August 2023 Financial Update

Welcome to our August 2023 financial update! In last months financial update we had just been upended from our camping spot in South Dakota. The quick exit had us moving southeast and settling in Nebraska before getting back on track with our regular schedule in Kansas.

Once we arrived in Kansas in early August life seemed to get back on track. It was nice to get back into our normal morning routine. It was also great to start taking more day trips to various locations. Kansas isn’t glamorous, but it has a lot of history to learn about. We also made the journey to Kansas City, MO to see the Federal Reserve Money Museum and then checked off another ballpark from our bucket list.

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Really the only downside in Kansas has been the heat. We hit 113 a couple of times and stayed in the high 90’s to low 100’s for most of our stay. Certainly not what we expected here. We are originally from Southern California and the summer heat is nothing new to us. Plus it’s nothing that the resort pool and a cold adult beverage can’t help resolve. After the weather we experienced in South Dakota it was kind of a nice change of pace.

If you are a frequent reader of our blog you might have seen our recent blog “Is The End Near“. In short, we found ourselves looking at homes in some areas we have visited. It’s been interesting to look around and ponder living in some of these different places. And the more we look the more we start thinking about the future.

However, as we have gone through this exercise and researched we have come to a few realizations:

First, we would probably need to be completely off the road before we could really get serious. Making a home purchase while traveling would not be easy at all. Especially if we are thinking of buying in a part of the country where winter RV living isn’t a great idea. Hard to find a home when you are frozen!

Second, home values are completely insane in most places. This would cause us to wait awhile to see how the market moves with higher interest rates here.

Third, in areas where home prices aren’t that bad the property taxes have been terrible instead. Maybe that’s how it is outside of California where prop 13 is a major benefit to homeowners when it comes to property taxes? If so it could be a huge factor as we have seen some places where the prices are pretty fair, but those taxes!! No thank you! The bottom line is that we have no plans to stop traveling yet as we love this lifestyle. But, things change and stuff happens so you never know.

What we have decided to do in the meantime is build a spreadsheet. On this spreadsheet we have included important data points for each location we would consider. Factors like weather, crime, population, prices, tax rates and even utility rates are all important in the decision making process. It’s become a fun little family hobby! As we travel the country we will take note and add more locations. In the future this can be something we utilize to make a decision when the time comes.

Onto the August 2023 financial update details!

Our Portfolio Performance August 2023:

(Original portfolio goal $1.5m)

Portfolio = $1,442,501

Our Portfolio Decreased By -$35,368 or -2.39% From The End Of July 

Year-To-Date Our Portfolio Has Increased By 117,874 or 8.90%

Net Worth = $1,504,838

Our Net Worth Decreased By -$34,695 or -2.25% From The End Of July 

Year-To-Date Our Net Worth Has Increased By $125,011 or 9.06%

After a couple of months of nice gains the markets took a step back in August. The month actually ended much better than it looked like it was going to thanks to a good bounce in the last week. So it could have been much worse.

As we head into September the markets are looking weak. This is historically a horrible month for stocks and to top it off the economic data keeps going in the wrong direction. It’s hard to see anything moving in a positive direction until there is more clarity on the economy and earnings. Rising fuel prices aren’t going to help matters either. But, at least the job numbers are strong! Well, at least until they were revised lower yet again.

Our Spending for August 2023:

Monthly Budget = $5,000

Total spend for July 2023 = $4,687

Over/Under Monthly Budget = 313

Over/Under Budget YTD = -$2,049 

Prepaid Site Fees = +$185

Net Over/Under Budget YTD = $2,234 Over Budget 

August turned out to be a little disappointing when it comes to our spending. We had planned for this to be the month where our annual end of year budget comeback begins. Many of our expenses are front loaded in the year and August is about the time where our budget comes together and we start making up ground. However life had other plans for us this year.

First, we decided to book our sons holiday travel early which was a very sizable expense. On top of that the resort for our next stop threw us for a loop by charging us for our reservation two weeks earlier than we expected. Upon reviewing the reservation we should have known this was going to happen. They disclosed the date we would be charged, but we didn’t make a note of it. Oops!

Due to these unexpected expenses we finished the month only $313 under budget instead of $1,700 as we had planned for. It’s not the end of the world as both of these expenses are really just being pulled forward into August. We would have had to pay for them at some point anyway. It just stinks when we plan for something and it does work as anticipated. On the bright side we were still under budget for the month despite the hit.

When we compare the month of August on a year over year basis our spending increased by 14% from 2022. Year to date year we are now $2,234 over budget which is still a $348 improvement when compared to the same eight month period in 2022. So while the August was worse this year we are still on track to be better for all of 2023.

At this time we are expecting a sizable decrease in our spending for September. We have already been charged for our site fees and we will not need to get fuel in order to make it to our next stop.

Additionally, the location is on a lake and a place we have already been to before. It’s pretty remote and if history repeats itself we will probably only leave the resort to go grocery shopping and maybe enjoy an occasional meal out. There’s a chance we might take a drive to Missouri to see family, but that won’t be expensive. So we expect to have a good month in the spending department for September based on the current outlook.

The rest of 2023 should also look pretty good as we shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket for anymore sites. We currently have a site booked that we prepaid for in Texas. This expense will be recognized in our October numbers. But, after that stop we will arrive at our winter work-camping location where our site will be free for the next six months. We will just have to pay for fuel to get there and that’s looking more expensive every day.

That’s a wrap for our August 2023 financial update. Thank you as always for reading our blog!

See you on the road!


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