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.


  1. My house was paid for and was very inexpensive to operate - about $400 a month for taxes, insurance and utilities - but I did not want to stay in that house by myself anymore. I am a gypsy at heart and have always needed to travel. I do workamp and volunteer and stay in one place for several months at a time, but I take my small RV on weekend camping trips. So, maybe its not always about money - its about what is best for you. I hope you hit the "trifecta" - that is all that any of us wants - is for our hopes and dreams to come true.

    1. Yea, T, just live for the moment..that is all we know and why exactly we did this at a relatively young age..cheers..

  2. Have any luck selling the RV or truck combo? Any serious inquiries?

    1. Nah Monica, several inquiries, but nothing much more..we have YET to advertise it on C-list, etc., as we don't want to sell til we have accepted offer on a home...there are already enough homeless in Austin :)

  3. At least you are in Texas. We are hoping you find just the place you are looking for and the job or jobs you want.

    You have accomplished more than many your age by getting to take the time off and travel like you did. We are loving it now, but would have also love some time in the early years.

    Keep posting and I will keep reading.

    1. Thanks Dave....we just spent 3 hrs hashing out whether suburbia fits us, all be it 3-5y plan..nothing rural feeling enough near town that is affordable, but plenty 40 mins away, that would return country peace back to us...decisions, decisions....glad you are enjoying the fath-in-law headed your way for the Mission car show this weekend, gorgeous 1965 Chev pickup, took Best In Show for upholstery 2 yrs ago...

  4. Have you tried United Country Real estate...we used it when we brought our previous house in the country? Nice search engine if looking for acreage...

    1. Luv us the UCRE site :) ....excited for you all as you approach the Start line...

  5. Thanks for sharing. Its still closer than I thought it would be.

    1. You can make either work with some creativity....

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