June Road Trip Expenses and The Economy: What, Me Worry?

Giant Puppet in Truth or Conesquences FiestaJune numbers are in, and it was a cheap month thanks to our summer workamping gig. Check out our RV Road Trip Budget Expense Report for June 2008 You’ll see in the “Fuel” line item, that we went over budget. But those costs were actually from May, when we had to go to Salt Lake City to get our Motosat dish worked on.

We haven’t spent one single dime on fuel since we got to Lake City. We arrived with a half tank, and we’re trying to see how long we can make it last before we have to drive 55 miles one way, to Gunnison, the nearest town where we can do some real stocking up. Diesel fuel here is $5.01/gallon.

I’ve Got More Faith in My Mattress than The Stock Market

Meanwhile, we listen to NPR’s economy report every day, and just cringe. And today, when I reconciled our retirement funds statements, I wanted to cry. What little money we do have tied up in mutual funds has been whallopped. At this rate, we’re going to be working to support ourselves till the day we drop dead. Jim thinks I should stop looking at our statements for a while.

Catholic Basillica St. Augustine FloridaA long time ago, I asked our retirement planner, “Why should we have faith that the markets will keep growing? Why should we believe that there isn’t going to be some big calamity that will wipe out everyone’s savings?

She assured us that putting our money in mutual funds, instead of under our mattress, is a much safer bet.

The markets will always have ups and downs, she explained, but historically, they always grow. Stay in it for the long haul, blah blah blah.

Well, we’ve been in it since the mid ’90s, and the interest we’ve gained in the last 10 years is nothing to what I’m guessing the average multimillionaire’s checking account earns in interest in a single day.

Sure, chances are that the interest we’ve lost in the last few months may come back eventually. But what if it doesn’t? What if the worst economic predictions about peak oil’s effects are already happening, and this is just the start?

We think perhaps the time will soon be at hand when we need to get some rural real estate, build a compound, and hunker down for the impending post peak oil, economic collapse. Hang on to your hats, it’s going to be a bumpy ride for all of us.

8 Responses to “June Road Trip Expenses and The Economy: What, Me Worry?”

  1. dr. alec nelson July 17, 2008 at 3:15 pm Reply

    Hey el jefe, I’ll be honest, I had to look it up, but Do The Math. There are 3.8 liters in a gallon. That makes your Mexican Diesel $9.50 a gallon, and that makes our gas & diesel relatively cheap still.
    Hey Rene, Keep the Faith. Anything short of the Great Depression & you and Jim will be fine. Look at the history of the market and the long time you have before retirement. This is still a Great Country with a strong market. The problem you may have, is when all your friends vote in Obama you will be taxed excessively and will have nothing left to fund your retirement accounts. Love you both & Jerry too!

  2. Stock market is great (U just gotta short) šŸ˜‰ Speaking of that I am looking to see if you can short the Fed šŸ˜€

    All kidding aside, Jim RU really going to get a GPS? wow!
    We found the geocache hidden at the Jimmi Hendrix memorial while we were in Washington. Ill send pix once I have time to download them all.

    //A

  3. I appreciate your optimism Susan, it does give me an extra bit of hope for the future.

  4. if you can get to mexico diesel sells for $2.50 a litro, full service !!

  5. Now yer talkin’ baby. Time to cash out and finally invest in a GPS, some decent topo maps and a bunch of coffee cans to bury our stash across our own little piece of paradise, wherever that may be. We better get a metal detector too.

  6. It must be true that the period 1984–2004 was the golden era for retirees and RVers: collapsing oil prices, a rising stock market, and low inflation. Just because it lasted for twenty years it’s easy to think it was supposed to be permanent. Do you remember the stagflation and oil problems of 1970’s?

    None of us can predict the future, but it’s a good bet that the next 20 years will make retired RVers work a lot harder to preserve a decent standard of living.

  7. I’m glad we’re not the only ones worried about what the economy is doing to our financial state of affairs. A couple of years ago we decided to become bonafide adults by getting life insurance, contributing to an investment plan and forking over as much as we could to my 401k. But now our statements are depressing too… I don’t even open the envelopes anymore.

    The other day a news article crossed my desk that Starbucks was shutting down 600 of their stores. “You know things must be bad when Starbucks can’t even keep their heads above water,” I told my husband. I’ve even heard that some people are starting to grow their own food in their yards to save money. My boss said his neighbor suddenly has corn stalks in his front yard. I think if it comes to that, my husband and I will starve to death. Green thumbs we are not. Maybe we should start stocking up on the canned goods now.

  8. My own feeling is that if Obama gets elected, that our country will collectively feel like a huge weight has been lifted off it, even if we are still stuck in Iraq and with the other concerns you mention. The 21st Century will have finally begun. (Truly) green products, addressing climate change in a meaningful way and developing renewable energy on a large scale could jump-start things and provide lots of good jobs.

    Also, I guess that I’m enough older that having investments since the 1990’s doesn’t strike me as qualifying for “the long haul” yet. We’re in it too, with David’s retirement money from Kaiser, dating back to around 1991, You might want to limit yourself to reading the statements every six months or just skipping it until after the election.

    Enjoy the wonderful adventure you’re having. You’re both smart and hard-working and I think that you’ll always land on your feet. Problems, more often than not, can turn out to be opportunities in disguise.

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