Budgeting for The Big Lap
We bring you this preview courtesy of Pat Callinan and MR4X4. CLICK HERE for instructions on how Club 4X4 policyholders can gain access to MR4X4 content. Words by Marty Ledwich How much does it really cost …
Words by Marty Ledwich
How much does it really cost to travel around the country in an RV? Now on his third lap of Oz, Marty Ledwich shares his tips for budgeting for the big lap and sticking to it.
Budgeting for the big lap is one of the most asked questions on caravanning and camping Facebook groups, and for good reason. You need to know how much it is likely to cost before you head off. But how much should you budget for the big trip and how do you stick to the budget? Well, after being on the road now for the last three years and not having gone broke yet, we reckon we have the answer and it is a lot simpler than you could imagine.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
It is almost completely impossible for me to say to anyone how much the big lap is going to cost them for one fundamental reason. My particular situation would be completely different to the next person. I travel with my wife and our three dogs. I have an income but my wife does not. We sold our home and all our possessions so we have no pre-existing bills to pay with the exception of the costs of insuring and maintaining our car and caravan, both of which we own outright. Our overheads are very low.
Compare that to a young couple travelling with three kids who want to keep their home to return to. They may have mortgage payments to keep up as well as rates, insurance, utilities and other costs associated with owning a home. Then there are the costs related to having kids such as their education. Their costs would be hugely different to ours.
If you own your home but intend to rent it out while you’re away, that may offset your costs somewhat, but you may need to put your furniture and possessions into storage, which will have its own associated costs. The number of variables is almost endless.
To determine what your likely costs will be, consider what you are paying now living in your home before you leave as a guide. Look at how much you will need to pay on a regular basis for things like mortgage payments, rates, insurance, etc. Then look at the usual costs of living such as food, fuel and car maintenance. Write all these items down and put as much detail into them as you can. This will give you a starting point from which to work. Just adjust them to take into consideration the fact you may not be using the utilities while you’re away. Fuel and maintenance costs may change depending on the distances you travel. Having a rough itinerary will help here. Just remember to double the fuel consumption of your vehicle given it will be towing for much of the time…
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