August 2021 Financial Update

The end of August brought with it the end of our time work camping and with that the end of our time in Southern Utah. While we were more than ready to pack up and leave for a new location and a fresh change of scenery it also meant it was time for our son to head back to the East coast to resume his college courses. Although we have been down this road twice before this time was different and more difficult as we don’t know when we will see him again. He has expressed his desire to remain on the East coast where his friends are and as of now we have no plans to go back that direction until next Summer. The thought of not seeing our son for almost a year is a difficult concept to grasp, but I guess that is what growing up and becoming an independent adult is all about. Hopefully we can find a way to see him sometime during the holidays but it doesn’t sound like he will be coming our way for that to happen.

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July 2021 Financial Update

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.

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Dividend Portfolio Update

I started writing this blog and then the bottom fell out of the market. When I saw this happening I held off on publishing because when I see an irrational move in the markets that is an opportunity to buy which would have made this blog inaccurate the moment it was published. So now I have created a revised version of my original blog but it was worth the wait.

When I decided to start this portfolio in April the original intent was to only use money earned through the blog via affiliate links and advertising (for which we still have not received a penny). Since that time some things have changed and we started work camping and earning some extra money so I made a small modification to add some of this money to the portfolio as well. It’s money we didn’t plan for in our budget and it’s only temporary income so why not put some of it to work? Our work camping gig ends at the end of August and when that time comes we will go back to the original goal of only using money earned frm the blog.

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We Got A Job!

Well sort of. We have now been at the same campground for over a month and for the most part we have enjoyed our time here. While Mrs. RVF continues working her full time job I have spent most of my time doing strenious activities like hiking, fishing, vehicle maintenance and tending to our new mini dividend portfolio.

One thing you get to see when you are at a campground for an extended period of time, as opposed to just overnighting or stopping for a weekend stay, is the business side of running a campground. The daily chores, maintenance, unexpected problems, contractor delays and the never ending projects that campground owners work so hard to complete in order to better their property. All of this is going on while at the same time trying not to disrupt service or create a negative experience for their customers. It’s a delicate balance and as much fun as it sounds like it would be to own a campground it really is a tough business.

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May 2021 Financial Update

May was a relatively quiet month which was a nice change of pace from what we have experienced over the last few months. It feels like we are settling into a new routine and we have been able to enjoy more time in the outdoors. We did a few hiking trips this month, two of which were in Bryce Canyon National Park, and I have been going up to our favorite lake a couple of days a week to fish with our son and my dad. At this point the most difficult thing to deal with is helping family understand we are not on vacation and we can’t go out to dinner every night or stay up late and play cards. Mrs. RVF still insists on continuing to work so we still have a schedule to keep for the time being.

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April 2021 Financial Update

The month of April came and went in what seemed to be a flash and we are happy it is over. The month began with us still being stuck camping in a bodyshop parking lot as repairs continued on our RV. Once the wonderful folks at M&M Coach completed the work it was time for us to head to South Dakota so we could complete the process of becoming residents.

Of course everything we hoped to avoid on our journey to and from South Dakota ended up happening. And why not since Murphy’s Law seems to be our copilot and trial by fire is the gauntlet we apparently have to run through in order to live this amazing life.

We hit below freezing temps, snow and heavy winds pretty much every single day in Utah, Wyoming and South Dakota. Just the week before these same places were enjoying sunny 80 degree days but now it’s snowing in the middle of April. We made sure to fill our water tanks every chance we got because several campgrounds were unable to turn on their water due to the risk of the pipes freezing. This also meant we had to ration water because getting more would require breaking down camp and driving the RV somewhere in snowing conditions to refill the tank. No thank you!

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Becoming South Dakota Residents

To us one of the essential parts of becoming full time RV’ers was to establish residency, or domicile, in a state other than California. This is something most full timers do if they no longer intend to have a permanent residence or home base in a state. There are several reasons both financially and logistically to take this step and although it takes a little bit of work it is a fairly easy process and well worth the time.

When it comes to full time travelers some states are more beneficial than others. Have you ever noticed that many RV’s on the road are to be registered in South Dakota, Texas or Florida? This is because these three states are considered full time friendly states and make it very easy to become residents even though you don’t intend on being in the state most of the time. Another thing these three states have in common is they have an income tax rate of ZERO!! That’s right, if you are a resident of one of these three states you do not have to pay a state income tax. Contrast that with California who has one of the highest state tax rates in the nation and you can start to understand our motivation for getting out of the state. Continue reading “Becoming South Dakota Residents”

March 2021 Financial Update

There is not much more that can be said about our current situation than we outlined in our previous blog. The good news is that there is now light at the end of the tunnel and we are taking everything one day at a time.

Financially the month of March was pretty good considering we had a large cash outlay to pay off our son’s first year of college. Due to this expense we expected that we would, at the very least, have a negative month. We were really just hoping it wasn’t too negative. Throughout the month the markets were very choppy due to rising yields, inflation concerns and of course covid-19. In the end some positive news pushed the markets up and much to our surprise we were able to squeak out a small gain. Continue reading “March 2021 Financial Update”

What To Do With Cash Now?

I don’t know about you, but I remember the days when you could earn some interest on your cash. This is definitely not the case in today’s low no interest rate environment.

Back in the 90’s and early 00’s we had a cash account with a brokerage where we parked our emergency cash fund. Our balance back then was about $35k and we would happily earn about $75 a month in interest. It wasn’t crazy money but it was better than a bank savings account and was still liquid should an emergency arise. We at least felt like the money wasn’t getting killed by inflation while it was protecting us from unforeseen events. Continue reading “What To Do With Cash Now?”

February 2021 Financial Update

We are one week into living the RV life and to say the last month has been a whirlwind would be a drastic understatement. After getting everything loaded up and driving to our first stop we looked around and saw a giant mess. It looked insurmountable at first, but once we started tackling each area of our storage we became more encouraged as we cleared out bag after bag of our belongings. It turns out we had a lot more stuff left than we realized but after a week of organizing and adjusting to a new routine we feel a lot more at home. Continue reading “February 2021 Financial Update”