January 2019 found us in Arizona for the entire month, first in the Phoenix area for six days then boondocking in the desert for the remainder of time. While in the greater Phoenix metro area we dry camped at the Desert Diamond Casino in Glendale. We spent time touring the local area, visiting with friends, watching NFL playoffs and took in stadium tours at Chase Field (Arizona Diamondbacks- MLB) and State Farm Stadium (Arizona Cardinals – NFL). Both tours were excellent and relatively inexpensive ($7 and $9 each, respectively). We love both baseball and football so the tours were very appealing to us. We also drove by Talking Stick Arena (Phoenix Suns – NBA) and Gila River Arena (Arizona Coyotes – NHL) stadiums. We’ve never been to either a NBA or NHL game but do have those on our bucket list.
After restocking on groceries and a visit to Love’s Travel Stop to empty the waste tanks and fill with fresh water, propane and gasoline, we headed off to the desert near Quartzsite, Arizona. We stayed on three different BLM sites and liked each of them. While boondocking we enjoyed socializing with friends both old and new, sitting around the fire pit, relaxing with a few good books and movies and most of all, taking in the beauty and quiet of the desert. We took two trips to Parker, Arizona to Safeway and Walmart for groceries and supplies, several trips to Quartzsite to visit with friends and to walk around the Big Tent grounds and one day trip to the Blythe Intaglios and Cibola National Wildlife Refuge.
With much time spent in the desert our overall miles traveled for the month was relatively low allowing for minimal gasoline expenditures of $63.23 for both the car and RV combined. Fuel prices ranged from $2.49-2.59, lower than in December but Arizona fuel prices continue to remain higher than many other areas of the United States.
Total utility expenses for January 2019 were the highest we have paid in a single month since being full-time RVers. We paid two times for dumping waste tanks and filling with fresh water – $10 in Phoenix at Love’s Travel Stop and $14 in Quartzsite at the RV Pit Stop. We also filled with propane two times during the month, once early in the month and again on January 31. Propane use was elevated due to increased use of the fire pit and RV furnace needed to combat the chilly nighttime temperatures.
Several of our regular monthly expenditures changed in amounts this month. We experienced increases in mail box fees and car, RV and health insurances and a decrease in cell phone expenses. More details on those are in the expense breakdown below.
Even with the increased expenses for the month our total amount spent for January 2019 was only $966. Our average monthly expenditure is $1500 so less than $1000 spent is a cheap month! That number will definitely go up as we increase our monthly miles traveled, especially during the summer months as we head to New England and Canada.
Previously we have not included the cost of health insurance in the totals as discussions of this topic inevitably turn political, but starting this month we are now doing so. Please contact us via email with questions you may have concerning health insurance.
July 1-7, 2019 — During the first week of July we continued on our eastern journey, going as far east as the United States would
June 15-21, 2019 — The third week of June found us leaving Wisconsin and heading north, first to Michigan then crossing the US border to
June 8-14, 2019 — Wow where does the time go? It seems like we just returned to the Midwest and now we’re getting ready to
Monthly Expense Breakdown
Below is a breakdown of our monthly expenses along with an explanation of what is included in each category. We track our spending via the free app “PERSONAL CAPITAL” and publicly share it to help others estimate their potential expenses for life on the road.
Detailed Expense Breakdown
Campground Fees – $0
No campground expenses were incurred this month. Overnight stays included six nights at a casino in the Phoenix area and 25 nights at three different BLM locations in western Arizona.
Communication – $113
Verizon phone plan shared with family, unlimited data plan with AT&T and UPS mail box are included in this category. Our costs for 2019 reflect a decrease in cost of our Verizon phone plan (Google phones are now paid for and additional member joined the plan) and an increase in our UPS mail box annual fee. These changes result in an overall decrease of $14 per month for the category.
Entertainment – $50
Expenses include entrance fees for tours of State Farm Stadium (Arizona Cardinals) and Chase Field (Arizona Diamondbacks) along with monthly fees for Netflix and Hulu plans.
Food – $305
Includes all food and alcohol expenses for the month. No meals were eaten out during January.
Gas (Car) – $38
Total miles driven in the Kia Soul for the month was 619. Fuel prices ranged from $2.49 – 2.59 a gallon.
Gas (RV) – $26
Total miles driven in the Thor Vegas RV was 193. Fuel is also used to operate the on-board generator. We fueled up the RV one time during the month at $2.49 a gallon for gasoline.
General – $91
Purchases included a birthday gift, two telephone charging cables and miscellaneous household items such as toiletries, paper products and cleaning supplies.
Laundry – $16
One visit to the laundromat this month in Quartzsite, Arizona. Washers were $3.50 and dryers $0.25 for 6.6 minutes. Unfortunately, the laundromat (Main Street Laundry) ran out of propane after we put our clothes and money in the dryers necessitating a trip to another laundromat to complete the drying process. The second laundromat (Palm Plaza) had excellent dryers with a price of $0.25 for 7 minutes of usage.
License/Insurance – $115
Full-time RV and tow vehicle insurance and licensing. Both our RV and auto policies renewed at the end of December with price increases equalling an additional seven dollars a month in expense.
Medical/Dental – $139
Expense includes our monthly health insurance premium. 2019 costs reflect a $21 increase over 2018 premium fees. No other costs were incurred.
RV/Auto – $0
No expenses were incurred this month.
Utilities – $74
Expenses include two water/dump station visits ($10 & $14) and two propane fills. Early in the month we paid $2.99 + tax for 5.7 gallons of propane in Phoenix, AZ and then on January 31 we filled both the RV propane and our auxiliary 20 pound tank (used for the grill and fire pit) with a total of 12.4 gallons at $2.30 + tax in Quartzsite, AZ at the RV Pit Stop.
2019 By Month
- January – $966
2018 By Month
- 2019 YTD – $966
- 2018 YTD – $22,038
- Last Six Months of 2017 – $9,054
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