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 July 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 $46,290 to go. We managed to pay off another $10,000 this month. This brings our grand total paid to $117,210 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.
July ended with our net worth ended at $208,447. Here is the breakdown.
This month our net worth increased by approximately $180. This did not hurt our feelings too bad because we were able to take $10,000 out of our checking account and pay it on the RV. We really want to have the RV paid off no later than April of 2019 so we can start saving more for a house, as well as putting money back in to our investment accounts. I am confident we will have it paid off by April and may even be able to do it a month or two earlier.
We did not have any major maintenance expenses in July, but we did spend about $566 out of our maintenance budget getting tools and supplies for our electrical upgrade and solar install on our RV. Since we are doing the entire installation ourselves, there were some tools that we needed as well as some cabling and miscellaneous items. I did not purchase high end tools, but did purchase tools that will last and will be available for use for many years.
In June, we received $69 in our investment account thanks to rebates from using our Fidelity credit card. This was all reinvested and we never carry a balance on our credit card. Since we are focused on paying off the RV, we have stopped putting additional funds in to our investment accounts, so these rebates really help keep our investments growing and will really help in the long-term through the application of compound interest.
Our side hustle, Chickery’s Travels, generated $1187 in July. This was down by about $70 from June. We are anticipating an increase in August because of some projects we are working on. Julie is really working hard to generate some additional income through course development. We are also working on some contracts for seminars next year and will have some big announcements on that in our August report. We are hopeful that this forward momentum will significantly increase our business income next year and will allow us to take some money out of the business for living expenses. Besides our pensions from the military and the VA, Sean is still working part-time as a research consultant, which is also adding to the income streams.
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
August is going to be a rough month financially. We anticipate a slight drop in our overall net worth due to some significant expenses. The first expense is going to be the repair of our deck on the RV. It has significant delamination and needs to be replaced before it falls apart. We have an appointment on 1 August to get the estimate and get the parts ordered. Our estimate is that it is going to be about $5,000 to repair. We also have our annual medical and dental appointments in August. We are covered as far as medical goes and have dental insurance, but the dental insurance does not cover 100% of the dental work. If there are any problems, we will have to pay some, or all, of the treatments. Luckily, we do save every month for these events and will not have to use any credit cards to fund any needed treatments. Who knows, maybe we will get lucky and not need anything!
This is the fourth 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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This is my first time reading one of your accountability reports and what I have to say is: You guys are budget GOALS!
It’s so inspiring to read how you’re able to utilize a budget to pay off your debt while living a freedom lifestyle. I’m really motivated to re-evaluate my budget after reading this! You guys are great examples of just how possible it can be to get your finances in order WHILE traveling.
Julie Chickery says
Well we do wish we had gotten our financial act together before traveling and paid cash for our RV, but we’re trying to fix that now.