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Dreaming of Post Kids Time

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For most of the past year, I thought I would be kid free this time next year. Princess would graduate, the twins would have moved out and Gymnast would be living with his dad. That all changed just at a month ago when Gymnast made the decision to complete his high school years here.

Now, I am looking at being kid free three years from now when he graduates. (Don’t start with the what ifs, I know he may end up remaining at home after that like the twins did. Although I think it is highly unlikely, and if he does, I still won’t be as tied down.)

I am glad Gymnast is back, and I’m coming to realize that I need these 3 years to get my plan together…

Have You Ever

I am really thinking that I would like to become a full time RV dweller once I’m kid free, at least for a while. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not a camper. And living in a small camper for 9 months cured me of those thoughts with the kids. But being a solo, or twosome, and RV’ing is actually enticing. Have you ever had some wild and crazy, big lifestyle dreams?

Now hear me out…

  1. If I continue at my current debt payoff rate, there is no reason I can’t be completely debt free in three years, or relatively close to it.
  2. At the same time, if I put my mind to it, I could probably save for a pretty hefty down payment or even cash buy on a good condition used RV and make some modifications to suit me. So little to no debt.
  3. From what I’m reading, there are lots of places to stay for free, if you have the set up for “boon-docking” which is most appealing to this introvert, and camp grounds median price is less than my current rent.

I know it wouldn’t be a forever plan, but a few years. I really think it could be fun and satisfy my constant, I want to travel bug. Three years gives me lots of time to plan and save, and of course, anything can happen in three years. But a girl can dream!

I’d love your feedback on this idea especially if you have any experience as I certainly don’t!


13 Comments

  • Reply Angie |

    If you’re afraid of old cars, there is no way you should go full time RVing. Especially boondocking!!! Every trip has a problem you need to solve. It all needs upkeep. None of those are your strong points. Oh, and most boondocking sports do not have reliable internet which you’d require for your job. A lot of areas out west have absolutely zero cell signal, even if you have a booster. RV’s are also insanely expensive new and there is actually a shortage right now.

    It’s dreamy because it is. Sadly it is the trendy thing to do right now. And most of the people doing it are not protecting public lands or leaving no trace. Trust me when I say that boondocking would not be for you.

    Where’s the post that says, I can’t wait until kids are out of the house so I can finally save for retirement?!

  • Reply SMS |

    I‘ve said this before, but it is really concerning that you have no retirement savings. That should be a major component of your planning.

  • Reply Lisa |

    If you didn’t like living in a camper I don’t think you would like boon docking. Also have you priced RVs? They are very expensive and gas mileage is terrible. Why not spend the next 3 years paying off debt and getting some retirement savings? A lot can change in 3 years, and you are getting a late start on retirement.

    • Reply Hope |

      Get Rich Slowly was the first financial blog I ever followed, I don’t know how I missed this time. Thanks for the link, I am going to read up!

  • Reply Shanna |

    I get why you want to do something to celebrate being on your own again. I will have been actively mothering children under 18 for 31 years by the time my youngest graduates from high school. But as the comments above state, it sounds like it would not really work with your budget and work needs. But you could save up for a 3-6 month trip around the United States! Do research on places that have the WIFI available you would need when working, etc. Another thing you may be interested in is retiring in Mexico or Costa Rica. There are huge ex pat communities in both places-they are beautiful with a low cost of living are far better retirement options than we have here in many cases. Cheers to eventual empty nesting!!

    • Reply Hope |

      I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this!
      I keep hoping every summer that we could hit the road as a family or at least a couple of the kids for a month or so, but it never has panned out. So you are right, I would just do it on my own.
      And I’ve often thought of retiring/moving elsewhere someday, but not sure I will ever do it as I don’t want to be away from the kids. (Although, I did just receive my renewed passport in the mail. So if the right time and opportunity presented itself…well, maybe.)

  • Reply Jen |

    I have a fifth wheel camper on a permanent site that I use as a “lake house”. It was purchased used, in a private party sale.

    1) If you lived in a camper for 9 months and hated it, why on earth would you think boondocking is a good idea? You presumably had unlimited electricity, water, and sewer with the permanent site. When you have limited access to water/electricity/sewer, you have to think about every ounce that you use. Dumping your tanks means you are dealing with hoses and things that are poo-adjacent (or directly if you mess it up).

    2) When something breaks on a camper it’s *expensive*. Last year, the fridge in my camper died. Because I don’t move my camper and have constant electricity, I just bought a residential fridge (~$400). If that happened to you, you have to buy and install a fridge with propane backup. Those fridges start at $1300 ($3000 if you have the bigger style), and that’s not including install.

    2a) Do you have enough mechanical know-how to evaluate or fix problems you encounter on the road? Because if you break down somewhere without cell signal, and have no tow vehicle, you’re hosed.

    3) What kind of camper are you wanting? Since you’ll do this regardless of what anyone says, I’d strongly advocate for buying a used camper. Campers depreciate quickly, and there’s no sense in buying a new one. But this is a double edged sword when it comes to campgrounds. Many campgrounds have age limits on campers–they will not allow you to camp if your camper is more than 10 years old or so.

    3a) Do you have enough know-how of campers to know what to look for in a used camper? Do you know what problems aren’t big deals, and what are huge ones? Do you know anyone who has this knowledge? Going into this purchase without this knowledge (or someone with it) can be a very costly mistake–a tens of thousands of dollars mistake.

    3b) What style of camper do you want? Each kind has their benefits and drawbacks. A travel trailer will be cheapest, but it will require a truck big and powerful enough to tow it. The truck will effectively double the price of the camper. Same goes for a fifth wheel, but you will need an even bigger truck. The benefit to that style is you can detach the truck from it, and go to the store or whatever. Class A or C motorhomes don’t allow you to do that. That’s just one example, there are a lot of considerations when choosing what style of camper you want.

    This is not a time to be like “I’ll just google it and figure it out”. If you’re going to do this, you need to heavily research it, talk to people who have done it. Before doing it, I’d also probably rent an RV for a week or two. Boondock. See if you can hack it.

    • Reply Hope |

      These are all VERY good points. Some I’ve thought about.
      The short answers are…
      I think this type of living would suit my never ending desire to be traveling. And it will be a whole different experience if it’s just me or just me and my boyfriend versus being responsible for 4 kids and all the cooking and education that was going on back then.
      I have recently discovered that I can fit a twin size mattress in the back of my car by laying the back seats down. So I could essentially just road trip and camp at campground depending on temperatures.

      But I do have 3 years until any of this would be a possibility so lots of time to research, plan and test things out. Lots to think about and study.

      • Reply Cynthia |

        Hope, keep in mind that many areas have banned sleeping in cars as a way of criminalizing homelessness. My area has made it illegal, even on private property.

        • Reply Hope |

          I was thinking more of campgrounds along a travel route…I’m just not much for sleeping on the ground so figured a mattress in my car would work. At least if it’s just me, that would work. Definitely not if I have a travel companion. Just dreaming of traveling. I’ll keep researching and dreaming. I’ve got at least 3 years 🙂

  • Reply Meghan1227 |

    Hi Hope,

    Since the kids are all going to the same school this year and there is no longer a need to buy a second car, have you taken that $5K you had set aside and made a bulk payment toward your student loan debt?

    Having that albatross no longer hanging around your neck will make it easier to have these possible options become a reality.

  • Reply Deb |

    Hope,
    What are you doing to ensure that you can survive during the retirment years? Please consider that as we age (I believe we are close in age. I am 48. I could be wrong and if I am my apologies.) we are going to need our retirement as a source of income in addition to any part time gig or another source of income as a means to continue paying for life.

So, what do you think ?