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Posts tagged with: debt numbers

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!

Planning the Fall – Tentative, of course

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I may have not always been great at my money, but I am the queen of planning. From road trips to parties, school schedules or meal plans, I can plan with the best of them. This innate, a natural gift honed by working in special events at the Field Museum in Chicago for a little while and then as a homeschooling, working, single mom of 4. So it should come as no surprise that I have already planned out the end of the year.

I have a spreadsheet of all anticipated expenses and income. I have a calendar with all appointments, holidays and birthdays. And I spent today adding all the years school holidays to it. We, as a family, have used shared Google Calendars and Asana (task lists) for years. Each of the kids adds their own activities to the calendar and use it whenever they know they are going to need me or a ride from me.

All that to say…I’ve got our family plan done for the fall. And granted this is tentative and hopeful depending on what COVID and schools and money do. But this is the plan…

August and September

School starts back again next week and there is only one school holiday. As a result, these will be pretty quiet months with no anticipated out of the norm scheduling or spending. We will use this time to settle into the new school routine, work excessively (for me at least) and save money. I, personally, am really looking forward to some alone time and quiet. It’s been a LONG 6 months with all of us here.

October

Typically, I would have added this month to the previous statements; however, the Georgia State Fair is slated for this month and most likely Princess and Beauty will attend (if the schools do that this year) with some of their classes. Beauty is heavy into cosmetology and Princess hopes to take welding again this year.

That being said, there are two days off of school this month, so we have tentatively planned to go for a day to the State Fair as a family. I have a reserved a hotel room just in case. (They typically sell out far in advance.) But I can cancel it with no financial repercussions 24 hours in advance.

I’m wavering on buying advance tickets. I’m going to call on their refund policy in case it gets cancelled…right now the tickets would cost me $10 each. If I miss the advance window they are almost double that.

Note: this is also the month I plan to make a final decision on our Thanksgiving travels.

November

I’ve purchased the airline tickets for our trip to Texas for Thanksgiving. Now before we jump down my throat, let me explain. First, I priced both airlines and rental cars. Since 6 of us will be going (maybe, still not sure on Beauty,) I would need to rent a car if we drive. Either way it was looking like almost $1,300 and that didn’t include hotel and food if we drove. I did not like that price. But I knew as we get closer, prices aren’t going to get any cheaper.

But last week, I received an email from Southwest with their tempting sales fares. And decided to take a look. Low and behold, I was able to find cheaper round trip tickets from an airport closer to us – $78 to and $91 from. It brought the total price down a little over $100 and I didn’t think it would go any lower. So I called my dad to discuss.

Considering the uncertainty of COVID, etc. it’s really hard to know for sure what to do. But with Southwest’s liberal cancellation policy, which they have always been good at, even before COVID, we decided to chance it. And thankfully, my dad offered to help get us there.

He purchased 3 of the tickets using points including Beauty’s. This means if she needs or wants to cancel and remain here with her biological family, there will be no financial implications as he will get his points back. I purchased Gymnast, Princess and mine with my credit card. (And then paid it off immediately.)

This cuts our anticipated travel expenses by over half. And gives us the freedom to cancel last minute if we need too. If we do cancel, the monies remain travel credit with Southwest so I won’t get my money back, but we will have it for future flights. And everyone knows we like to travel.

So total cost for Thanksgiving travel…$505. Not too shabby.

December

We won’t go anywhere in December. Although the holidays and my birthday will cost some money…we really are low key for the school break during this time. I’m sure the 4 oldest will work. We will cook a big meal. And exchange presents. But really, we are pretty “un-traditional” when it comes to big holiday Christmas stuff so I’m not doing any planning for this month.

It feels really good to have my fall planned out. I feel prepared, well as much as anyone can be. And I don’t have to worry about the cost of travel, etc. Now to enjoy the last few days before the kids go back to school.

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