Well, this is awkward. We prepared the 2018 budget below without having any plans to sell our fifth wheel and truck and buy a motorhome. But that's what we, in fact, did in April 2018.
With that change, we also changed domiciles from Kentucky to Florida, changed our health insurance plan, and canceled our satellite TV. We had no idea we were going to do any of that when the year started.
So, read through the information below this budget including the notes, and then you can check out our Revised 2018 Budget that takes into account the above changes.
To see how everything turned out, go to our 2018 Expenses page.
Above you will find our personal RVing budget for 2018. It is based on past years' experiences and our anticipated travels for the year. Remember, we keep track of every single penny and we have zero debt.
We have set our 2018 Budget at $43,594, taking into account some higher costs and more importantly some higher income projections for the year.
As we have mentioned many times, we believe that $3,000 per month ($36,000 per year) on average is a really solid budget for a moderate full-timing lifestyle for those that don't stay in one place for longer than a month at a time and keep a close eye on expenses AND have no debt. If you have RV payments, you will have to add that to your calculations.
We all full-time differently, we all have different financial means, and we all spend differently, but we hope our budget at least provides a good starting point.
Here are a few additional notes regarding the budget.
We have significant internet connection costs (business expenses) which are not included in the budget above because they are higher than most RVers would need. For most people a range of $50 - $100 per month should suffice.
Also, though we have a fifth wheel, we also have an extra vehicle - a Jeep Liberty. The additional costs of the Jeep run us about $1,300 per year for maintenance, insurance, and property taxes, so those with towables and no extra vehicle won't have those expenses. Of course, the Jeep also means we have additional fuel costs; however, those costs are offset by not using the less fuel-efficient diesel truck for local errands and exploring.
One last note. I debated about whether or not to include our Federal Estimated Taxes in the above budget. I opted to take it out. Otherwise, our budget would have been way high based on our last few years of income, and I just didn't want to give the wrong impression of basic RVing living expenses.
For those that have higher incomes and tax-related expenses, those that like to stay on the move, and those with RV or other debt payments, it can be much more expensive than our budget.
For those that have lower incomes, those that like to workamp, those that like to boondock and avoid campground fees, and those that simply like to stay put for a few months at a time, it can be much less expensive.
Our experience has been that workamping saves us about $1,000 per month with reductions in expenses primarily in the campground fees, fuel, food, entertainment, and miscellaneous categories. So, if we planned to workamp six months a year, our budget would be in the $2,800 per month ($34,000 per year) or less range. With some sacrifice, we could get that down around the $2,000 per month range, but anything less than that would be really tight for us.
Additional Note for 2018: This budget includes the anticipated purchase of an RV mattress in January.
Also, we'll do little traveling January through April as we will be flying to seven RV shows and holding three of our own rallies. After April, we will be traveling the rest of the year concentrating on the state of Washington.
Here is the Revised 2018 Budget.
We zeroed out the Diesel category from April on since we sold our diesel truck and our 2015 Winnebago Aspect 27K Class C runs on gas. That reduced the original budget by $2,100.
Then we added a category for Motorhome Gas. That increased the original budget by $3,400.
With our out-of-the-blue decision to buy the motorhome, we also decided to change domicile from Kentucky to Florida. And, therefore, we had to change health insurance. Fortunately, with a little less income earned in 2017 than the prior few years, we were able to qualify for a subsidy under the Affordable Care Act, and our insurance premiums were $0. That decreased the original budget by $3,000.
We replaced the RV Insurance budget amount for the fifth wheel with the higher amount for the motorhome. This increased the original budget by $557.
We removed the Truck Insurance reducing the original budget by $1,000.
In addition to the motorhome, we purchased a 2003 Jeep Liberty to tow. Our new domicile, Florida, doesn't have personal property taxes, so I created two new categories for annual registration fees: Registration Fees - Jeep and Registration Fees - Motorhome. The first year fees are rather expensive, and we budgeted $500 for the Jeep and $600 for the motorhome.
With the purchase of the used motorhome, we added an RV Extended Warranty category. That increased the original budget by $4,964.
And, finally, we made the decision to cancel our satellite TV in April. I had been threatening to do it for years due to the annual rate increases, and this was a good time to actually cancel. That reduced the original budget by $1,280.
Those changes resulted in a net increase to the budget of $2,641 taking it up to $46,235 for the year.
P.S. I left the Truck Maintenance budget alone for the year because we had to make some repairs before we sold it, and the total was right around the annual expense budget.