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Travel Decisions


It’s been very slow for my husband’s construction company. If you recall, this was an intentional choice late last year when we all but shut it down and he transitioned to full-time parenting and homeschooling our kids. He works nights from home part-time and this set-up has been working well for us. We make about the same amount we did when he was working full-time since we no longer pay a nanny.

Our trip to remote South Dakota was delayed when my husband had several construction clients call him out of the blue asking about availability. Since I’m working from home, it’s a great time for him to be working. Those 3 clients evolved into 6. Good construction folks are hard to find and word spread fast that my husband was taking a few jobs. July into August is going to be busy. School starts for our kids the first week in September so he has a limited window to get as much done as possible.

As my husband finished outlining the route to South Dakota last night on our road atlas (yes, we still use paper maps. Get lost in a remote area once with zero cell service and you learn that lesson fast), he was more silent than usual. He was highlighting the route, double checking the trucker maps on his phone and calculating fuel stops.

Then he kept flipping pages.

He pulled out a pad of paper and started scribbling numbers, his face scrunched in concentration. I walked over and saw the great state of Kentucky. “Um. I hate to tell you this, that ain’t South Dakota!” I said laughing, catching his mistake. I stopped laughing when I looked at his pad of paper. Tennessee. Kentucky. North Carolina. South Carolina.

“What if we just kept going? I’ll earn enough from these jobs to take a trek to the East Coast. This is a rare opportunity to travel for months. You are working remotely and the in-person classes for the kids have been cancelled” he said.

I’m supposed to find out how long I’ll be working remotely by the end of this week but rumor has it, I’ll be remote until early next year, perhaps longer. I thought his idea was beyond ridiculous but the more I thought about it, the more it grew on me.

Oh yes, I am aware this is going to open me up to some fairly harsh criticism for considering full-time RVing in a pandemic. I’ve seen the comments every time Hope travels. But the reality is, this is a weird opportunity and he can pay for it with his side work. We couldn’t afford it otherwise. Again, we are a fully self-contained unit so we only stop for gas (yes, I am aware of the chance of a breakdown but did you know breakdowns happen at HOME too??? Gasp!). We stay at locations for long periods, no bouncing around. We shop bi-weekly for groceries and we take the same precautions that we do at home. We mask up. We wash our hands. We stay home if we don’t feel well. We stay further from people than we do at home since we camp in more remote locations. I can’t pass it up.

Has anyone else had some weird opportunities thrown their way? These are strange times.

August Goal – No Unplanned Spending


With summer winding down, at least we think, and school starting within the month, we all hope. I have decided to do a no spend month for August. And by that, I mean, not spend anything not already planned for.

Here is my August plan, my forecast, taken from my spreadsheet where I track and plan all spending.

Netflix 1-Aug-20 -15
Rent 3-Aug-20 -650
Dental Insurance 6-Aug-20 -41
Nelnet 7-Aug-20 -600
Water/Gas bill 7-Aug-20 -151
Allowance/Savings Trsfr 7-Aug-20 -70
USAA Auto Ins 10-Aug-20 -477
Allowance/Savings Trsfr 14-Aug-20 -70
HRV 15-Aug-20 -250
Groceries 15-Aug-20 -50
Nelnet 21-Aug-20 -350
Allowance/Savings Trsfr 21-Aug-20 -70
Spotify 24-Aug-20 -15
Nelnet 27-Aug-20 -650
Allowance/Savings Trsfr 28-Aug-20 -70
Auto – Gas guesstimate -100
Total Spend $3,629
Debt Payment $1,850

I’ve got a minimal grocery spend in the middle of the month for fresh produce. Guesstimated a low gas month since school has not started yet and the girls both work less than a mile from the house. And included all bills that have yet been paid for the month. (I’ve already paid the electric and internet bills for the month.)

Almost 50% Goes to Debt

Because we live off of last month’s income, I am very comfortable I can reach this goal. I’ve already received all bills so I know these numbers are accurate as far as utilities and fluctuating costs. And I have scheduled most of these payments. I haven’t scheduled the last student loan (Nelnet payment) because I’m still waiting on customer payments to come through and it wouldn’t let me schedule out that far. But I should have the final payment pre-scheduled by the end of next week.

If we stick to this, our monthly spend will still be high, right at $3,629; however, over HALF of that is going to debt. I’m planning for $1,600 to go toward student loans next month.

Do you know what this means? When all is said and done and I get out from under this debt, my living expenses will be almost nothing. I mean, not nothing, but very manageable. Now that is a thought to keep me motivated!

So here we go to a No Spend August…or at least no unplanned spending!