Friday, June 29, 2012

On the road again

Well, I've done it. I have resigned from my engineering job. Today, Friday the 29th of June, is my last day. My storage unit is mostly packed up and I am ready to get on the road. I will be driving in the evening/night so that I can travel at a slower pace and also enjoy the "cooler" temperatures.

The initial plan is to move all my stuff back to CO and spend a couple weeks visiting with my parents. Spending some time cleaning up the van/maintenance (fix fuel tank) Afterwards, it will be vacation time with the van. I don't know where I want to go just yet but wherever it is, I want to stay there for as long as possible. I am thinking that BLM land will be the best bet for boondocking.

Not sure about destinations or what I will do but it feels good to have some freedom. Definitely some climbing and caving and gold panning.

Friday, June 1, 2012

5/30/2012 - Monthly Financial Breakdown

Well, another month has passed and this means I need to do a financial breakdown. This past month went extremely well...Lets see how well it went. How much is Van dwelling in my VW Westfalia saving or costing me?

Previous Monthly Financial post here

If I sum up total expenses from 5/1/2012 through 5/31/2012 I get -$661
A rough calculation would put my yearly expenses at $7937. :)  Yeay, I did it! Finally a sub 1K month!!

Regular Food costs: -$104 or -$26 per week (Normal to low)
Fun Food Costs:  -$210 or -$52 per week (Higher)
Fuel: -$128 or -$32 per week (Normal to low)
Van: -$76 (Renewed the Registration and propane)
Travel: -$56 (Parking from Marathon trip)
Insurance: -$50 per month   (I pay in 6mo intervals to reduce the premium but still counted as monthly)
Clothing: -$0 (Nothing new in February)
Misc: -$52 (fuel for a friend)
Storage:  -$32 (plus a sunk cost of 15 per month for mailbox)
Gifts: -$0 (nothing happened in May but June has a wedding)

Things that were not necessary this past month: Travel, fun food, and van expenses.
The fun food expenses were eating out with friends and solo burritos. The Van only needed a renewal of registration but one could argue that there is a fuel tank to be purchased. This brings my luxury expenses to $343 and necessary to $318 Yikes!! Without the luxury, my yearly is at $3816... :)

Ok, clean out the unusual stuff and do a monthly for the rest
Regular Food and fuel: -$300 (I don’t have any long distance driving trips planned for next month)
Storage and box:  -$47
Insurance: -$50 
Clothes: -$0
Van:  -$100 (I don't anticipate any large projects for next month)
Fun: -$200 (I need to watch my fun costs)
Yearly expense estimate with the new numbers: $7200

Finally under my 11k mark again but still disturbed by fun expenses like eating out with friends but I can hardly be angry about it because it was really fun. 

I almost don't believe that I only spent $661 last month. Nothing was lacking in my life and I wasn't starving.

I am optimistic about next month's expense sheet, should be interesting to see exactly what an another normal month will look like.

Here is the status of my dividend income:
I have a running total of yearly expenses which I base my numbers off of so if my monthly goes up my dividend income against it decreases in value.
Since I re-aligned my investment strategy I've been putting extra cash into dividend paying stocks and other investment opportunities.

 Last post it was at 24.0%. Previous Monthly Financial post here

Current level is now estimated at 30.96%
Note: Since last post I have sold one of my positions and redistributed it into a lower interest but more stable stock. Ill wait till after the dividend to re-buy.

Progress at a snail's pace but improving, My plan for June and the rest of the year is to push hard on dividend stocks and trim expenses. Such slow progress and the market has not been very favorable. Currently in the red on several stocks but many are improving, I am still optimistic though.