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Old 11-17-2016, 05:12 AM   #1
Goin 4 Broke
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Budgeting for full timing?

Has anyone "budgeted" for full timing? Figured out daily or monthly or annual estimates for campsite, maintenance, food, entertainment? I understand there will be significant variables based upon individual situations, but I am trying to see how many more years I need to save in order to go full time. Thoughts?
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Old 11-17-2016, 05:30 AM   #2
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We fulltimed for six years. Too many variables for a reliable answer. Do you use COE, State Parks, fancy RV resorts, do you stay for weeks or months at a time for better site rates, do you intend to do any workcamping? In our six years, we wintered in Florida for five months, traveled the other seven, stayed at nice parks normally, ate out a lot, and always visited the local area attractions. Montana/Truck was paid for, we averaged $3k a month for all other expenses. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less.
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Old 11-17-2016, 06:03 AM   #3
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For us it was a No brainer to join a Membership only Park System WITH Coast to Coast,RPI, ROD added on that allows you to use other membership only Parks around the Country prices vary from a couple grand to 8 grand but after it is paid off you stay for free or just a few a bucks a night at thousands of Member only Parks and in the off peak months(Oct-May) we basically live at one Resort for next to nothing our only cost is Dish Sattilite 60 bucks a month and a little propane sometimes because electricity is free so the membership pays for itself real quick ,Ours was paid off years ago now we just pay yearly dues of 300 bucks a year and that is it ,it beats spending 30-50 bucks a Day Every day...Do the math and all the Campgrounds are nice and quiet and safe it has worked great for us in 6 years of fulltimming
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Old 11-17-2016, 06:15 AM   #4
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The best way to look at it is to split your costs into fixed costs and variable costs. The Fixed costs are your known items such as cell/internet/satellite, insurance costs (vehicle, trailer, health, life, etc), plates and property taxes, storage or S&B costs, mailing service, truck/trailer loans, etc. The second is the variable costs which is the category of costs mentioned above tied to what your camping lifestyle will be. What type of camping, how long at locations, how much travel/fuel costs, etc then the food/eating out, entertainment, etc costs. You can then adjust as needed for work-camping or volunteering. If you are moving often and/or travelling greater distances, ~$100/day average has been a number I have seen a few times, if you boondock a lot and stay longer and don't eat out and such, that number can drop substantially. If you google there are many bloggers out there who show their costs that you can use to start with.
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Old 11-17-2016, 06:23 AM   #5
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As others wrote, costs will vary depending on YOUR lifestyle. MOC members Howard and Linda Payne are full-timers who share their budgets and expenses (rare information). Take a look at http://www.rv-dreams.com/ for more information.
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Old 11-17-2016, 06:33 AM   #6
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Our expenses were always close to our income. We decided to deposit Social Security check into savings and live off our other pension checks. That's worked for us for over 6 years. We are luckier than many
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Old 11-17-2016, 07:32 AM   #7
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You can also cut expenses significantly if you're willing to volunteer for some park system. We volunteered for Fish and Wildlife every winter for quite some time. Great spots with all utilities free and only had to give them three days a week.
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Old 11-17-2016, 12:27 PM   #8
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We volunteer for the state parks so the only expenses are daily living since the site and electricity are furnished.
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Old 11-17-2016, 12:46 PM   #9
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Do a Google search for Life on The Open Road. The lady who does this blog keeps track of every cent she spent for a year on the road. You might be able to get an idea of what you might spend.
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Old 11-18-2016, 06:51 AM   #10
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Thanks all for the great info and links.
Jeff and Kristi
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Old 02-21-2017, 10:44 PM   #11
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We have been full time since June 2015 and live on our income on a budget. We budget for future expenses such as tires, insurance, license fees, etc, as well as the usual monthly expenses.
We also volunteer with the SOWER Ministry working at church camps, group homes , rescue missions, etc, for three weeks/month in exchange for a place to park with full hook ups. This allows us to serve the Lord while seeing various parts of this fantastic country, and save a little money along the way.
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Old 03-10-2017, 12:27 PM   #12
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It costs us $1000 month for our site in florida where we spend six months to enjoy warmer weather. Don't have a house so no property tax, etc. Do pay the bank for truck loan and rv loan. Only one bank that covers full time rv living, bank of the west...they go by a couple of names for rv loans. Cost of diesel for truck and gas for honda crv go up for the six months we travel, but we are not traveling every day for those six months...so life as normal cost wise. We don't eat out a lot, but do enjoy stellar restaurants when we are in an area and other times only eat at the trailer for a couple of weeks at a time. We grill a lot, only have tv with over the air reception, do a movie on occasion. Internet and cell phones via verizon. Cost can vary depending upon how you wish to live. If you try to treat it as full time vacation, then you will tend to spend way more dollars.
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:13 AM   #13
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We are close to full timers (longtimers) in response to a post on another forum we looked at our February expense for 2017 and it was 3742. 00 no budgeting there we spend what we spend. That number will vary month to month depending on were we travel. We are on our Florida lot right now and the expense is a bit lower than on the road travel. Folks full time on quite a bit less and quite a bit more.It is within our financial capabilities to do what we do and we are in the "enjoy the fruits of our labor' phase of life.
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Old 03-19-2017, 06:11 AM   #14
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Jeff & Kristi, when we were putting the house on the market and preparing to go full time, I went over our budget dozens of times. I ended up being a little high on our expenses for being full time and was under estimating our savings each month by not having a house.

Small things that cost money that are associated with owning a home add up each month. It is easy to project savings when considering not making a house payment, insurance payment, or having utilities bills. However, those trips to Lowe's or a hardware store to get light bulbs, or other "fix it" things around the house, having the lawn mower serviced, adding that new piece of furniture, on and on.....

We only had about 10% of our retired income left over for savings each month on average while owning our home. In the first full year of full timing we averaged close to 30% left over, and the second year was slightly more left for savings each month.

Everyone's situation is different. One of the biggest expenses when full time is fuel and CG fees. We found a nice CG on a river in Illinois that we could camp for 2 or 3 months in the summer and it ran $325 ($13 a night) per month including all utilities. While traveling in other states we averaged closer to $40 a night. Then for 3 months or so in the winter we had a spot in Florida that was over $5,000 for 3 months. So instead of traveling for 6 months while full time we could have stayed in one place a little longer, plus for our winter stay in Florida we could have stayed further inland or north and cut that winter rate in half. So it is easy to control your expenses IMHO while full timing.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:19 AM   #15
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$4000 a month.....without medical insurance if you are driving around the country.
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