Nomad Bean Counting
When I had a professional life, I was a Logistician. My patronizing ‘Warrior’ Brethren would call me a
‘Bean Counter.’ I guess that’s the price one pays to be part of the strength behind the blade’s edge! (Nomad Bean Counting)
We’ve been on the Nomading road for just under two months, and falling back to my roots, I’ve been doing a little Bean Counting. I thought I’d share some of the Statistics with those considering doing a bit of Nomading for themselves and might find this review helpful.
Days in Travel: 51 Days since leaving Big Lake
Miles Travelled since the Port of Tacoma: 3,000
States traveled through: 6
RV Camp-sights (Including Friends Pads): 20
Gas stops: 16
Lost personal Items: Unknown, still can’t find shit in this RV but suspect it’s still here.
Amazed emotions over the bounty and beauty of this country: Inestimable
Old friendships reanimated: 15
Beaches walked: 6?
Our goal is to keep expenses as close to regular monthly expenditures as is practicable to see if permanent Nomading was a ‘lifestyle’ option. Other than a few exceptional expenses (such as shipping the RV from Anchorage to Tacoma), we’re reasonably close, without being overly conscientious of our purchases.
The significant expense, so far, goes towards Transportation. The big-ticket activity was the one-time shipment of the RV from Anchorage. We lucked out to get the end-of-season RV promotional deal for $2,050 (don’t expect to see those prices again!). That, alone, makes up 77% of the Transportation budget, which also includes airfare to Seattle, Uber, and bus costs for in-and-around travel. All in all, Transportation expenses make up 24% of our expenditures. If you extract the one-time shipping costs, that’s not too bad, when you figure we didn’t bring a ‘Toad’ with us, and yet we’ve seen just about everything we wanted to see.
I captured fuel cost separately as it’s such a demand on the budget when Nomading. Gas expenses make up 15% of the total budget. We consumed 413 gallons at an average cost of $4.13 per gallon (thanks Joe!). Total Gas costs for 50 days of traveling about 3,000 miles come to around $1,700. We’re in an RV that gets lousy gas mileage. Before this trip, we enjoyed a whopping 8.2 miles per gallon. Down in the Lower-48, for some reason (gas purity, packed weight of the RV, lousy roads, lousy driving?), we’re rocking in about 6.5 6o 7.2 mpg. Not particularly good, but if your rig does better, so will your gas expenses.
We’ve stayed in about 18 camp-sights, plus three friends’ homes. The expense, about $1,970, consumes about another 17% of the budget, or about $45 per night. Clearly, we could do more ‘Boon-docking’ or off-the-road parking, but we enjoy having electricity and plumbing on most nights; on cold nights, electricity is beneficial to run the heater. Other than boon-docking in the boondocks, most folks nearby frown upon running the generator. You can save $ in this area, but you’ll not get to stay as close to major cities or beaches – they’re all pretty expensive (the RV park just outside of San Francisco costs about $98 a day!)
Eating is a significant expense, but not one we regret. We enjoy good food and the wide variety that travel offers. I’ve tracked food expenses as those ‘Eating Out’ costs and the expense of buying groceries to consume in the RV. Our eating lifestyle on the road is polarized from that of our at home habits in that eating out is much more expensive than eating in. Eating out has digested about 20% of the budget whereas groceries only 10%; 30% in the aggregate. Again, this is an area that one’s interests or proclivities can wildly affect expenses.
That leaves 14% of the budget for other expenses, such as personal items, gifts, museums, Internet Mobile WIFI, etc.
Although we’ve kept an eye on expenses and not lived extravagantly, we’ve also enjoyed a reasonably good standard of living,,, particularly in the ‘Eating Out’ department. We’re finding that living full-time in an RV is probably financially doable. But one must be able to afford an initial expense of a large enough RV to avoid the claustrophobic tight spaces of a smaller rig. We’re finding our 26′ RV is getting very small and a larger floorpan might help avoid the ‘tight quarters feel’.
Nomad Bean counting isn’t much different from running a home budget. The expenses fall into a few different categories, but living is living, and living is expensive. Living better can be more expensive, but we’ve also found that living well is more a calculous of beautiful places experienced and friends visited. I’ll continue to track the numbers (that’s what I do). Perhaps I’ll even do a roll-up blog at the end of the trip. If you enjoy this kind of thing…well then, I’m sorry for you. But, if you do, leave a note below, and maybe they’ll be a Recap Blog when we’re done.
Images (friends, beaches, gas and RV Parks)
Read the previous blog, Link Here
Read this blog from the beginning, link here
Visit all the Nomading the Lower-48 Blog, link here
If you enjoyed ‘Nomad Bean Counting’, drop a comment below.