Few people understand the power of saving money more than those who live on the road. Saving money has the same effect on your finances as making money. Let that sink in. If you can find a way to stop spending $1000 per month, you are effectively making an extra $1000 per month. If you’re living in an RV you’re already saving tons of money. So let’s take this opportunity and find some ways to save even more.
Optimize Your Fuel Consumption
As we all know, fuel costs for RV living are steep. There are countless ways to go further on every dollar of fuel spent. First, get a fuel-specific rewards credit card. These cards will offer 3-5% cash back rewards for fuel costs. Pay your balance down to zero every month to avoid finance charges. This takes discipline, but is highly effective.
Next, keep up on your rig’s maintenance. This is huge. Dirty oil, a clogged air filter, low tire pressure, etc. adds up to a vehicle that might be as much as 20% less efficient than it otherwise would be. Another great opportunity for saving on fuel is the GasBuddy App. It’s easy to find 5-10% cheaper gas using gas buddy, and it’s often just a few blocks away in cities.
Finally, find the peak efficiency speed for your rig and drive at that speed as often as possible. This can increase fuel efficiency by as much as 40%! Peak efficiency speed is especially useful on long drives. Usually it is around 50 MPH.
It’s Cheaper to be Healthy
This one is a tougher pill to swallow for some, but the logic behind it is bulletproof. Do you know what the average American spends on healthcare per year? Over ten thousand dollars. The most effective way to reduce healthcare costs is with exercise and proper nutrition. Remember “money saved is money made” from the beginning of this article? Skipping leg day costs more than your beach bod. It’s also a common misconception that eating healthy is more expensive than not. This is categorically not the case. Figure out the macronutrient profile you want to stick to and find several food sources for each macronutrient. Lay out a menu for the week and do your best to cook in bulk batches. You’ll be amazed at how full of healthy food you can get on 3 dollars once you really dial in your routine. Try doing that at McDonald’s.
As for exercise, people often get hung up on needing a gym membership, equipment, etc. This is also not the case. Three minutes on YouTube will show you how to isolate any muscle group in your body with bodyweight calisthenics. There’s also running, hiking, biking, and climbing that is easy to take advantage of almost anywhere.
The Opportunities to Save are Everywhere
Fuel and health are easily the biggest opportunities to save money while living on the road. However, every little bit counts. So here’s a list of smaller ideas that can trim down the spending.
- Buy used wherever possible. Thrift stores for clothes, used parts if you need a repair, used gear for activities, etc.
- If you’re looking to buy an RV, check with RV rental companies to see if they have any old rental units for sale.
- Join RV clubs for discounts on RV parks and tips on places to park.
- Try to drive when traffic is light to avoid inefficient speeds.
- Post on Craigslist to find places to park. Bartering works great, offer to mow a lawn, etc.
- Turn down the heat and pile on the blankets when you sleep.
- Get creative. A frugal lifestyle improves creative thinking skills. Do your research and draw inspiration from other people looking to save money.
Money Saved is Money Made
We hope this article gave you some ways to save even more money than you already are. Living in an RV is a lifestyle that truly enriches the human spirit. By shedding the frivolous aspects of our life, we get to the marrow of what truly matters. Placing reasonable constraints on ourselves reliably produces more joy and meaning in our lives. So get out there and live, and save some dough while you’re at it.