2015 Full-timer Cost of Living and Income Report


I summoned the willpower to secluded myself from the Xscapers festivities last week long enough to work out my 2015 cost of living and income numbers. Here they are, conveniently tacked on to the chart I’ve used for previous years for ease of comparison. As always, let me stress that these numbers will be different for everyone, but I hope they help you prospective full-timers in your own budgeting and planning.


Adjusted Gross Income

Living Costs

2011 (My last year living a stationary life, working as a Vet Tech and sharing a lower-end apartment with a roommate)

$27,732 (I worked an average of 40-45 hours a week, and had two weeks of paid vacation time)

$17,694 (not including the $6,984 spent on the truck purchase, taxes, registration, etc.)

2012 (I quit the vet tech job at the end of January and worked at Best Buy from Feb until Sept. I lived in the Casita starting April 28, and started traveling full-time on Sept. 17). I worked in CamperForce for the holidays)

$18,495 (I worked an average of 30 hours a week at Best Buy, 40-50 hours a week at Amazon, and had about 6 weeks of “vacation” time where I didn’t work and just traveled)

$18,838 (not including the $9,440 RV purchase, taxes, registration, etc. but including other RVing items like leveling blocks, the hitch, water pressure regulator, and a laptop)

2013 (First full year as a full-timer. Worked at Lowe’s from Feb-April. Badlands Natl Park from April-Oct. And Amazon from Oct-Dec.)

$16,070 (Had about 8 weeks of vacation time)

Estimated at $15,300, but I didn’t keep close track. I ended up earning a little more than I spent in 2013.

2014 (Second full year on the road. Volunteered in Florida Jan-Apr, worked at GA renaissance festival Apr-June, Zion Natl Park June-Oct, and Amazon Oct-Dec.)

$15,066 (Acting at the festival was only 2 days a week and less than $600 in earnings, so it’s almost like I had 6 months off this year.)

Estimated at just under $16,000, Spent more than I earned this year but fulfilled a longtime dream of performing at a renaissance festival.

2015 (Third full year on the road. Worked at Yellowstone Nat’l Park May-Sept, and Amazon Oct-Dec.)

$20,017 (Edited 3/22/16 with official number from IRS)

$15, 693 The biggest net gain I’ve had since hitting the road, and this with $4000 in RV and truck maintenance/repair costs.

2015 monthly cost of living average: $1,308

2015 monthly income average: $1,668

Most expensive month: December ($2,203 – $1,320 of that was repairs)

Least expensive month: February ($595 – The months I’m stationary for work/volunteering are always the cheapest)

Not surprisingly, December was my highest income month (thank you overtime, Amazon affiliate shoppers and PayPal donaters), and February was my lowest earning month.

All in all, I feel pretty happy with how this year went financially. To see my last post on this topic with more musings on the numbers from 2011 to 2014, click here.

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For everyone coming over from last night’s Livestream broadcast on Solo RVing, welcome to IO and I’m glad you’re here! For more info about this blog you can visit the About & Contact page, and to see the most helpful content I’ve written about full-time RVing as a single pre-retirement person, visit the Useful Stuff page. I hope you enjoy your stay. Safe travels and happy trails!

For those of you who couldn’t attend, the edited video is now up on YouTube here.

Image courtesy of Pictures of Money

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