If you are planning on living in a mobile home, you probably want to know what your expenses will look like from now on. You should know that there are pros and cons to every style of living regardless of what you choose. Expenses are very personal because different people have different priorities in life and budgeting is a personal project. Like anything else, the cost of living in a trailer is something that will take careful planning.
As you create your budget, remember that the numbers need to reflect who you are and where you are in life. If you are a young family still starting out, you will have diapers and schools to consider. But if you are retired senior citizens, then you’ll need to consider living on a fixed income with potential healthcare costs.
Budget items to calculate the cost of living in a trailer
There are certain expenses you must pay for every month, like park rent. Costs for services like water, gas, cable, internet, electricity are also things you will need to budget for. They might not be the exact amount that you budget for, but we can agree that they are standard expenses that have to be paid for every month, regardless. You can use a budgeting app to help you get a hold of your expenses. Here’s a list of items we suggest you include in your budget:
- Phone, data and internet
- Trailer insurance
- Health insurance
- Trailer park fees or lot rent
- Other fixed expenses
Phone, data and internet
Unless you are fortunate enough to work for a company that pays cell phone and data for you, this is an expense you simply cannot do without. If there is any park Wi-Fi, it may be unreliable if there are too many users on the network. At this point in our lives, the Internet is a daily necessity, whether we like it or not.
You need to pay trailer insurance per year. The amount will vary on your trailer and the insurance provider, but this is an annual payment you have to include in your budget. In addition to trailer insurance, you need to add your health insurance in your budget. Your deductible will depend on the insurance provider and what coverage you have. If you have full coverage that includes dental and vision, then you will probably pay more.
Lot rent is usually the most significant monthly cost of living in a trailer. Of course, the amount will depend on the lot and the amenities. Lot rent is the payment you make to the park owner, and if you have access to water, electricity, sewage, and parking for your car, you will have to pay for those.
Some parks provide a yard and a space area for children to play or pets to run if you have any. Other parks go as far as providing swimming pools, playgrounds and play courts. Of course, you have to pay for these as well if you live there. You will have to consult the park owner or association about it to determine the cost of rent and amenities.
Paying your bills each month is a priority, and making sure you factor in electricity is one of them. You can use standard grid electricity for your interior lights, television, computers and other devices. If you want to spend as little as possible on power, then you can use LED bulbs and use low watt appliances. Here are a few other suggestions to bring down your bill.
Some of your appliances may require gas, so you’ll need to consider that cost as well. Water may be included in your lot rent, but if it’s not, then make sure you include it as a line item.
You need to consider laundry services as well. Most parks do not allow hanging clothes on cloth lines to dry so you should not depend on this as a means to reduce expenses. You will have to pay for washing and drying of your laundry. Some parks have laundry services, and even though they may be low-end, they are usually decent enough to get the job done right.
The cost of groceries will vary from household and will depend on your lifestyle. If you love fresh, healthy and regional goods, then the farmers market, local markets, dairies, and ranches should be your to-go-to places. Try to buy other food products in bulk if possible because it will be cheaper and get you the most for your money. You can splurge on your favorite foods and beverages because life in a trailer does not have to be sparse, but this will depend on your income and expenditure.
Recreation expenses are all over the place and are dependent on you. In this area, there is no right or wrong, and you will probably pick different activities every month so the budget may not match up each month. You could choose to go to the movies, visit various parks, take the kids out, eat out and the like. You can set a specific maximum amount for recreation though to make it easier to budget around it.
Regardless of the kind of home you live in, you need to maintain it. You should have a monthly maintenance budget and you should have allocated money for repairs should you run into any problems with the trailer. Anything can happen. You can budget to save up for decor and other upgrades as well.
Can you afford the cost of living in a trailer?
You may have a small budget or a large budget, but these are some of the things you should not forget to include in it. Different people have different lifestyles so budget the specific amount depending on your current life status and your current needs. You should also remember to save up for the future while you are at it so include some money every month for that as well. The cost of living in a trailer doesn’t need to be frugal, but it should fit your lifestyle and budget.