Budget for the RV Lifestyle

Supporting your RV lifestyle can be relatively inexpensive or it may require a small fortune. Where you end up depends on your financial abilities and plenty of careful planning.

Below is a sample budget to assist you in identifying relevant income and expenses. We believe that this budget is representative of a typical household, but you should not assume that it is comprehensive for your specific needs.

To further assist newcomers, we have included the "Example" column with realistic expenses based on our experience as fulltimers living on a limited income. Note that some items have a zero amount—this indicates an expense that we do not have, but it may be applicable to you.

Some expenses come in spurts. For example, vehicle maintenance may occur only a few times per year. In these cases we have included the monthly average from the past year.

This budget includes recurring expenses only. It does not include one-time expenditures like the following:

  • RV down payment or out-right purchase
  • Tow vehicle down payment or out-right purchase
  • Land or time sharing membership purchase


Budget Item Example
$ Monthly
Your
$ Monthly

Income

Income source (after taxes) 1:
Income source (after taxes) 2:
Income source (after taxes) 3:
Income source (after taxes) 4:
TOTAL MONTHLY INCOME

Expenses

Bank fees

Examples: Transaction, ATM, check orders, wire transfer, travelers checks, credit card fees, credit card finance charges

$3
Charitable contributions $160
Clothing & shoes $50
Dining Out $200
Dry cleaning & laundry $0
Entertainment

Examples: movies, video rental, shows, games, amusement parks

$20
Fuel

Example amount is for diesel tow vehicle with average consumption as follows: 8 mpg towing, 14 mpg not towing. Fuel cost of $2/gallon,

$345
Gifts for family & friends

Examples: birthday, anniversary, Christmas

$125
Groceries $400
Home accessories (RV & house)

Examples: linens, furniture items, dishes, kitchen tools

$100
Hotel

May be necessary if traveling with small RV, or while RV is in shop.

$0
House maintenance & upkeep

Examples: lawn care, repairs

$0
Insurance: dental $0
Insurance: home owners for house $0
Insurance: life $30
Insurance: local transportation vehicle

Example amount is for motorcycle. Other Examples: toad, motor boat

$40
Insurance: medical

Example amount is for couple in their mid-thirties, $2,500 deductible per person, no prescription or doctor's visit benefits.

$255
Insurance: RV & contents $45
Insurance: tow vehicle $95
Internet service

Example amount is for T-Mobile wireless Internet with unlimited data usage. Other examples: dial-up, cable, DSL, satellite

$35
Loan payments: tow vehicle $440
Loan payments: RV $485
Mail forwarding services

Examples: membership fee, handling, postage, PO box rental

$35
Medical

Includes all expenses not covered by insurance. Examples: medicine, doctor's office visits, dental, insurance deductible, co pay, medical equipment

$65
Miscellaneous

All other small expenses. Examples: toiletry items, kitchen and office supplies, cleaning supplies, bath items

$90
Mortgage $0
Office equipment

Examples: computer hardware & software, fax machine, printer, laminating machine

$50
Pet care

Examples: food, medicine, veterinary services, boarding, grooming, supplies

$45
RV clubs & publications

Examples: club membership, magazine subscriptions, books

$10
RV maintenance

Examples: parts, service

$10
RV propane $40
RV site electricity

Example amount is averaged over a year, two air conditioners running in summer. Some RV parks include electricity usage in the rent fees, but most will bill for electricity separately when paying rent monthly.

$60
RV site rent

Example amount is for monthly rate and does not include electricity usage.

$385
RV storage

Storage of the RV while not in use.

$0
Storage of household & personal items

Example amount is for a 5 x 5' climate controlled unit.

$55
Souvenirs $20
Telephone

Examples: telephone line, cell phone, calling card

$100
Utilities for house

Examples: water, trash, sewage, electric

$0
Vehicle maintenance on motor home, tow vehicle, and local transportation

Examples: oil change, new tires, repairs, all other maintenance

$60
Vehicle registration & licensing

Examples: tags, registration, state inspection sticker

$15
Other:
Other:
Other:
Other:
Other:
TOTAL MONTHLY EXPENSES

GRAND TOTAL (Total Monthly Income minus Total Monthly Expenses)



Changin' Gears (http://ChanginGears.com)

Recreational vehicle information for RV camping and the RV lifestyle


See Also

Getting Started

RV Insurance

Fair Market Value

Budget for the RV Lifestyle

Supporting your RV lifestyle can be relatively inexpensive or it may require a small fortune. Where you end up depends on your financial abilities and plenty of careful planning.

Below is a sample budget to assist you in identifying relevant income and expenses. We believe that this budget is representative of a typical household, but you should not assume that it is comprehensive for your specific needs.

To further assist newcomers, we have included the "Example" column with realistic expenses based on our experience as fulltimers living on a limited income. Note that some items have a zero amount—this indicates an expense that we do not have, but it may be applicable to you.

Some expenses come in spurts. For example, vehicle maintenance may occur only a few times per year. In these cases we have included the monthly average from the past year.

This budget includes recurring expenses only. It does not include one-time expenditures like the following:



Budget Item Example
$ Monthly
Your
$ Monthly

Income

Income source (after taxes) 1:
Income source (after taxes) 2:
Income source (after taxes) 3:
Income source (after taxes) 4:
TOTAL MONTHLY INCOME

Expenses

Bank fees

Examples: Transaction, ATM, check orders, wire transfer, travelers checks, credit card fees, credit card finance charges

$3
Charitable contributions $160
Clothing & shoes $50
Dining Out $200
Dry cleaning & laundry $0
Entertainment

Examples: movies, video rental, shows, games, amusement parks

$20
Fuel

Example amount is for diesel tow vehicle with average consumption as follows: 8 mpg towing, 14 mpg not towing. Fuel cost of $2/gallon,

$345
Gifts for family & friends

Examples: birthday, anniversary, Christmas

$125
Groceries $400
Home accessories (RV & house)

Examples: linens, furniture items, dishes, kitchen tools

$100
Hotel

May be necessary if traveling with small RV, or while RV is in shop.

$0
House maintenance & upkeep

Examples: lawn care, repairs

$0
Insurance: dental $0
Insurance: home owners for house $0
Insurance: life $30
Insurance: local transportation vehicle

Example amount is for motorcycle. Other Examples: toad, motor boat

$40
Insurance: medical

Example amount is for couple in their mid-thirties, $2,500 deductible per person, no prescription or doctor's visit benefits.

$255
Insurance: RV & contents $45
Insurance: tow vehicle $95
Internet service

Example amount is for T-Mobile wireless Internet with unlimited data usage. Other examples: dial-up, cable, DSL, satellite

$35
Loan payments: tow vehicle $440
Loan payments: RV $485
Mail forwarding services

Examples: membership fee, handling, postage, PO box rental

$35
Medical

Includes all expenses not covered by insurance. Examples: medicine, doctor's office visits, dental, insurance deductible, co pay, medical equipment

$65
Miscellaneous

All other small expenses. Examples: toiletry items, kitchen and office supplies, cleaning supplies, bath items

$90
Mortgage $0
Office equipment

Examples: computer hardware & software, fax machine, printer, laminating machine

$50
Pet care

Examples: food, medicine, veterinary services, boarding, grooming, supplies

$45
RV clubs & publications

Examples: club membership, magazine subscriptions, books

$10
RV maintenance

Examples: parts, service

$10
RV propane $40
RV site electricity

Example amount is averaged over a year, two air conditioners running in summer. Some RV parks include electricity usage in the rent fees, but most will bill for electricity separately when paying rent monthly.

$60
RV site rent

Example amount is for monthly rate and does not include electricity usage.

$385
RV storage

Storage of the RV while not in use.

$0
Storage of household & personal items

Example amount is for a 5 x 5' climate controlled unit.

$55
Souvenirs $20
Telephone

Examples: telephone line, cell phone, calling card

$100
Utilities for house

Examples: water, trash, sewage, electric

$0
Vehicle maintenance on motor home, tow vehicle, and local transportation

Examples: oil change, new tires, repairs, all other maintenance

$60
Vehicle registration & licensing

Examples: tags, registration, state inspection sticker

$15
Other:
Other:
Other:
Other:
Other:
TOTAL MONTHLY EXPENSES

GRAND TOTAL (Total Monthly Income minus Total Monthly Expenses)

See our complete list of RV checklists at http://ChanginGears.com