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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The Rise Of The Entitled Camper

In the last few years camping and RVing has surged in popularity as people have grown tired of being trapped in their homes during the great lockdown of the Covid era. RV sales have hit record numbers and some manufacturers are reporting backlogs of over a year for people waiting for their new RV to be built. This is all great news for the industry and particularly for campground owners as there is no shortage of customers waiting to fill open spaces. However, this surge in customers and first time RV owners has given rise to a new phenomenon and one that is not good, the entitled camper.

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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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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”

Living The Dream For 30 Days

There is a common understanding in the RV community that the full time lifestyle while amazingly liberating, can also be extremely challenging and frustrating. The mantra that you have to take the good with the bad is repeated adnausium in social media groups. There is no going into this way of living without knowing that you will eventually face your share of challenges and adversity. Well, after one month of living the dream, consider us fully christened into the realm of taking the good with the bad! Continue reading “Living The Dream For 30 Days”

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”

New Beginnings On The Open Road

We did it! After years of planning, saving, investing, researching and pandemic delays we are finally living in our RV as full timers. There is still a lot to do but the hard part is done now that we took the leap and made it to the other side. It’s wonderful to say we actually achieved a long term goal and hopefully our journey will help inspire others to do the same.

We all have goals in life. Some people write them out or track them in one form or another while others just keep a mental note of things they would love to do and call it a goal. Typically those that track their goals are actually working in some fashion to achieve them while those keeping a mental note are mostly just dreaming about it. I call it the “maybe someday” syndrome, which is something we suffered from for many years. Continue reading “New Beginnings On The Open Road”