So Much To Do! Decisions!

It feels like there is no possible way we can get everything done that needs to be done. We did book our next flea market. It will be the fourth weekend in October and it is a huge flea market that happens once every few months. We plan to try and sell some of the precious action figures. There is so much we have to do and only about nine months to do it all. We have all these big things and important things to do and figure out before we can go anywhere and we can barely figure out what to eat for dinner!

We have been doing a lot of research in regards to RVs and we actually started quite a while back when the topic first peaked our interest. Lately our research has been more serious, what do we actually want to live in? Originally we wanted a Class C motor home and wanted to trade in both our vehicles and get a smart car. The more we talked we decided against it for the following reasons…

  • If the motor in the RV breaks down our home goes to the shop with it. Hotels can add up.
  • An RV motor is more expensive to repair than a car or truck motor.
  • You can’t legally move about the RV when it is in motion (originally we were thinking the added comfort while driving would be nice)
  • The dogs would have to be crated and strapped down or seat-belted.
  • The motor and cab of the Class C takes up room that could be additional living space.
  • A smart car would be nice and easy on the environment and it’s purpose would be for getting around once we are parked somewhere…But it would be mighty cramped with two people and three dogs in a tiny smart car.
  • A larger vehicle would allow for more storage space and allow us to pursue some of the travel jobs we want to get into (like storage auctions, more flea markets, ect).

So, after much research and reading we decided a travel trailer or fifth wheel and a truck would be a better choice for us. We still don’t know a brand or exactly what and aren’t sure if it will be a fifth wheel or travel trailer I have read about both. What we do know is that a travel trailer/fifth wheel will offer more usable living space (due to no engine), if our vehicle is in need of repair we still have a home, and a truck will allow more storage space. Although neither of us likes the idea of a gas guzzling pick up truck, it will allow for more storage, and I feel overall we will be leading quite a minimalist lifestyle and hopefully that makes up for it a little. We both believe in a minimalist lifestyle and doing as little harm as possible.

We haven’t gone much further as far as looking at RVs, but we do have several dates written down for RV shows we plan to attend early in 2016. We have also been looking online and seen a couple brands/companies that we like. One that we are in love with is the Wohnwagon (the website is not in english), but this offers more information in English. We loved the Wohnwagon, because it is home-like, well designed, and very self-sustainable. The home insulates itself, has a composting toilet, and also has a water recycling system. They are also customize-able. The other brand we are interested in is Grand Design RVs. The reason we like Grand Design is because they are designed for full-time or long-term living. They are more home-like and have more qualities one would look for. They come with nicer furniture and larger refrigerators. The thing we really liked was that they don’t look like campers or have those ugly patterns and tapestry!

Overall we realize that no matter what we get we will definitely have to do some customizing. There are certain things we know we absolutely want and we can’t find all those qualities in one RV. We will find a layout we like in a quality RV within budget that is closest to meeting our needs and customize to our hearts content.

Do you have any thoughts or advice on finding the right “home”?

I survived the First Month

I did it, I managed to survive the first month of school. Things will now (hopefully) slow down a bit, while still remaining crazy busy. I made it through my four week, Advanced Skills class and managed to pass with a grade in the 90’s, so I am quite pleased with that. The pressure was quite intense, knowing that any little thing at any time could mean not moving forward in the program. The pressure is still there and there are still plenty of possibilities to mess up, but finishing that class has lifted a huge weight and means I am moving forward and into the clinical phase while continuing my other classes.

It may seem like a small feat to many, but I am proud of myself, it was a lot of work. I put in a lot of effort. I succeeded and….

  • I didn’t let my house go to complete hell (let’s be honest it’s no fairy tale in here, but it’s not bad considering)
  • I didn’t gain any weight (I actually lost a pound or two)
  • I studied a LOT, but actually feel like it made sense and I know the material
  • I still found time to advocate for my beliefs and hang posters against cruelty
  • I managed to maintain my every other weekend hours at work
  • I found time to spend quality time with family (The dogs will argue this one and are feeling more neglected than ever even though I’ve been home more than ever these days now that I’m not working full-time)
  • We survived financially

All in all it was a success and I can’t wait to keep going and bust out this degree so that we can get on the road to our dream (literally). Despite being so antsy I am trying to enjoy each day, because they are already going so fast and they are always numbered.

 

 

Financial Survival…

In today’s world it’s hard enough making ends meet as a two income household. In our house it was two adults with college degrees working full-time. While the bills were paid there was still a strict budget and not much left after that, which is why we want out of this lifestyle and into full-time RVing. That being said, we can’t just toss all our belongings today, trade in our cars, and buy an RV. We have to make it through the next ten months while I finish school. We need to save some money, research, and plan.

BUT…Being in school full-time, the nursing program at that, I am no longer working full-time. Our rent and utilities alone are about $1,250 a month! So how do we make this work? First there is the obvious ways, my boyfriend still works full-time at his regular job and is looking for a second job, and I still work every other weekend.

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Action Figures: My boyfriend has an extensive collection of action figures that he began collecting years ago. These are his prized possessions, but he did begin collecting with the intention of one day selling some of them. He also realizes we have to get rid of most of our stuff in order to fulfill this dream and is more than happy to. We haven’t sold any yet, but many of these are vintage toys and are worth some money or at least what he paid for them. We have spent countless hours taking pictures and inventorying hundreds of action figures. Thankfully there is still a small path through the living room.

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Ebay: In the past we have sold on Ebay and we recently sold a few things and plan to unload some of the action figures this way. Ebay, however, is not my favorite avenue, the fees get ridiculous for one. My biggest issue with Ebay is there is a lot of buyer protection, but very little seller protection. No matter how many pictures you take or how well you describe an item, the buyer still did not see the item in person. If the buyer decides they simply don’t want it and would like a refund, but don’t want to pay return shipping, they simply have to claim the item was defective or not as described. Most buyers are great, but there are still plenty of jerks out there and when a situation like that happens you not only refund the item price, but also the shipping, which puts you in the hole. Customer service is of very little help to sellers and these situations can be quite frustrating.

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Flea Markets: We decided we also wanted to explore flea markets as an option. So last month we rented a space at our very first one. We chose a large flea market close by that is open every weekend. It’s nothing glamorous, but it was our first time and we wanted something to learn on. Because we were just learning we brought a number of random items, but no action figures or anything very valuable. We figured we have to get rid of stuff anyway, so why not try and sell it. Over all it was a great day, the weather was beautiful, sunny, and in the 80’s. We sold quite a bit of stuff and profited almost $200. We spent about eight hours there, we brought our cooler with food and drinks, and spent the day talking with one another and selling our stuff. I also spent a good portion of the day applying and reapplying SPF 50 and still managed to get a little burnt. I wore capris that day and towards the middle of the day propped my legs up on the cooler…..three weeks later I still have a mid-calf tan line. Pale girl problems.

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Random Internet Jobs: I have over the years tried a number of ways to make money online. At one point I answered questions for ChaCha, a text service where people sent in random questions. That paid I believe two cents a question, so if you had time you could eventually make a few dollars. I have used Inbox Dollars, a survey and task site, in the past and have started using it again. Inbox Dollars is by no means a get rich quick thing or a job replacement, but it is simple enough that if a few times a week you have ten minutes to do a few things you can over time accumulate some money. I have also in the past answered nursing related questions for a website of “experts”. I can’t remember what it was called, but people would buzz in and you would chat with them over the computer about whatever questions they had and you were paid by the minute at whatever rate you set. The issue with that was sometimes no one called. There are many other things I have thought about trying, but haven’t yet such as, shadow shopping, advertising on my car, transcribing, virtual assisting, and a number of other things. I’m sure there are a few others I have tried as well over the years, but forgot to mention.

So what have you tried? What are your thoughts? What has worked? What hasn’t? What is worth the time? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments and feel free to link your blog posts about making extra money!

 

 

First Things First

We would love to up and leave tomorrow on this crazy adventure, but we have to be realistic. There are some things that have to be done first and we have decided that me finishing school is one of them. I have officially made it through my first two weeks. It wasn’t easy, I’ve already had two exams, a case study, six clinical skills, and a sixteen page research paper assigned. It’s been difficult balancing the housework (or lack of), school work, and family time. Somehow I survived these first weeks by applying my strange tactics. There have been a lot of one pan, 5 ingredient or less dinners. I have spent a lot of time reading and sniffing rosemary oil in hopes that the research about it improving memory retention is correct. I have also strategically planned my pretest eating to ensure proper carb and protein ratio. While I’m busy keeping the house together and doing whatever strange thing I can to make it through nursing school, my boyfriend is busy looking for a second job to support us and help us save up. So far we have sold a few things on Ebay and have been busy inventorying his huge action figure collection. A month ago we rented a storage unit to store his collection along with a number of our other belongings . This has helped us to clear out the house a bit and go through things in order to purge things. We have already gotten rid of a lot of stuff. In less than a year we will be living in a tiny house that moves and most of what we have now won’t be joining us. It’s all so overwhelming and exciting at the same time.

———–RVS————

RV Crazy or What?

About a year or so ago we were watching “My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding”, we were fascinated by the traveling lifestyle. The men ran around working and the women dressed wild and spent a ridiculous amount of time cleaning their tiny homes on wheels. We weren’t always this into trash reality TV, we started watching it to get our minds off stuff during a terrible time in our lives and now we’re hooked! One night I said “hunny, when are you buying me my very own camper to clean?” and from then on it became an inside joke….until a while ago. We currently live in Southeastern Wisconsin, I’m bored with it and he hates the cold, well he hates Wisconsin period. About a year ago we decided we should move and after much research and a vacation we fell in love with the Rocky Mountains and Colorado. We knew it would take a lot of planning and saving up and decided it was best I finish school here with in state tuition. So I got into the Nursing Bridge Program and we signed another twelve month lease at our apartment. The plan was finish school, save up, and move. All the planning involved was stressing me out. How do we find a place to rent that is in budget and allows us to have three dogs? How do we look at places? What side of town do we want to live on and in what city? Then we started watching “Gypsy Sisters”, a spin off show of “My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding” and we thought, hey that’s not a bad idea, that whole camper thing. What was a joke very quickly became a plan. My boyfriend loved the idea of being minimalist and living off the grid. He hates that we pay over a thousand dollars a month not including utilities and having nothing to show. We don’t want to buy a house and be responsible for expensive repairs and be stuck somewhere. The housing market is terrible and we just watched a few people lose their houses due to dropping values. So the new plan was get an RV and move to Colorado. We started watching YouTube, reading, blogs, and doing research and the more we learned the more we thought about it. There wasn’t a whole lot out there on full time stationary RVers, they all seemed to be nomads, but why and how? We wanted information on being stationary, we were going to move, get jobs, and just live in an RV rather than a house or apartment. Then it clicked. The whole point of the lifestyle is to get away from all that and that’s what we want. So why are we trying to fit this new lifestyle back into the cookie cutter we want out of? We don’t fit in and we don’t want the cookie cutter life. We don’t want (human) children or to buy a house and work Monday through Friday nine to five and have a white picket fence. We want to pack up the essentials, experience life, and see this country with our three furry kids, that’s what we want. So what’s the plan now? Learn as much as we can in the coming months, finish my degree, trade in both vehicles for one, get an RV, and GO travel! I have been working as an LPN for the past 5 years and last week just started the LPN to RN program. If all goes well, I will graduate in May 2016. Around that time we would get an RV, in order to be out of our apartment at the end of July when our lease is up. We will most likely stick around the area for a couple months living in the RV and continuing to work in order to save some money before we head out for real. I’m hoping to get a job as a travel nurse and we aren’t sure about other details we are working on it. My boyfriend works as a Family Care Case Manager and that job doesn’t travel well so we will find other ways to make income as well. We are thinking storage auctions, flea markets, ebay, and all kinds of fun stuff. We did our first flea market last weekend and it was a success. This year will be a learning process as we find ways to make money as well as research traveling and RV’s. We plan to attend RV shows in order to make an informed purchase. We will be getting rid of all of our belongings throughout the year. Most of all we will be trying to survive. I’m barely working now that the nursing program started so things are bound to get interesting. How will we balance finances, school, work, relationship, planning, ect? I wanted to document the process from the start, because all the stuff I came across was from people who had been doing it for years. I want you to be able to see the entire process and not just learn from my mistakes, but watch them happen and laugh at them. It’s going to be quite a year, but we’re in this together chasing a dream. So RV crazy or what? What do you think?

———–RVS————