In the midst of a dramatic lifestyle change things don’t stay stationary for long. First there was the huge shift in perspective when I decided that yes, I really wanted to go full-timing. Then came the planning and research stage where many of my free hours were devoted to learning more about RVing and what I needed to do to get there. After a short pause the chaotic process of buying the truck and RV itself turned my world upside down again. Less than two months after that I was simultaneously moving out of and cleaning up my old apartment while moving into and stocking up the trailer.
The first couple of weeks I lived in the Casita there was a lot of running to Walmart to buy things I needed, learning how the RV worked, and figuring out how to organize things to best utilize the space. Now I’m in a bit of a lull again, but it’s already coming to a close.
I keep close tabs on my earnings and expenditures per month and this will be the first month since moving into the trailer that my spending should reflect what living in the trailer truly costs. Last month I was still buying a lot of things that I needed initially to make RV living work but weren’t ongoing costs.
Anyway, it looks like my total costs from 5/15 to 6/14 (yeah, my financial month starts in the middle of the actual month) are going to be $958.49, and because I worked Memorial Day, I earned $1090.30 this month, which is higher than average. Hooray, for the first time since I quit my higher paying job in January I managed to save money! Behold the money-saving power of RV living. The problem is, if I added the extra $175 for Julie’s half of the rent, I didn’t.
I’ve been averaging about 36 hours a week for the past six weeks, which counts as full-time even though I’m a part-time employee. A full-time position opened up at work which I’m pretty sure I would get if I applied. The thing is, I wouldn’t be getting many more hours than I already am (true full-timers seem to average 38 hours a week) and there wouldn’t be a pay raise. Basically, it doesn’t matter if I work full-time or not, once Julie moves out in August I’m either going to be holding steady with savings, or losing slightly, neither of which are good options.
Julie said before we moved into the Casita that if things didn’t work out and I needed to move back in with her temporarily after August that I could, but that’s not really a good option either. Her one bedroom apartment is going to be maybe $600 a month we’re guessing, and if I pay half of that to earn my keep it’s still only $50 less than staying here in the RV park. Factor in that I’d have to pay to store the Casita again and it makes savings negligible. Add in the work required to move all my stuff out of the RV into the apartment, then back into the RV at some later date and that makes it an even less attractive option – there may not even be enough room since the apartment is going to be much smaller than our last one.
So, it’s looking more and more like I won’t be hanging around Bluffton long after August. If I had been saving more, I might have stayed longer to save enough to be able to travel this winter without having to find more work. I would have liked to hit Quartzsite and try desert boondocking.
As it stands it looks like I’ll start searching for seasonal and/or temp jobs for the fall soon. On the bright side, my home has wheels and I have the whole of the country as my job pool. I’m sure I can find someplace fun and interesting to stay at and explore during the time I’m not working.
The only other place I’d like to be this year is home for the holidays, I haven’t spent Christmas with my family since moving to SC and I told them I’d do my best to make it up there this year. That opens up a whole different set of problems though since most places that hire seasonally in the fall are retail related and need you most during the holidays, plus the Casita would not survive Wisconsin winters so I’d need to find someplace warm (i.e. down south) to stash it for a bit and fly up there.
For anyone who’s curious, this month’s cost of living is the second cheapest since I started keeping track in October of 2010. I’ve covered in a previous post how much it took to get started RVing, but I thought I’d break it down here what the monthly cost differences are. Many things like food, insurance, and gas (remember I’m not traveling yet but living stationary in my RV) are the same. What changed for me is what follows:
The Old Apartment
- Rent: $417.50
- Internet: $31
- Water: $17
- Electric: $32+
- Laundry: none
- Total: $497.50
RV (Sharing costs with Julie)
- Rent: $175
- Internet: $0 (could be 35)
- Water: none
- Electric: none
- Laundry $24
- Total: $199 (saving $298.50 a month until August)
RV (Living on my own)
- Rent: $350.00
- Internet: $0 (could be 70)
- Water: none
- Electric: none
- Laundry: $24
- Total: $374 (saving $123.50 a month over apartment)
And that’s my updated plans so far. As always, I don’t quite know where I’m going but I’m confident that I’ll figure it out as I go along. What do your plans look like for the second half of the year?
The pictures for this post were taken Tuesday evening when the sun was setting through the rain. The first picture is looking at the sunset, and this one below is the full rainbow visible when facing away from the sunset. Had I still been living in the apartment I never would have seen this, I love how much closer to the natural world I feel living in the RV.