Summer may be rapidly coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean vacation season is over. If you’re the proud owner of an RV, you might just be getting started. Much of the world is settling into fall routines, but when you’re living the RV life, what is a routine really?
But even if your days are relaxed and carefree, you’ll still need to watch your budget to keep them that way. Follow these quick tips to keep your travel plans smooth.
1. Determine Your Budget
Before you start your RV adventures, you need to sit down with your finances and determine your average monthly budget in your new lifestyle. How much does it cost to full-time RV? You’ll need to factor in equipment, camping fees, food, gas, wifi, cell phones, insurance, laundry, maintenance, and fun money to figure out your monthly expenses budget.
RVing full-time is rarely a money-saving expenditure, but if you know what you’re getting into, you can plan ahead and enjoy your travels stress—free.
2. Don’t Pay for Parking
When you’re RV camping every night, parking costs can start to add up quickly. It’s fine to pay for parking occasionally—sometimes, you won’t have another choice. But you can also become an expert at finding the free or low-cost camping options. You can even use sites like Campendium to scope out your next spot.
3. Learn to Eat Cheap
You don’t have to eat like a broke college kid again — after all, there are new local foods to experience everywhere you go! But learn when to spend, and when to save. That once-in-a-lifetime authentic gumbo restaurant? Spend. Diners for miles? Might be a good time to try out a new recipe in the RV.
You have a kitchen for a reason: instead of seeking out local restaurants everywhere you visit, try hunting down local ingredients at grocery stores to cook for yourself. It’ll be just as tasty, and just as memorable.
4. DIY Repairs
If RV travel is your new full-time hobby, you’re going to need repairs along the road. You’ll save yourself a good chunk of change if you can learn even a few basic maintenance and repair skills. Stock up on those tools from Home Depot and start learning.
Not sure where to start? Try Youtube— RV101 is a channel that covers all topics concerning RV driving, repairs, accessories and more.
5. Shop Online, Pick Up In-Store
When you don’t physically go into a store, you’re less likely to impulse-buy things you don’t actually need. Stores like Target, Macy’s, Walmart and Home Depot all offer shopping experiences that allow you to select your items online and pick them up in-store. Some store locations might even bring your purchases straight to your vehicle.
Make a list, do your shopping on the road, and simply stop by your store of choice to pick up your purchases. It’s a great way to save some money AND some time.
6. Watch for Cheap Gas
If you’ve spent any time on the road, you might already be a pro at this, but remember: always keep your eyes peeled for cheap gas. Those 5 or 8 cents a gallon (or more if you’re lucky!) can add up quickly in the grand scheme of things, so this is one area you should always find a deal.
Need help? Apps like Gas Buddy can help you track down local gas stations – and their prices – without needing to do a drive-by of multiple stations.
7. Don’t Forget to Enjoy
If you’re living frugally, you’ll be able to afford some guilt-free splurges down the road. Don’t be so focused on your budget that you pass up all the experiences that make your RV experience memorable.
Some memories are free, and others will cost money, but with a solid budget in place, you’ll be able to keep your finances on track and keep your RV travels as inexpensive – or expensive – as you like.
We are happy to present this collaborative post to offer valuable information to our readers.