Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Roadrunner Financials - January 2010

It has been a long while since I posted our expenses.  I am almost caught up now and I have tweaked the format a little.  We have been on the road as full-timers for eight months.  
I can see pretty clearly where I underestimated our costs for a lot of items and where we did well.   

I hope this provides some utility and spurs some discussion among our readers out there.  I would love to get some input and/or questions on how you all hold your expenses down.

During the the first few days of January 2010, we were in Redlands, California seeing Bob and Soo, our good friends from years ago.  Then we stayed at the USMC Base at Twentynine Palms, California.  We wanted to see what it was like out there and got to meet up with new friends Rollie and Gina.  Next we had a great experience 'boondocking' (aka dry camping, dry docking-- camping with out any hookups) in Quartzsite, Arizona for over two weeks with a group of fellow Tiffin owners.  

After Quartzsite, we moved on to Yuma, Arizona where we experienced casino RV camping for the first time and visited the border town of Algodones, Mexico.   The last 10 days or so we have been here at Agave Gulch FAMCAMP at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona.

With that little bit of background for the month, here are our expenses for January 2010:
Good news are areas where we are under budget- 
Diesel fuel - $575 under budget.  We stayed at didn't travel very far this month.
Campground - $400 below for the month with our $25/night budget.
Medical & dental - $97 under what we planned on.

Biggest expenses for the month - 
Two big areas I did not have a budget for when I started this:  Computer accessories and Eating Out.  Those two 'unplanned' areas totaled almost $285.  

Large 'One Time Cost Item(s)' - 
The $1828 accounted for two items:  
- $1065 for work on the coach (installation of SeeLevel Gauges, additional light under the kitchen cupboard to match the one over the sink, and ceiling fan in the bedroom).
- $763 to purchase a Blue Ox 'Patriot' tow vehicle auxiliary braking system.  We should have gotten this when we purchased the Allegro Bus and Honda CRV and started out full-timing in May 2009 .  Many states including California require this.

Monthly average since we started tracking in June 2009 - 
Bottom line is that we are AVERAGING OVER $1124 each month from June 2009 through January 2010.  Yikes!  
My goal continues to be learning how to live at $2500 - $3000 per month.  I will have to increase my budget for food and eating out and I think the large one time costs will be a lot less.  

Plus --- this lifestyle takes a lot of discipline and we are 'growing' into it.  We are learning we love to boondock and we will be volunteering more the next few months.  That should bring those averages down some.  

Hope some of this has been helpful.  I will be completing Aug - Dec in the next few days and will make them available to you.

We love hearing from you and appreciate you viewing this edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles.  


  1. Thank You Randy
    Keeping up with all those numbers and making them a useful too is a lot of work. This is valuble intelligence for full timer want to be, types trying to get a realistic grip on the costs involved. Keep having fun.

  2. Thanks for sharing your expense info. We track every penny as well and continue to be over-budget each month. We are new full-timers too and it is helpful to compare your budget to ours. We've been told to expect this over-budget situation at least during the first 6 months. It is a challenge to reduce our expenses and we are still hoping for improvements. We will do whatever it takes to continue this great lifestyle though. You can check out our budget/expense report on our blog at if you are interested.

  3. Always interesting to compare figures and I see that you are along the same lines we are experiencing as well. We started full timing around the same time and have also seen larger, one time expenses pop up as we go. Agree that things should tone down after 6-8 months. Kind of like buying a new house.

    See you guys in Red Bay in April most likely.

    Safe travels.

  4. Randy, the budget info is very helpful. We put our house on the market this month and plan a full-time lifestyle once it sells so budget info is very useful. A couple of suggestions. First, is car maintenance included with the car expense? If so should it be seperated similar to the RV maintenance? Second, it seems common to exclude depreciation. While depreciation may be listed below the bottom line of living expenses is seems to me to be a real cost, especially if the car or RV are to be replaced sometime in the future. Even if they are not to be replaced, depreciation is a real cost. Unlike houses that generally appreciate, cars and RVs depreciate and while may not need to be included in a monthly operating budget are a real cost to the fulltime lifestyle.

    Again, Pam and I appreciate your hard work and sharing your experiences. Sharing your information will make our transition easier.


  5. Randy,
    Hi! Great data. Are you also tracking a calendar of days with friends vs on your own? It thought this might effect your costs. I've been running my numbers for regular house living in Arlington, VA. Ironically we are not far off but I'd say you're having way more fun.

    I tried speed skating over the weekend with the Potomac Speed Skating club and volunteered at the Virginia State Open judo tourney. The kids are so much fun to watch.

    Miss seeing you around work.

    All the best to you and Pam.