Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Day 22 - Money Matters

So we are "r e t i r e d" and that is so much more then a little misleading. We are only 47 years old after all! And seriously, I have not been employed outside the home since 1995, so really how can I be retired?  The reality is that MiRV did retire July 1st this year after almost 27 years in the United States Air Force. Soooooo what that really means for us is a nice little modest retirement check. We are living on that. It's not going to be an extravagant lifestyle but we will get by. We are going to do our best to live within our means and not tap into our reserve funds. We also have an emergency fund. Since 1993 we have lived debt free (WOOhoo) with the exception of a short time from 2005-2009 when we bought and sold a house so we had a mortgage for a little while.

That's us at church a few weeks ago :)

We were able to buy Sunny, our 31 foot of Bliss, by writing a personal check for just at $25K, no financing needed thankyouverymuch! That was an awesome feeling, many years of our living frugally below our means and saving always pays off! We love being able to write a check for large purchases, it's very rewarding. And that's our goal while we are Living the dream... to remain debt free. We do have a budget. We do track our daily expenses. We are enjoying life. In all seriousness we do plan to get jobs at some point down the road, but right now we are fortunate that we are in a position to be able to go mobile and live on the road do life as we have never done it before. It's been really neat and the opportunities have been awesome. We are looking forward to getting further south, back down to the Atlantic side of Florida and settling in. Making sure that is in fact the area we want to be in and then see what happens. Like I mentioned we plan to live in the RV for 18 months and we are now 10 months in, I see us pushing that out even further but only time will tell. Life happens and we will just have to see how it happens for us.

Living this way is not without challenges, we think we have a leg up on some things. We are so thankful for the affordable military health insurance option we have and for the prescription drug benefits we have too. Not to mention the huge cost saving benefit of shopping at the commissary that we love. We are also thankful that we have lower cost family camping areas on many military installations that we can utilize (which helps to keep out cost down). There are many other benefits that we are thankful to have after a life of military service. However, it is unfortunate that we are losing many of these benefits at rapid fire rates. A lot of our future well being can and will depend on how our benefits are maintained or lost. It's going to be interesting and will play a part in determining how long we are able to do what we are currently doing before going back to the real world.

Since I have already shared about RV fuel cost here as well as RV insurance here and there will be a laundry post coming up on day 28. I won't give a lot of repeat details but to give you just a little glimpse into where our money went I will share a bit more. Keep in mind that we truly started tracking expenses as retirees just last month. July and August were a wash with the wedding and the extra expenses associated with that sending everything out of whack. And before that our income was on a different scale so it wouldn't be reflective of what we really had to live on. So September was truly the first month I feel like we lived within the retirement income budget that we have.

Where some of our funds went for September...

Tithe $350.00
RV Slots $400.00

RV Fuel $330.00
CRV Fuel $91.00
RV Maintenance/Upkeep/Repairs $465.92
Groceries last month $268.87
Cell Phone $110.00
Eating Out $102.32

Gifts $68.59
Stationery/Business Expenses  $13.03
Laundry $10.75

Now honestly, we went over what I had budgeted for Groceries ($250), Eating Out ($55)  and RV Maintenance/Upkeep/Repairs ($300) so we may have to adjust those in the coming days; we'll just have to see how that all works out. Everything else came in at or under budget! And the RV repair was the converter thing! A non- normal monthly expense I hope!!! In fact there were a couple line items we didn't even use (Entertainment and Clothing) so it was all good with the end numbers. And me being me built cushion into some of the budget items AND I did not commit our entire retirement check to the budget, in fact, I didn't allocate around $275.00. So this month it totally rocks that there was a few bucks leftover to sock away into savings! Cause really I didn't think we would be adding to our savings while we were on this this little journey!

See that was one of my original concerns that we would not be able to continue to save. It's definitely not going to be at the rate it was before, I get that, but I want to try and at least save some thing. So it made me very happy to be able to sock a few dollars away on month one. I realize not every month will go that way but it's a great first month feeling and made me feel so much better about living on less then 1/2 of what we had been living on.

The 31 day series information is HERE!


  1. I completely understand living on retirement income - my husband and I are retired educators (he put in 33 and 1/2 years - I did an early retirement at 14 due to a health issue). When we sold our sticks and bricks and hit the road full-time we paid for our first 5th wheel in cash and our F350 dually. One of the things that we did to be able to live within our means and not touch the savings (and sock more in most months) was work while on the road. How? Well, we worked for the Forestry Service as Interpretative Hosts at a historical site for three months - we got free hookups and a small gas allowance from the camper to the historical site. We also worked at State Parks - I worked in the ranger station at one park and the camp store at another while the hubs worked with the rangers. Once again we received free hookups for the time we were there (two months at one place and three at another). We also were camp hosts at a site in Alaska for the Forestry Department - free hookups and a nice travel stipend when we finished our contract (90 days). We would take time off between assignments and "see the sights" on our way to each place - had time off so able to have lots of "our" time even while working. We met a lot of great people that we still friends with. If you want to stay on the road - this might be something you could consider. There are work opportunities like this all over the country. We loved it.

  2. Oh yes! MiRV is keeping a pulse on work kamping positions and should one pop up that works with our location we will explore that! We have definitely got that on our scope as it sounds so doable for us as well as enjoyable! Location for us is the key priority but that could change then we will open our window wider for the right opportunity!

  3. Bettina - I found all our positions on google - I did not use Work kamper. There are so many job opportunities all over the country with State Parks and the U.S Forestry Service - also The Corp of Engineers. You can pick what part of the country you want to be in and look on line - even the applications are on line. Also, you get a lot of time off. On the assignment where we were Interpretative Hosts we only worked two days - Saturday and Sunday and had the entire week to explore the area and site see (we were 30 miles from Yellowstone). The most we had to work was four days a week at one of the state parks, but most of the time we only had to work three days and a work day was only four to five hours long. Not a bad way to live. Hope that this information helps you.