Small House Big World


Budget Estimate

Anna Edgren • February 24, 2015

How much money will it take for 2 people, 2 cats and one incredibly handsome dog to live comfortably full time in an RV? Important question. Even more important now that I know I am no longer going to have steady income. Kelly and I have been furiously budgeting and trying to make sure we plan our trip in accordance with our means. This has been more fun that it sounds like because we get to spend a lot of time thinking about life in the RV and mapping our route, which is a blast. We are going to share this budget estimate and then update it with the actual numbers as best we can once we get going. A disclaimer – this is not a professional budget. There are a lot of rough estimates and there is a lot of rounding going on for the sake of simplicity. 

(Also, for the math-challenged, this link does a cost per mile calculation for you and provides some popular vehicle MPG estimates, which I am not too proud to admit I found to be helpful.) 

Estimated Expenses Expense Type Projected Monthly Cost Explanation of Projected Monthly Cost
RV Fuel @ 5mpg RV 360.00 $2.5/gallon = 50 cents per mile @ ~800 miles a month (~200 miles per week, ~10,000 miles per year)
Auto Fuel @ 20mpg Auto 19.50 $2.5/gallon = 13 cents per mile @ 150 miles a month
Insurance – RV and Car RV, Auto 73.58 This number is confirmed and already paid ($883 annual)
Road tolls RV 20.00 totally unknown guess, will probably vary wildly by state
Campsite Lodging 600.00 $20/day – average of some pricier campgrounds vs. some days boondocking. Per technomadia: “we consider ourselves happy when at the end of the year, our average monthly campground fees are under $600-700/month.”
RV Maintenence RV 150.00 broken hose, oil change, windshield wiper fluid, other small stuff – based on technomadia yearly estimate of $1500 – 2500 per year for random maintenence
Car Maintenence Auto 20.00 broken hose, oil change, windshield wiper fluid, other small stuff
Insurance – Health Personal 300.00 based on what Kelly pays – $150 per month per person
Groceries – Food for Cooking Food 400.00 $100 per week
Other Groceries – Household Items Personal 30.00 sponges, ziplocks, paper towel, cleaning products, vaccum bags, air freshener, charcoal briquettes, etc
Groceries – Alcohol Food 100.00 6 pack of beer = $10. avg 2 beers/day = $100 per month
Dog Expenses (Food, Vet) Pets 105.00 2 bags of food ($30 each) and 1 bag of bones ($20 each) per month and 1 $300 vet visit per year
Cat Expenses (Food, Litter) Pets 60.00 1 bag of food ($20) and 2 bags of litter ($20) per month
Eating Out Food 360.00 based on 1 nice meal out/week @ $75 and 1 fast food meal per week @ $15
Phone / Internet Work Related 200.00 based on what Kelly pays – $100 per month per person
Laundry Personal 20.00 once a month big laundry run for everything
Propane RV 20.00 based on other RVers estimates
Clothes / Shoes Personal 50.00 based on what both of us will need stretched over a whole year, this is $300 per person total yearly – tight for me, easy for Kelly
Entertainments Entertainment 150.00 movies, books, baseball games, concerts, local attractions
Miscellaneous / Discretionary Personal 75.00 new floor mat for RV, ice cream run, big bar tab, showering Anna with flowers and gifts, etc
Gifts for Other People Personal 25.00 estimate $300 per year – $150 on christmas minimum for Anna plus a few extra events for each of us
Netflix Entertainment 7.99 known cost
Music Services Entertainment 13.00 known cost – pandora @ $5 for Anna, spotify @ $8 for Kelly
Mail Scanning Service Personal 20.00 per technomadia cost estimate
Boarding Max and Kitties Pets 60.00 for when we travel via plane and need to put the animals somewhere – estimate this will happen twice/year, gone for avg 4 days, $100/night for all 3 animals
Anna’s Car Payment Auto 175.00 $4373 left to pay over 28 months @ $175 per month – no payments due until Nov 2015)
TOTAL Monthly Estimate   3,414.07  


full time rv budgetrv budget

Anna Edgren • February 24, 2015

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  1. Vic March 14, 2015 - 6:05 pm Reply

    And the most important bit, no rent! Good luck guys!!

  2. How Much Will it Cost to Start Living Full-Time in an RV? | Small House Big World

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