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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Living Affordably In An RV

By Scott Jackson

Fall is here. As weather turns colder some RV lovers are packing up and getting ready to drive down to warmer states. For those on the road, having a few tips as to how to live affordably can add up in the long run and end up saving people a lot of money.

* If you know where you want to camp, call ahead to campgrounds to see if they offer an extended-stay discount. Call a few different places to find the best prices. Living spontaneously is great, but it may end up costing you a little bit more than you expected.

* Cook in the RV. Buying groceries is a lot less expensive than eating out. There's nothing wrong with splurging once in a while on a great dinner or breakfast. However, the more often you can eat in, the more money you will save. Look for weekly specials at the supermarket. If you want to spice up your cooking, try eating local foods that you cook at home.

* When buying a new or used RV, don't waste money on an RV that is bigger than what you comfortably can use. It will end up being a lot more expensive and may not necessarily be what you want or need. Spend some time weighing the pros and cons of new and used vehicles and different size vehicles.

* Take pictures instead of souvenirs. Pictures are a great way to remember a trip and with a digital camera, they cost next to nothing to take. Snap away and save money and room by not loading up on gadgets and trinkets that often end up in a closet.

* Spend a little time with friends and family. If they live far away and you don't get a chance to visit with them often, take the time now. You might form close bonds with people you haven't had a chance to know in a long time. Plus, depending on where they live you may not have to pay for campground lodging.

* Give and take. If you have a skill for woodcarving or jewelry making, bring your products on the road and ask around if someone will trade with you. Maybe you get a few nights free lodging for a blanket or a necklace. Not everyone believes in bartering, but those that do, make it a better world.

* Don't overspend. Most people traveling for long periods have a budget of what they should spend. Then, with dinners out, or an extra night here or there, the budget is blown. Before you go, figure out the most possible you can possibly spend. Give yourself a daily, weekly or monthly limit and stick to it. Otherwise the bill will be waiting for you when you get home.

Living in an RV is a much cheaper way to see the country than by flying to places and staying in a hotel. With the tips above, you'll save money and come home happier than when you left.

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