Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Concrete Vs. Rubber, The Costs of Living Comparison


Ever been curious which lifestyle is cheaper, Rv'ing or Mortaring? Which one do you have more control of when times get tough? Let's compare our last full month (Jan 2012) in our sticks and bricks house to our 9 month average RV budget which was discussed in detail here including definitions of each line item.

Call me Capt. Obvious, but you will have to apply some common sense to the categories (ie, House has electric bill, RV does not, but would (usually) be part of RV Parks fee). Oh, in neither scenario did we have mortgage/RV financing. Unlike our Federal government, we are debt oppositional.

Again, these were actual expenditure results, not budgeted amounts, for a 1 month basis.

       ITEM                                       STICKS/BRICKS                     RV

1.    Aetna-                                             190                                    190
2.   Samaritan-                                        150                                    150
3.   VSP Eye care-                                     9                                        9
4.   Cell Phone-                                        80                                       80
5.   RV Parks-                                          N/A                                   723
6.   Fuel-                                                  88                                      419
7.  Veh/"Home" Maintenance-                   75                                      311
8.  Groceries-                                          320                                     362
9.  Entertainment-                                    159                                     174
10. Incidentals-                                         89                                       84
11. Health-                                               41                                       14
12. Tolls-                                                  15                                       19
13. Laundry-                                           N/A                                      32
14. Veh Insurance-                                  101 (had 2 cars)                    41
15. "Home" Insurance-                              62                                       28
16. Property taxes                                   220                                    N/A
17. Elec/water/trash                                 241                                    N/A
18. Cable/Net/Phone                               123                                    N/A
19. Life Ins.                                               33                                      33
20. Animal care                                         30                                    N/A
  T O T A L:                                         $2,026                              $2,669

Anyone surprised? Yes, the beast of fuel costs and RV park fees raises its ugly head. That being said, those are the two you have the most flexibility with and can shave down costs by staying longer at one place and paying the discounted monthly rate, not to mention less fuel costs by being parked. In the foundation built home, there is almost no room to minimize overhead--drop the cable (don't touch my Internet), adjust your thermostat up a bit, hang out laundry, shower together--OK, OK, I will stop. But you get the point. You also can work-camp and get your RV park fee paid by the campground. Too bad we can't approach the County tax office to work out such a deal.

Perhaps a true apple-apple comparison would be looking at the RV total costs for the 4 months of this 10 month journey we did not move, August, December, January and February (projected). $1,966-- essentially, a wash if you minimize movement. But what enjoyment would that be? Even more fun, sprinting for shelter when the tornado sirens go off in the campground and sharing 6 gallons of hot water with the love of  your life. Good times.

Now, an update from us. We arrived in Austin almost 3 months ago. We had 3 primary goals: 1) Find a house 2) Find a job 3) Find a run-about, economical car. Ninety-days later, we still have the same 3 goals. **Face meets palm**. But our owner-financed house did "close", but monies didn't---yet--another 10 days we are told to see disbursement.

Hey, but we are still  happily married--I think. More details on the trifecta hunting in the next post.