July 2020 Financial Update

I don’t know about you, but I am glad July is over. It was one of those months where everything seemed to happen at the same time which always equates to EXPENSIVE.

Of course July 15th was the new COVID-19 tax day which was already bad enough. We added to the pain by paying California registration for our RV AND Jeep, buying clothes and supplies for our son and prepaying for the campsites for our road trip. To top it off we decided to book a return flight home for him for the winter break since prices are way down. We got an amazing deal on a cross country flight for under $200! I guess that’s one positive out of this whole ordeal. But we certainly busted the budget in July. Continue reading “July 2020 Financial Update”

Road Trip Rundown

So here we are, just three weeks away from hitting the road for our longest trip ever and the final leg with our son before he starts school.

Typically we only make reservations for the main destination to ensure ourselves a spot and keep every other location spontaneous. It makes traveling a little more fun when things are done randomly. But in the age of COVID-19 we decided to book stops for the large majority of our trip so we could plan out the driving routes better and also hit some of the must see sites along the way.

First, let me answer a few questions and concerns that have already come up about our trip and COVID-19. Yes, we wear masks. Yes, we social distance. Yes, we take our safety and everyone else’s safety seriously. No, we are not concerned about going on the trip. Continue reading “Road Trip Rundown”

June 2020 Financial Update

We are only half way through 2020 but it feels like it’s been a decade packed into six months. The ups and downs of the first half of this year have been scary, unprecedented, opportunistic, disappointing and in some instances just flat out crazy.

A year that was supposed to be filled with excitement, anticipation and special once in a lifetime moments has instead become one of uncertainty, frustration and disappointment. Instead of mapping out and reserving spots for our new full time rv life we have had to cancel all of our plans and take a wait and see approach. Instead of our son experiencing senior prom, varsity baseball, graduation and a job he loves he stays home playing games online while preparing for his first semester in college. This is not what we envisioned life would be like heading into the second half of this year. Continue reading “June 2020 Financial Update”

Life On Hold

Well, this sucks to write. Our plans to go full time in our RV starting in November are officially postponed until further notice. To say we are disappointed is an understatement. Add this to the Motley Crue, Def Leppard & Poison concert that’s also “postponed”. In two weeks we have had two thirds of our plans for Summer and Fall wiped out. Thank you Coronavirus, I hope you die!

Our plans to go full time were contingent on the college our son is attending moving forward with normal operations and class attendance. All communication sent out to students and families indicated that they were planning to do just that and an official decision would be released in mid-June. Continue reading “Life On Hold”

May 2020 Financial Update

Hello there! Yes, it’s been awhile.

There are good problems to have in life. One of those good problems when you are the owner operator of a business is too much work. Now when I say too much it really means enough that you are consistently busy and are not sitting around hoping for something to do. This is where I currently find myself and I can’t complain. The only downside is that this blog is suffering from neglect.

May was a record month for our little business and we couldn’t be happier. We are fortunate to be in an industry that continued through the pandemic and as long as interest rates stay low we should continue to be busy. Financially I’m not making the same money I did in the corporate world but I also do not have the negativity that comes with that life. There is no boss to report to, no deadlines that have to be made and no office politics or fear of losing my job. Because of this there are also no sleeplessness nights or anxiety. To me the trade off is well worth it. Continue reading “May 2020 Financial Update”

April 2020 Financial Update

Another month in the books and one month closer to full time RV life. In our last blog we talked about how we are sticking to the plan and not wavering despite the uncertainty in the world.

After taking a step back and reevaluating the situation and seeing the big picture it’s clear nothing for us has really changed through all of this. Sure the markets dropped and our savings is a little lighter, but that’s what markets do. If it wasn’t coronavirus now it would have been something else later. We have already been down this road before.

Speaking of those markets, how about that rebound? (Rant Alert 🚨) As an avid viewer of financial channels and stock market news one of the things that always annoys me are the wishy washy pundits. Now, I’m no expert. I don’t get paid to be one nor do I get paid to give my opinion, but these people do. And what I have seen are people who’s opinions change with the wind. It begs the question, are they all afraid to be wrong and risk a credibility hit rather than actually give an opinion right or wrong, good or bad? Or are they playing the game and talking moves up or down on TV while doing the exact opposite with their portfolios? Continue reading “April 2020 Financial Update”

March 2020 Financial Update

Deep breath………………Ok here we go.

Let’s just get the obvious out of the way. March was a disaster for the markets, the country and the world. People are losing their jobs, their savings, their friends and their family members. It has been a pretty dire situation for the last month as we all try to cope with this reality. Bottom line, it sucks!

One thing I love about our country is that we tend to pull together during big events and do what’s best for the greater good. I think MMM hit the nail on the head with his write up about the situation. You can read it here. For the most part people are doing what needs to be done to get us past this horrific moment in history and back on track as a society. This is encouraging to see and we will be successful. Continue reading “March 2020 Financial Update”

February 2020 Financial Update

Oh where to begin on this one? In our January update we talked about the end of the month impact on the financial markets from the Coronavirus. At that time we had some panic selling that turned the markets negative for the month and wiped out some nice gains. I was tempted to buy into the market, but ultimately decided to hold off which turned out to be a good decision.

Then came February and the panic took full hold with massive irrational moves to the downside. For me, it was time to move once we passed the 10% correction threshold. I half jokingly tweeted on Friday the 28th as the market closed that I thought we were near the bottom. Continue reading “February 2020 Financial Update”

Reality Bites

As we inch closer to March it has quickly become clear that we need to start making some plans and decisions.

We were at our favorite campground recently and stopped by the office to inquire about their extended stay rates for when we decide to go full time in our RV. They gave us the rate, which is just below our budgeted amount 👍🏻, and then the young lady said we had better book it soon as October is already getting full. Wait, what? October is getting full already? Are you kidding me?

This comment thrusted us into a situation of needing to better understand how this whole process works as we were not planning on making a decision until after the College Road Trip 2020 in August/September. It turns out now there is no way we can wait that long if we hope to have a place to live after our house sells. What we thought would be a smooth glide until the second half of the year is now turning out to be a sprint to a goal date. Continue reading “Reality Bites”

2019 Year In Review

2019 was a year of change and planning for our future.

After stumbling onto the F.I.R.E. movement and realizing we didn’t need to work into our 60’s, or even mid 50’s as we had always planned, we started taking our finances more serious. We cut back quite a bit on our spending and increased our savings rate nicely. We have never been able to accomplish a 50% plus savings rate because we have always had a sizable lifestyle and also took on the equivalent of a second mortgage with our RV. However, we did manage to move the needle in the right direction after cutting some costs and scaling back on frivolous spending.

On the downside, sort of, when I decided to move on from my job and start our business our savings rate went down to almost nothing for the last quarter of the year. Hopefully this is just a small set back as the business grows and contributes more to our finances. Continue reading “2019 Year In Review”