Below you will find our 2014 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.
2014 Overall Expenses With RV Renovations & More
In the report above, you can see that we spent $66,627 for the year on a budget of $47,520 (which included an amount for RV renovations/upgrades). So, we were $19,100 over budget broken down as follows.
RV & Truck Renovations
As you can see, we budgeted $9,200 for 2014 for RV Upgrades & Renovations, but I separated that out of our normal living expenses budget at the top because the renovations/upgrades weren't a necessity, but rather a luxury for us based on our expectations of a good financial year. Well, we exceeded that budget by quite a bit.
In June, we spent $8,000 on interior renovations ($6,675 on complete replacement of our flooring, $700 on a new kitchen sink and fixtures, $160 on reworking of valances, and $165 on a backsplash around our range).
That wasn't my plan. I thought we'd spend about $3,000 on flooring and $500 on a new sink. However, Linda chose some more expensive materials (luxury vinyl, carpet, and carpet padding), and we had a much more professional installation done that I thought we were going to do.
We decided to let our friends at RVs For Less in Knoxville do the install and they removed our kitchen peninsula, our bed, our dresser, and more to do a complete, finished installation. Of course, that took more hours of labor, but the result is phenomenal.
We paid $6,163 for full body paint in August. I got quotes ranging from $9,500 - $15,000, but we were able to trade some advertising and publicity for a sizeable discount. That was well worth it - our fifth wheel looks brand new.
Then, in September, we started having issues with our truck bed. It was cracking and the walls were separating due to, I believe, the constant bouncing of the truck on the heavy suspension combined with the damage done when I dropped the trailer on the bed rails way back in 2006. We considered just putting a new bed on it but, ultimately, we made a deal to have a new aluminum hauler bed put on the truck. That was $10,562, but we can put the new bed on a new truck if we ever decide to or need to go that route.
RV & Truck Renovations/Upgrades Summary
So, we spent $24,750 on our truck and fifth wheel for the year. That's $15,500 more than we budgeted for, but we negotiated some good deals and our set-up is almost ten years old. We hope the money spent will give us another ten years of joy out of our full-timing home (photo below).
Sometimes I include a budget for unexpected expenses and sometimes I don't, although they usually come up. For 2014, you can see that I didn't budget for them, and we had about $4,100 in large expenses I hadn't planned for.
First of all, in January, we decided to remove our Datastorm internet satellite dish. We were starting to have issues with it, but we hadn't planned on removing it in 2014. Well, it became time.
With the loss of the Datastorm, we also lost our rooftop satellite TV as the dish served to capture both an internet signal and a TV signal (through separate receiver attachments). So, to continue the luxury of an automatic rooftop satellite dish for TV, we purchased and installed a Winegard TRAV'LER multi-satellite antenna at an installed cost of around $2,200.
Then, in the last two months of the year, we had several unplanned expenses related to my mother's illness and death. There were unexpected airline flights, and various out-of-pocket costs we took on so my Dad and the family wouldn't have to. That totaled another $1,900.
So, we were about $5,000 over budget on our planned RV renovations, another $10,000 on the new truck bed (unplanned), and about $4,100 over on additional large, unexpected expenses. We were just fortunate to have a very good income year, and we were able to cover everything without debt or reducing savings.
First Quarter Details
First Quarter Notes
We're extremely pleased with January results at $700 under budget.
We were dead on in Campground Fees, we were under in Food, under in Fuel, and under in just about every other category. We had $0 Entertainment spending, so that helped a lot.
We only towed 55 miles in January and I budgeted $0 for Diesel because I knew we'd be good on that for the month. We drove the Jeep a total of 402 miles which included local exploring and trips to the Tampa airport to fly out to RV shows.
We were over in Insurance, because Linda went ahead and paid our umbrella policy even though it wasn't due until March (when I have it budgeted). And we were over in Clothing because we bought some new, nicer-than-we-usually-buy shoes to better support our feet in our 2014 goal to exercise more.
So, the starting numbers for the year were pretty good.
We did great in February coming in $1,000 under budget.
We were $240 under budget on Campground Fees. That was due to several days of boondocking before and during our 2014 Boondocking Rally. Also, a few days of the month were paid for at the end of January and those costs were included there.
We were $275 under budget in Entertainment as we've budgeted high for that this year, and this was a low month. I'm sure we'll use that cushion later in the year.
We were almost $200 under budget on food for the month. I increased our Groceries and Dining Out budgets by $35 a month this year based on last year's results. But so far, we're well under the $485 monthly budget this year.
We were $75 under budget on Diesel for the truck, but $66 over budget on Gas for the Jeep. We didn't do many miles in February and I had budgeted low.
We only towed 172 miles in February and drove the truck only another 33 miles in local exploring. We drove the Jeep 657 miles which included 486 miles in local exploring and trips to the Tampa airport to fly out to RV shows.
We were $110 over budget in Medical - Prescriptions & Pharmacy due to us both being sick, purchasing a cane for Linda's sporadic knee issues, and stocking up on some vitamins.
We were about $200 under budget in all other categories.
We were $390 over budget in March. We should have been $700 under budget, but we had some unexpected Jeep repairs to make. Since we put quite a bit of money into our Jeep last year, I didn't budget for any large repairs for 2014. So, our almost $1,100 trip to the shop offset the great job we did in all of our other budget categories.
We were $290 under budget on Campground Fees. That was due to five nights of storing our RV when we visited family at The Villages, a few more nights in Linda's sister's driveway in Jacksonville, and nine nights while working the FMCA Rally in which our camping costs were covered by RVSEF. Our average nightly cost, for the nights we paid, was just under $24 (about a $10 nightly average for the whole month).
We were $134 under budget in Entertainment as we've budgeted high for that this year, and this was another low month - a couple of rounds of golf and some fishing licenses.
We were almost $70 over budget on food for the month, but we had built up quite a cushion the first couple of months of the year. Also, we dined out a couple more times than usual when we were with family.
We were $90 over budget on Diesel for the truck, and $60 over budget on Gas for the Jeep. We drove around Florida a little more in March than originally planned.
We towed 665 miles in March and drove the truck another 18 miles for fuel-ups. We drove the Jeep 931 miles which included 268 miles in local exploring.
Again, the big issue for the month was the Jeep repair expense of almost $1,100. We did great overall in all the other categories.
For the first quarter, we were $1,350 under budget on our "normal living expenses". Not bad.
Note: In January, we ditched our rooftop satellite internet dish and replaced it with a Winegard TRAV'LER automatic satellite TV dish at a cost of $2,200. That was an unplanned expense not included in the "normal expenses" budget. It certainly wasn't a "necessary" expense, but rather a luxury that we wanted.
Second Quarter Details
Second Quarter Notes
We did great in April. We were $625 under budget.
We came in $25 under budget on Campground Fees averaging just over $19 per night.
I budgeted high for Entertainment and we weren't even close, coming in almost $200 under budget.
We were $120 over budget on Groceries, but we had no Dining Out expenses in April. So, we were a net $5 under budget for food.
I knew we weren't going to be doing a whole lot of traveling in April, so I budgeted low on fuel.
We were $100 under budget on Diesel as we only had one fill up for the month and only towed 359 miles.
We drove the Jeep a total of 695 miles, 359 miles from campground to campground and 336 miles in local exploring and errands. We were $6 under budget on Gas.
April is a big expense month with over $1,000 due for Jeep and RV insurance. Fortunately, there were no surprises there, and we were $40 under budget between the two.
We were about $94 over budget in our Miscellaneous category due to the replacement of our outdoor loungers.
All in all, we were very pleased with the April results and it was a good start to the Second Quarter.
We had a very good May. We were $300 under budget.
That was mostly due to not having any Campground Fees for the month. The first part of May was the end of our Spring Rally and the RV park comped our site. The rest of May we had a few days at "RVs For Less" and then they covered our camping while we were staying in their loaner RV during the replacement of our flooring.
We were $164 over our Entertainment budget due to a spur of the moment decision to hike to the top of Mt. LeConte and spend the night at the LeConte Lodge. We also did a little zip-lining as well. Fortunately, we were way under in that category for the first four months of the year.
We were $19 over budget on Dining Out, but we were $37 under budget on Groceries in May. So, we were a net $18 under budget for food.
I knew we weren't going to be doing a whole lot of traveling in May, so I budgeted low on fuel.
We were $80 under budget on Diesel as we only had one fill up for the month and only towed 66 miles.
We drove the Jeep a total of 976 miles, with almost all of that being during our exploration of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and making a run into North Carolina to check out a future rally location. We were $108 over budget on Gas.
We were about $315 over budget in our Miscellaneous category due to splurging a little on our mothers for Mother's Day, getting some hiking gear, replacing a charger for our battery-powered tools, and a few other little items.
But we did well in all the other categories which offset the few over budget situations we had. We're very pleased with our results through May as we were $90 under budget in total for the first five months.
Well, in June we came in $1,060 over budget. While our rig was in the shop for a couple of weeks having new flooring installed, we took the opportunity to have several nagging repairs and maintenance done. The labor costs added up and we came in $1,200 over budget on RV Maintenance.
We had only $215 in Campground Fees for June. We didn't have campground fees for the first half of the month while our RV was having flooring installed. During that time we stayed in a loaner fifth wheel where the camping costs were covered. The second half of the month, we stayed on a private horse farm in Louisville where we pay only $15 per night.
We were $172 under budget on Entertainment. We've been saving much of our Entertainment budget for our month in Canada in July and August.
We were $40 under budget on Groceries, but we were $360 over budget on Dining Out. We spent a lot of time with family in Kentucky in June and picked up several tabs when we went out.
I knew we weren't going to be doing a whole lot of traveling in June, so I budgeted low on Diesel. We towed 346 miles, but had no fuel purchases and were $200 under budget.
We drove the Jeep a total of 1,085 miles, with 740 of that being in local travel (almost all of it in Louisville during hometown visits and appointments). Still we were $16 under budget on Gas.
We were about $182 over budget in our Miscellaneous category. That was mostly due to buying some new LaFuma outdoor recliners (we returned the Camco loungers we got in a prior month). We also bought a new vacuum cleaner for the rig.
All in all, it came down to the RV Maintenance as all the other categories pretty much offset.
So, we were about $140 over budget for the second quarter.
But for the first half of the year, we were $1,200 under budget.
Note: In June, I had budgeted $3,200 for new flooring and a new kitchen sink for our RV (not in our "normal living expenses" budget, but in our RV upgrades budget). Well, we ended up having a more expensive, professional flooring process and chose more expensive materials. We spent $8,000, $4,800 more than I budgeted.
Third Quarter Details
Third Quarter Notes
July was a funky month. We spent the first half in Louisville visiting friends and family and staying put pretty much. But then we made a rush trip to Knoxville in order to have awnings and slide toppers installed by RVs For Less. That cost us some extra fuel we hadn't budgeted for, but it was okay because RVs For Less installed the awnings at no cost to us in exchange for publicity for them and Carefree of Colorado.
From there, we rushed to Bremen, Indiana to drop our rig off for full body paint and Mike's Custom Painting. That process would take a month, and we loaded up the Jeep and headed to Canada for those four weeks.
With only half a month of camping, we came in $328 under budget on Campground Fees.
We were $420 over budget in Entertainment. Originally, I hadn't budgeted much for lodging in Canada because I knew we had a free place to stay. But we decided to do some touring on Ontario on our way and we had $555 in hotel costs.
We were $120 over budget on Groceries, and $180 over on Dining Out. We ate out quite a bit while we toured Ontario and we found that groceries were much higher there than in the U.S.
We were $210 over budget on Diesel mostly due to the extra 500 miles of roundtrip back-tracking to Knoxville rather than going straight to Indiana from Louisville. We towed 723 miles and had 71 miles of local driving for a total of 794 miles.
We were $220 over budget on Gas due to some extra mileage to Tennessee and our Canada trip. We drove the Jeep a total of 1,380 miles, 723 miles from campground to campground and 657 miles in local exploring and errands. Those miles were in the U.S. until July 22. Then we drove another 900 miles on our Canada trip.
We were about $100 over budget in our Clothing category due to Linda finding a cute outfit on our Canada trip. :)
Yeah, it was a funky month and we ended up $727 over budget for July. But we had a great time doing some touristy stuff in Canada.
August was also a funky month. We spent three weeks in Canada while our fifth wheel was being painted. Most of our time in Canada during August was spent at the cottage of friends, but I played a lot of golf, and we spent a lot of money on food.
With only a partial month of camping, we came in $230 under budget on Campground Fees.
We were $300 over budget in Entertainment. Originally, I hadn't budgeted much for lodging in Canada because I knew we had a free place to stay. But we decided to do some touring in Algonquin Provincial Park and we had $350 in hotel costs in addition to playing a lot of golf.
We were $470 over budget on Groceries and Dining Out. We ate out quite a bit while we toured Ontario and we found that groceries were much higher there than in the U.S.
We only drove 43 miles with the Truck in August and didn't take on any fuel. Zero Diesel costs on a zero budget.
We were $140 over budget on Gas. We drove 1,600 miles in August with the Jeep, and all but 150 of that was while we were in Canada.
We were about $100 over budget in our Clothing category due to Linda finding some more clothes on our Canada trip. :)
We were $360 over budget in our Miscellaneous category partially due to some equipment we picked up while hiking and paddling in Canada plus we made a large donation to the ALS Association.
And we had another large Jeep repair. One of our power windows broke, and it was over $500 to fix it. Sheesh.
Yeah, it was our second funky month in a row, and we were only in a campground for a little over a week after we returned from Canada and picked up our rig. We ended up $1,440 over budget for the month.
September was a great budget month as we came in $1,050 under budget.
It was a Rally month for us so all of our Campground fees were covered. We held our Fall Rally and we weighed RVs at two other rallies in Goshen, IN so we paid a monthly rate of $550 but got all of that back for business purposes.
We didn't have much time for Entertainment, and came in $290 under budget.
We were $110 under budget on Groceries and Dining Out.
We only drove 77 miles with the Truck in September and were $61 under budget.
We were $10 over budget on Gas. We drove the Jeep 625 miles around northern Indiana in September.
We were $40 over budget in our Clothing & Hair Care category due to Linda having a pricey trip to a salon.
We were $165 over budget in our Miscellaneous category due to some extra birthday gifts and the purchase of a new air compressor.
So, September brought us back after two big over-budget months in July and August. We ended the third quarter $1,100 over budget for the three months.
Through the first nine months of 2014, amazingly, we were $100 under budget.
Fourth Quarter Details
Fourth Quarter Notes
The first couple of weeks of October, we were working rallies - weighing RVs - in Goshen, IN. The next two weeks we spent in Louisville visiting friends and family, running errands, and going to medical appointments. The last few days of the month we headed south.
We came in $218 under budget on Campground Fees.
We were $290 under budget in Entertainment. Again, we were very busy and didn't have much time to spend "fun" money.
We were $32 under budget on Groceries, and $250 over on Dining Out. We always eat out a lot when in Louisville, and we had one expensive fine dining experience in Indiana.
We were $141 under budget on Diesel. We towed 550 miles and had 193 miles of local driving for a total of 743 miles.
We were $150 over budget on Gas. We drove the Jeep a total of 1,455 miles, 550 miles from campground to campground and 905 miles in local exploring and errands.
We were about $524 over budget in our Clothing category due to purchasing a bunch of winter exercise clothes.
We were $1,485 over budget for October in Medical expenses and Prescriptions. I failed to budget enough for eye exams, glasses, and some preventative procedures we had done while in Louisville.
We were also $291 over budget on Jeep repairs. Our 2005 high mileage Jeep, has needed a lot more work that we budgeted for.
We ended up $2,044 over budget in October. Not a good month for the budget.
In late November, my mother's lung cancer returned, and we had to fly from Florida to Louisville as her health deteriorated quickly. We left our rig in Linda's sister's driveway while we were gone.
We came in $222 under budget on Campground Fees.
We were $117 under budget in Entertainment.
We were $87 under budget on Groceries, and $18 over on Dining Out.
We were $113 under budget on Diesel. We towed 666 miles and had 27 miles of local driving for a total of 693 miles.
We were $120 over budget on Gas. We drove the Jeep a total of 1,705 miles, 666 miles from campground to campground and 1,039 miles in local exploring, errands, and an impromptu trip back to Louisville from Cumberland Gap, TN to help with a V.A. benefit for my Dad.
We ended up $654 under budget in November.
December was a rough, sad month for us, as we spent the month in Louisville while our RV was parked on some friends' property in Florida. We were staying with my father and holding vigil at the hospital while my mother was passing away from cancer. She passed December 28.
So, it was another strange month to end a strange year of RVing.
We had no camping fees and even got a refund for a prepaid camping reservation we had to cancel. So, we were $742 under budget.
We came in $237 under budget on Entertainment.
We were $300 under budget on Groceries and Dining Out.
The truck went 175 miles as our friends moved it for us from a relative's driveway to their property. We were $275 under budget on Diesel.
We were $85 under budget on Gas (175 miles).
We were $40 over budget in our Clothing & Hair Care category due to Linda having a pricey trip to a salon.
We were $170 over budget in our Miscellaneous category due to some out-of-pocket costs for my mother's memorial service.
Overall, we were $1,815 under budget, but did no RVing.
For the third quarter, we came in $423 under budget.
For the year, we came in $524 under budget on our "normal living expenses". But it was far from a "normal" year.
Note: In December, we had numerous unexpected expenses of my mother's illness and death. We had airline flights, and other large administrative expenses totaling around $1,900. For the year, we had spent about $19,000 more than we had planned for large, unexpected expenses as reflected in the second budget report shown at the top of this page.