That didn’t last long!
In our last update we said it was nice to see a positive month. But we also cautioned that we should not get ahead of ourselves and expect it to continue. This turned out to be a good call as one can never underestimate the power of incompetent government lifers to further screw things up and cause more turmoil.
Additionally, in our last update we questioned Mr. Fed Chairman’s rational for saying that he believes interest rates, currently at 2.5%, are now at neutral and neither helping or hurting the economy when their own preferred inflation gauge clocked in at 4.8%. And that’s after stripping out food and energy which puts inflation at a disturbing 6.8%. As has become customary with our esteemed and incompetent fed chairman he and his cronies had to spend a lot of time walking back that idiotic comment over the last month. Much like they had to do with the transitory inflation hoax they perpetuated for over a year to justify not doing their job.
And since government incompetence knows no bounds, Mr. Chairman took things a step further to in an effort to show how serious he really is about combating inflation by talking tough at the annual Jackson Hole Economic Symposium. This outpouring of tough talk was a pathetic display to further fix his previous neutral rate statement and to try and bring the markets back down to reality. But, he wasn’t finished there as he then took aim at the American people by saying we will need to feel some pain in order to get inflation under control.
Does anyone else find it ironic that his failure to do his job is the reason why there is so much pain due to inflation to begin with? So now because he failed to do his job we get to experience even more pain in order to fix the problem he helped create? Geez thanks! In business people get fired for this kind of incompetence, but in government you get renominated and reconfirmed. Powell is living proof that failing upwards is real when it comes to our government.
After his temper tantrum tanked the stock markets and wiped out most of the previous months gains a few things are pretty clear. 1) the fed is run by buffoons 2) they don’t know how to properly communicate a message and 3) they have zero credibility and no one believes word they say, which is interesting because this fed never seems to shut the hell up!
In fact, the business media has even taking note of this feds inability to effectively communicate while at the same time never shutting their mouths. One analyst even referred to the FMOC as the Federal Open Mouth Committee. It seems like every day one of the clowns is giving a speech and they are always contradicting each other. It’s no wonder the markets don’t have a clear sense of direction on rates or the economy because the fed doesn’t have one either. This is yet another sign that the Chairman Powell is a weak, ineffective and incompetent leader.
So where does this leave us? You know, the little guy who is caught in the web of stupidity and incompetence. The people who are suffering the most because of high prices on everything along with the destruction of our wealth at the hands of our inept government. We are powerless when it comes to the whims of government stooges and we can’t control the market reactions to their tantrums and inability to properly communicate a message. So the only options that are left are to either sit on the sidelines or keep investing no matter how bad it smells.
History tells us that sitting on the sidelines is not the thing to do as we will miss out on some pretty big opportunities. So we are left with continuing to invest capital into a floundering economy, in a rising interest rate environment with questionable leadership. Not exactly ideal, but it’s where we are at in this cycle. And don’t even think about trying to time the markets. The economy will begin to recover at some point and by the time we are aware of it the markets will have already made a move. So the best option is to invest on a regular basis and take this time to dollar cost average current holdings. It’s the only sure fire way to stay engaged and not miss out on an opportunity and the eventual recovery.
Here is how our portfolio performed in August 2022:
(Our original portfolio goal $1.5m)
Portfolio = $1,356,153
Our Portfolio Decreased By $52,360 or -3.72% From The End Of July
Year-To-Date Our Portfolio Has Decreased By -17.40%
Net Worth = $1,406,209
Our Net Worth Decreased By $51,599 or -3.54% From The End Of July
Year-To-Date Our Net Worth Has Decreased By -16.40%
While we didn’t lose all of our July gains they were cut by more than 50%. We are also heading into the historically worst month of the year for markets so we are not too optimistic about having a reversal in September. Plus there is just too much uncertainty surrounding the pace of rate increases, a slowing economy that IS in a recession and what the fed will actually do as opposed to the tough talk act that was displayed at the meetings. The only thing I am almost certain about is that the fed will overshoot on rates, because that’s just what they do.
Here is how we did on our spending for August 2022:
Monthly Budget = $5,000
Total spend for August 2022 = $4,109
Over/Under Monthly Budget = -$891
Over/Under Budget YTD = -$2,396
Less Prepaid Site Fees = $1,161
Net Over/Under Budget YTD = -$1,235
We were able to keep our spending in check for the most part in August staying under budget by $891. We had already prepaid in full for our site so that was a good chunk of cash that we didn’t have to lay out. Additionally, our fuel costs were less as our son wasn’t driving our Jeep for work anymore and gas in Kentucky is much cheaper than it is in Pennsylvania.
On the negative side we over spent on food and leisure for the month, but it was worth it as we had been cooped up for two months without a vehicle and needed to get out more. Plus when you are in bourbon country you have to partake a little.
Year to date we are only $1,235 over budget net of prepaid site fees. We should have no problem covering this amount over the rest of the year barring any unforeseen problems. Our next stop is a two week stay in Tennessee and is also already paid in full. We will have additional site fees hit towards the middle of September when we head to Oklahoma for a month long stay at a nice lake front resort. The good news is that after paying those fees we are done paying for sites in 2022 as we will be work-camping starting at the end of October and we will get our site for free as part of the deal. That will save us over $1,500 on our site fee budget for this year and another $2250 on our site fee budget to start 2023. Not a bad way finish this year and start the new year!
As usual the wild card in our budget will be fuel prices. We will have to fuel up the RV before heading to Tennessee and again on the way to our stop in Oklahoma. Then we will have a big fuel expense on the drive from Oklahoma to our work-camping gig in Arizona. By my calculations this leg of our journey will require us to fuel up at least two more times and possibly three so we can keep a full tank while sitting in Arizona.
In total we have just under 2,000 more miles to drive and we usually get an average of 9.5 miles per gallon. We are anticipating that diesel fuel will continue to average around $5 per gallon for the remainder of our time on the road. That puts our fuel expense at about $1,150 just to get to Arizona where we will probably top off before parking for the winter.
To date we have already used $1,747 of our $3,000 annual diesel fuel budget. If we add on the anticipated expense for the remainder of our route we are still under budget by about $100. Depending on how much we need to top off before we park or if we average more than $5 per gallon we will probably be over budget for the year. But with the way diesel fuel prices have been this year it’s amazing that we are still even in the ballpark on our budget let alone still have a chance to come in under budget.
When we started planning a budget for full-time RV living we were overly conservative in our numbers and planned for every worst case scenario we could think of. Little did we know at the time that most of those worst cases would happen over the course of our first year and a half on the road. If there is anything positive we, and our readers, can take away from our experience it’s that planning has made a bad situation bearable instead of painful.
Even though the markets are wreaking havoc on our portfolio, and at times it is difficult to watch, we are still living our dream. Even on the worst day our current lifestyle is more fulfilling than the one we left behind and that makes us more wealthy than any portfolio ever could.
Thank you as always for reading our blog. Please remember to follow us on instagram for update on our adventures as they happen.
See you on the road………….
P.S. If you haven’t heard we started an online store called StuckonCamping where you can get some of our designs on stickers, magnets, shirts, hats, tote bags and more! Check it out for camping, RV, Jeep and other outdoor designs!
Our sticker designs and more are now also available on Zazzle at StuckOnCamping!
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