The reality of giving up stability as I’ve known it in four years is pretty scary. But jumping into an RV and setting sail on an adventure of a lifetime keeps the “scary” at bay. I don’t ever want to have to say, “I regret not trying it”.
That said, there are some stark realities that must be faced, and like many things, it comes down to money. To do this right – or at least do it with my best foot forward, means not having an RV/truck payment when on the road. In order for that to happen, I need to start saving now. Like, big-time.
I’ve always been a paycheck to paycheck kind of guy. Never good at saving, and even less good at budgeting. Things are changing, and I’ve learned I need to make some sacrifices in order for this dream to come true.
First, I started using a piece of software called YNAB, or “You Need A Budget”. Man, this put things in financial perspective. Instead of looking at my checking account and saying “Yeah, I have the money for that” – I now look at YNAB and say “I don’t have the money for that because of this and that”. It puts your money in order so you can clearly understand your financial needs in one screen. No, I’m not a YNAB salesperson – I’m just sharing what’s working for me. This software helped me take that first step to not only understand my money, both coming in and going out, but how to manage it month to month.
With this understanding comes step two. Doing something to help me get past that paycheck to paycheck hump. I needed to create a buffer of cash each month that I could put away for the RV – yes, this is where the sacrifices come in.
When I got divorced, we sold a lot of our “stuff”. We had lived in a house with 17+ years of accumulating stuff – much of which we never used, or had even forgotten we had. I moved from a 4000+ square foot house into a 1600 square foot twin. Downsizing and getting rid of that “stuff” was hard – but in the end it’s difficult to express how liberating it was.
I have a small collection of 7 guns & rifles. I’m in the process of selling 5 of them. I have a beautiful Dodge Ram truck with leather heated seats and all the bells and whistles – I’m selling that too. I have enough equity in the truck to buy an older vehicle outright and eliminate the truck payment. Then there’s my ATV – I love my ATV…..my ATV that I ride once every few months if that. That’s being sold too – another monthly payment will be eliminated. My kick-butt telescope that I’ve used zero times in the past 5 years – that’s going too and should bring in at least $1,000 – although I must say it does look good in my living room 😉
I have to say, it feels good to eliminate “stuff” – especially the unused stuff. Yep, I’ll miss the truck and ATV no doubt – but I know down the road the sacrifices will make the other stuff (the RV of course ;-)) possible.