It all started very slowly almost 10 years ago. I read a book about a woman who downsized from a large, beautiful apartment to a tiny house. Then I read another book about a man and a wife team who lived in an RV and traveled while working from their laptops. Crazy. Interesting. The more I gravitated toward books, documentaries, and blogs that I found interesting, the more I found a common theme of travel. Then I started itching…but the thing is, there is a lot of prep-work that goes into RV life, especially with kids and eventually I got tired of prepping for “someday” and decided to just start doing it right now with what I had. Which was a minivan…
The RV life dream
The more we began to dip our toes into travel. First to resorts in Mexico, then to California to visit family…we started to realize, we really loved traveling.
When I say we, I mean my set-in-his-ways, extremely introverted husband, Tom.
As we began hiking and climbing mountains and surfing in the Pacific, Tom started to come around more and more to my idea for full-time travel.
We had to stop spending so much money on other stupid crap!
First step to more travel: ditch the big house. Yeah, the big house that we thought would be our dream house. The neighborhood we always wanted. It wasn’t quite the amazing experience we imagined.
The big house required a lot of upkeep, cleaning, yard work, and…money.
We wanted to spend MORE time traveling, so why were we putting nearly half our income into maintaining and paying for a big house? All we had to do was get rid of the house, then we could travel more. Join us on Instagram.
Paying off debt
Our money management had been off the entire time we were married…ummm, and before that. So when we moved into our smaller house (2,000 square feet smaller) we knew we also needed to re-vamp our financial situation.
We took a course that taught us more about money than we had ever learned before in our lives. Finally, we started to see a tactical way to pay off our debt and start living our lives better financially. But, inadvertently, we started penny-pinching and becoming insane cheapskates.
Living in fear of spending too much money became almost more unbearable than maxing out our credit cards. We didn’t allow ourselves to have fun, we obsessed over our bank account and started living in a constant state of fear of losing money. 20 Things You Are Saying That Are Keeping You in Debt.
Even with our anxieties, we became debt-free! But the next step in our financial course was to save money. A lot of it. So, we started doing that. Whenever we’d have to pay for car repairs or a doctor bill it felt like we just kept becoming one step further and further away from EVER experiencing the kind of travel we imagined.
We loved being in nature, wanted so badly to spend more time outdoors, but we found ourselves working our asses off trying to have more money in our bank account just so we could prove to ourselves we didn’t suck with money anymore.
Afterall, losers spend their money. Broke people give into temptation. People who spend money instead of saving end up in debt. These were all things we truly started to believe and let me tell you, this doesn’t lead to a very peaceful way of living.
The income strategy
Sure, we paid off debt and started building a savings. Yeah, we significantly lowered our cost of living. But, to make laptop life real, I needed to earn more than Tom. Way more. Comfortably more. And consistently so that we could comfortably and without fear start living in an RV full time. Join my free training to find out how to make money from a laptop.
PS Tom has ZERO computer skills, so this burden fell on my shoulders. This obligation to earn enough to make my dream happen. Then I decided I was DONE putting my dream on the back burner waiting for someday to finally come. One thing I had learned after spreading the ashes of a dad and stepdad was that someday doesn’t always come. Life Lessons from Death.
Giving up on RV life
One day, in the midst of Covid-19 I refused to let my birthday weekend pass without doing something that lifted my spirits. So we bought a minivan (our car had been on its last legs for a while) and we hit the road.
No campgrounds were open. Restaurants only offered takeout but there was no way in hell I was about to let that stop me.
We slept in our van, with our 2 youngest kids (8 and 10), we hiked all day, played bored games and night and ate food from our favorite restaurants along the North Shore of Minnesota. And you know what? We all friggin’ loved it.
Starting the dream right now
Suddenly, it hit me…I didn’t have to wait around for RV life to be a perfectly timed reality. I could start seeing the world right now. Sure, the dream isn’t exactly how I imagined, but it’s better…because it’s right now. It’s something I am living instead of just planning for.
So, let me shout this to the world: YOU CAN START RIGHT NOW. WHERE YOU ARE, WITH WHAT YOU HAVE!!
Still want to make sure you’re being financially smart? Good! You should not jump into the YOLO credit-card debt lifestyle telling yourself that you deserve to have it all right now. But, you can make smart, strategic moves that allow you to better your finances, manage your money wisely and still live out the life you want to without waiting for all the stars to fall into place. And you can use our exact blueprint to make it happen: The Bucket List Budget.
The travel now plan
I won’t pretend like this lifestyle just happened. We had to change our habits around money and make better financial moves for ourselves. What we needed was a plan that didn’t leave us deep in debt or stressed and obsessed with our bank account.
- Decide what we want in life
- Save money first
- Automate debt payoff and savings
- Spend the rest of our money on whatever the heck we want.
Ultimately, it’s about choosing the life you want, saving your money so you feel safe and secure, and don’t feel guilty about not saving. Then, you create a spending plan that is all for you! Literally, spending your money on all the things that make you the happiest while you pay off debt and build wealth! If you want to learn more about our Bucket List Budget, just click here.