Friday, December 6, 2013

RV Living Frugality - Part III

Continuing with the tips listed in RV Living Frugality - Part I and RV Living Frugality - Part II, here are some other ways you can save money as a full time RVer:

9.  Holidays Remember how many times you promised yourself you'd keep it simple? You are going to love holidays without hassles!  Long-distance gifting requires quality over quantity, so you need to pick one special gift for those nearest and dearest to you.  Plan ahead and follow up with a phone call.  And for all those people you feel "obligated" to give to - gift cards, either small individual amounts or a large amount for an entire family. 

10.  Banking – You cannot go into the full-time RV lifestyle without having a good budget.  Incidentals will happen, so you need a little extra savings set aside for them (blown tires, breakdowns, extra campground nights, etc.).  Just about all of your bills can be sent to you and paid electronically, but you should set this up in advance and plan to have a secure internet connection for banking purposes.  Contact credit card providers to let them know you will be travelling; some will put a security block on your card when they see charges from different states - you don't want to be filling up your rig and have that happen!  Get an Ally debit card for cashing checks and getting money out at ATM's with NO FEES.

11.  Income – Diversify your income streams and consider how each will impact your taxes.  Save whatever you can, whenever you can.  Investigate residency domiciles to find the best bang for your buck, but don't jump into anything until you have been full-timing for awhile.  Think about employment and it's ramifications (our daughter got additional college financial aid, because I took a part-time job and Jim didn't work at all).   Don't live beyond your means, as tempting as that may be with the wonderful enticements all around you! 

Most people find the full-time lifestyle to be a bit more expensive than they expected.  We, on the other hand, found it to be much more affordable than we thought it would be.  Everyone has a different situation and different goals.  You really need to consider each aspect of your life; what you are willing to sacrifice, and what you cannot live without.  For us, that means staying put for 6 months at a time, wherever that may be.  We don't use a car during most of that time and we live in a small, pre-owned motorhome without the bells and whistles.  Despite those hardships, we absolutely love our lifestyle! 

I hope these tips help you make the choice that is best for YOU. Good luck to you, and safe travels wherever you may roam!