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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Money Matters

It’s here! The first quarter financial look…Honestly, I still kept up with it monthly! 

So how did we do? I think great overall, we are living within our means and we are still able to save a little bit and best of all we don’t feel as though we are just barely scraping by. When we first started this journey my fear was that we would just be scraping by. Now don’t get me wrong, we DO NOT live extravagantly by any stretch, we do not own one of those “BIG” rigs (but we do own what own), we rarely dine out and I don't buy steak on a regular basis at all! However, I don’t think we are suffering and push come to shove we could tighten the belt even more if we had to. We are always mindful of our expenditures but this is nothing new for us. We have always been budget conscious. I really think it’s just how God blessed me to be, I am not a spender.

A glimpse into the first quarter numbers!

First figure is the budgeted amount, second it the actual amount spent.

2014 - 1st Quarter - Jan-Mar

RV Parking $1650 / $1600
RV Upkeep $900 / 576.02

Groceries $840 / $872.34 (OVER)
Eating Out $300 / 281.92

CRV Fuel $450 / $336.50

Clothing $195 / $165.80
Household $107.86 / 112.66 (OVER)
Gifts not Christmas $165 / $148.69

As you can see, I am still struggling with the grocery budget. I KNOW groceries have gone up and I can’t change that but it annoys me to have to spend that much money on food. We don’t eat a lot of meat as it is I don’t know how people who do afford it. I have also been buying less fresh produce, it’s just gotten too expensive, especially fruit! Being in Florida I would have thought fruit to be cheaper, NOT TRUE! As for the Household line item being over, it’s a catchall category and sometimes it’s things that have no other category to fall in.

Also for 2014 some categories were increased. Those are Groceries by $30, Eating Out by $45, Household by $5.86 (which appears may need to be more!), Gifts not Christmas by $25 and Entertainment by $35. We also added a line for Savings $300/month and Medical Co-Pays $20/month.

I enjoyed the quarterly report even though like I mentioned I am still tracking monthly. Quarterly figures are so much larger it kind of scared me at first!

Couple thoughts to share… there was a $12.72 raise for 2014. In addition, just this month we changed our cell phone plan; we are still with AT&T but now we have the value share plan. We have more data then before and are paying less. That’s definitely a change we like!! Savings when all is said and done should be about $30/monthly.

Oh and now there will be a new facet to our finances called VA benefits that we will just be thankful for but not count on. While we are extremely grateful for the monies they are not permanent so we will not be adding them to the budget.In addition we are looking at another change as far as our health insurance. We have some options when MiRV retired and chose the one we thought best but now after nearly a year with it we are considering changing. It would be better for us since we are mobile but it could mean a bit more out of pocket expenses however there would be no monthly premium. It's something we are thinking through.

Looking is still our plan to continue this RV lifestyle while we can. We know we will need an exit plan at some point and we continue to explore options on an ongoing basis. We are also looking at upgrading Sunny in 3 years if we do stay this course. Much food for thought and long range planning on my mind! And while I don’t want to over think it, I don’t want to not think it through. So his saying always pops into my brain whenever I think of finance… 

Fail to plan, plan to fail. 

So keep that in mind as you make your own journey, I know I am!

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