May Expenses - Leaving Bakersfield Behind and Finishing the Van
Written by Matt
May Expense Report - $13,046 of $40,000 challenge
As you read in our April post we are a little late publishing our blog content because we spent just about 6 weeks straight building our van working on it full time. we spent the next few weeks traveling and we are just hitting 4 weeks of being on the road. We are starting to get caught up but to be honest sometimes I'd rather enjoy the travel and experiences than be to focused on keeping our content schedule
So better late than never but here are our May expenses.
Our May Experience!
If our April Experience was crazy, I'm not quite sure how to describe May. We started out the month with 5 days to finish the van and get fully moved out before our new tenants moved in to take over our room and start acting as house managers... We 100% missed that target. We ended up behind schedule on Clifford's build and we ended up spending an additional week sleeping on our van mattress in the living room of the house.
We needed to stay for a bit longer to finish up the framing and cabinets inside. We had some larger saws and things we didn't intend to take with us when we left that held us up.
Following that week we packed up all the things we were going to keep (some tools, sentimental stuff, winter clothes, everything that belonged in the van) and moved it to Allison's Mom's house just outside of LA where we resumed living on a different living room floor for an additional 2 weeks while we finished everything else on the van!
Seriously this period of our life was a tornado of activity.
Mortgage: $2,090.74 - We made the election change to take off our principle only payment and they kindly let us know it woudl take several weeks to go into effect... oh well. Maybe next month this will go down.
Roommate Income: $2,900 – We had new roommates move into our master bedroom. Another couple our age that was trying to save some extra money by getting out of their apartment. Since they are helping to manage the house where we still rent the other 3 rooms individually, we gave them a break on the rent. This month we had some deposits which raised the total a little bit. we are expecting to have around $2,400 coming in for the house each month going forward.
We also let them take over paying the maids and gardener so those are bills we are no longer responsible for
costs Income: $668.63 (plus we built some equity in there!)
As I explained above we had a bit more generous rental income than usual and since we have gotten rid of the responsibility for the maids and the gardener the numbers look pretty awesome this month. It will all even out down the road when deposits go back to renters but even so we should be in the black on the house rental with the current arrangement.
Insurance: $1,249.74 - We finished the Van! Now that Cliffy was complete we decided we needed to get appropriate insurance on him. It was surprisingly hard to find a company to insure a self-built RV. We called around to lots of companies and ended up with AAA because they were one of the only ones that would do it. He had full comprehensive coverage up to $30k
Student Loan Payment: $500 – same as every month
Eating Out: $396.50 – Last month I talked about how we can start to slip up when it comes to eating out when you get busy? Well, that definitely happened to us this month! we were out of our element, we were living in a different house, sleeping on the floor, and working on the van nonstop. We also were staying with someone who didn't cook often so it was so easy to end up in their routine of eating out and grabbing something quick that was convenient... Just to show that we are not perfect haha. I was proud of us last month and a bit disappointed this month...
Groceries: $330.15 – It's amazing how we can spend so much on eating out and STILL spend the same amount we normally do on groceries. This just goes to show that you pay a huge markup on meals out!
Shipping: $294.20 - We really kicked up the eBay selling this month! I debated taking this out but I already built the nice graphics and chart above so it's staying in... all of this was covered by the eBay income and the majority of it was a tool that got mailed to Dubai.
Gasoline: $178.23 – We sold the Prius in the middle of the month so we are now a one van family! we had to put some gas in the moving truck and ran what felt like a million errands to Lowes or Home Depot...
Moving Truck: $119.03– We moved out of our house in Bakersfield the second week of May. We kept some things we didn't want to sell like all my mechanics tools, some sentimental items, everything coming in the van, and our winter clothes. I was shocked that even after selling what felt like 90% of our belongings we still had no trouble filling an 18' Uhaul... minimal stacking but it was far from sparse in there.
It is truly incredible how much "stuff" you acquire so quickly. Especially living in a big house with lots of room for it to hide. I think the experience of downsizing and selling all of it was a good learning experience for us that we hopefully mind in the future if we ever move back into a house.
Phones: $102.39– We used quite a bit of data this month. With Project Fi you pay for data up to 10GB and then its free. So it maxes out at $120/mo. I managed to upload a ton of videos from our build to Dropbox via data.... Oops, Later $60... In fact, I still haven't figured out how to prevent it from uploading on data and I believe its impossible. At least going forward I know we will be maxed out anyway so it shouldn't matter too much.
Fees and Charges: $94.16 – So there will be more to come on this but I'll spill a bit of the beans. We had our computer hacked and had all of our information stolen. It was AWFUL. We spent all of June just trying to get our lives back in order. It was a truly eye-opening experience to the importance of internet security, something I had really taken for granted up until now. In response to this, we froze all our accounts and changed all our cards, all our online passwords for everything we could think of. because of that, we had some checks bounce as bills that were on auto-pay tried to deduct from a frozen checking account. We got some fees from this and some we could petition to have removed and some we couldn't. There will be some more of these charges in June and I want to do a post on what we learned from the experience with some more details so you can learn from our mistakes.
Trade Commissions: $12.26 – This is our usual wealth front fees
Gym: $5 –Alli Finished her Yoga Teacher Certification. So Proud of her! You won't see this charge from here on out because it's all private lessons for me!
Paychecks: $0– The lifeline of 9-5 income has officially ended! We are on our own from here on out. It's exciting and terrifying at the same time!
401k Contributions: $0
Selling Stuff: $9,510 - We Sold my Prius ($7k) and lots of other stuff on Ebay, craigslist, and offer up. We have extracted just about all the value we can out of the stuff we have so from here on out its all up to the businesses.
HSA Contribution: $0
Owen Your Future: $3,307.46 – This is the remainder of the stuff we needed to finish out the van. In total we ended up spending ~$21k on the van and all the materials for the conversion. Definitely wasn't cheap but I think we built a pretty kick ass van and when you consider our house cost over 10x that, It's pretty cool that we have a mobile home for the next 6mo on the cheap. Van Life is just like anything else, you can spend whatever your heart desires. There are vans that cost upwards of $100k and there are people who are enjoying life in a $5,000 rig. It all just depends on what you want and need from your van and your own personal strategy to fill your needs.
Business Support: $39.98 - This is Dropbox, LibSyn, and Active Campaign
Primal Noms: $869 - We finalized our formulation for the Muffin product for our ketogenic food company. I paid the remainder of the bill to the food scientist to close the contract. We've had some trouble getting everything lined up for manufacturing but we do have a mug cake mix that is ready to go! We are going to launch into the market with that and then hopefully bring the muffins along down the line.
Hope you enjoyed the May Expense report. I'd love to know what you think and as always if you have any tips or tricks to save some money share them bellow in the comments!