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? May – July 2015 Summary

Airstream Living Cost July 2015

Wow. Its been awhile since I’ve done one of these posts. About time I guess.

Standard disclaimer that this is not ALL the money we spent for these months. Not even all our discretionary shopping – just the categories I feel that people would find most interesting. To learn how I work my budget see this post.

A couple of notes about May 2015 –

Camping Fees -We stayed for free at my brother-in-law’s house in Idaho for the majority of that time. We helped out with some purchases (he was also helping us weld a new battery box) and we just didn’t have him pay us back and allocated that money spent as “camping fees”. It was about $200.

We also reserved spots in the Florida Keys (Dec) and in Minnesota (June) for a total of another $480 – which we count when we spend it, not when we actually stay there. So, realistically our 17 days of free camping helped us spend a whopping $272 in May. I just didn’t want anyone to freak out and wonder where on earth we stayed for the 14 days we did pay for.

In June we spent quite a bit of time at my brother’s house in Minneapolis. To balance that out, the state and regional parks are not cheap and there’s very little free boondocking anywhere in Minnesota. We barely went over our $700 budget in July and I think that’s pretty accurate for the Midwest. We are currently trending to go over budget by quite a bit in August.

Laundry – I get a lot of people wondering how we keep laundry so low. Granted, I think I’m terrible at tracking it as I usually pay in cash. BUT, I think the biggest factor is that our kids literally wear the same clothes at least 3x a week. Its just not that much laundry. I figure if the clothes don’t smell bad and aren’t visibly dirty, why on earth would I wash it? Wear it again. My kids get in trouble if they are lazy and put their clothes away in the dirty clothes instead of their closet.

Same goes with adult clothes. I will often wear the same shirt/pants at least two days in a row.

We only wash our sheets 1 maybe 2 times a month (depends on how bad they get). We also wash our towels (5 bath towels, 2 bathroom hand towels, 4 dish/kitchen towels, and 4 wash cloths) about every other time, or half of them every time. When you shower every 2-3 days, washing bath towels every week seems overkill.

Its pretty regular that at least once a month we’ll end up at someone’s house and they’ll offer their washer and dryer for our use. Don’t mind if I do.

Groceries–  I bought two months worth of Shakeology in May (which adds up quick). We also stocked up in Pocatello/Idaho Falls at Costco and Winco before heading to said brother-in-law’s house in Driggs, ID for 10 days. Groceries are expensive out in Driggs.

I am wondering if NOT shopping at Costco would actually save me money since I probably overspend there every time anyway.
July spreadsheet

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