broken TV antenna, and we had service work done on our furnace, air conditioner, water heater, and propane system.  Again, the big ticket items were planned for next year, but we did them early because we had such a good year with our businesses.

  

December

Whew.  After a rough second half of the year, we finally had a month in which we were under budget.  We were only $171 under budget, but we'll take it.

We were $90 over budget on Campground Fees for the month, but that was still only $17 a night.  

We were $134 under budget for Entertainment in December.

For Food we were $25 under budget in Dining Out and $44 under budget on Groceries.

I don't know what I was thinking when I did the Fuel budgets in December.  The budget was way too low.  We were $226 over budget on Diesel and $48 over on Gas.  We drove the truck 313 miles and 282 of that was while towing.  We drove the Jeep 555 with 273 of that being in local exploring/traveling.

We were under budget in Clothing & Hair Care.  We actually had negative expense due to credits for items returned in November.

We were $43 under budget in our Miscellaneous category, a rare thing for this year.

All in all, it was just a good month on the expense side for December.



It's hard to look at our huge budget deficit for 2013 and not be depressed, but at least we had made proper preparations, we're still debt free, and we're doing well fiscally and physically as of now.