Living full time in our motor home allows us to be Ready To Go. . .on to the next adventure!

Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco Skyline as seen from the Marin Headlands - California

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Full Time RV Living - How to Make the Budget Stretch

As a full time RV'er there is little you can do to change the mileage you get when towing your rig. Regardless of what we have done, our RV Hauler gets about 8 mpg when towing, and about 12 mpg empty. Knowing these facts have allowed us to budget accordingly. I have calculated that at $3 per gallon for diesel, the cost per mile while towing is about 50 cents, and about 25 cents per mile when not towing.

Being a numbers cruncher, I know that for our three month summer trip, we can go about 3600 miles without causing hiccups in the budget. What we need to decide at this point is, if fuel prices go up, do we want to cut the number of miles we travel, do we want to cut other expenses, and move those funds into the fuel budget, or do we want to tap into savings?

Tapping into savings is not normally my first solution. I normally problem solve by cutting the budget elsewhere, such as the food and entertainment budget.

We are very easily entertained, so cutting the budget there is simple, and relatively painless. When we are in travel mode, we may do one big tourist attraction a week. We quickly learned that being a tourist full time is exhausting, so rather than go, go, go, we find we like to stay in an area, and stretch out the pleasures.

The food budget is also fairly easy to cut back on. Like most full time RV'ers, when we are out and about playing tourist is when we normally choose to eat out at a restaurant. This is normally a midday meal, when most restaurants just happen to offer a lunch menu with smaller portions, and smaller prices.