Currently Wandering » Outdoor Family, Adventure Travel, Simple Living - Family of 5 Traveling the United States in an Airstream.

How Much Does It Cost To Live in an Airstream? September 2014 Summary

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I’ve had to revamp the budget. AGAIN. I hate budgeting. What I was doing was just not working – see that “Bonus Item” category? That’s for everything that didn’t exactly fit int he budget (Rachel’s new bike, birthday presents, workout DVD’s, Amazon orders, etc). Notice how large it is? Yeah. That needs to stop. Lol. I’ve gone from a weekly discretionary budget (clothes, eating out, entertainment, etc.) to a monthly budget hoping that will help set a baseline. We’ll see. I’m not convinced, but obviously something has to be done.

I’ll detail a post later on about how I budget in general (because that’s not really Airstream life specific) but just know that these are not ALL of our expenses. Not even close. These are just the ones that are fairly Airstream specific. We still have health insurance, life insurance, entertainment expenses, loans on the Airstream and truck, HSA contributions, children’s savings… You get the idea.

But aside from all that, most people want to know what it’ll cost in the Airstream. The biggest differences for us are the camping fees, higher gas spending, higher groceries, laundry, and occasionally the higher eating out (only because we never really ate out before).

For the most part, our Airstream expenses this month were pretty normal. I did promise that I would eat my way through Portland, and looking at our Dining Out total, I’d say I accomplished that goal very nicely. Higher eating out was balanced by lower camping fees and gas. That’s kind of nice, so I’m not stressed about it. Our 11 nights of courtesy parking largely involved staying with friends who graciously allowed the use of their laundry facilities. That helps us keep our laundry quite low – as well as just not having very many clothes. I think I usually end up doing about 3 loads of laundry: 2 clothes, 1 sheets & towels.

We also just don’t move very far very fast. 187 miles per week of total towing. We started the month in Bend, OR then migrated north through Portland, Battle Ground, WA, Payallup, Mt. Rainier, then finally up into Vancouver, British Colombia.

I’m curious if any other full time traveling families keep a budget? What does yours look like?

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  • Lauri - I’m really trying to keep track of expenses. Camping and gas is easy, it’s the bonus items that sneak up! And so far I’ve learned expenses are going to look SO different from month to month!ReplyCancel

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