How much did it cost to set off?

I wanted to add up all of our costs to hit the road to see what the damage was now that we can look back. At the same time, we happen to have a whole bunch of pictures from around Cotopaxi and Salida, Colorado, so I threw a bunch of them in, enjoy! Below are all of the bigger items that I can remember with prices being pretty rough estimates sometimes.

Just a pretty cactus.
  • $6500 – RV
  • $3000 – Solar setup
  • $1500 – Towing setup, Craigslist; $1000 for the brake controller and the tow bar, and then another $500 for car bracket and extra pieces (lights, cables, etc)
  •  $1150 – Mechanic visit (engine maintenance, new gearbox, new rear brakes, new rear axle bearings, new power steering pump, fixed frame bracket)
  • $650 – Evaporative Cooler to replace the air conditioner with something we could run while boondocking
  •  $500 – Emergency Generator and gas can and oil. The generator that came with the rig was overkill given our solar setup, needed repairs, and was an easy place for us to save on weight.
  • $500 – Furniture and materials for renovation. I was on a first name basis with the people at Ace Hardware up the street.
  • $300 – Flooring
  • $300 – Air Springs
  • $275 – New memory foam mattress
  • $150 – Fantastic Fan – which is indeed fantastic.
  • $60 – Bike rack – Craigslist special that will probably be replaced soon because it’s a piece of junk
  • $50 – The blog (hosting, domain name, etc)

Rounds to $11,500 because I’m sure we forgot some things (stuff to re-seal the roof, the curtain rods, monitor arms, insurance increases etc) plus about 250 hours of labor/research/wrangling Craigslisters, if we had to guess.

Not thinking about the 250 hours of labor to renovate and sell all the things. Instead thinking about the beautiful Arkansas River.
But at the same time we made a fair bit of money selling stuff:

  • $2800 – Whitewater gear (shredder, two kayaks, two paddles, tons of clothing, etc)
  • $1500 – Furniture (two bedroom sets, a dining room set, etc)
  • $600 – Garage sale odds and ends
  • $500 – other stuff sold on Craigslist
  • $200 – tax deductions for all of the Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity ReStore donations
  • $12 – through Amazon referrals from the blog 🙂 (If this ever covers expenses we’ll be thrilled but making money isn’t what the blog is for really)

$4100 ish. So, all in all, our total net cost to start this trip came in around $7500.

Ignore the construction equipment and enjoy the view from my bike ride this morning.
It’s nice to see all of that wrapped up into one number. Sure, we’ll have expenses on the road, and expenses to rent out the house along the way, but $7500 of savings is all it took to make this transition. That’s a decent used car, that’s it. Spend $7500 up front, and now we never have a rent payment, mortgage payment, or car payment again (not to mention no utilities if we don’t want to plug in). We’re done. Even if we both lost our jobs, we’d only really need to pay for food and dump stations if it came down to it. Everything else is negotiable. It’s a pretty awesome feeling.

A pretty place to consider this awesome feeling.

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