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”

Unwavering Determination

In many ways it feels like life has been put on hold. We haven’t had a weekend RV getaway for over a month now. We haven’t seen any friends or family for weeks. Our son is home all day every day and his life has been turned upside down. These are difficult and strange times for everyone.

I often wonder how others are managing their lives through this crisis. Are people just sitting back and waiting to the government give them the all clear? Are they using this time and experience to review, fix or shore up their their financial strategy if they were lacking in some areas or overexposed in others? Or the worst thought, have people given up and think they will just figure it out later?

Having been through recessions and uncertain times before our strategy, for what it’s worth, is unwavering determination. For us this is a time to reassess, reevaluate, regroup and forge ahead. History teaches us that this will pass. How we come out of this crisis and what we learn from it is up to each of us. There is no better time than now to look at the big picture and make adjustments. It’s even a good idea to look farther into the future and prepare for tough decisions that might need to be made. Doing this could benefit you later and you might even discover that although you are reeling at the upheaval of your normal everyday life you are actually in better shape than you feel. So what have we been doing? Continue reading “Unwavering Determination”

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”

Full-Time RV Finances

In our last blog I discussed that we are moving forward with going full time in our RV later this year. As you will recall we didn’t expect to have to make plans so far in advance, but it became quickly apparent after a visit to one of the resorts that we were actually almost too late. Since then we put down deposits for November and December to reserve a space.

While this is a current unexpected expense, it is refundable if we don’t meet our timeframe goal and need to cancel. It also gives us some much needed flexibility by booking two months instead of one. Additionally if we do meet our November 1st goal, the deposits go toward the space and the out of pocket cost will be lower at that time. So there really is no risk of losing any money by making this move and it gives us peace of mind. Continue reading “Full-Time RV Finances”

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”

Healthy Life, Happy FI

It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted our last blog. I didn’t know if it was writer block, burnout or just sheer laziness. But I didn’t feel like writing or doing much of anything for that matter.

It’s interesting because just when things are going well and excitement for our future plans should be building, I seemed to have hit a funk. Business has been great, the markets have been great and we have a couple of small weekend trips booked. We also started mapping out our college road trip and even have a preliminary itinerary for getting to the university on time. Planning these trips is one of my favorite things to do, but I’m finding it hard to enjoy it this time. What the heck is going on? Continue reading “Healthy Life, Happy FI”

December 2019 Financial Update

Goodbye 2019! What a year for the markets as well as personal change and direction. And if everything goes as planned for 2020 this ride will not stop.

The month of December unexpectedly proved to be the busiest month on the business front. It seemed like there was a mad rush to close out real estate deals before the end of the month so bookings were up and so was revenue. Because of this I expect January to be slow as the pipeline reloads. However, I am very new to this industry so this is just a gut feeling and hopefully I’m wrong. Continue reading “December 2019 Financial Update”

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”

November 2019 Financial Update

Here we are, heading into the final month of 2019. It’s amazing how time flies by when you are busy and focused.

Business continues to pick up and there were only a few days in the beginning of November where we didn’t have any appointments booked. Since that time we have received a steady flow of business and increased billing for services. On paper we already have enough revenue in billed services to cover all of the start up costs and expenses up to this point. So after a little more than two months we are at break even which is a nice accomplishment.

Another positive was actually receiving our first payment for services. And just in time too, because the business account we opened was getting very low on funds and I didn’t want to dip into our personal account again. We wanted to do the old frame and hang your first dollar tradition, but how do you do that with a check? I just made a copy and quickly deposited it so we had some funds in the account. Continue reading “November 2019 Financial Update”