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2015 has been our second year of living in an RV full-time.
Last year it was Franklin. The beautiful, old, and remodeled RV that stole our hearts, made us fall in love with the RV lifestyle, and then randomly leaked and broke down on us while driving him across the country. That jerk… just kidding, we love you Franklin.
This year we upgraded to a 2016 Winnebago Brave. A retro throwback of the classic “eyebrow” Winnebago Brave that was popular in the 70’s. We’re so hipster like that (not really).
At this time last year, Alyssa and I calculated the costs for our first year of traveling and living in an RV. We published that in a post here and it’s been one of my most read blogs this year. After another year of living in an RV, I wanted to share the expenses and income report for our second year of living in an RV.
I know it’s awkward to talk about how much money a person makes, but it also can be inspiring and extremely helpful. The thing is, when you see how much money we make (not a lot), you can quit making excuses for why living in an RV and traveling full-time is too expensive or out of reach for you.
Some of my favorite finance bloggers like Michelle from MakingSenseofCents.com or Pat Flynn both share their monthly income reports. Reading their monthly income reports have not only inspired me to share mine, but have shown me how possible it is to earn an income from anywhere.
How Much We Spent in 2015 While Living in an RV
Total: $32,588.51 (average monthly spend: $2,715.71/month)
– Traveling to Hawaii and Alaska: $4,602:38 (1 week in Hawaii, 2 weeks in Alaska)
– Gas $1,957.23 (Includes driving from Texas to California & back, did less driving this year and more flying)
– Lodging $4,430.08 (average spend: $370/month)
– Groceries $3,544.78 (average: $295.40/month)
– Phone Bill $2,510.03 (Verizon with 2 phones, 15 gig plan and Jetpack for wireless internet)
– Eating Out $1,693.57 (average: $141.13/month)
– Insurance (RV+CAR) $3,387.81 (RV insurance is now $2k/year for the 2016 RV vs $1k/year for Franklin)
– Maintenance $900.14 (I honestly don’t even remember what broke, but something is always breaking)
– Shopping/Fun/Entertainment $1,507.22 (Christmas shopping, movies, dates, etc)
– HeathandAlyssa.com $907.25 (It costs to keep this blog alive!)
– Giving $657.70
– Spotify $129.72
PLUS Student debt we paid off: $13,150
How Much We Made in 2015 While Living in an RV
Total income in 2015: $52,780.88
– Our business Padgett Creative (Online course building/filming + book launches for clients) $33,000
– Freelance video work $10,000
– Sponsorship $5,000 (This was part of our documentary and went 100% toward the Hawaii and Alaska expenses above!)
– Speaking $5,000
Overview and Takeaways:
There are a few things not calculated into this mix, like the purchase of our new RV. We sold our former RV for $9,700 and used that money as a downpayment on our new RV. I shared more about how we were able to make that deal happen in this blog I wrote a couple of weeks ago. We also did a LOT of flying this year across the country. However, all those flights were either travel-hacked (meaning we’ve racked up airline points using credit cards) or paid for by clients.
Our crazy, over-the-top goal in 2015 was to be able to pay off all of my $27,000 of student debt. We only made it halfway on that journey, but $14,000 paid off is nothing insignificant. But what I’m really happy about is the fact that we’ve been able to continue living and traveling full-time in our RV. In my eyes, being able to have that flexibility and do work that we’re enjoying has made all the difference.
In 2016 I’m planning on kicking out a podcast for RVers. I’ve already interviewed quite a few people on how they’ve made the transition into full-time traveling and living in an RV and plan for it to be a resource for people who are thinking about dipping their toe in as well. If you’d like to be on the show or know someone who would make a good guest, leave a comment below and let me know.
Also, if you have any questions about our travel costs or how we’ve gone about making money on the road— leave a comment below as well. There is no dumb question…well, that’s not true. But ask anyway!