Thanks for following along for this last of a three-part blog series regarding budgeting for our future in an RV. I began the series with a few background comments of importance. The second post was regarding our fifth wheel and dually one-ton truck capital budget which includes the vehicle purchases, taxes and basic furnishings. This final edition is our draft copy of what we expect to be our first-year travel expenses. We plan to move around more the first year than subsequent years which, judging by following other blogs, seems to be the norm. The bottom line number is $48,156 which includes income taxes.
I have a second-year budget outlined in our financial plan but I’m not ready to post that yet. If you read back far enough you will find a few relevant details. One final note before I share the numbers. Estimating healthcare costs is a highly debatable topic. I’ve tried to cover my research in prior posts. However, we all know when you are providing your own insurance (pre-Medicare) the availability and costs must be looked at on an annual basis. It was interesting to find the 2018 federal subsidized healthcare plans (Affordable Care Act) reduced the premiums for many compared to the prior year. We will see what happens in 2019. And I’ve given up on finding a plan that covers you outside of network. Although I’ve heard you can get nationwide coverage out of Florida. Let me leave healthcare with that said. Go to the Wheelingit Blog for more of your own research. Last week I read an article regarding RV Health.com which is worth looking over at some point.
The numbers for our anticipated first-year expenses.
Explanations by line item
Taxes and Insurance – Non Medical
- Includes Life Insurance at $126 a month.
- To replace an income if one passes away
- If I take a 50% survivor benefit on retirement accounts that would equal $101. But does not match my income or hers for non-retirement income. Hence, I’d rather secure the income with life insurance for 10 years and rely on retirement savings should one of us pass away after then.
- RV – $87 based off another’s cost
- Truck – $137 based off another’s cost
- Roadside Assistance – $150 annually or $12.50 a month.
- Maybe an extended warranty on truck and trailer – but would come out of initial RV/truck capital budget and not this expense budget.
- Federal income tax on earned income only (no state because of domicile)
- Have to keep combined income under $32,000 to avoid paying tax on at least a portion of social security.
- We may save additional because we will be workamping/volunteering at times for a spot but less in the first year. And we will most likely take advantage of weekly rates in great places during the season or monthly spots for winter at the least. We plan to keep overnight stops at the least price as possible and we are equipping our trailer for at least some boondocking.
- Medical using high deductible plan per Health Sherpa recommended plan is $312. Livingston TX zip is 77351. So far, this is our first selection for domicle.
- Karen will have Medicare by August, I’m paying for my own and am basing this off the current Affordable Care Plans
- Doctor/Dentist/Eye – Using Howards from RV Dreams at $75
- Maybe a supplemental plan for hospitalization. I can get it at my current job and the price stays the same when we leave (about ½ off the open market price) at $64 a month. Or we may use this portion for telemed plan or local doctor who does not except insurance.
- Prescription drugs are included in the Affordable Care plan but may change after she gets Medicare D.
- Doctor’s visits are coming out of our Health Savings Account which I’ve been building up to include the extra $1,000 you can put in the year you turn age 55.
- Diesel (truck) – For now just using what I’m seeing in budgets with same travel style and using truck for daily driver. At $500 a month that’s maybe 21,600 miles a year.
- Gas (generator) – guessing with moderate boondocking eight gallons a month
- For tolls and such based off another’s budget.
- Using our current costs plus 10% because will be buying in unfamiliar stores and in markets that could cost more than here in Missouri.
- Just using Howard’s budget at RV Dreams of $150
- Just using an overall average from a few blogs I follow and your suggested plus another 15% because it year one.
- We buy most clothing at thrift shops now.
RV/Truck Repair and Maintenance
- Will be less the first year. For now, just figure $30 for truck and $100 for RV
- Electricity and Propane
Phone/Cable/Internet and TV
- Current part-time job will pick up the cost of my phone and work data plan.
- We enjoy television, so a portable satellite is in order. Figured our current plan at $50
- Karen’s phone $60
- Data Plan (excludes what work provides) $50 for 8 gigs
- Good Sam’s – $23
- Escapees – $40
- Because of mail service
- Passport America – $37
- Haircuts- Based on our current costs
- Laundry – Averaged based on other’s budgets.
Big Ticket Items
- I’m not including anything that it takes to get started in new trailer or equipping truck with is part of our startup capital cost to purchase the truck and trailer.
- This could be a catch-all fund or just used to buy cool stuff we find others traveling with.
- I’ll provide our own for personal mail. In addition, and not part of this budget, is a part-time employer will pay for business expense as necessary such as scanning, higher annual. $215 to get started or $18 month
- Plus shipping which I’ll guess twice a month at $12
- Include storage unit $45. At this time we anticipate keeping a small storage unit for items we don’t want to depart with. Also to store property we are not sure if we will want to take on the road or not.
- Gifts and all other $50
I suspect there will be changes to this draft budget with input from others. I also included a little inflation as the budget is for the year beginning 2020. The healthcare portion is the scariest part of the budget and we have not yet decided on all our options. This budget exceeds our estimated annual income, so we are saving up for the difference. Karen and I have agreed to maintain at least four months of expenses in our travel account. I’ve decided to keep most of our income sources private but am happy to discuss them offline.
I’ve definitely not liked this part of the planning process. We are good at not having to keep a budget while living in our sticks and bricks house. And we seem to be good at just living within our means.