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This is a summary of five years of expenses for our RV life. Notes about each of the categories to explain any details are below this chart. The only expenses that are excluded are income taxes, savings, and RV or automobile purchase, as these items are too individual to be of any help to anyone. As you study our expenses, keep in mind our lifestyle is one of volunteering as we travel and thus we do not move constantly. Our mileage on the motorhome tends to be about 6,000 per year, but the mileage on our toad is averaging 20,000+ per year, as we try to visit all points of interest within about a two hour drive of each place we volunteer. Our volunteer service provides us with a free site for the time we are in each location. It is also worthy of note that a significant part of the increase in our expenses beginning with April 2004 is due to a significant increase in income due to reaching social security age.

Expense Category 4/15/05 - 4/14/06 4/15/06 - 4/14/07 4/15/07 - 4/14/08 4/15/08 - 4/14/09 4/15/09 - 4/14/10
Auto Expense (total) 2277 2933 3549 2778 1865
- - - - - gasoline 1246----- 1627----- 2300----- 1948----- 1656-----
- - - - - maintenance 965----- 1251----- 1192----- 772----- 150-----
- - - - - registration 65----- 55----- 57----- 57----- 57-----
Clothing 351 341 939 474 624
Food - - - - - - - - - - - (1) 4781 4730 5794 5639 6745
Gifts - - - - - - - - - - - (2) 364 796 1030 858 923
Health care- - - - - - - (3) 5446 5446 6128 7102 8735
Household Expense (4) 684 684 1467 2497 2932
Insurance 5551 7092 5571 3988 2507
- - - - life & long term care 3885----- 3885----- 3885----- (A) 2199----- (A) 480-----
- - - - - automobile (5) 886----- 886----- 839----- 828----- 919-----
- - - - - motorhome (5) 837----- 742----- 852----- 961----- 1109-----
Leisure - - - - - - - - - (6) 2867 5497 2607 3579 4786
Motorhome 4040 4273 4611 6301 3424
- - - - - fuel 964----- 2211---- 1814----- 1833----- 901-----
- - - - - maintenance 2056----- 2056----- 2505----- 2786----- 1013-----
- - - - - propane 112----- 870----- 93----- 177----- 161-----
- - - - - registration 131----- 131----- 131----- 161----- 133-----
- - - - - other 888----- 995----- 69----- 1345----- 980-----
Park Rent - - - - - - - (7) (46 nights) 985 (59 nights)1141 (31 nights) 1056 (27 nights) 581 ( 41 nights)713
Pet Care - - - - - -----> 324 327 441 567 406
Cell Phone -------- (8) 804 847 1118 990 1116
Cash & Misc. - - - - -(9) 1978 1085 1220 1893 663
- - - - - Totals

yr. 6- -$29,705

yr. 7- -$35,018

yr. 8- -$35,531

yr. 9- -$37,247

yr. 10 - -$35,440

(1) Food is groceries and meals eaten out.

(2) This includes the supplies for gifts that we make. Pam does a lot by sewing, knitting and such and I make small wood projects as gifts.

(3) Health care includes all premiums for our company supplied health plan and all co-pays and non-covered items as well as our dental care. In addition to this figure there is another $2,313.60 which is the total of premiums for Medicare which are deducted from our Social Security payments. It reflects a larger than typicall use of medical coverage due to the fact that Pam has been diagnosed with COPD, as well as some other on-going medical conditions. Our plan does have prescription drug coverage. Non prescription medications and appliances are also included.  In years 9 and 10 the total shows significant increase due to surgeries that we experienced.

(4) This includes all supplies not covered by other categories, such as cleaning supplies, appliances, and general consumable items. It also includes such things as normal replacement of throw rugs and bedding. In year eight there is also a jump due to redecoration expenses for our motorhome. In year nine we replaced all draperies and in year ten we purchased two flat screen TV sets as well ad new blinds and window coverings for the bedroom.

(5) Vehicle insurance premiums are actually for the future as we pay the full premium in advance and it is renewed at year end in April, for the coming year.

(6) All items such as admission fees, annual park passes, magazines, books, internet and recreation related expenses. It also shows a bump in year seven due to the purchase of a new computer. It also includes occasional short trips not in the motorhome. In year 10 we made a trip by air, motel, & rental care, all included.

(7) This expense is low due to the fact that we spend much time as volunteers in positions where a campsite is supplied free. We also use the Escapees directory listed parking with members. We stay on the property of friends and family as we travel. Park rent also includes membership in Passport America. The number of paid-for nights is shown to give a realistic cost per night.

(8) In year 8 we changed to a two phone plan.

(9) Cash and Misc. covers such things as postage, mail forwarding, pocket cash, personal care items, bank fees and small items that were not tracked.

(A) Life insurance/long term care expenses dropped in year nine and will be much lower into the future because one life policy and our long term care policy were both on a 10 year pay plan and both have now been fully paid up. The only additional premium will be on one smaller policy.

Since we spend most of our time as "live on" volunteers where electricity is supplied free, we use mostly electric heaters which has a very significant effect on our use of propane expense. We have also had our propane supplied by the agency we volunteered with in several cases.

In addition, our expenses in year seven expenses were increased due to travels into Canada and those for year eight by the large increase in fuel prices along with a higher than usual amount of travel in the CR-V.  In year 10 we replaced our 2001 CR-V with a 2009 model, but that expense is not shown.

Clothing expense took very large jump in year eight due to the fact that my lovely wife lost some 50# and is now back to her teenage weight! For that reason she has had a complete change of wardrobe and some of it twice. Small reward to pay for such an effort.

Motorhome maintenance in year eight was up because we had the front brakes replaced, wheel bearings repacked, and some plumbing and other maintenance work done by a Ft. Worth dealer that we know and trust. These two visits increased the annual expense by about $1800. In year nine we replaced the couch and redecorated some of the living area and also had one repair to a chassis member that was not covered because we no longer have an extended warrant.

Motorhome Maintenance costs include all items that are used to care for any part of the entire coach. That means appliance repairs, mechanical repairs, oil changes, wash/wax supplies, furniture or cabinet repairs or replacement and even carpet cleaning supplies. If an item becomes a part of the coach, or is used to repair or maintain it or keep it looking good, the cost is included in these numbers.

 

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