May was a relatively quiet month which was a nice change of pace from what we have experienced over the last few months. It feels like we are settling into a new routine and we have been able to enjoy more time in the outdoors. We did a few hiking trips this month, two of which were in Bryce Canyon National Park, and I have been going up to our favorite lake a couple of days a week to fish with our son and my dad. At this point the most difficult thing to deal with is helping family understand we are not on vacation and we can’t go out to dinner every night or stay up late and play cards. Mrs. RVF still insists on continuing to work so we still have a schedule to keep for the time being.
Now that we are getting settled into a routine we starting to get a better picture of our living expenses and how they align with the budget we created. May was really the first month we have had since we started full timing where we really didn’t have any extra travel expenses or other expenses relating to our transition. We did have a couple of unplanned expenses as we needed to book a flight for our son to go back to school in August and we bought annual finshing licenses because it is cheaper in the long run than buying multipule licenses for shorter time frames. Also having our son home adds quite a bit to the monthly food bill. Despite these added cost we still managed to come in a few hundred dollars under budget.
The big wow moment comes when we compare our May 2021 expenses to May 2020. Year over year we have seen a 40% decrease in our expenses and we are really just getting started. Most of this decrease is because we no longer have to pay for a house and all of the expenses that come along with having that responsibility. But there are other things that are contributing to this nice decrease in expenses as well. We are no longer in tax happy California so fuel costs are much lower. Even after increasing the amout of driving we have done since we arrived in Utah and the fact that fuel prices are currently very high for the state it’s still alot cheaper than what we paid in California last year. Additionally, our food costs are lower than the same time last year even with our son home and despite higher prices due to inflation. The fact is life is just less expensive outside of California.
Aside from home expenses one of the biggest savings comes further down the ledger and that is vacation and travel expenses. In the past we spent several hundred dollars a month going out and camping in our RV because that is what makes us happy. Now we are living that life full time and because of that these expenses no longer exist. For example, we spent our budget amount for diesel fuel in May but now we are stationary for 4 months so we will not be filling the tank anytime soon. This is much cheaper than having to fill 100 gallons of deisel fuel every other week in California, who btw has the highest fuel tax in the nation, so we could go glamping. In addition you can say that monthly space rental took the place of weekend space rental, but it also took the place of our mortgage, HOA and utilities. Additionally you get a large discount when you book a spot for a month or more as opposed to partying for a weekend. Anyway you slice it the monthly savings is huge and this lifestyle is paying off both mentally and financially.
Here is where we ended for the month of May 2021:
Portfolio = $1,546,742
Portfolio Goal = $1,500,000
Amount Needed To Reach Goal = ZERO
Our Portfolio Increased By $14,486 or 0.95% From The End Of April
Year-To-Date Our Portfolio Has Increased By 25.58%
Net Worth = $1,577,099
Our Net Worth Increased By $18,537 or 1.19% From The End April
Year-To-Date Our Net Worth Has Increased By 9.36%
As we mentioned in our previous update April was a very expensive month due to traveling to South Dakota to establish residency, having to pay up front for new insurance for our RV and Jeep and double paying for a rental space so we could get out of the below freezing temperatures in South Dakota a few days early before a storm hit. We use credit cards to pay for as much stuff as possible so we can earn points or cash back and we ALWAYS pay the balance in full each month. Well that bill came due and we had to lay out a nice chunk of cash so our cash on hand went down a little and our monthly portfolio gain lagged because of it. But I will never complain about a positive month.
Towards the end of April I decided to start a mini dividend portfolio as both a side hobby and a way to generate more passive income. To fund this accout I am using money earned from this website from affiliate marketing and advertising. This will hopefully take passive income earned and invest it to generate more passive income, in essence creating a snowball effect. I started the month out with just a few hundred dollars that was dead money already sitting in my old trading account. I then went back and looked at how much money we earned over the last couple of years and transfered it to the trading account. At the end of May the account was up to $1,300 and invested in various stocks with an average yield of 4.2%. This will generate forward dividends of about $55. It will be fun to watch this account and the forward dividends grow as more money gets invested and the DRIP starts taking effect. It will be a slow process but that is half of the fun.
Going forward into the Summer months I don’t expect much to change from what happened in May. There was selling in May but no one went away, in fact they all came back at the end. It seems everyone is in a wait and see pattern with eyes on inflation and the Fed. If this inflation is indeed transitory then the reopening rally continues as the Fed watches from the sideline keeping the status quo in place. If the inflation we are seeing becomes more consistent and continues then the Fed will have no choice but to step in and that could change the ball game completly as we move into a rising interest rate environment. Until there is more clarity the markets will probably be choppy and move sideways.
As usual we will stick to our long term invesment strategy with a side order of dividend investing fun. The lazy days of Summer are upon us.
Thank you for reading our blog. Follow us on social media for updates and photos as our adventure gets into full swing.
Until next time……………