A&A Supplies and Finances for Full-Time RV Living
Updated: Jan 13, 2020
It’s a rainy Sunday afternoon here in Stone Lake, WI. Adam is working at a local bar called the Chit-Chat, where he has been cooking all weekend for some extra cash (woo-hoo for grocery money!) Currently I’m perched up on the couch at the local coffee shop, The Whistle Punk, and hoping all this rain helps wash away the mass amounts of pollen we have up here! The other day Adam and my great Uncle Bill saw the ‘cloud of pollen’ coming our way in the sky, and it honestly looked just like a cloud of smoke. I’ve never seen so much pollen in my life!
Monday, the day this post goes live, marks one official month on the calendar (May 24) since we said goodbye to our lives as we know it and moved up north. CRAZY!
Can you see the pollen all over the awning??
The end of Week #4: let’s dive right into all of the dirty details of supplies, and finances to prepare for full time RV living. This is obviously a hot topic amongst people interested in our journey and I think it can be beneficially to anyone following along to learn more about how we prepared for something like this! It’s totally worthwhile to be honest and authentic with you on the ins and outs of finances so you can see how possible it can be to make your dreams come true, no matter where you are at in life!
Disclaimer: Adam and I are fortunate enough to not have any significant debt from credit cards or student loans in going into this experience. We wholeheartedly believe this has helped us make this dream come true and are extremely grateful for this experience.
Prepping for the Road Ahead
Starting a stock pile
When we first were telling everyone about our grand adventure, a common question we got was how long were we preparing for this financially? The honest truth: it was really only about 6-7 months. We really didn’t save all that much financially to get started, aside from our own personal and joint savings that we have already been (trying to) build up for years. To get started with everything initially, it did not cost us as much as you would maybe think it did.
Luckily, around the time we were planning and preparing for this adventure was also tax return season and a time of a few surprise bonuses for me at work. Our tax return funds and my work bonuses were really the only money we used up front to pay for any of our preparations. We allocated a combined tax return amount of about $2,000, and about another $2,000 in work bonuses to build up our supplies. Other than that we partially did a vehicle trade in to help acquire our new towing rig – our 2013 Chevy Express Van, and we initially are financing our 2019 Grand Design Imagine travel trailer.
Budget friendly plans for the future
Throughout our planning, we also came to the agreement that as a way to cut costs and save money while we are on the road, we will primarily be doing what is called ‘boondocking’. This means we will seek out FREE public land everywhere we can,, without having to pay the daily costs to set up in various RV parks. With our extra large water tanks in our RV, we should be able to last about a week at a time, where from there we could maybe pay for 1-3 nights in an RV park to fill up again, take quality showers, and recharge!
Thankfully, and unbeknown to a lot of people, there is no shortage of free public land out there in the most beautiful places of the country. We have found so many websites and resources to show us the way and are excited to see the world firsthand, raw and wild.
Once our house is sold and taken care of, the only payments we will have per month will include cell phone/internet, (bi-annual) insurance for the van and trailer, and the trailer payment itself, (food for us and Bengals & gas too of course!) Although we will work as much as possible, the anticipated funds from selling our home will help take care of those bills for 6-12 months while we get situated and make adjusted plans for the future.
Disclaimer: We also did a joint phone plan with some of our friends to cut even more costs!
Tax Return Supplies
A majority of the supplies we stocked up on with our tax return were ‘household products’ with the intent of having enough for a years worth. This included things like toothpaste, cleaning supplies, hair products (for me), makeup (also me), soap, towels, etc. We also purchased things specifically for RV living, such as a weather radio, walkie-talkies, small laundry baskets to fit new tiny living, and a french press for electricity free coffee!
It’s super important to me to have natural products and I wanted to stock up on all of my favorites while I had the money to do so. Examples of products purchased include:
Cleaning supplies – Dr. Bronner’s magic soaps. Natural, chemical free, biodegradable and concentrated! Plus most of their soaps are super multi purpose!
Hand & dish soaps – Seventh Generation natural hand and dish soaps. Unscented of course! (Don’t want to engage with that toxic fragrance loophole! Don’t know what I’m talking about? Read my previous blog post: )
Toilet Paper: Seventh Generation 100% recycled toilet paper, processed without any chemicals containing chlorine.
Hygiene products – Schmidt’s Naturals (deodorant and toothpaste), Kopari Beauty (deodorant and face washes), Beautycounter (natural, biodegradable cleansing wipes), Lola (organic cotton tampons, and natural wipes).
Makeup – Mostly all from Beautycounter. I don’t wear a lot to begin with so it’s easy to acquire enough for a year or more!
Makeup – Milk Makeup (mascara), their special CBD Kush mascara that I’ve reviewed before on my blog here.
Dry food goods – Thrive Market (all organic – rice, pasta, macaroni & cheese, beans, avocado cooking oil, ghee butter), Silver Fern Brand (organic probiotic plant protein powders), Costco (organic peanut butter, organic pasta and sauce, organic tuna, organic protein bars, and a huge 20 pound bag of organic rice), Bulletproof (ground coffee bags – because, caffeine addicts!)
Work Bonus Supplies
With one big ticket item in mind, needed for our adventures ahead, we decided to allocate 50% of the work bonus money on one thing: a generator. Adam did countless hours of research on generator types and which one to have, and we decided on one that we were able to get from Amazon and have delivered directly to Stone Lake, WI.
Amazon Link: generator
Another 25% of this money was just allocated towards new items for tiny living. Since we were moving from a King bed to a Queen, I purchased a new organic cotton comforter from Under The Canopy, and new organic cotton sheet set actually just from Target. I also got a few organic hand and shower towels from Under The Canopy too!