It has been a challenge to combine each of my blogs into one.
I do hope that our followers are able to review the pages that are of interest to them and not get bogged down with those topics that they aren't interested in.
I want to thank each of our followers for following us in our journey of life and hope you can share in the many blessing we receive through our journey we call LIFE.
During the process of becoming full timers we started laying out our plan and researched a wealth of information, both printed and over the internet. We would discuss the opportunity with family and friends, all of which were excited about the idea and would encourage us to follow our dreams.
As we discussed our retirement years, one thing kept coming back to the table. We wanted to purchase an RV and enjoy the beautiful painting that the Lord had provided us in the scenery of this beautiful country we call home. What a better way to live our Golden Years, although in yesteryear's we are currently in our Golden years (We both in our 60 this year) enjoying the time the Lord has given each of us together.
We have taken vacation time and small day trips seeing new parts of our wonderful country and some of these trips have been spending times with our children. We are all about FAMILY TIMES. We have a required schedule of every three years going on a Family vacation that we and our three children are all required to attend at each's own expense. This is our Family reunion trips actually, instead of meeting at ones home we take a trip so no one family is responsible for the hosting.
We have decided we want more out of life than just belongings. Besides, our children's taste is different than ours and they won't be wanting most of our physical belongings after we move on from this world. That being a reality, we have to ask ourselves how we can do this? Can we give up the security of a full time job and the current lifestyle we are living? How do we bring in an income while on the road so we an do the travels without getting buried in the lack of funds that wouldn't allow us to live the life as we intend? We will need to have an income to support our monthly living expenses, neither of us are at retirement age, and neither of us worked for companies that offered a pension. Is living the minimum lifestyle for us? Then there is the thought, can we afford not to follow our dreams?
The steps we felt we needed to make to follow these dreams were...
Work on getting Debt-Free
Continue to work on downsizing our belongs (donate, yard sales, distributing to family members and plan on the storage of those items we just can't part with). We already once gave away everything we owned and moved overseas and had to come back to having to rebuild all over again. If we are being practicable we probably will not actually live in the RV when we can no longer travel to see the states any longer so we want a home base to come back to, so at this stage of our planning we won't be getting rid of everything again. (might change through the years, we will see)
Continue to go to RV sales lots and map out what we would see ourselves living in, Purchasing and paying in full for a RV (looking at Class A or Fifth-Wheel with Truck) ended up with a Class C because of the financial deal we got.
Putting our current house on the Rental Market
Buying acreage for our home base to put the RV on and a storage unit with our belongings we are keeping. We had already gotten rid of everything in our lives once before as a family and myself twice in my life time to start over, and I couldn't convenience myself that was the best decision at this time of my life. Budhi was all good for giving everything away again.
Fifth Step...Working on becoming debt free. We have done this twice before in our lives and have accomplished it. Each time we said we would not build up a debt again, and look here we are again! URGH! Well we just have to go down the path again. We have really lived paycheck to paycheck all our lives. To provide for our children while they were home is when we first got into debt, and when we moved overseas we sold most of what we had and was able to pay out our debts, then when we came back to the states we had six months without jobs that eat up all our savings just to live again. We started building debt again over a twelve year period, of putting our kids through college and just living, but worked on it again and was almost totally debt free again with the exception of one child's college loans, then we bought the bridal store, there was another debt........do you see a pattern here........well we really thought if we invested the funds we had set aside to pay off our child's college to purchasing the store plus getting a bit of a personal loan for the attorney fees and such, we would be able to have everything paid off again within seven years. WELL, NOT........economy dropped and we felt it hard........we held out for four years and decided this was eating us alive that we had to sale the store, and we did, and now we are starting new. HENCE "NEW BEGINNINGS"
We have a small 401K that we couldn't live off of at this time and our other investment isn't bringing in a resourceful income either at this time, but should within the next three years are so. We want to use our current home as a source of income so although the selling of the house would probably free us from our debt we really aren't willing to do that just yet, minds might change, but hey we just went through a full remodel and haven't even been able to enjoy it yet. LOL We made a big decision to get rid of one of our biggest anchors, and as mentioned earlier in a daily post we put our bridal store up for sale shortly after the fire. Our time spent owning the Bridal Store and the relationships we have gained in that journey has allowed me to obtain another job avenue that I can do anywhere in the world really as long as I have a phone and a computer with internet service. This is an avenue I will be pursuing as I close up the deals I have with the active brides at the closing of our store. My commitments with them will take me till March of 2016, so that is our first short time goal, me to be in full swing with my remote business by March and Budhi will continue to work with his current job for at least five years. This lifestyle will allow us to test the waters so to speak to see how we will adapt to the full-timing life. Anyway the month of August has brought us a new budget to live on, and we are currently working on paying out all our debts.
Seventh Step...We have had one yard sale in July and we earned a bit more than $100 from it, although the merchandise was five or six times that value, just get rid of it, was our thought. Here is a photo of the beginning!
In May 2015 (ironically on My Mother's birthday) we bought our practice RV (as RVLady from YouTube referrers as your first purchase), and paid cash for it with an inheritance received from my parents (we call it a her and named her Maycee, meaning a gift from God, because she was a gift from Heaven since both my parents have passed)
The first of June I started a YouTube channel expressing our feelings and experiences of working towards our Full-timing life style in the hopes that our family and friends would understand our dreams as they became a reality. By providing the Vlog as they call them, our family and friends would be able to see our body language also, and know that our words weren't only words but a dream that we were putting into action.
We had thoughts and wishes towards these plans back in 2000 and had done a lot, and I mean a lot of research at that time, but chose to buy the Bridal Store instead, thinking that we would be able to build a bigger nest-egg and start out with a larger RV, although, instead the purchase of the business made our dream slide further away. In August of 2014 that reality hit hard when when we realized we were building a debt instead of a nest-egg with the store. So the decision was made to sell the store and in April 2015 we sold the bridal store and got back on track of following our dream.
First Step...We need a GOAL, so we set ourselves a 1 - 5 year life plan. (highlighted items have been accomplished)
Second Step... In September 2014, shortly after we had decided to sell the bridal store, We started researching, talking with other full-timers via the internet and watching for a decent priced RV from the local market. Then in May when we got back from our Daughter's Honeymoon cruise Maycee showed up on Craig's list. She was advertised for more than we wanted to spend for our first RV, and she was a Class C (not our initial choice), but after going out and viewing her we made an offer for $1,500 less than we wanted to spend thinking the owner would possibly negotiate, but no, she took our offer, giving us Maycee $1,500 under our budget, A deal that would allow us money for repairs and updates we wanted to implement, so our thoughts of the type of RV changed, besides she is a starter RIGHT!
Third Step...In June, we cleaned out and remodeled Maycee to fit more of our style than what she was. She is a 1994 Travelcraft Elite, Class C, Motor-home and needed some cleaning and restyling. Our major decision of purchasing the motor-home really was made for us with the DEAL we were able to make on the purchase of Maycee. There were and are a lot of unknowns though. Neither of us are mechanically or carpentry experienced, but willing to learn what is needed to reach our goals. In the meantime we are living on faith, knowing that God wants us to have a life filled with freedom and joy. We watch a lot, and I mean A LOT, of you-tube videos on how to do things, and so many of the full time Rvers are so encouraging as we make our way through our new journey. Below are some Pictures of her transformation.
Fourth Step...Since we were able to obtain our RV before our fifth year goal, we will be taking her out on mini trips checking out the local campgrounds and seeing how we like the living in an RV, this really works out better for us. Although we needed to introduce our new little lady to our children, so we planned a Father's day family camping weekend, and although Budhi ended up having to work so we had to cancel our end of the adventure. One of the first things we did was join Passport America. In all our research I had come across this club that just made since in working out our budget for the Rving life style. Over the years we had gotten stung with Vacation Plans, Timeshares and such but for just $44.00 a year for a membership and $5.00 for a printed directory that includes over 1400 campgrounds across the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
The membership paid for it's self in the first booking we made because we got a lot that normally would have cost us $40 a night for $20.00 and we booked it for three nights. Since our family trip was not yet made we decided to share with each of our children individually and booked a Passport America Campground in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. with our eldest son and his family, and met with our daughter and youngest son individually to show off Maycee. Sixth Step...Downsizing! Been through this before!!!, when we moved overseas we gave away, donated or sold almost everything we ever owned. We had moved overseas for a family of four at the time with four suitcases and four boxes of belongings. Our eldest son was going off to college and we gave him the pick of anything in our home that he wanted to set up his new home, then we selected a few things to go overseas with us and I did store 12 boxes of items at a friends home in her attic, needless to say a little of half of those items meant nothing once we returned, and we were only gone for four years. Only thing I regret about that storage is I had my children's baby shoes in one of the boxes and the heat really did a job on them.....I still have them but they are damaged. Two of the boxes that went overseas with me were photos..........I had taken all my photos out of their photo albums and frames and boxed them up and took them overseas with us, I also took our beginning dinnerware set and each outfit that our three children came home from the hospital in. Now we are doing it again...In October 2014, our eyes were open with the mishap of a house fire (in the kitchen) that has prompted us to even get rid of additional items. It brings the thoughts of tomorrow is not a promise to us, we must make some changes. As for our personal belongings......well this time we have time to work on this, and I have expressed, that YES, I KNOW, that most of the belongings we have is because of my wants and I ask that Budhi give me time, but little by little I will get rid of things, but there are some antiques and such that have taken me 33 years of marriage to accumulate that I will have to feel the want to release before they are gone, I am working on it and I have to do it at my own pace. I keep telling Him, He will be proud of me, just as before, just bare with me, I know the camper won't hold it all but I also know that he won't encourage me to replace some of it either if we move back into a brick and mortar home. We had a house fire in October 2014, that really brought thought to what was important to us. I am currently going through and doing an inventory of all our prize belongings, if the items don't make it on the inventory in a yard sale they go, or donated. This is the beginning! There are things in the inventory actually that none of our three children will want but at least it will be inventoried where they will know the monetarily value of it so when they choose to get rid of it they aren't starting from scratch as we had to with our parents.