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 August 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 $45,698 to go. Due to the notable expenses listed below, we were only able to pay off $960 this month. This brings our grand total paid to $118,170 since we started tracking last year! All of this remaining debt is our Heartland Cyclone. We bought it new in 2014 and hope to have it paid off no later than next year.
August ended with our net worth ended at $217,572. Here is the breakdown.
This was an expensive month! We had some unexpected expenses that really made us appreciate our emergency fund. Thanks to having that money in savings, we did not have to accrue any debt for these unplanned items. We made this video early in the month, so after everything was said & done the total of unexpected expenses was $12,495.
We changed our dental plan when Sean transitioned from full-time to part-time work a few months ago. This month Julie cracked a tooth and needed a new crown, but our insurance company has a waiting period for these types of procedures. Unfortunately, Julie couldn’t wait so we had to pay the cost out of pocket.
We owned a time share in Daytona Beach, Florida that had extensive damage due to Hurricane Irma last year and has not been opened since. They did not receive enough money from the insurance company to cover the repairs so they sent out a special assessment to all owners In addition to the normal maintenance fees. We were presented the option to buy ourselves out of this time share all together and took it. Due to a non disclosure agreement, we cannot share the specific amount. However, we feel it was worth to be free of the possibility of future assessments.
We finally got the deck on the RV replaced. The final cost was a little over $6,000. It definitely hurt since we would have liked to pay that on the RV loan, but it needed to be done. It was badly delaminated.
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, also continued to grow in August. Our book sales have been increasing and we are also working on some contracts for paid speaking engagements next year. We’ve booked several RV show seminars and will share the dates and locations on our Facebook page. 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.
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 hope that things will go back to normal so that we can continue to work towards paying off the RV and reaching our goal of being debt free.
This is the fifth month of publishing our road to debt freedom. This is more accountability for us to make sure we stay on track with our goals and do not stray too far off. It has really made a difference in our purchases over the past month. 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!
Thanks for reading this month and please follow along every month to see how the debt free journey is progressing.
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