Another month in the books and there is not really much to report back. July was one of those same ol’ same ol’ months where we just plugged away and kept to our daily routine.
While we are enjoying our work camping jobs and being able to make a little extra money there is a trade off that we are not so happy about. When we first started full timing we always had a couple of days a week to go hiking or exploring and on other days I would go fishing or do chores and maintenance while Mrs. RVF was working her regular job. Since we started work camping our hiking trips have mostly stopped and my days off are spent doing chores and maintenance and Mrs. RVF never has a break because she works seven days a week. Of course this will change when we leave here at the end of August and more so when Mrs. RVF retires from her regular job soon after that, but this has been a learning experience for when we take work camping jobs in the future. It’s important for us to remember that the purpose of our lifestyle is to enjoy our surroundings and mix in a little work for extra money on occasion. Right now we are bogged down and because of this it’s not our ideal lifestyle.
Another thing we have come to realize is that we do have a shelf life when it comes to staying in one place for too long. Now that we are entering our fourth month in Southern Utah we are both looking forward to moving on. In fact if our son wasn’t still in town we would have probably cut our stay short and hit the road. It’s not that we don’t enjoy the area because we have been coming here for twenty years, but being in the same campground all this time is becoming a little stale. Maybe the work camping has taken some of the luster off of it, but we both agree we would be ready to move on even if we weren’t work camping so maybe four months in one place is just too long. After we leave here all of our reservations are no more than three months long so we will see if that time frame suits us better.
One thing we know for sure is that exciting days are ahead once our son heads back to school and we leave Utah. At that time it will become a whole new adventure as Mrs. RVF retires and we begin to live off of our cash and investments. The first year will be extremely important as we will be paying for a year of college at the same time we are giving up stable income, which doesn’t sound ideal, but it is something we planned for in our budget. It would be nice to see our investments outperform our expenditures during this timeframe to add a little more security, but you can never count on that happening.
Here is how our portfolio performed in July 2021:
Portfolio = $1,578,937
Portfolio Goal = $1,500,000
Amount Needed To Reach Goal = ZERO
Our Portfolio Increased By $14,620 or 0.93% From The End Of June
Year-To-Date Our Portfolio Has Increased By 28.20%
Net Worth = $1,614,762
Our Net Worth Increased By $16,793 or 1.05% From The End June
Year-To-Date Our Net Worth Has Increased By 11.97%
After a month of volatility we ended July in the positive which we didn’t expect to do. This is because during the month we had to layout a good amount of cash for the first semester of student housing so seeing our portfolio end on a positive note is something we are very grateful for. This is just the beginning of what will be a very busy and expensive school year with tuition payments starting soon and a second semester housing payment just a few months away and lets not forget Mrs. RVF is retiring at the same time. With all of this going on we expect to have a drawdown of our cash on hand for several months, but hopefully Mr. Market can show us some love and keep our investments trending in the right direction to offset some of these expenses.
As we move toward full retirement we are implementing our retirement budget. A big part of this is mitigating the expenses for site rental and travel costs as these can kill your budget. So far we have done a great job of booking locations that fall within our budget and with our reservations being two or three months long we should be able to average out our fuel costs to stay within our monthly budget. This is a key to success for full time traveling as moving around too often and/or traveling long distances to get to your reserved site is a good way to go broke in the RV life.
This is also where work camping comes in to help if things ever start to get shaky. Typically you get your site and electric for free so to us that would be a total savings of $850 a month on our budget. If you are able to get a work camping job, such as the one we have now, where you get a site plus electric and a wage on top of that you not only save money but you also get a pay check. In the time we have been work camping at our current location we have not only saved $2500 in rental and electric, we have put some cash in the bank too. That’s a huge savings that can help pay for something like college tuition or housing. And like I said if things get shaky in the world of finance it’s also a great fall back to bring some stability to a budget.
I’m not going to venture to guess where the markets are heading at this point. There are still too many variables with regards to high prices, inflation, unemployment and Covid Delta to feel comfortable. The bright spot has been that corporate earnings have recovered nicely which helps justify some of the price run up. But overall stocks are expensive and there has to be a pullback at some point which will also be a nice buying opportunity for us long term investors.
For now we continue with our plans and look forward to beginning the RE part of our FIRE journey. This is what we have planned for over the last decades and everything is finally coming to fruition. Soon we will get to see if our planning paid off by enjoying an extended retirement. Some in the finance world don’t believe it’s possible or even a smart thing to do. We believe not only is it possible, but taking control of your future and living life on our terms is the best thing to do.
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Until next time……