April Expenses - Sprinter Van Conversion Costs, Our Last Paychecks
Written by Matt
April Expense Report - $10,354 of $40,000 challenge
Sorry this post is coming out so late! Our lives have really been a whirlwind recently and the blog has not been getting a whole lot of love. I wanted to keep these posts going through because I think it's important to keep us on track for our goal of $40k even when we are going through a crazy life transition. Hopefully, you all enjoy learning about how we spend our Money Monthly!
Our April Experience!
Our April was CRAZY. We Quit our Jobs (April 12th) Went full time on converting Clifford, our Sprinter Van, Started selling all our belongings in preparation for leaving our house behind. There felt like there were hundreds of small logistical items that neede handled when you transition out of a job, out of your house, and out of your town into an unconventional lifestyle.
I'll break down our expenses this month and I was pretty shocked that they were still right in line with where we wanted to be! obviously, it is easy to slacken up on your budget when the rest of your life gets hectic. After all you only have so much mental bandwidth and when you're spending a ton of time thinking about everything else in your life sometimes it easy to lose track and overspend.
Mortgage: $2,090.74 - You've seen this one the last several months. No change here yet. We will stop paying our $300 extra towards principle soon though.
Roommate Income: $1,950 – We had one roommate change over. It was good to get that done before we left. We are planning to have a couple move into our house on May 5th to take over our master and become the house mangers. We have to get the Van done and get moved out by then.
Net housing cots: $513.93 (plus we built some equity in there!)
Bills were reasonable this month. We didn't need to heat the house at all so there is no gas bill. Just $12 we pay per month to PG&E for their smart meter. All the electricity was covered by solar. The way our solar billing works is they keep track of how much is used and generated for a 12 month cycle. at the end if you used more than you made you pay the difference and if you made more than you used you owe zero (unfortunately they don't have to pay you for your surplus)
Student Loan Payment: $500 – I was fortunate enough that my parents could help me pay for college. I’m paying my mom back for ~$60k in student loans. We set up a $500 payment each month for 10 years which I’m about 5 years into. (0% interest!)
Travel: Zero travel expenses. I could have put some of our San Diego expenses in under travel but they were already categorized in our regular spending and it was relatively short and inexpensive trip.
Groceries: $300.45 – Groceries were back on track this month after having so may people visiting last month. We tried to eat everyting that we had stocked up in our house which helped keep this low. We were pretty sucessful in cleaning the pantry and the fridge before we left
Doctor: $253.37 – So we decided we should get checked up before we left our company insurance. We started the process in March of getting full blood works done and any kind of tests we thought we should have. Luckily we are both in great health but we did spend some money here for some peace of mind before we left the safety net of insurance for our health sharing plan ($10,000 deductible!)
Insurance: $202.24 - $60 for Alli, $72 for me, and we added the van to Allison's policy. We are taking both of our cars off as we sell them and will likely get a refund for some of these payments
Gasoline: $157.24 – I only commuted to work about half the month but we filled up Clifford for a grand total of $100... California gas is pretty expensive and he took ~26gal at $4 a pop. Luckily other states are a lot cheaper for diesel
Eating out: $185.37– We went out to dinner with a few friends for going away get-togethers. We bought a couple meals for people that stopped by and helped with the van. A little higher this month but considering how busy were working on everything else I think it went really well. Its easy to let cooking fall by the wayside and opt for the convenience of going out when things get a little hectic
Auto Parts/service: $88.63 – Allison had a flat tire on the Honda and had to have it replaced. Unexpected but maybe got some of that value out of the car when we sold it. Hard to say.
Trade Commissions: $50.37 – all the fund fees for my 401k got charged. Seems like this only happens once a quarter so that would explain why this month was so much higher.
Phones: $47.97 – We used to get our phones paid for by work. Now we are on our own. We decided to go with ProjectFI by google. it had a pretty attractive price at $20/mo plus $10/G of data. I'll have more to say about that in a future post but we have since swapped to Verizon
Shipping: $29.22 – we have been selling a ton of stuff on Ebay. So really this gets offset by some of our income but I included it here because really it all comes out in the wash in the total for the month.
Gym: $5 – we have a web subscription to “yoga works” which we still haven't canceled. We barely used it this month and unfortunately, workouts have fallen down the priority list and niether of us have done a great job keeping up on it. Allison is still doing her Yoga Teacher training so soon I'll have my own personal instructor!
Paychecks: $12,392.18 – We got our final paychecks this month so we got paid out some of our banked vacation time. I had ~2 weeks of vacation banked up so I basically got paid through the end of the month even though we left on the 12th. Also, Alli filled her 401k so we started receiving that money as paychecks again.
401k Contributions: $9,047.53 - We still were able to get some additional funds into the 401k before we quit. That money will have lots of time to sit there and grow before we need to pull from it!
Selling Stuff: $7,110.10 - It's amazing the value of all the stuff you have in your house. We sold Allisons Car ($4,000) held a garage sale ($1,200) and sold lot and lots of stuff on OfferUp and Ebay. This was Extremely taxing though. Its hard to part with all your things and it can be a real time suck to try and get a fair price for everything. The garage sale was the last step and we just sold everything at 80% discounts... but it was good to just have it gone
Dividends: $782.85 – All of the 401k holdings paid out dividends. So this offsets all those fees you saw up above.
HSA Contribution: $188.46 – Since I only got one paycheck I could only put half into this account.
Owen Your Future: $8,325.82 – We purchased almost everything we would need to finish out the conversion on Clifford. He, unfortunately, did need a very expensive engine repair that we didn't see coming. The original owner had told us he replaced the motor. We came to find out that he actually had a shop just replace pistons and bearings on the bottom end of the motor. They had re-used the old head and we ended up with a failed head gasket. I personally learned a lot about myself through this van purchase. I felt as though I got caught up in the emotions of the moment and wanted the van so badly that I accepted that there was no maintenance paperwork or proof of any work. Just went by word and overlooked some warning signs that it may not have been in the best condition.
Its always good to know where you shortfalls are so that I can help mitigate them in the future. While its unfortunate to have to immediately put $4,000 into the van in repairs It was a learning experience and at this point, there is no stopping this train so whatever Clifford needs, Clifford gets.
Business Support: $404.30 - We paid for our yearly hosting bill, Active Campaign, LibSyn for Alli's podcast and we took the step of setting up an LLC. We decided to create one master LLC that we could then put the individual companies underneath but after talking with a tax advisor and doing our taxes for last year we determined we had to at a minimum get one business structure in place and stop comingling expenses. So we have Owen Family Enterprises LLC and a business bank account now!
Sorry again for the tardiness of this post! the next couple months should follow this one shortly. Overall it was a good month. Even with all the major changes and shakedown happening in our life we stayed on budget. We are doing pretty well with our Clifford renovation budget even with a large mechanic bill. Stay tuned for more details on Clifford's renovation and our travels from the road!
Leave us some comments below and let us know how you are doing on your financial goals for this year and if we can support you on your journey in any way! Thanks for reading!