2016 Actual Expenses

Below you will find our 2016 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 2016 Budget.



2016 Year-End Summary

We ended 2016 $4,122 over our $39,869 budget. We had some big expenses that I failed to budget and some others related to family that we just wanted and needed to incur. Below is the overview of the year.

We were pretty much right on budget for January and February, but then we decided to assist relatives with a move, and we incurred some expenses on their behalf in March that put us well over budget (by about $1,700).  But we were glad to help and they do such good work for their community, they deserve it.

We were able to cut back on spending enough in April and May to almost get back to even.

But in June, we spent almost $1,500 on RV Maintenance that I hadn't budgeted for (replaced slide seals, fixed a propane/generator issue, and some minor items).  Also, we installed a new Husky 26K fifth wheel hitch with a welded, permanent lube plate - $1,100 installed (for what it's worth, we love the hitch).  And finally, we did a 90,000-mile service on the truck - that came to almost $1,400.   Those items left us $3,600 over budget for June and $3,700 year-to-date at that point.

In July, we were $2,400 over budget mostly due to paying for a $1,700 hospital bill for an emergency room visit back in April.  We were also $400 over budget on camping fees due to higher nightly rates in New York and Vermont, but we were still well under budget in Camping Fees for the year at that point. 

In August, we were $190 under budget, and in September we were working a volunteer job where our campsite was free and our expenses were low.  We came in $1,000 under budget for September, and if not for a spur-of-the-moment trip to see my ailing father, we would have been $1,800 under budget for the month.  So, through September, we were $4,900 over budget for the year.  

My father passed away in October, and we had unbudgeted travel expenses going from Maine to Kentucky and back. After the funeral, we returned to Maine to finish out our volunteer job, then we hustled back to Kentucky the first week of November to finish up some administrative duties before quickly driving south to Florida for the winter.

We parked in Linda's sister's front yard for the rest of November and December.  For almost three weeks in December, we took a trip to South America and visited the Galapagos Islands (but we don't include international travel as part of our full-timing expenses - they are reported elsewhere).  We ended the year making up about $800 of our budget deficit in the last three months.



Normal Living Expenses Summary

Through December, we ended the year $4,122 over budget.  ($43,991 actual vs. $39,869 budget).  

We were $9,900 over budget in four categories - Medical, Miscellaneous, RV Maintenance, and Truck Maintenance - and under budget overall everywhere else.

Early in the year, Linda started having problems with her voice.  So, we set appointments to meet with an Ear, Nose & Throat doctor.  That continued with a session with a pathologist and ultimately a couple of CT scans were done just to rule out anything really serious.

Fortunately, there was nothing serious, and with a little medication, her voice got back to normal over time.  It cost us about $1,350 since we have a high deductible insurance plan and were responsible for payment (after insurance review and negotiation).

In addition, I started to have some serious nosebleeds in late March and early April.  In April after a particularly bad Saturday night, I went to the emergency room on Sunday. The problem was fixed, but the cost for the simple procedure was outrageous.  After insurance review, we still had to pay $1,700.

So, with some dental expenses (which we self-insure) in November, in our Medical category (Doctors, Dentists, Eyecare) alone we were $2,849 over budget

In the Miscellaneous category, we were $4,629 over budget.

About $1,800 of that was due to making a decision to help out Linda's sister and her husband move.  The old house needed some help, so we provided a new water heater, had their septic tank pumped, and had a clean-out installed (those last two benefit us for future stays).  That was in March. 

In September, my 94-year-old father had a bad spell and I made a spur-of-the-moment trip including a flight, hotels, etc. totaling about $1,000.  In October, he got worse and we got last minute flights to Louisville to be with him just before he passed.  That was another $1,500 that wasn't planned, rounding out most of our Miscellaneous category overage.


In June, we had all of our slide-out seals replaced on our 11-year old fifth wheel.  We also had a propane/generator problem fixed as well as some other minor items.  So, we were $1,380 over budget in RV Maintenance since I hadn't budgeted enough in that category.

Also in June, we had a 90,000-mile service done on our truck and installed a new fifth wheel hitch.  I hadn't anticipated making a hitch change, so I hadn't budgeted for that.  At the end of December, we were $1,051 over budget in Truck Maintenance (although the hitch could have been put in some other category).

We were $2,174 under budget on Campground Fees for the year, including almost three months of "Moochdocking" (parking for free on property of friends and family) and nine weeks of free camping with our late Fall volunteer job.  We also did a little free boondocking as well and had some "comped" camping for our Rallies.  With the free camping mixed in, we averaged about $14 per night.  For the paid nights in campgrounds or RV parks, we averaged a little under $26 per night.

We were $670 over budget on Clothing & Hair Care.  In the first quarter, Linda had some expensive salon experiences before she cut her hair short.  In the third quarter, I bought an expensive pair of hiking boots, and we both got some nicer outdoor gear.  And in the fourth quarter, I got a new pair of running shoes and we stocked up on some clothes for 2017.

We were $1,928 under budget on Entertainment.  We had a windfall in January when I won a poker tournament, so I recorded it as a negative expense in this category to use it later in the year.  I played a lot of golf and tennis in January & February, but we didn't do much else in the Entertainment area that cost money in 2016.

For the year, we were $290 over budget on Groceries and Dining Out.  Much of that was due to purchasing supplies to provide some "trail magic" to long-distance hikers on the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire and the Long Trail in Vermont.  Also, we found groceries quite a bit more expensive in the small towns we visited in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine during the summer.

We were $1,030 under budget on Diesel and $544 under budget on Gas for the Jeep through December.  Low fuel prices, short trips in the first five months of the year, and workamping in September and October helped contribute to being so far under budget.

We were pretty close to budget or under budget just about everywhere else. 

We certainly were not thrilled with being over $4,000 over budget for 2016, but we had another great income year, and we were really happy that we were able to help out and be with family in times of need.



First Quarter Details



First Quarter Notes

January

We were $200 under budget in January.

We were slightly under our $600 per month budget for Campground Fees.  We were on a monthly rate at Wilderness RV Resort in Silver Springs, Florida.

In our Entertainment category, we had a windfall.  I played in a poker tournament and won $450, which offset all the golf I played and paid for our truck batteries mentioned later.

We were $200 under budget on Groceries and Dining Out.

We were $35 under budget in Diesel having filled it up early in the month and then not driving it at all in January.

We were $90 under budget on Gas and drove the Jeep 995 miles in January with much of that being airport roundtrips for us to fly to RV shows we were working.

We were $350 over budget on Medical expenses with Linda having to go to an Ear, Nose, & Throat specialist and requiring medication I hadn't budgeted for.

We were $200 over budget on RV Maintenance because we splurged to have it hand washed and waxed.

We were $210 over budget on Truck Maintenance as we had to replace two batteries.  

Considering the Medical expenses and the truck batteries, we were pleased with the month.


February

We were $70 under budget in February. 

We were $50 over budget on Campground Fees.  That was due to a refundable deposit included with our monthly rate at Wilderness RV Resort in Silver Springs, Florida.  

We were $100 over budget in Clothing & Hair Care, but it will balance out over the year.

We were $35 over budget in Entertainment expenses for the month.  I played a lot of golf and had some tennis court fees as well.  

We were about $130 under budget on food for the month. 

We were $100 under budget on Diesel for the truck, driving only 30 miles and not filling up.

We were $120 under budget on Gas for the Jeep, driving 498 miles including a roundtrip to the nearest airport to fly to another RV show.

We were $100 over budget on Medical expenses as Linda's voice problem carried over into February and we had another doctor's office visit and prescription.

We were $210 over budget in Miscellaneous due Linda's major purchase of Mary Kay from her niece.  

We had the oil and filters changed in the Jeep and were a little over budget in Jeep Maintenance, but we had no expenses for RV or Truck Maintenance in February, so we were under there.

The overs and unders balanced out, and we were quite satisfied with February.


March

We were $1,700 over budget in March.  March is a big expense month for us every year as we have insurance due on the truck, personal property taxes due on the truck and fifth wheel, and our umbrella insurance premium is also due.

I budgeted for all of those, but this month we also had some big expenses I hadn't budgeted for.  Linda had an $800 CT scan just to make sure there wasn't anything serious affecting her vocal chords, and we spent some money to help relatives with a move. 

We were $145 under budget on Campground Fees, as we stayed in Linda's sister's yard for the last week and a half of the month.

We were $88 over budget on Clothing & Hair.  Linda splurged on a hair cut and hair care products.

We were $180 under budget in Entertainment as didn't do any fun stuff that cost money this month.  

We were $200 over budget on food for the month.  We ate out a lot more than usual, and we were over on our Grocery budget mostly because of timing differences with purchases right at the beginning and end of the month that could have gone in other months.

We were $260 under budget on Diesel and Gas.  Much lower prices helped, plus we didn't travel as far as we expected.

We towed 388 miles in March and drove the truck another 64 local miles while Linda was using the Jeep.  We drove the Jeep 912 miles which included 529 miles in local errands and exploring.

We were $810 over budget in Medical expenses due to Linda's CT scan.  Again, we have a high deductible plan, so we use our Health Savings Account to pay for all medical expenses until we reach our deductible.

We were $1,560 over in the Miscellaneous category.  We decided to help out my sister-in-law and brother-in-law with their move and we made a couple of large housewarming gifts including a new water heater, pumping out their septic tank, and having a clean-out installed.  We also paid for some services done while they were at work, and we'll get reimbursed for those items next month. 


So, for the first quarter, we were $1,450 over budget on our "normal living expenses".   But we should reduce that quite a bit in April as we'll have three weeks of free camping and we'll get some reimbursement for some expenses we fronted.


Second Quarter Details



Second Quarter Notes

April

We were almost $1,200 under budget in April.

We were $386 under budget for Campground Fees in April spending only $214.  We had three weeks of free camping at Linda's sister's new home in Jacksonville while we helped them move.

In our Entertainment category, we were $175 under budget.  We just didn't do much entertainment-wise that cost money in April. 

We were $90 under budget on Groceries and Dining Out.

We were $94 under budget in Diesel.  We drove 611 miles, 572 of which were while towing from Jacksonville, Florida through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and on to Sevierville, Tennessee for our Spring Rally.

We were $94 under budget on Gas and drove the Jeep 804 miles in April.

We were $45 over budget on Medical expenses with Linda having some residual bills coming in from her early year voice and throat issues.  I also had my own nosebleed issues and most of those expenses will be paid in future months.

We were $165 under budget on vehicle Maintenance for the RV, Truck, and Jeep.

We had a great month on the expenses side to get us back close to even for the year.  But I have a feeling May may not be so good considering we need to have some work done on the RV before heading to the northeast. 


May

We were almost $165 under budget in May.

We were $90 over budget for Campground Fees in May.  We had a couple of stays in more expensive RV parks - one in Louisville while visiting family and one in Elkhart, Indiana while visiting some of our business partners and waiting to get some service done.  

In our Entertainment category, we were $166 under budget. Like April, we just didn't do much entertainment-wise that cost money in May. 

We were $52 under budget on Groceries and Dining Out.

We were $95 under budget in Diesel.  We drove 588 miles, 579 of which were while towing from Sevierville, Tennessee up through Louisville, KY, to Indianapolis, and on up to Elkhart, Indiana for RV service and to visit some of our friends in the RV industry.

We were $15 under budget on Gas and drove the Jeep 1,400 miles in May.  We always drive a lot when visiting our old hometown of Louisville, and Linda drove an extra 350 miles visiting and helping out some friends in Indianapolis.

We were $58 under budget on Medical and Prescription expenses.

We were $471 over budget on RV Maintenance.  We messed up our shocks when we fell off a concrete RV site pad and sank in the soft ground on the side.  So we replaced all the shocks on the fifth wheel and then added a heavier duty rubber spring in our MORryde pin box.

We were $171 under budget on Jeep and Truck Maintenance.

May was a good month.  But we didn't get all of our RV Maintenance done and had to carry some over into June.


June

We were $3,600 over budget in June due to unbudgeted RV and Truck Maintenance as described below.

We were $232 under budget for Campground Fees in June. Our first few nights of June were paid for in May, and the last week of June was at a free boondocking spot in the Finger Lakes area of New York.    

In our Entertainment category, we were $107 under budget. Like April & May, we just didn't do much entertainment-wise that cost money in June. 

We were $198 over budget on Dining Out due mostly to a splurge on our 30-year anniversary dinner.

We were $6 under budget on Groceries.

We were $4 over budget in Diesel.  We drove 819 miles, 686 of which were while towing from Elkhart, Indiana, through Ohio, Pennsylvania, and up to the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.

We were $25 over budget on Gas and drove the Jeep 1,697 miles in June.  A little over 1,000 miles of that was while exploring the areas where we stayed.  

We were $38 under budget on Medical and Prescription expenses.

We were $193 over budget in our Miscellaneous category due to Linda flying to Jacksonville to visit her sister and attend a baby shower.

We were $1,395 over budget on RV Maintenance.  A couple of our slideout seals had tears in them, and we decided to go ahead and replace all the seals on our four slideouts.  In addition to that, we had to repair an issue with our propane system and a few other minor issues I hadn't budgeted for. 

We were $2,322 over budget on Truck Maintenance. Though not really truck maintenance, we had a new Husky 26K fifth wheel hitch installed for about $1,100 and included it in this category. And we had a bumper-to-bumper 90,000-mile service performed on the truck for a cost of almost $1,400.  I hadn't budgeted or planned for either of these expenses. 

June was a rough month for the budget, but we were due for a thorough truck service.  It wasn't absolutely necessary to replace our eleven year old hitch, but we're sure glad we did. The old Husky hitch was good, but the new one is much better.  


Third Quarter Details



Third Quarter Notes

July

We were almost $2,411 over budget in July mostly due to a medical bill for a hospital emergency room visit back in April.

We were $394 over budget for Campground Fees in July.  RV parks and campgrounds in the northeast are more expensive than we are used to, and our $20/night budget wasn't enough. The first week of the month we boondocked in New York for free, but we averaged $41/night the rest of the month.  

We were $134 over budget on Clothing & Hair Care as I bought an expensive pair of hiking boots for backpacking.

In our Entertainment category, we were $23 under budget.  

We were $283 over budget on Groceries and Dining Out. A good deal of that was for extra groceries and food that we gave away as "trail magic" to long-distance hikers on the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire and the Long Trail in Vermont.

We were $22 under budget in Diesel.  We drove 691 miles, 659 of which were while towing from the Finger Lakes of New York to the Adirondacks and through Vermont.

We were $68 over budget on Gas and drove the Jeep 2,305 miles in July, 1,643 while exploring.

We were $1,675 over budget on Medical expenses. I had some serious nosebleeds in late March and early April.  I should have gone to a doctor, but after a rough Saturday night we ended up at an emergency room on Sunday.  The bill (after insurance adjustment) was $1,752. It was a fairly simple procedure and a very expensive lesson. 

We were $100 over in our Miscellaneous category due to the purchases at a Vermont winery.

We were $280 under budget on vehicle Maintenance for the RV, Truck, and Jeep.

So, July wasn't a very good month for the budget.  Hopefully, we'll make up some of that during our volunteer job which starts in late August and goes through the end of October.


August

We were almost $188 under budget in August.

We were $105 over budget for Campground Fees in August.  Our nightly campground rates in the northeast were higher for the first three weeks of the month ($34/night).  However, we arrived at our volunteer job where we had free camping for the last week or so of the month.

We were $169 over budget on Clothing & Hair Care. We purchased some rain gear and some cold weather outer wear for our volunteer job. 

In our Entertainment category, we were $174 under budget. We just didn't do much entertainment-wise that cost money in August. 

We were $284 over budget on Groceries and Dining Out.  We were $59 under on Dining Out but $343 over on Groceries. Some of the overage on Groceries was due to stocking up for our volunteer job 45 minutes from the nearest large grocery, but other than that I have no idea why our grocery expenses were so high.  

We were $164 under budget in Diesel.  We drove 381 miles, 378 of which were while towing from northern Vermont through New Hampshire and on to the Schoodic Peninsula for our volunteer job at Acadia National Park.

We were $33 under budget on Gas and drove the Jeep 1,310 miles in August, 932 of which were exploring.  

We were $63 under budget on Medical and Prescription expenses.

We were $280 under budget on vehicle Maintenance for the RV, Truck, and Jeep.

August was a good month for the budget, but we still hope September and October are much better.


September

We were $1,000 under budget in September.

We were $600 under budget for Campground Fees in September.  The budget was set before we accepted our volunteer job and free campsite for the month.

In our Entertainment category, we were $189 under budget. Like several months this year, we just didn't do much entertainment-wise that cost money in September. 

We were $205 under budget on Dining Out and Groceries. We bought most of our groceries for the month at the end of August.

We were $161 under budget in Diesel.  I drove the truck only 123 miles for the month.

We were $95 under budget on Gas and drove the Jeep 366 miles in September. 

We were $65 under budget on Medical and Prescription expenses.

We were $756 over budget in our Miscellaneous category due to a spur of the moment trip to go see my ailing father. Last minute flight and hotel costs were a little over $800.

We were $280 under budget on vehicle Maintenance for the RV, Truck, and Jeep.

September was a great month for the budget but could have been better if not for my father's sudden decline in health. We always save a lot of money when we volunteer or workamp. Of course when the budget was set for the year at the end of 2015, we hadn't accepted the position yet.  So, we knew we'd do well in September and again in October.  


Fourth Quarter Details



Fourth Quarter Notes

October

We were $307 under budget in October. Unfortunately, this was also the month my father passed away. We had to cover last minute flights and other expenses to get to him in the days before he died.  Certainly, we weren't worried about the budget during that tough time.

We were workamping at a volunteer job in Maine through October.  I had prepared the 2016 budget before we accepted the position, so I hadn't planned for the lower costs during workamping for the month.  Had we not had the emergency travel, we would have been about $1,700 under budget.

We were $600 under budget for Campground Fees in October. We had a free campsite and, as previously mentioned, the budget reflected our usual $600 for the month. 

In our Entertainment category, we were $189 under budget. We spent most of our time doing our volunteer job - counting and identifying migrating sea birds from a bluff overlooking the ocean in Acadia National Park.  

We were $27 under budget on Groceries and Dining Out. 

We were $233 under budget in Diesel.  We didn't drive the truck at all in October.  Again, we had a budget for the month, but hadn't planned on workamping until after the budget was prepared.

We were $132 under budget on Gas and drove the Jeep 396 miles in October running areas and exploring northeast Maine.

We were $1,388 over budget in our Miscellaneous category.  That was all due to last-minute airfare and other travel expenses to get to my father in his last days.   

We were $280 under budget on vehicle Maintenance for the RV, Truck, and Jeep.

October was a rough month personally with the loss of my Dad, but at 94 he had a good life and we were glad to be able to be there with him in the end. 


November

We were $796 over budget in November.  That was partly due to faster travel and more miles than we usually do in a month. We finished our volunteer job in Maine on November 1 and drove quickly to Kentucky where we had to take care of some administrative business for my Dad's estate.  After ten days there, we made a beeline to Florida.  The 2,000 miles was by far the most we had driven in any month since we've been on the road and we were over budget on fuel costs.  In addition, we had some self-insured medical expenses while in Louisville.

We were $218 under budget for Campground Fees in November. We had high camping fees for our ten days in Kentucky, but we boondocked for free during several overnight stops, and parked for free at the end of the month in Florida. 

We were $241 over budget on Clothing & Hair Care. I bought some new running shoes and a couple of belts.  Linda purchased some hair products to last most of 2017. 

In our Entertainment category, we were $127 under budget. We just didn't do much entertainment-wise that cost money in November. 

We were $318 over budget on Dining Out and $5 over on Groceries.  We ate at restaurants a lot during our month of travel and had one big dinner out in Louisville with some friends. 

We were $278 over budget in Diesel.  We drove 2,119 miles, 2,116 of which were while towing from northern Maine to Louisville, Kentucky and then to Jacksonville, Florida. 

We were $126 over budget on Gas and drove the Jeep 3,054 miles in November, 938 of which were running errands and exploring.  

We were $333 over budget on Medical and Prescription expenses, most of which was due to dental cleaning and X-rays and Linda's replacement of prescription sunglasses.  We self-insure those expenses.

We were $214 under budget on vehicle Maintenance for the RV, Truck, and Jeep.

November was a little rough on the budget.  


December

We were $1,301 under budget in December.

We were $600 under budget for Campground Fees in December. We parked in Linda's sister's yard for the month.  

We were $144 over budget on our Clothing & Hair Care category. Linda did some online shopping the last couple of days of the year, and got some good deals on clothes for 2017.

In our Entertainment category, we were $181 under budget. Like several months this year, we just didn't do much entertainment-wise that cost money in December. 

We were $264 under budget on Dining Out and Groceries. We enjoyed several meals with the family and spent three weeks out of the country in December.

We were $233 under budget in Diesel.  We didn't drive the truck at all in December.

We were $99 under budget on Gas and drove the Jeep 919 miles in December.  Actually, our brother-in-law drove it about half the miles while we were out of the country.  He then bought it on the last day of the month. 

We were $55 under budget on Medical and Prescription expenses.

We were $435 over budget in our Miscellaneous category due to Linda splurging on a couple of manicure/pedicure appointments, a dinner out for the family, and Christmas gifts.

We were $273 under budget on vehicle Maintenance for the RV, Truck, and Jeep.

December was a great month budget-wise for our basic, every day RV living expenses.  But it must be noted that we were out of the country for almost three weeks.  The expenses of that international travel are posted elsewhere.


Although I never like being over budget, the sting is lessened knowing we had another very good income year and about half of the $4,100 over budget figure for 2016 was due to air travel to be with my elderly father in the weeks and days before he passed.