Jeff and I are often asked how we are able to cut the cord from the Arkansas mother ship in order to travel in our RV. Besides winning the lottery and inheriting a bundle from Granny (ok…I’ve never bought a lottery ticket and my Granny is actually still living) we have had to put some effort into making our traveling goals come true.
So here are the top 4 things we do to make this nomadic life work for us.
1. Have a Written Spending Plan
A Spending Plan is different from a “budget” in that it is a plan on how you are going to spend every penny of your money…no matter on how much or how little you have.
Our spending plan not only dedicates money for monthly bills, but it also includes money being set aside or “setback” for expenses that happen, but not always on a monthly basis. Christmas comes around every 12 months and so we “setback” funds each pay period to save for Christmas spending. Same goes for medical expenses, auto & home repairs, pets and gift giving. Our spending plan sets money back for the unexpected expenses that a budget doesn’t include. Without “setbacks” we would continually be going into debt to pay for all those unexpected expenses.
Additionally, the most powerful tool of our spending plan is the use of cash envelopes. Yes. Good old fashion envelopes. We use them for areas that are easy to overspend in such as groceries, entertainment, spending(pocket money) and Walmart (sundries). It’s a simple process…when the envelope is empty, the spending stops.
2. Stay out of Debt
Being able to afford a nomadic lifestyle means keeping our expenses as low as possible. If we had car, RV and credit card payments, we would have to earn an additional 30% income or more just to cover debt payments.
If we cannot pay cash for something, then we do not buy it. Yes, it does take quite a bit of planning for major purchases. So having a continual “setback” fund for RV and auto purchases is necessary. Continual means every pay period we set money aside for our next purchase, even if we just bought a new vehicle. It takes years to save up for major purchases, so we are in constant saving mode to be ready when the time comes.
3. Stick to the Plan
We committed to ourselves and each other to stick to the plan. If the plan is not working then it is either not realistic or someone isn’t keeping up their end of the bargain. There is discipline involved, but I will say that our plan is very simple and easy to implement and is now a lifestyle.
4. Seek Help
When Jeff and I were first married we decided to come up with a budget and each month we would total up all of our receipes and see how much we overspent. By the third month the budget went into the trash.
It wasn’t until we sat down with a Financial Ministry who showed us why a budget doesn’t work, and helped us to come up with a spending plan. This was probably the biggest thing that kickstarted our financial lives.
For the first time in our marriage we were able to start saving, stay out of debt and plan for the future. That was 18 years ago and we still work our plan and use cash envelopes!
Having a spending plan had impacted our lives so much that we joined the ministry that taught us. We traveled for 2 years coaching thousands of others on how to gain control of their money.
Money coaching is our passion and we are very good at what we do. From single Moms to large businesses, from simple solutions to complex. We can teach you a simple spending plan that will transform you financial life and get you rolling down the road.
If you would like to learn more or sign up for our Money Coaching contact us. We are here to share our experience and help you on the road to financial freedom.