Why living in an RV helps protect you against US economy problems

Today, as I write this, we are in the week of the US Credit Downgrade by Standard & Poors. But I don’t want this to be a ‘timely’ post, I want it to be an article that gets people thinking…

But if we work the logic, the following things are true…

  • You don’t have control over your employer, you might be laid off – or not.
  • Your investments are what they are. Moving them now is too late.
    • Ok – you CAN still actively do something with them… but what?

The ONLY thing you have 100% control over is your spending. You might argue that you might be FORCED to spend some money on things, but honestly, you have LOTS of control over your spending.

This is where the RV lifestyle, which I choose BY CHOICE, and I’m still pretty young, comes in…

The RV lifestyle is more economical in almost EVERY way over another lifestyle. Here is how:

  • Electric Bill (saving $100-$200/month)
    • A RV is a substantially smaller space and is much easier to heat and cool.
    • Our Texas electric bill (it has been 100-107 degrees every day for 30 days) is around $100.
      • Most people are paying much more.
      • We are not suffering and living in a HOT RV. It is around 72-74 degrees in our RV.
    • The smaller space to heat & cool FAR outweighs the thinner walls in the energy tradeoff.
  • Water Bill (saving $10-$20/month)
    • Since we keep the gray water valve closed, we are careful to not fill it quickly – taking conservative showers.
    • We also do not have a lawn. No watering.
  • Hot Water (saving $10-30/month)
    • The on/off switch for the RV hot water heater helps us keep it off about 22 hours a day.
  • Rent (saving $200-500/month)
    • Our lot rent is $300 per month. Less than the cheapest rent in Austin – or close to it.
    • But we don’t have to live in a hovel. We live in a fantastic 40 foot RV.
    • RV lot rents are typically month-to-month so we don’t have a lease risk where we can’t move due to the lease.
  • Furniture (saving $100/month – assuming payments and messing around with decorating)
    • We don’t have any. The RV comes furnished.
    • We save lots on furniture since we do no buying of furniture.
  • Job Flexibility
    • We can move cities, or to a different side of our current city for about $150.
    • Hard to put a savings on this, but not selling a house and losing money in a down market is a HUGE advantage.
  • Cable TV (saving $50/month)
    • We have such full lives, outside lives, that we don’t have or need cable TV.

I don’t think I’m being crazy. Mark Cuban’s has several posts – here is a representative post that discusses the merits of being frugal.

T Harv Eker writes that “Expenses will always rise in direct proportion to income.” This is REALLY about how you have to consciously choose to live within your means.

Sheri and I do not want for anything. We choose to live without an attachment to “things”. This makes the RV lifestyle easier for us. “Thing-oriented” people will have trouble both living in a small space as well as surviving tough economic times. As Sheri says, “things people are just poorer at a higher level!”

My daughter wrote a wonderful article for her school, which made me really proud that she is thinking about her impact on the world and how an RV can help.

So if you’re living in an RV, chances are you’re the MOST ready of anyone in the US to weather our upcoming tribulations.


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