As you all know, we keep track of all of our expenses. At the end of every month, I input all the expenses from our credit cards, bank accounts and cash purchases into a spreadsheet. As discussed in my book, we do this not so much to restrict our expenses but to see how our overall spending trends line up with our expectations.
In our first three years of retirement we never spent more than $30,000 per year. That was with a lot of travelling but not as much as we were planning to do in this current year. Today, I’ll summarize what our first three months of full-time RV living looked like. We obviously got rid of a lot of recurring expenses by trading in our 4-bedroom house for a 140 square foot motorhome. If we were to live in an RV without travelling, our expenses would go down drastically. But with our ambitious plans to visit Western Canada as well as a lot of cool spots in Ontario and Quebec we racked up a lot of related expenses.
A few notes to consider:
- These expenses are not accounting for the depreciation that might have occurred on the RV because of the amount of kilometres we have travelled so far. However, since we purchased the motorhome in the off-season at a good price, it likely is still worth more today than the total price we paid for it (including what we put into it).
- The travel expenses are almost entirely campground fees ranging from $30-60/night. Luckily, we have been able to do a lot of free camping as well. Other expenses in this category include any touristy things such as the gondolas in Jaspers or the hot springs in Kootenay. I expect this expense to stay pretty consistent for the rest of the year. The expenses will go down for a few months while we visit with family and friends a lot for the rest of the summer. But then it will go up when we start travelling in the US. Campground fees tend to be lower in many states and we plan on taking advantage of weekly or even monthly rates.
- Our average monthly fuel cost has been very high but we expect this to go down. First, the fuel prices are lower in the US. And second, we plan on travelling slower once we head south which will require less gas per month.
- The “All Other” category encompasses a lot of categories and it's not exactly how we normally track our personal expenses. But for the sake of not sharing too much personal details as well as to simplify this summary, I decided to lump many together. Overall, all our expenses are accounted for.
In summary, I’m pretty happy with the expenses. Although we are on track to spend more annually than we would have traditionally, it won’t be by that much. The extra $10,000-$15,000 we will spend in our year living in an RV will have contributed to an amazing adventure of visiting so much of North America. Our increase in expenses is also slightly offset by the money which was traditionally in our house but is now earning investment income.