We wrote a blog post in January about how we were able to pay off $91,000 last year while living full-time in our RV. We are happy to be on our way to debt freedom because, as Dave Ramsey says, “the borrower is slave to the lender.” It took us several years to see this and with us both in our late 40s, we feel the pressure to work quickly to pay off our debts so we can feel comfortable about retiring. This is our updated financial accountability report for September and October 2018.
We write this monthly blog post about our finances from the previous month. Mostly for our own accountability and also for encouragement to others on the same journey as us. I think the main point I want to make first is that we are not bragging by blogging about this. In fact, we are ashamed of the debt we accumulated and find it embarrassing to admit. We are sharing our story to keep ourselves accountable and hope that it may help someone else.
We are continuing our journey to becoming debt free and have $38,746 to go. Over September and October, we were able to pay off $6,952 of our remaining debt. This brings our grand total paid to $125,142 since we started tracking last year! All of this remaining debt is our Heartland Cyclone. This keeps us on track to have it paid off by April as long as the everyone’s evil relative “Murphy” stays out of our lives.
October ended with our net worth down $6,892 from August at $210,681. This was mostly due to the recent drop off of the stock market. All of our investment accounts are down for this period. We did not expect the continued increase in stocks month over month to last forever. Decreases are part of the game, which is why you have to be in it for the long-term. Our investments are still up for the year. We see it as part of the normal cycle of the markets.
Here is the breakdown of our net worth.
We did not have any huge unexpected expenses. It was mostly a lot of little things that added up. We had to travel from Florida to Wellington, TX for the Nomad Fest and the premiere of the RV Nomads movie. It was a great event and we met a lot of people, but we spent just over $1,000 in fuel for the trip. Also, on the trip we had two flat tires. These were tires that we just replaced last year, so it was unexpected and disappointing. It cost us another $500 to get them replaced.
Also, after 4 years, Sean had his first accident with the RV. He was not focused on his mirrors and managed to get the fifth wheel stuck in a ditch on the way from Wellington to San Antonio.
Luckily, the only thing that needed repair was one Level-Up jack and the hydraulic lines associated with it. This was close to $600 in parts and Sean is doing the labor himself.
Our primary revenue streams include military pensions for both of us. In addition Sean is still working part-time as a research consultant.
Our side hustle, Chickery’s Travels, continues to grow. Our book sales have been increasing and we have obtained contracts to provide seminars at 5 GS Events RV shows next year. This is very exciting since we both enjoy speaking and teaching. The pay is not bad either! Finally, both of us have entered into new partnerships to continue to expand our offerings. We are hopeful that this forward momentum will significantly increase our business income next year.
We are definitely learning that creating a business from nothing is not easy. We spend so many more hours building it than we ever did working regular jobs or even during our time in the military. We are just starting to see some rewards after more than a year of hard effort. It is tough not to get discouraged, but we continue to look forward and hope for continue rewards growth.
The main thing that has helped us in keeping a budget. We use YNAB (You Need A Budget) for our monthly budgeting along with the Every Dollar app to track our daily purchases. Seeing where the money goes is definitely eye-opening and when you assign it at the beginning of the month, staying within the budget is much easier.
We’ve created monthly budget worksheets that you can download free here to help you itemize and track your income expenses. Click here to see our itemized full-time RV budget.
Future Plans and Projections
We write these monthly accountability reports to make sure we stay on track with our goals. It has really made a difference in our purchases over the past months. I find myself thinking about publishing this post when making a purchase. Do I really want to show a decrease in net worth for this thing? Do we really want have to publish that we made poor decisions? This blog really helps!
Although this is the first month showing a decrease in our overall net worth, we feel it was expected at some point since the stock market cannot rise every month forever. Our spending, however, continues to be on track and we hope this inspires others to join us on a debt free journey.
Thanks for reading this month and please follow along every month to see how the debt free journey is progressing.
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