How to live the RV Lifestyle in turbulent and unsettled times – Part 3
By Bob Difley
In last Saturday’s post I wrote about how spending just a few days a month boondocking can save a pile of money on campground fees. There are other ways also to rein in expenses , one of the perks of living the RV Lifestyle being the ability to abruptly change course when current economic conditions continue to fluctuate.
One of these methods is to work out a monthly budget based on current income and expenses. The key is to make the budget flexible so you can instantly adjust for unfolding events. Here are examples:
- Fuel prices rise – Reduce miles driven by making shorter trips, staying longer in each location (which can also result in lower campground fees by taking advantage of longer term discounts), use the internet to find the cheapest fuel along your route and filling up even if you aren’t yet low on fuel.
- Fuel prices fall – Bank (hold in reserve) the savings in reduced fuel prices and use when prices rise again.
- Income (dividends) from stock portfolio drops – Prepare a list of discretionary spending ahead of time from which you can make cuts when necessary, such as from eating out, gifts (your gift list recipients don’t really care how much money you spend on them–it’s the thought that counts), visits to expensive attractions (they will still be there when the economy improves), and spending less time in expensive RV resorts and more time in scenic and more rustic campgrounds.
- Take temporary positions as Workampers, caretakers, campground hosts (photo left), and volunteers to receive free camping (and have fun doing it also) and sometimes supplementary pay.
- Explore more areas off the beaten path, where camping is cheaper and crowds smaller, such as: Indian Reservations; Public Utility campgrounds; wildlife refuges; BLM, National Forest Service, National Grassland, and Bureau of Reclamation campgrounds (and free dispersed camping areas); state forests; and National Estuarine Reserves.
- Buy more fresh food from local farmers markets, U-pick orchards and farms, and roadside farm stands. You can find lists of these on the internet. Eat local–and lower priced–foods (called Locavore and, yes, there’s an app for that) and prepare more of your meals in your RV. Without the rush and chaos of feeding a family under time constraints, you might find that creative cooking with local ingredients that you find on your travels can become one of your RV Lifestyle’s favorite campsite activities.
- Be creative. Tabulate where your money goes each month and look for unnecessary expenditures that can be eliminated or scaled down. Identify spending habits that happen just because they are habits, and not from any real need, and try out new habits and activities that cost less and can be just as much if not more rewarding.
As an RVer with a mobile lifestyle, you have the methods and power to adjust your circumstances to fit conditions, therefore enabling you to live the RV Lifestyle with full confidence in your ability to continue to survive no matter what the economic mess going on around you. Happy travels.
For more RVing tips take a look at my Healthy RV Lifestyle website, where you will also find my ebooks, including my ebook on over 100 ways to save money on the road: 111 Ways to Get the Biggest Bang for your RV Lifestyle Buck (PDF or Kindle).